In education, we measure, collect data, and report on students' performance at grade levels. However, what matters in the big picture of learning? Accountability of the test scores reported on the school, district, and the teacher in the evaluation process plays an important role. Teachers are asked to set growth goals; schools do the same, and districts are told to keep up.
As we look into what matters this week, we will look more into what I and others believe are the essential pieces of the following conditions “for” learning as we still measure what students learn “of” the learning process.
Teaching together in a school can be great or it can be a very challenging situation. Teacher collaboration occurs when members of a learning community work together to increase student learning and achievement. What happens when you have a few who do not want to go along with the team? There could be a few staff members who do not believe the children you serve can learn or improve.
If our ultimate destination as educators is student achievement, think of teacher collaboration as the journey. Collaboration is not a task to complete then move on; it’s an ever-changing and ongoing process. As a positive team member, it is your responsibility to help overcome those barriers in the journey to prevent student achievement from happening. Toxic cultures and climates impact student learning when teachers are not teaching together. We will look more into these issues this week.
In order to lead others, you have to know what kind of leader you are. I have written about this before, but I need to revisit it one more time. You also need to know who you are leading!
Do you realize you are leading even when you think you are not? Everyone watches you in your dress, your speech, your body language, and your actions. It is true! As a coach, the first thing I ask you is to tell me what kind of leader you are. This is so we can build from here. The next step is to talk about how you model the leader you are for others. We will discuss some tips this week to help with modeling leadership.
“To know the true reality of yourself, you must be aware not only of your conscious thoughts, but also of your unconscious prejudices, bias, and habits.“Author Unknown
Do we hold biases regarding our teaching? Is intelligence fixed or developed? What is your belief? Are we holding students back due to our biased actions? When we believe students cannot learn, we do not provide the strategies they need to raise intelligence.
Have you said or heard a co-worker say, “I know the best way to teach students.” What does this statement reveal? Is it confidence? Does it demonstrate a seasoned teacher? Does it reveal bias? Give some thought to the questions posed as we take a deeper look this week!
As a leader, I always liked to send different kinds of information out to staff. Funny jokes, thought-provoking puzzles, inspirational poems, and other things I found to share. I hope to provide a few to you during our days together that help, inspire, make you laugh, give hope and give thoughts to ponder. Our lives are filled with many challenges and opportunities, but I always hope to offer possible solutions.