Friday, September 14, 2012

This year will be different!

Kay Winters found   

 Welcome back!  The start of every school year is filled with new and exciting things.  New faces in the classroom, new plans for the year, new curriculum, new testing, the floors look new  and shiny!  Inevitably as routines are set and wax wears off we ALL start to revert back to the way we have always looked.
This year will be different!
Our district recently adopted a new mission statement, "South Eastern School District...Providing progressive education to strengthen a global community".  I have thought a lot about the words chosen for the statement and how I would use them to impact change.  What is progressive and how can I strengthen the global community?  What does it mean?  How can I measure it?  As an instructional leader, I fully understand that the climate and culture of the building starts with me.
This year will be different!
Personal communication with a focus on collaboration will be my goal for the year.  I chose to challenge teachers to develop their own goals using the following format:
How will you be progressive?  In my mind I equate progressive to better.  I know that many of my teachers took progressive as using technology (we are starting a BYOD pilot this year).  Teachers were told to formulate their own personal goal and schedule a meeting with me to talk about it.  That is where the magic happened.  At those individual meetings, teachers brought me fantastic ideas.  They wanted to rewrite courses, include technology or BYOD in all of their lessons, and many other GREAT things.  I pushed back,  I questioned, encouraged, supported, challenged, and most importantly listened to fantastic professional teachers work through the goal setting process.
This year will be different!
Many teachers came in with goals that could be taken right out of a book or off an opening school year assembly.  That is the way they have always looked.  I repeatedly asked, "What do YOU really want to do? What do you REALLY want to do?  What do you really want to DO?  In many cases we agreed that they would resubmit something at a later time.  After one meeting I tweeted,

 How to quantify progressive goals? Not sure, but, I just convinced you to rewrite your submitted goal and you are still smiling.  
Throughout the meetings I continue to encourage teachers to take risks, try new things, and see if they work.  I hope that some will take my advise and begin to BLOG, not only about their success but also their failures.  Perhaps they can develop that collaborative PLN to support what they are doing, offer suggestions, and use what is working to better their personal goals.  
This year will be different!
 Yesterday I met with our district Superintendent to discuss my goals for the year.  I brought the same document I used with teachers.  I gave her the paper and talked about the great things that were happening @SEMSEast and she did the same thing I did with teachers, questioned, encouraged, supported, challenged, and most importantly listened.
This year will be different!   
My teachers have the support of administrators (building and district) to be progressive.  It is OK to try new things.  They should be encouraged to share their successes and failures through BLOGS and their PLN.  We will make things better.
As an instructional leader, I fully understand that the climate and culture of the building starts with me
Read my BLOG, follow my tweets, look at my Facebook posts, and most importantly question me if they start to go back to the way they always looked.  I want to be better and this year will be different!


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