We have hit the ground running with our first facilitations of the new school year. What better way to start off than with classroom management.
At this very moment, I am at the airport enjoying my Starbucks iced soy sugar-free vanilla latte waiting for a flight to Albuquerque. Tomorrow morning I will meet the superintendent at the Los Lunas Starbucks, travel for an hour or so to a small district in a beautiful mountain region to kick off their school year with a full day presentation on incorporating technology with active student engagement. Of course, I will also review starting the year right with establishing habits and expectations. I am excited about incorporating the technology piece with active student engagement. After all, we are preparing our students for jobs that have not yet been invented…
Last week was a busy one!
Tuesday, I did a kick-off for a science and technology academy charter school on Infusing Depth of Knowledge and Active Student Engagement into our lessons.
Wednesday, I had the amazing opportunity to do a kick off for a group of instructional coaches. Super fun! We spent the morning on building teams. The afternoon focused on working with struggling teachers in a consulting and coaching stance. Throughout the day the coaches set goals and refined goals. Ellen, Tim, and I will be working on-site with each of these coaches three times during the school year! What a great way to maximum learning. We always discuss guided practice with our lessons for kids, but often times I think this piece is forgotten with trainings. Adults, too, need guided practice to incorporate what they are learning in a professional development session.
Thursday, I was off for a three plus hour drive to a small district to do their kick off for the year with administrators! This was a GREAT day! My goal was to assist administrators in analyzing things that get in the way of their priorities, and to help them get into classrooms and debrief with teachers. I had this idea that worked splendidly (if I do say so myself): I gave each administrator a pack of 3X5 cards and three highlighters – one yellow, one pink and one green. The first step was for the administrators to list every single thing they do as an administrator, one item per note card. They then sorted their cards into best use of time, neutral use of time and worst use of time. From here, administrators examined how to get rid of some of the “worst use of time” cards. The remaining cards each received a stripe across the top: pink – do NOW! before school starts. yellow – do during the 2015-2016 school year. Green – timeline out over the next three years. Throughout the day during practicing drop-ins (with video teachers), going through the new ObserverTab Depth of Knowledge tool (which by the way, they LOVED), and practicing debriefings, we created new cards, analyzed them, and resorted. Administrators left the day with a renewed commitment to observations/debriefings! Total excitement to use the new OTab DOK tool and a PR plan. Tim and I will be on-site with each of the principals three times during the year. This will be great to observe with them in their own schools, assist them with struggling teachers and well, give them therapy! : )