Showing posts from July, 2010

My Hopes as an Educator

As I exit the classroom, I am coming to terms with the reality that my impact on students will be in another forum as Assistant Principal.  A secondary impact on students as the Guy-Who-Schedules-The-School isn't as glamorous as creating an awesome learning expedition that directly impacts students and their learning...but just as important?  Yes, I think so.

I dusted out my journal from my first year of teaching and revisited some of my journal entries and reflections.  Much of what I reread from those years ago still applies to my hopes as an educator of middle schoolers, though not as a classroom teacher:

1st Year Teacher ReflectionAdministrator Hope"Overwhelmed and excited.  These are the two words that describe how I am feeling." (September)I hope to feel mostly excited (though I'm sure I will feel overwhelmed at some point!) throughout the entire year."I didn't realize how much I would be looking back and thinking about what I had taught and how I had t…

School Opening Kickoff Videos: August Inspiration

After spending time scouring the web, I've zeroed in on the following videos clips as the ones I believe to possess the most potential to use with staff to kick off the school year in August.  Please feel free to comment, add to the list, share, RT, or let me know what you think!

If you have a video that's worthwhile to share you think is missing from this list, please, by all means leave a comment below or tweet me with the URL.

A Vision of K12 Students TodayA Vision of All Kinds of StudentsShift Happens (2010)Did You Know (4.0)?The EssayEducation Today and TomorrowA Brave New World-Wide-WebI teach, therefore you learn...or do you?Mr. Winkle WakesPay AttentionNo Future Left BehindBaby Squirrel LearnsDo You Teach or Educate?100 Ways to Show Children You CareStarkville MS: BelieveWe ThinkDalton Sherman: Do You Believe in Me?Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn From Kids

Kurzweil in Middle School

I am not a reading specialist.  And I do not play one on TV.

I am, however, a middle school educator.  And I know what works.

Through several years of trial and error, research and reflection, I found the value in using Kurzweil, a text-to-read program, which I believe can transform the way students read and write.  Initially introduced to me as a special education accommodation (for which it works well), I discovered the power in using it mainstreamed across the curriculum and across all classes.

From what I have seen, good readers don't just happen.  Certainly, some students are simply gifted readers, but even the "best readers" in middle school are likely good readers because they work at it: they are avid readers, and therefore have become good readers.  The best readers have created and/or learned strategies that work for them to make them effective readers.  Weaker readers don't lack the ability to be good readers, but just lack the strategies that good readers…

Becoming an Administrator

We ask our students, especially in middle school, to work on transitions, changes, to Never Give Up!  Reach For The Stars!  Change Is Good!  And now, here I am, hovering above myself, trying to remeber the advice I gave my students.  I am two weeks into a new path, a shift in my professional life, and it is exciting, scary, challenging, and invigorating!  I have shifted my middle school educator role from classroom teacher to assistant principal.  With no students in the building, it has become a great time to reflect about my hopes, fears, challenges, and excitements.

More than anything, I am excited to impact the lives of middle school students on a broader scale.  Looking back to my purpose for wanting to become an administrator, it was that - I want to help impact the lives of more students than just those in my classroom.  It is with this idealistic view that I enter into July and August, albeit with no students or staff in the building!  I am excited about helping to develop pro…