Showing posts from December, 2011

Learning (with our students) (Steve Guditus)

Our last day before the holiday break was a half-day.  These days-before-breaks have notoriously had a bad reputation, especially half-days, but when I walked the classrooms on Friday, December 23, I saw wonderful things happening.  Students were learning; students were celebrating learning; students were reflecting upon learning.  Too often schools are full-speed-ahead on the curriculum train that we forget the value of (and consequently do not share the value with students of) stopping to reflect and celebrate our learning, our performance and our goals.

In one seventh grade teacher's classroom I entered, students were reflecting upon their September-through-December learning, and setting goals for the new year.  Instead of nodding and watching from afar, I took some colored pencils myself, and sat down elbow-to-elbow with students to complete the task with them.  Though such a small task (and one barely completed as I was soon walkie-talkied away to an emergency),…

The Urgency of Instructional Leadership (Steve Guditus)

As part of leadership (especially in a school), many things can morph into being the most urgent.  I can find myself in my office, away from students, working on one most-urgent project, and then jump to another most-urgent project.  Before I know it, the day is over, and I've only had face time with students at lunch and dismissal...and multiple most-urgent projects are still to-be-finished.  It can be easy to be sucked into the black hole of building manager and it takes a constant revisiting of urgencies, reflection and priorities to strive toward being a true instructional leader in a school.

To this end, working towards being a true instructional leader in my school will require me to:
Reprioritize what is truly urgent in my day: learning and teaching.Each day, schedule myself for one hour of closed-door, productive, focused work on truly urgent assignments.Participate in learning throughout the school day.Use my PLN to continue to be a lifelong learner: it is as much as the h…