Showing posts from May, 2013

My Educator's Memorial Day (Steve Guditus @sguditus)

Ever since I was a kid, I looked up to my Dad.  A Vietnam War and Marine Corps Veteran, he enlisted in the USMC after graduating from high school.  Fearless and eighteen, he headed to Paris Island for training and ultimately for multiple tours of duty in Vietnam.  Though I don't know many of the details (he rarely speaks about it), I know he was brave and served his nation proudly.  He earned a purple heart, and even as I write about it, I get teary.  I will probably never know why exactly, but a combination of pride and honor comes over me when I think of the moves my Dad needed to make as a young man.

My Dad is a driven man.  He is dyslexic, so school was always tough for him.  I am even more in awe that he has been a successful businessman through intelligence, drive, dedication and a work ethic like no one I've ever seen.  He encouraged me and pushed me to always be my best, and when I slacked off, I would imagine my Dad - waist deep in a swamp in Vietnam - and push harde…

7 Thoughts on School Improvement Plans #satchat (Steve Guditus @sguditus)

Today's #satchat, as usual, has left me feeling inspired and motivated.  Folks from around Massachusetts, the nation and world chimed into a fantastic conversation about sometimes-dry School Improvement Plans (SIPs).  Co-faciltiated by @bcurrie5, @ScottRRocco and @billsterrett, a few main lessons emerged for me:

Create a unified vision.  Provide tight-loose leadership to provide vision and structure, and then allow folks to do their best work.  Encourage all constituencies to revisit a school's vision and SIP - if it is clear and unified enough, it will be easily accessible and relatable to all we do in our school. Administrators cannot just talk the talk - they must be ready, willing and able to walk the walk.  SIPs can easily become an exercise in jargon, acronyms and only philosophy.  For staff, students and parents to be inspired to work outside their comfort zone, try something new, and reach for goals, leaders must be ready to not just say it, but live it themselves.  It …