As I am sitting in my office at the end of the day on Friday and it give me cause to reflect on the First week of school ( sort of the students came in on Wednesday and before that we had in-service). No matter how much I prepare to get ready for the first day of school there is nothing like seeing the faces of the students at the opening assembly we had to welcome everyone. Another highlight of my week is standing outside at the end of day during carpool seeing those same smiling faces as they leave after having a day filled with learning ( I hope). I asked my self why do I feel this year got off to such a great start. ( I hope to be able to say the same thing next year and for many more years.)
Here are my ideas.
1. We as administrators practiced what we preached. What Do I mean. In a twitter conversation I had this week I realized that the things we want our teachers to be doing with our students (IE: engaging them differentiating, collaborating etc) we as administrators need to be doing with our teachers. Therefore our in service this year was set up to be more collaborative, more differentiated and more engaging
2. We focused on getting teacher buy in by posting things on a Wiki space, using google docs so that the teachers would feel and be part of the process.
3. The overall tone was positive and focused on goals, setting the bar higher, learning new things, using more technology and not just here are the rules and you all need to do A,B, C, D..
The results more enthusiastic teachers, more teacher buy in, better atmosphere which translates to better teaching and more learning
However in reflecting I know we still as a school, as teachers and me personally as an administrator still have a lot to learn and we all still need to grow professionally.
As much as we talk about Critical thinking and 21st Century skills it is still easier for many teachers to do things the "old way" and as an educational leader it is my job to help them grow out of that and see what the 21st century learner needs.
Twitter has opened up such a wonderful world to me and I need to show my teachers its benefits and get them to buy into it as well.
We had a great beginning and may it be only the start of a great year. As Alan Blankstein says in his book "Failure is Not an Option" that education is different than other fields if you fail in producing the next top of the line cell phone no problem people will just use an older model until you get it right but when we as educators fail lives and futures are at stake.
After the first week I am optimistic and at the same time I realize the importance and crucial role we play as educators.
Have a Great Weekend