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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Celebrate the Talents Around You

I work and live with many whose talents inspire me. These are people who have talents I will never have, and I appreciate the fact that these people share their good talents with others. Rather than begrudge the talents of others or treat those talents with selfishness or disregard, it's best to celebrate and share in their talents. None of us are the same.

I was reminded of this several times today as I watched and listened to people with talents that are extraordinary--talents in leadership, speaking, socializing, attention to detail, and more. Too often people's talents are disregarded because they create fear in others--fear that they may not live up to another's talent. The truth is that we should develop our own strengths and enjoy the strengths of others. That's a path of success for all.

Tomorrow's Agenda: January 18, 2018

Today's exploration of the properties of matter was engaging for all--the morning flew by, and then the afternoon virtual meeting with DESE TAC was similarly engaging and fast. Now it's early evening and time to focus on tomorrow's teaching and learning:

Early Morning Help
Students in our fifth grade are welcome to come to school a half hour early to catch up on homework, get some extra help, or work on projects. There's always a great hum to the room, and I find I get a lot of work done at that time too due to the energy in the room.

Math Test and Tech
Students will work on computation assessments and a math tech menu to help inform upcoming progress report completion. While students work on their tests and tech, I'll answer questions and work on next week's Mixture and Solution Science lab.

Reading and Understanding Informational Text
I'll work with my small reading group to focus in on informational text related to science and social studies.

Play and Snow Science
Students will have the chance to check in on their Ice Orbs and play in the snow.

Special Ed Study
I'll start the required special ed course and apply the learning to math.

Friday finds us on a field trip and next week will be another busy week of science, math study, and reading. Since I work in a collaborative grade-level model of teaching and learning, my colleagues do great work in writing, reading, social studies leadership and teaching. I continually feel grateful for this wonderful model of teaching. Onward.

DESE TAC: Elevating Teacher Voice, Choice, and Leadership

Twitter response to today's great virtual DESE TAC meeting. 
The way the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Teacher Advisory Cabinet is run is an example of how to elevate and respect teacher voice, choice, and leadership. The meetings are thoughtfully prepared, the speakers are well informed, organized, and respectful, the process is modern and effective, and our efforts impact decisions made at the state level, decisions that impact all of us in schools. Further, I learn so much from the other educators on the council--their ideas and efforts are inspiring. I always feel valued at these meetings, and I also value the time, energy, expertise, and intent of these meetings. Thanks goes to Matt Holloway and his #MApactac team.

I'd like to see DESE really tune into the kinds of structures, schedules, roles, and efforts that uplift educator voice, choice, and leadership. I want them to help forward modern ways of teaching and leading, ways that elevate schools and the work we can do for students and their families. Also as I listened to many educators today, it's also important for DESE and our local school districts to partner with communities to help children in every aspect of life. We have to rid our communities of the poverty that truly diminishes what's possible for children and their families. That's a critical need.

There's so much we can do to better schools, and I am so pleased that DESE is enlisting educator voice with regard to the work they do, and enlisting our voices in ways that are respected and embedded in state-wide improvement efforts.