Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Do you ever wonder how teachers communicated with each in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's?  I was thinking today, while participating in #edchat discussion about faculty meetings, that teachers during my education how did they collaborate.  Did they have to wait for state convention or county wide professional development?  I wonder if my fourth grade teacher ever spoke to another teacher in a different community about teaching strategies.  Did she ever reach out to find a strategy that could be more affective with teaching reading rather than whole language approach?  Did my principal communicate with other educational leaders about research based strategies that were sweeping the nation?  It is kind of amazing to think I can get ideas from people in other states or even countries by simply asking a question on twitter.  I am able to create a document that I can share with others through google.  I can take notes at meeting with evernote and share with those not there.  We can use dropbox to exchange materials with one another.  These are a few of the items that are now at our disposal and they do not cost a thing. 

How is that we as a nation are falling behind, when we as a nation are so much more connected?  Why do we seem to be slipping down the ranking system of comparing us to other countries?  We are able to share our ideas and strategies that are affective, but we seem hesitant to take the steps necessary to be affective in our jobs.  I will continue to use these resources and continue to reach out to others when I need information.  I will continue to do whatever is in my control to help improve the education of students under my watch. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Do you miss the kids?

I find summer a hard time to deal with.  I truly miss having the student involvement that occurs from August to May.  It is nice to have the time, I admit, to actually look at the school wide assessments, take the class that was put off, or plan the professional development for next year; however I miss the voices and shouts in the hallways and classrooms.  I also dread the first several days of school because it is the retraining process of how we operate when in the building and outside for leisure time.  It is just my ranting right now missing the activity from the classrooms and hallways.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Data?

I have been some type of school administrator for six years and now beginning my seventh.  During that time I have made changes in policy and academics because we had meetings and felt it was the right thing to do.  I use the word felt because I do not remember ever collecting data to help make that decision.  I am starting a new position at Black Hawk Elementary where the previous principal was very involved with data and the importance it played in affecting the school environment and  I also had the opportunity with the Burlington Community School District to receive data training and how to create data teams.  This has been a wonderful experience and now makes me wonder why I ever made any decision affecting academics without the use of data.  I have been reading The Data Teams Experience a great book written by Dr. Angela Perry.  The book is extremely well written and very easy to follow.  The process of what should happen at a data team meeting is well laid out and easy to understand.  I can not for the life of me think of a better way to make decisions about a school or business without looking at data.  I feel very fortunate that the previous administrator did a great job of building a data team for the school now I am going to take the next step and create three data teams for grade levels.  I also know that I need to provide time by investing our staff meetings and building professional development to the process.  I figure all the other tasks completed during staff meetings can be handled via social media and that other professional development would be given based upon what data tells us we need to do.  If you have been thinking about getting involved with using data, but not sure where to begin read The Data Team Experience and the process will be made that much simpler.  In fact I am creating a power point that the staff members will be able to view even before we have our first meeting to discuss the change.  This way the staff will have data before we even talk about the different grade level teams.