*Teacher Evaluation: Sunday's sessions focused on teacher evaluation. In a three-part series, we learned about legal guidelines of evaluation, new standards and criteria, and my favorite, from a favorite presenter Heather Knight, Coaching to support teaching.
*Professional Learning Communities: Bob Eaker and Janel Keating spent 4 hours Monday morning as our keynote presenters. What a gift! I have attended the Solution Tree Institute on PLCs before, and I completed the SPU Superintendent's program with Janel. I am always so excited after hearing information from them. Key points:
Four Questions to Guide the Work of Professional Learning Communities:
- What do we expect students to learn?[Focus on essential outcomes, power standards, learning targets, pacing.] Question to consider: What would this standard look like in student work if the standard was met?
- How will we know if the kids learn it?
- How do we respond when students experience difficulty in learning?
- How do we respond when students do learn?
Other Key Highlights:
- This work needs to be done kid by kid, skill by skill (not just looking at school level data)
- Find a way to have multi-dimensional feedback loops. How do teams share information with building leadership and district leadership? How does the district leadership facilitate the process?
- Be specific about defining the role of teacher leader and providing opportunrities for training and skill development
- Different teams will be at different levels of implementation and success; we need differentiated leadership and instruction for our teams just like we do for our students
- Make sure teachers understand the larger theoretical framework for PLCs and that we develop common language/understanding around our work; for example, does Formative Assessment mean the same thing to all people?
- Limit initiatives; celebrate the fact that we're doing the SAME WORK year after year, to a deeper level
- Use this filter for our actions, behaviors, and decisions: "Would this be good enough for our own children?"
Spent the afternoon learning about the Lincoln Center, a School-within-a-School at Tacoma's Lincoln High School.
And, my day ended with Marilyn McGuire: Gaining Power and Strength: Strategies for Navigating Through and Out of Difficult Terrain
- Stop "Shoulding" on ourselves and others
- Allow ourselves to "Recalibrate" and do over when things didn't go the way we would like
- When things go better than expected, stop and think about what made that possible. Replicate those actions and decisions!
- Where is your loyalty: to a person or a purpose?
- Always come back to intention
- Avoid "Blargeting": Blaming and Targeting
- Be intentional with language: "I'm unclear" vs. "I'm confused"
- "We judge ourselves by intent; we judge others by behavior. Turn that around."
- Produce a "Success Memo" at least annually
- Find a new "F" word on the job: FUN!
My brain is full and happy!