So we made it, the final week of classes for the 2015/2016 school year. If you were wondering, this is what will be playing in the back of my head all week (Europe -- "FINAL COUNTDOWN")
All joking aside I just wanted to say how honored I am to have had the privilege of working with each of you this year. While we are always a work in progress, I appreciate the way in which you accepted me an all my crazy ideas and were willing to continuously work for the betterment of our students. I believe I am a better educator and administrator via my interactions with all of you and believe our students have a bright future with the dedicated staff that we have at OHS.
It wouldn't be right if I did not leave you with one more 'reading' or suggestion for you to meditate over this summer. Please take a moment between now and next Fall to look over this list of the "12-15 Rules of Great Teaching" from TeachThought.com. While some of these suggestions could be debated, being a self-reflective practitioner cannot. Here's to a relaxing and rejuvenating summer ahead!
As the school year winds down and I get ready for my evaluation its only best to review my (and Robert's) two goals for this school year. I thought reflecting to all of you would only be fair as they were announced to you starting off the school year in our August PD.
“All staff will demonstrate increased proficiency and confidence using Google apps by June 2015.”
I could've done better. Period. While my enthusiasm for technology can be inspiring to some it can also be a turnoff to others. Staff (and student) use did raise and I feel proficiency has improved but that's not enough. I shared resources regularly and worked with other administrators to set up "Tech Tuesdays" but did not find the key to unlock the confidence for ALL staff to regularly use "Google Apps for Education". Moving forward I must improve my observational and listening skills to help find out where/how these tools can make each staff member's lives EASIER instead of one more thing to learn. An article that helped me to refocus on this goal as I move forward is "There is No App for Good Teaching" by Laura Moorhead
“Every senior (100%) earning a diploma will be admitted to a 4-year institution by graduation.”
Close! 95%+ Thanks goodness I had a great team of Kathi, Dan, Denise, Alyssa, and Ronda to support the students getting there. Student feedback was the program was great for those students who were on the 'bubble' but those who were always going to apply really didn't need the boost. We did have a handful of students admitted into a 2 year college and some not at all but in comparison to the data from the ISD we have certainly moved the needle. With the schedule up in the air not sure how this will look going forward but a great foundation none the less.
What do you think a good goal for me (or us) going into next year should be? I would love some honest feedback and/or suggestions!
Throughout this week I made it a point to stop, notice and record all that we do well at OHS as its a bit hypocritical to have a "Staff Appreciation Week" without really appreciating all that we are. In no particular order....
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid....
I often need to remind myself of this and am sure some of us need to keep this at the forefront of our mind at this time of year. Teaching and learning should never wane but often threatens to as weather warms up and mother nature beckons us.
In an attempt to keep the engine of OHS chugging I am challenging each of us to try one new thing between now and the end of the school year.
A new project? A new piece of technology? A new friendship/collaboration with a co-worker? A new skill you've always wanted to have as a teacher? A new way to ask questions in lessons (Here is a great/short blog on Google-Proofing your questions)? Please do not fear failure as attempting something new is what we ask of our students daily and is the least we can do occasionally for them.
Lastly, as the school year begins to wind down and some students begin to check-out we need to focus on one last K.I.S.S... Keep, Insisting on Student Success!
Just a chance to reflect over educational articles and ideas that float through my head.