First vlog in a new place! I got into the habit of doing fairly frequent vlog updates throughout the school year last year. They served as a great reflective practice as well as sharing what was going on in the district. Both were powerful in their own way. Still sorting out devices and my own daily tech so excuse the audio…it’ll get better, I promise!
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Big thank you to everyone in the Montpelier-Roxbury Public Schools for the great welcome this week. Looking forward to an amazing year (and beyond)!
I recently finished the book Unstuck by Goodwin, Gibson, Lewis and Rouleau. Whenever I read education books I always take one or two things away from the experience. Sometimes it’s confirmation of strategies that I’m using or are aware of, other times it’s more a descriptive playbook that I want to keep on hand as I go into a year. This book definitely fell into the playbook category.
I think what I appreciated most about the text was the honest and very real take on change and culture in schools. The authors acknowledged the challenges associated with change, highlighted typical or frequent strategies employed and highlight a more patient and long-game method of implementing lasting change. One of the example systems in the book set about a whole systems change by centering their efforts with teachers and empowerment of educators. This is something that is often spoken of as if it is happening, but this is truly a real empowerment but also a very realistic look at the amount of time proper change and empowerment takes. Several times in the book you hear about the leaders slowing down, moving incrementally, taking small steps versus educational books that make it sound like you can achieve anything in three weeks with a pretty sweet protocol.
The book also includes two sections at the end of each chapter. The first is a pause and reflect section which really has some pretty great questions for you to consider as you are reading (much better than the average end of chapter questions) and a second section called “envision a better way” that are really questions and action steps to move your team or school along.
- Sections on developing a theory of action (for teachers and as an organization) complete with rubrics
- Lots about peer coaching and getting teachers into different classrooms
- A whole bunch about change and educators with some really practical tips and advice
- There’s a model school that has recently been through a merger/consolidation that might be interesting to educators and educational leaders. This section focuses on ways to build a shared vision and culture.
- The whole book has a lot of detailed steps to the changes they describe versus ambiguous end statements.
Overall a big thumbs up. I highly recommend it. My copy is marked up and will be in my bag for the next several months.
Eleven years ago I started working as a principal at a small school in Underhill, Vermont. I’d been a classroom teacher for nine years, a leader of sorts in the building, but had never been an administrator. I learned more from the educators at UCS than I’ll ever be able to express. Now, as I enter a new chapter in life it was fitting and AWESOME to spend one of my last days with the same crew of folks and celebrate our time together. To the UCS staff, I’m incredibly grateful…seriously.
And so what if my rocket went two feet in the air…I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The absolute hardest part of my #writeeveryday journey has been to let my words just meander, to set about writing without a clear purpose other than to write and think. I think for a long time I let the pressure of the end product drive my blogging attempts. Looking to provide a finished post that was there for a purpose, to inspire or connect, but not always to write. It’s still a struggle for me, but I’m getting much more comfortable with just getting my thoughts out there (that was the point of this little challenge for myself). I do think it’s important to continue to push that comfort and engage the world as a writer…but sometimes that requires you to just…well, to just write and let those words “wander and meander.”
In this episode of InnovatED we take a look at the following awesomeness:
ThisIsSand – https://thisissand.com/ This mindfulness tool provides a soothing experience for users via sand art
Google Expeditions A.R. – https://edu.google.com/expeditions/#a… A new feature to expeditions, this tool makes it easy to incorporate augmented reality into the classroom.
Incredibox – http://www.incredibox.com/ It’s just plain fun…great way to make music and experiment with beats.