Thursday, June 9, 2011

A New Journey

"Everything I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten."

Remember that quote.  I can't help but think about that as I start a new journey in my career.

Moving from the halls of elementary to the halls of high school can be quite a change.  As an elementary principal, I couldn't walk down the halls or into a classroom without getting a high five, fist bump, or the occasional hug.  And while the high fives and fist bumps may continue at high school (to stay out of trouble) I plan to avoid the hugs.

Today, I am with the team at Solon CSD learning about the concepts of Professional Learning Communities.  The amount of information can be overwhelming at times (so is the thought of moving from an elementary setting to the high school setting).  However, I keep coming back to the same questions.

What are non-negotiable beliefs in K-12 schools?  What practices, regardless of the level, are best practice?  What common traits can Kindergarten teachers and Biology teachers share.  Below are my non-negotiable practices.

1. Collaboration is a must.  No longer can we in education allow "independent contractors" to work in our buildings.

2. The PLC structure is not something you "do".  It is who you are and what you believe in as a staff that drives your work.

3. WHAT MATTERS MOST must be prioritized in regards to students learning objectives.  Research shows that we would need to keep kids in a system that spans from K-22 instead of K-12 if we are to teach everything.

4. Assessment should be frequent and drive instructional decisions in the classroom.

5. Any school that claims its purpose is to help all students learn at high level then fails to create a system of interventions is preparing kids to fail.

To create a systematic process that ensures every child receives the additional time and support needed to learn at high levels is our goal.  Otherwise you have a lottery where kids succeed based on the "luck" of getting a good teacher.  

What are other non-negotiable K-12 school practices?

No comments:

Post a Comment