Monthly Archives: March 2013

Reflecting Forward, as well as Behind

Traveled a lot over the last few days and spending time on a plane when my TV monitor didn’t work provided a great chance to continue my reading of Professional Capital by Michael Fullen and Andy Hargreaves. They broughtme back to my MET days by referrinf to Schon’s coining of  Relecting In Practice and  Reflecting on Practice.   I hadn’t thought of this for some time, but returning to his work was perfect timing.  Reflecting while in the thick of things plus reflecting later, after the fact are key factors in improving one’s work.

I am going to be spending the next few days fine-tuning an Observation Tool to be used by our secondary teachers who will be visiting each others’ classrooms.  They have asked for some kind of framework to guide the visits and it occured to me that Schon’s 2 types of reflection are very appropriate.  Hargreaves reminds us that practice can make perfect only if reflection is include.  So now, off to create this new tool and I’ll be trying it on for size myself.

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


Consolidation Long Overdue!

It’s been a very long time since I have wandered here into my blog – ever since I finished my MET program from UBC, the requirement (and to some extent, the need) to write has ended.  Yet, here I sit at the NASSP 2013 Conference called Ignite 2013, listening to speaker after speaker talk about the need for engagement, participation, higher order thinking, consolidation of learning through writing- all washing over me and it finally occured to me, that the need to write daily should be right up there with Maslow’s hierarchy.

I have been preaching to teachers for ages about making sure students write every day (and read too of course), yet do we as teachers and administrators model that very practice we claim improves learning?  I take all kinds of notes during the presentations, I open up the websites and resources of each speaker, but I don’t sit quietly later and reflect on my learning…let it percolate and see what rises to the surface. 

So here I am…sitting quietly except for the clicking of the keyboard – no distractions, just my notes beside me and thoughts rattling around in my head.  Since I am surrounded mostly by American administrators (although the odd Canuck, Australian, Brazilian and New Zealander is attending), I am wearing my filter lenses of “let’s listen to see if their latest rounds of reforms have any chance of improving their results” throughout the sessions, but there are remarkably similar thoughts about higher order thinking, engagement, motivation, literacy skills – just all done with different expectations of teacher performance, standardization, and funding.  Marzano, Fullen, and Schmoker are bantered about as they search for answers. 

Some nuggets I will take back with me:

From  Scott Klososky

  • the Hive Mind:  crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, crowdvertizing, crowdsolving – all examples of collective consciousness made possible with Web 20 through Web 5.0
  • Amplifed Learning:  harvesting the global mind, access to instant information, connecting to billions of people at any time
  • social relevance – if you are not creating an online footprint, you are invisible to employers

From Barbara Blackburn

  • not only do we need to motivate students through focus on value and success, but we need to do the same for our teachers. Following up each PD session with:  what are you going to do next?  who will you share this information with? and what resources will you need?
  • she defines Rigor ( the new American buzzword) as “creating an environment n which each student is expecte to learn at high levels; each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels.”

and finally, from Mark Wilson

  • real student success means knowing:
    • knowing what students know
    • knowing what they can do
    • knowing what kind of people they grow up to be
  • Principals must be the driving force for literacy – not just for students but for teachers too!

And so, here I sit, working on my literacy skills – writing, writing, writing.

Pretty terrific conference.



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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized