Saturday, January 26, 2019

Observe Me - Come & See

Observe Me - Come & See

Classroom observations - oh, man.  These can elicit fear in educators all over the world.  From scheduled to unscheduled observations, teachers feel the stress of other's evaluating them.  No doubt, when anyone feels someone is evaluating or judging them, it causes emotions of frustration, worried, and possibly anxiety.  But, why do we, as educators, feel this way?  Why do we look at getting feedback as a bad thing?  Getting feedback and using it to reflect upon our practice are the extremely important keys to professional growth.  

If you are wanting to try something new in the way of getting feedback on your professional practice or craft, try reading about the #observeme movement.  The #observeme movement involves inviting professional feedback on specific items that you want to grow in - identifying your areas of work, working on it, and asking other for feedback on it.  

I LOVED getting feedback on specific parts of my classroom and knowing what other's wanted feedback on.  Not only can other teachers give feedback, but parents, admin, counselors...anyone can offer feedback.  


Get that feedback....Get better....Give your best everyday in your classroom!  Kids deserve it!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Core Beliefs

Welcome to a New Year!

Welcome back to a fresh start!  I’ve found that as this time of the year, teachers often want to take a good look at their procedures, routines, lesson planning, and classroom development since the beginning of the year.  If I’m speaking to your heart, then keep on reading!  I’ve got an idea for you!

You might be thinking:
What do I need to do to get my students more engaged in the learning process?
What will get my students excited about learning?
How will I make sure my classroom runs smoothly?
What key learnings do I need to focus on this semester?
How can I circle back to my procedures and routines?
How has my class developed over the last semester?

One area I have found that can help me focus and find answers to the above questions is looking long and hard at my core beliefs.  Core beliefs are how people see themselves, others, the world, and the future. 

Identifying your core beliefs can help you refocus your classroom.  This is because every decision you make, you can ask yourself, “Does this align with my core beliefs?”.  Aligning your procedures, lesson plans, and routines to your core beliefs will help you stay focused on your students and your ideal learning environment. 

What are some ideas for core beliefs?  Let’s look at one large company and it’s core beliefs.  As we do, ask yourself, “Does this align with what I think of about this company?”.
Google Beliefs:
1.    Focus on the user and all else will follow.
2.    It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
3.    Fast is better than slow.
4.    Democracy on the web works.
5.    You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
6.    You can make money without doing evil
7.    There’s always more information out there.
8.    The need for information crosses all borders.
9.    You can be serious without a suit.
10.Great just isn’t good enough.
As I read through Google’s core beliefs, I found myself thinking that some of those could be my beliefs as a teacher!  I mean, all I needed to do what change “user” to “student” and I had my belief summed up…focus on the student and all else will follow.  Isn’t that what we should be doing each day?  All of your decision should be focus on the student…not us as teachers/leaders/administrators.  It’s likes someone asking you, “What do you teach?”.  If your first response is “writing”, “math”, it doesn’t present with a student-first answer.  My thought is “I teach students”…individuals.  I need to look at each child individually, independently, and authentically. 
If you’ve never looked at or thought about your core beliefs, now is a great time to do so.  It’s a new year…a new outlook.  Think about it.  Write down your beliefs.  Hang them up somewhere where you will read them every day.  Heck, make a classroom “core beliefs” poster with your students.  Identify what your class believes in each other!  What a great morning meeting lesson!

Here are my core beliefs:
·      Decisions and actions should be focused on the student
·      Everyone can embrace & drive change
·      Every action should build open, honest, & trustworthy relationships
     Collaboration is collective genius