Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's officially Fall!

It has been a while since I have been here.  Alas, I am attempting to finish my PhD.  I SWEAR I am finishing this year!  My research is actually what brought me back here today.  One aspect of my research is around student resiliency and success in school. Today I was looking at an update I received from ASCD, and it happened to be a blog post written by Bryan Harris about student resiliency. 

After reading the post about student resiliency, there was one item in particular (#7) which spoke to me both from a student perspective and a teacher perspective.

"Resilience isn’t constant in any of our lives. Resilience tends to ebb and flow throughout our lives based on current situations and challenges. We all have times in our lives where things are going well and times when things are tough. The resilient person is the one who can bounce back, learn, and thrive through the tough times. (Bernard, 2004)"

Then I went on to read Bryan Harris' post about  Teacher Resiliency.  I thought it would be perfect for the teacher KaiZen page.  The article isn't anything mind-blowing, but it is a reminder of the things we need to do as teachers to keep our heads screwed on straight.  I am desperately in need of some help keeping my head screwed on right now, as the first couple of weeks of school have been a bit crazy this year.  As a side note, most of my craziness has been as a result of things happening in my personal life, not my professional life.  But as you know-all of these things are interrelated and interdependent.  When things in your personal life are falling apart, your professional life suffers (and vice versa).  So teacher friends, take a few moments and read this blog post about teacher resiliency, and hopefully it reminds you of the things you must do to keep it together during the school year!

PS-  Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back.  It is officially fall... 

Welcome Back!

ASCD blog post on Teacher Resiliency (click Here)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Asking Students for Feedback

When was the last time you checked with your students to see how things were going? I really feel a connection to the ideas presented by Ron Ferguson about how teachers can make a difference in the learning environment for students. So here are my thoughts on The Seven C's of Effective Teaching. As I walk through classrooms in the coming weeks, I want to see how frequently teachers are using the Seven Cs in their classrooms, and I want to see what these Cs might look like in practice. I am thinking I would like to come up with a few descriptors or behaviors of teachers that define the Cs.
Caring about students (nurturing productive relationships);
Controlling behavior (promoting cooperation and peer support);
Clarifying ideas and lessons (making success seem feasible);
Challenging students to work hard and think hard (pressing for effort and rigor);
Captivating students (making learning interesting and relevant);
Conferring (eliciting students’ feedback and respecting their ideas);
Consolidating (connecting and integrating ideas to support learning).

So, here goes. I will keep you posted as I see some of these Cs play out in classrooms.