Friday, March 29, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I completely agree with what was written in the article written by,Bill Drayton and I believe the transformation, (we are far past the boat of reformation!) comes in a simple return to what school is. Long before I kissed my daughters and son off to kindergarten, they were playing at being adults. They were experiencing the world around them by playing at being. By the end of first grade my eldest was not only a cashier at KMart, she was a librarian demanding that her sisters pay their fines and return the library books. She was a teacher sitting all of her students in row. She was a doctor, nurse. My middle child was exploring animal husbandry, veterinary medicine by the end of second grade. My youngest was a pediatrician. You see long before they hit the age of 9, they had already explored more careers than any career fair in high school could provide. They all knew how to use the 6 simple machines, and why they worked. They knew how to make bread, fudge, and why sometimes the fudge turned out grittier than other times. They played at learning. We lack play in learning. I am a huge proponent of Play Based Learning. You have me thinking about what I was when I was 9 or 10. I was a radio announcer, a writer, a dreamer, a singer, and yes, I love to play my made up game of "Johnny and the Houses." I couldn't experience enough. The one thing that I wasn't aware of? How smart I really was. I didn't find out until I was a mother of very young children that I would have been identified as off the charts gifted. So, rather than getting good grades in school, (now I know why) I was just left to be the dreamer....still am so it seems. I am everything I was when I was 6 or 7 or 8 or 9...The only thing a child needs to have to be who they are is time, investment by caregivers, school is the perfect place for this, but, we must get government out of our way, and allow our children to play!
Saturday, March 23, 2013
This link will bring you to an article that I wrote some time ago. I was told that the concern about the 10th largest fuel source in the world would be possibly fuel for escalation in the Middle East. Just today a Google Alert Highlights exactly what I was referring to in my article "Fuel For Thought." Read on.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
I believe that education needs to be approached from a transformational perspective. As our society grows in multifaceted dimensions, it is imperative to move away from a “one size fits all” approach to education. When we do this we fail to embrace the richness in diversity, culture and gifted-ness of the individual. From the first moment I entered into education as a professional educator, I began to rewrite and align the curriculum to best meet the needs of the learner, while fulfilling state standards. Remaining strongly committed to developing 21st century learners I approach education with an entrepreneurial spirit, where each individual student is the focused product. A deep understanding for the need to implement with expedience Instructional Technology is a central component of content delivery. As an agile provider of educational services to my students and district, whether my student is a veteran educator developing her first interactive power point, or a struggling reader, with a careful modeled approach the learner emerges successful and confident of their individual potential. In particular, my passion lies in educational reform, integrated curricular design, student as the product, producing educational leaders who understand what it means to implement sound integrated problem based instruction. I believe reform moves to transform in developing the capacity of educators to become leaders in their own communities. Moving the profession of education to one of progressive alignment in keeping pace with a global dynamic. I believe education needs to be approached in terms of transforming education, not merely reforming it. What is needed in order to bring this to fruition are transformational leaders dedicated to bringing education to a newer higher form of specialization and moving away from strict content based pedagogy to one of a “wholistic,” all inclusive based approach. Believing that every child can learn provided that they are met where they are. Holding strong to an understanding that every teacher is more than just a deliverer of content, but a diagnostician, the first responder to need, and responsible for the individuals well-being in that moment of connection. That the children that come to us are not their circumstance, but, individuals with the capacity to develop their individual areas of gifted-ness and develop other areas with specificity to those needs. The 21st century learner can no longer function through bolt and cog production line approach to education. The global learner needs to have a balanced understanding of the world and a specialist in multifarious approaches to understanding the world in which they live in. It is through this approach that a reformation of our public education will take place.
Friday, March 15, 2013
In a recent survey by Metlife, educator satisfaction is at the lowest it has been since 2008. Considering that the overall attitude of American's is at an all time low since 2008, this fact does not surprise me. What does surprise me is the unwillingness of our State and Federal organizations to understand what is happening to education in America. You see, it does not matter whether it is public education, or charter schools, people on the front-lines are breaking down. The pressure to perform against all odds, with lack of support, lack of leadership by administrators who are truly in touch with the classroom is unprecedented. While every teacher who enters in to the profession will tell you, he or she, knew that it would be hard. It would be long hours. It would be filled with ups and downs. They knew they were going to be the backbone, the front line of offense and defense. They knew that the game was going to be tough, but REWARDING. How did they know this? Because those who entered into traditional programs of education, meaning they spent 5 years going through the practicums, the training, the lesson plans, all while fulfilling other extraneous liberal arts programs, knew what they were getting into. They were in the classrooms, they were reminded daily about school. They fulfilled a semester of unpaid, hard work as student teachers, plus hundreds of hours of observation. Some days filled with absolute exhaustion. Let's call it teacher boot camp. Those teachers like medical school students were broken down, they were forced to withstand the trial. If they still wanted the career after working long hard days and nights then you knew they were primed and ready to be front-line responders. What we have now is "fast track" education. This is a profound movement that is undercutting the heart and soul of traditional education programs. There is a new influx of educators. This new influx of educators are taking traditional educators jobs, and making the teacher pool a very tough one to swim in. Not because they are better educators, but, because the are on the "fast track." It is undercutting traditional programs. Traditional programs, where future teachers entering into them knew from the first day of entering into schools of education that they had numerous steps they had to go through and a whole lot of tuition money, before they would ever get their first paycheck. They did it anyway! Why? Because they believed in the profession. What we see now is a huge network of students graduating from college, unable to find a job in their fields being promised a teacher's salary, a Masters degree at the end of one year, and a guaranteed job with benefits for 2-3 years. Their incentive, while it may appear glorious and altruistic, is not. It has a great monetary incentive. It also promises to forgive the loans that they incurred for their "failed" degree. Why is this a problem? Because in the unionized world of public education, they are in essence, "scabs." Whether I see the that as a truth or not, the pressure and threat that that places upon the traditional educator is profound. When you go to apply for a teaching position, having graduated from a school of education, clocking your student teaching and 5 years of training only to discover that they are only hiring teachers who have gone through a Teach For America process, it deflates and limits the hiring field. Or, they are filling classroom with inexperienced Teach For America newbees. Imagine if all new hires in the field of non for profit had to spend 2-3 years in the Peace Corp? Or, if the only engineers being hired had to do a 3 year stint in the military first? Also, imagine that you have made in 10 years in education, and you have decided that you want to bring your experience to areas where the achievement gap is so low it has disappeared into the abyss and you discover that they are only interested in individuals with less experience, less educational training and have not even passed certification testing. This reality pervades the mind of professional educators. Now that I have painted a very sweeping landscape of frustration, add to it, the mandates, the testing, the approaches that non-educators are imposing upon the profession. Couple that with the societal breakdown which has transformed our understanding of school. Match with it the declination over the past 12 years as a result of NCLB. Those who are now ready to enter college lack the skillset necessary to enter into college fully ready is at an all time high. Well, guess what? They were the babies who entered our schools under No Child Left Behind. Sadly, far too many of them were left behind, or did not make it to the finish line. Far too many teachers left because, they could not in good conscience do to our schools what our education leaders in Washington demanded. (when did our federal government gain total control over localized, state run education? The legality of that is quite questionable.) Bottom line: We have hundreds of well-trained experienced classroom educators who have advanced their education and training to encompass Administration. They are writers, thinkers, reformers, transformers. Like a general in the military, they paid their dues, they fought on the front-lines, they should be the ones moving into positions of leadership. They know first hand what a classroom looks like now, and what it looked like at the beginning of NCLB. They are not getting leadership positions. Instead they are being outsourced by Administrators who have not been on the front lines long enough to be able to support the twenty year veteran. They are not astute enough to understand that while Hunter and Marzano are well versed in writing and publishing, it has been a long time since they were in a classroom and managing a classroom over a long period of time, as our "frontliners" are. While they have learned to make millions and advance to being founders of their own publishing companies, their primary motivation has moved from frontliner to marketing specialist of their own brand. One must wonder, if their approach is so fundamentally transforming, why are our kids still at the same level as they were in 1974 with the first nationwide research? While this is not intended to be a criticism of those who have dedicated their lives to education, the way in which our educational leaders hold on to the Marzano and Hunter approach imposes makes me shake my head and say, "when will we learn that just as we have to differentiate instruction for our kids, we also have to allow for differentiated instruction by our trained professionals!" We cannot say that Marzano works, because, it is not in all cases. So, in closing, we are failing our kids, our teachers and our society when we refuse to listen to our professionals, those on the front line. We fail when we continue to disenfranchise those who committed their lives to education. We fail when we advance into positions of leadership those who have less than five years on the front line. We fail when we limit promotion based upon, not the professional, but, what organization that fast-tracked under. We fail when we let first and second year educators enter into programs of Education Leadership. We fail when we refuse to look for educators who have the ability to think outside the box, see the white elephant dancing in the middle of the room, and refuse to applaud the emperor's new clothes when we can clearly see they were worn in 1995 or they clearly do not fit the emperor.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams Highly effective school leaders work with consistency to improve schools and are effective at producing goal based outcomes. A quality leader advocates for all stakeholders in a learning community, this includes children, teachers, and parents. They are keenly aware that best outcomes are derived through a “wholistic” approach. Strong leaders model an on-going, life-learner approach to the profession, and are willing sharers of the information gleaned through their process of discovery. Principals are keenly aware of the nature of learning, the process of change, education theory, proven methods of instruction, and are willing to explore alternative means of best practice based upon the needs of those that they serve. Highly qualified School Leaders are agile, authentic, and make evident the need for flexibility, sound governance, and sensitive to the complexity of what it is to be an educator. Leaders underscore the importance of a collaborative, team dynamic. Their agility is recognized through their ability to adjust to challenging systems, while embracing community traditions and long standing practices. Highly effective leaders are capable of cooperating with other professional organizations in order to advance the efficacy of the overall organization that they serve.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I completely agree with what was written in the article by Bill Drayton, and I believe the transformation, (we are far past the boat of reformation!) comes in a simple return to what school is. Long before I kissed my daughters and son off to kindergarten, they were playing at being adults. They were experiencing the world around them by playing at being. By the end of first grade my eldest was not only a cashier at KMart, she was a librarian demanding that her sisters pay their fines and return the library books. She was a teacher sitting all of her students in row. She was a doctor, nurse. My middle child was exploring animal husbandry, veterinary medicine by the end of second grade. My youngest was a pediatrician. You see long before they hit the age of 9, they had already explored more careers than any career fair in high school could provide. They all knew how to use the 6 simple machines, and why they worked. They knew how to make bread, fudge, and why sometimes the fudge turned out grittier than other times. They played at learning. We lack play in learning. I am a huge proponent of Play Based Learning. You have me thinking about what I was when I was 9 or 10. I was a radio announcer, a writer, a dreamer, a singer, and yes, I love to play my made up game of "Johnny and the Houses." I couldn't experience enough. The one thing that I wasn't aware of? How smart I really was. I didn't find out until I was a mother of very young children that I would have been identified as off the charts gifted. So, rather than getting good grades in school, (now I know why) I was just left to be the dreamer....still am so it seems. I am everything I was when I was 6 or 7 or 8 or 9...The only thing a child needs to have to be who they are is time, investment by caregivers, school is the perfect place for this, but, we must get government out of our way, and allow our children to play!
Sunday, March 10, 2013
http://wftc.membercenter.worldnow.com/story/21559231/delta-captain-retires Imagine if all congressional leaders were forced to retire at 65? The sad reality is as we continue to hear that the IT giants average is under 35, we are in a big heap of trouble. It is strange isn't it? What is strange you ask? Well, the majority of Americans are over 35 years of age, yet, we have little say in age discrimination. 70 million women are over 40. Isn't it in the best interest of all to keep us working? Oddly there are more woman over the age of 80, than there are in sub-group 60-65. less This is only for women, for men it is 62 million over the age of 40. Isn't it in the best interest of the economy, social security, retirement, insurance, the taxpayer to keep us working, and use our experience to guide the young hipsters under the age of 35. Well, one way to resolve this issue is for half of the nation to refuse to financially sponsor any corporation, organization, or enterprise that refuse to understand the value in the aforementioned concept. THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS PEOPLE!