12/02/2019

Happy Holiday Season


Tis the Season

    The Holiday Season can bring a mix of emotions. Some people may associate sadness with this time of year, and others may associate hope with the Holiday Season. The next 15 days of school in Konocti Unified can provide a consistent, stable and safe haven for adults and students. School and work can be a refuge where people connect. School and work can be that place where people feel accomplished as a thriving a student or as a quality teacher; as a skilled bus driver or as the gracious secretary.


School and work can be that joyous abode where we notice four strengths of a person before recognizing one way we can each grow. School and work can be a zone of challenge and complexity yet an area where efforts are appreciated, mistakes are honored, and improvement is galvanized.


   
                                           

All that I Want During the month of December Here in Konocti:

(A gift from the teacher to the student)

  1. My teacher to state the goal and recognize my efforts
  2. My teacher to say "great to see you".
  3. My teacher to stop at my desk and say "let's take a look 
  4. My teacher to see that I am "good" at something
  5. My teacher to say thank you for............

(A gift from the student to the teacher)

  1. My students to recognize my efforts and give the lesson/activity a try
  2. My students to complete the class assignment
  3. My students engage in the day's lecture, collaboration, and  practice
  4. My students to know that I do see them and that I do care
  5. My students to stop and say thank you for.............
(A gift from staff member to staff member)
  1. My colleagues to speak highly of each other.
  2. My principal to visit my classroom and give me some guidance
  3. My colleague or coach to sit and plan with me
  4. My colleague to highlight a recent accomplishment











11/02/2019

Turning the Clock Back


Fall is Here. Welcome November


We are at a place to see and own our reality. 

 Becky shared on November 1 that some of our reality meant understanding the situation of the following:
Academic achievement
Special Education processes
The condition of the budget
Business processes
Technology plan
Staffing, substitutes, and student enrollment

And to have a vision with conviction about where we are headed:      

1) Students that are literate in content knowledge
2) Students that are aware of their surroundings
and can make a plan
3) Students that have the capacity to resolve the dilemma,
and/or to advance their own learning





And a collective effort to improve and achieve. 

The people in the school district work together to interpret the reality and plan steps about how to organize as a whole system to ensure over one year's growth for all staff and students.










As author Patrick Lencioni asserts, people of a healthy organization

1) Maintain strong relationships
2) See how we each can contribute
3) See the ways we are making a difference




Konocti commits to a variety of support beams to ensure such quality instruction: a) professional learning and training, b) collaboration, c) instructional coaching.
As Becky shared Konocti is also committed to working together to
make financially solvent decisions and structure the organization is a way that is efficient, effective, and coherent





Together we are better. 


This picture is of an array of community members in Spain. They are linking together to build the base for a human tower. the tower stands four stories tall: four stories tall of groups of boys standing upright. The final story of the tower stands one boy. As the Spanish community believes, the human tower only works because every single person plays an equal role and responsibility.








9/29/2019

October is Here



As the Season Changes

  As we settle into the month of October, our job is to teach, lead, and collaborate in a way electrifies the joy of learning and learning at deep levels.


From the students' point of view:
I learned how to read.  I am reading to find the author's main point with some supporting details
a) I am learning math. What kind of math are you learning? I am learning how to add two-digit numbers.
b) It is important as I grow up.
                                         c) When I am stuck, I try the problem again. I                                                 look at my notes. I ask my teacher

From the recent classroom visits:

Students were talking about their learning (versus the task). For example, students shared how they were learning to solve equations using rational numbers. In another classroom example, students were charting their progress from writing different types of sentences. Students studied the feedback and their progress. As a result, some students re-took the practice quiz.
More and more students are involved in formative assessment practices. At one school site, students and the teacher engaged in frequent and multiple assessment practices. For example, teachers may have called on non-volunteers to response to a reading comprehension question; students maybe have responded chorally to a reading passage; a selection of students showed the class they solved the problem.

This year continue Getting Better at Getting Better




Today, the purpose of education is two-fold, the teaching of knowledge and the teaching of character (Martin Luther King, Jr. 1974).

Konocti has an opportunity to enroll our students in their journey of learning by infusing certain practices in daily instruction:

Clarity: Communicate what is expected of our students as well as what and how to achieve
Relationships: Strong connectivity with their teachers and their peers
Formative Assessment Practice: Check-in regularly about one's progress
Effective Feedback: Regular comments about what is going well and how to improve

As students can answer the following questions, students are becoming self-sufficient life-long learners:

What they are learning
How well they are progressing in their learning
What steps to take next in their learning

When such instructional practices, as listed above, are effectively implemented, then students can answer the following questions and as a result, will learn at the content at a deep level, be aware of their learning and progress, and be able to employ strategies to advance their own learning.


Konocti commits to a variety of support beams to ensure such quality instruction: a) professional learning and training, b) collaboration, c) instructional coaching.



Together we are better. This picture is of an array of community members in Spain. They are linking together to build the base for a human tower. the tower stands four stories tall: four stories tall of groups of boys standing upright. The final story of the tower stands one boy. As the Spanish community believes, the human tower only works because every single person plays an equal role and responsibility.

9/01/2019

September is Here


Galvanizing the Joy of Learning


Over 35 newly hired teaching staff joined Konocti for the New Teacher Academy days on August 8 and August 9.
Excitement ran high as people described their reason for teaching, their reason for teaching in Konocti. I shared that I look to teach and inspire people, adults and students, so that, after each interaction, they and I are in a "better" place.
Many shared a story about wanting to make a difference due to a common thread,  "a teacher believed in me and now I can believe in my students".



Konocti Unified classified and certificated met their new superintendent on August 12. The superintendent shared her purpose through a story and asked us to draw upon the reason we work in the field of education.



Students arrived at school with thrill and curiosity. 


As we embark on the month of September, our job is to teach, lead, and collaborate in a way electrifies the joy of learning and learning at deep levels.

As I traveled around school and classrooms, I saw the energy and learning and I felt the energy and learning being reinforced in these ways:
" Now before we clean up, turn to your partner and tell them "good job".
" It is up to us as the adults to create that culture of acceptance, hard work, pride, respect.
 Staff and kids taking time every day to stop and read. We are reading for life - that is how important reading is for the future of young people.
Over 15 people gathering after school for 1.5 hours to talk about targeted instruction and services to assist in the education for and in the inclusion of our English language learners.
"We are a community. We are here to help. It is hard work. We got it".
"I did this well. Yet I could talk less and let my students talk more". The two not only talked about ideas, but the idea was also observed and modeled and then practiced.

From the students' point of view:
" I like my teacher"
" I enjoy seeing my friends".
"I am learning to speak English in a safe setting."
" My teacher makes me set goals".
" I am learning my letters and that is important for reading".
" He teaches math in a way that I understand".


I know there is more. Send me an email about how you are doing this. I will post some of the responses in this blog.
Invite me to your class, I can also capture the techniques on camera and post to the blog.

This year we are going to continue Getting Better at Getting Better




Today, the purpose of education is two-fold, the teaching of knowledge and the teaching of character (Martin Luther King, Jr. 1974).

Konocti has an opportunity to enroll our students in their journey of learning by infusing certain practices in daily instruction:

Clarity: Communicate what is expected of our students as well as what and how to achieve
Relationships: Strong connectivity with their teachers and their peers
Formative Assessment Practice: Check-in regularly about one's progress
Effective Feedback: Regular comments about what is going well and how to improve

As students can answer the following questions:

What they are learning
How well they are progressing in their learning
What steps to take next in their learning

When such practices are effectively implemented, then students can answer the following questions and as a result, will learn at the content at a deep level, be aware of their learning and progress, and be able to employ strategies to advance their own learning.


Konocti commits to a variety of support beams to ensure quality instruction: a) professional learning and training, b) collaboration, c) instructional coaching.



Together we are better. This picture is of an array of community members in Spain. They are linking together to build the base for a human tower. the tower stands four stories tall: four stories tall of groups of boys standing upright. The final story of the tower stands one boy. As the Spanish community believes, the human tower only works because every single person plays an equal role and responsibility.













7/26/2019

August




Happy Dance here in Konocti Unified








I hope this blog finds you rested and well. I look forwarding to hearing highlights from your summer months. At the moment, I will take the opportunity to share a summer highlight with you. I was able to sneak away and backpack with my partner and dogs for 3 days in the mountains overlooking Lake Tahoe. The site was a four-mile and 2000 foot climb on jagged terrain. The swims and views of the Upper Loch Leven Lake were absolutely magnificent. I return re-energized. 

With the first few days of school approaching, I invite you to tap into that childhood curiosity and thrill as we prepare for our first few days of school (by the time you read this, the school may already be underway)

Our new superintendent invites us all to remember our "why", and to keep climbing to new heights. 

I want to show up every day, and teach/inspire adults and students in a way that "betters" themselves and their situation.

I want to continue to define what one year's growth means and looks like for adults and for students.

Here is a glimpse of evidence conveying where we are at in comparison to where we are headed:


I continue to reflect and refine the beliefs that guide my actions. Right now, I sit with the following:
- use a 'whatever it takes" type of attitude
- act until all students under my wing achieve
- make sound decisions from evidence and research
- operate in a very collective and collaborative manner





"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future" - Franklin Roosevelt.

The strategic plan displayed in the graphic is one way to build up our youth, readying them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions so as to thrive in their ever-changing world.



You can see more detail regarding the Konocti Strategic Plan in this shared Google Folder https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yT5-Sw0kbKqH6uHleqkOCbJSvhGV_H_5?usp=sharing



The first few days back will include the teacher academy, the welcome back staff collaborations per site, and district-wide welcome back message and will the precedent for our systems of inquiry and impact around the implementation of these fundamental instructional practices. We have high caliber people returning and we have high caliber people joining the Konocti family.


I look forward to the return of our students on Monday, August 20. I look forward to visiting schools in the first two days to see you and the kids! I also look forward to witnessing and feeling the special connections being initiated and the deep learning being launched by our inspiring and skilled staff.