Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Are you a 21st Century Principal?"

I read a blog post recently asking "Are you a 21st Century Principal?" This is an important question to ask, so I thought I would share with you the attributes I think are essential and need to happen right now, in all schools striving to become innovative and relevant:

"You are a 21st Century Principal if...

You know that PLN stands for Personal Learning Network…and you collaborate with yours daily.

You use Twitter to find and share resources, engage in international conversation about education, connect with other educators, and make announcements to teachers, parents and students that follow you.

You've replaced the filing cabinet in your office with Dropbox… and can access all of your important documents while out and about.

Your school has started paperless initiatives to help cut down the costs of printing and copying.

You have a school website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account and they are each updated regularly to keep parents, teachers, and students informed with the latest news, events, activities, and general announcements.

You not only allow but fully support and encourage the use of social media inside school.

You encourage your teachers to take advantage of all of the free resources available online, especially SimpleK12 eBooks and education webinars.

You watch webinars, read blogs, and tweet to keep current on the latest education trends and topics.

You encourage your staff to be involved in the selection of new media and technology.

You collaborate with faculty members regularly via free web tools such as Google Docs.

You collect classroom walkthrough and observation data via Google Forms."

Here is a link to the original blog:

Your thoughts? Leave a comment.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What makes good teaching?

This year, the Middle School is taking a new look at teaching and learning. At the core of this work, lies a framework from well known educator Charlotte Danielson, who has taught at all levels from kindergarten through college, and has worked as an administrator, a curriculum director, and a staff developer. In her consulting work, Ms. Danielson specializes in teacher quality and evaluation and professional development. Her framework has four domains, which we adopted in the MS:

1. Planning and Preparation
2. Classroom Environment
3. Instruction
4. Professional Responsibilities

Our framework has many purposes, but its full value will be found in our conversations among faculty and administration as we quest further into the complex task of teaching. Our MSGE will be used as the foundation of the Middle School's coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation process. I thought it might be useful for you to see the evaluation and growth plan yourself. Here is the link:

As always, let me know what you think.