It’s been a couple of busy weeks for me, mostly because I have been involved in George Couros’ fourth foundational activity: “Create meaningful learning experiences for educators”. It was the first week of the month, so it began on Monday with a staff meeting.
We looked at the theories of action that we framed at our September meeting, and placed them in context within the Ontario Ministry of Education goals, the School Board Goals, and our existing School Success goals. Our department teams then worked to craft this year’s department theories of action, and begin the work of a six-week Professional Learning Cycle. Department teams continued this work during our Professional Learning Day on Friday, will collaborate throughout the next six weeks, and will conclude the cycle at our November 18th Professional Learning Day.
During this time we will meet one more time, at our November staff meeting. And since we’ll be in the middle of this learning cycle, we’re going to plan for sharing of best practices using technology, to support our teaching and assessment. Our colleagues will present best practices within our Student Information System (particularly our use of notes to share information among our teams), how to access historical student data to inform practice, the new Read/Write functionality in Google docs, the support we can access via our ITRT (Instructional Technology Resource Teacher), and how to use Google sheets for assessment.
So, I’ve been reflecting, and considering how well both these learning opportunities will support us to develop the 21st century skills our students need. In the spring, I reflected on how we might achieve this in a paper, implementation-of-21st-century-competencies, I wrote for one of my courses relating to educational policy. In my role as a Principal, I am continually making the connections from learner, to curriculum, to teacher, and to policy. And I love that technology is making it easier to connect, communicate, share, and grow. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
George Couros is modeling for us, by starting his YouTube channel with his #LeadMoment clips to share his leadership pointers. There’s something about seeing a face, and hearing a voice, that brings ideas to life. So perhaps my next challenge is to shift my weekly “From the Oak Office” section of our newsletter, to a video format.
Am I ready to move from the relative anonymity of a blog post, to the much more vulnerable video format? Well, if I want my students and teachers to do so, guess I have to lead the way.