As we enter the upcoming school year, I am reminded that how much we do will never matter if we don’t do any of it well. What I know and feel as a leader is that there is no greater task for administrators than to clarify and focus the work of teachers. When teachers are able to articulate the focus of their work in one simple statement, there is a greater potential for us to excel. The quality of our work will be better.
According to projectsemicolon.com,
A tweet from me yesterday:
The heart always changes before the mind. –@latoyadixon5
I could be wrong about this (I don’t think I am) and if I am, then…oh well. This post is for all, but I’m hoping principals are reading.
I can remember when I began my teaching career in 1999. I was so excited to finally have my own classroom. I was full of ideas and excitement. It was a dream come true.
Recently at our principals’ retreat I found myself a little more outspoken than normal. I’m a quiet person at first, but once I get to know you I can do some talking. The other thing that makes me speak up is when I really feel I have to something to say because I’m passionate about it or my brain is at full throttle.
A tweet from me-
We owe it to our kids to ensure they are lead learners and equipped to be globally competitive. That means leading by example. #ISTE2015-@latoyadixon5
The honest truth (as if there is another type) is that those who aren’t good learners don’t make good teachers. I’m always baffled by the folks who say “we haven’t had any training on that”. The truth is that this is the 21st century. The best and the brightest train themselves. Get with the program. As educators it’s not about keeping up with the kids. It’s about keeping up-period. We have a professional responsibility to learn. When we signed up to teach, we signed up to learn. In case nobody has bothered to inform you, your learning doesn’t end when you start teaching. That’s where the magic begins!
Another tweet from me-
As a 1999 college grad, none of what I’ve learned at #ISTE2015 even existed. What will Ss say about how we prepared them for their future?-
I mean when you think about it, our teacher prep programs can only prep us for the process of teaching and learning, the pedagogy, and the theory of it all. But let’s recognize that the way our students acquire, consume, and produce knowledge is ever changing. When I began teaching, I was most proud of my colorful hard disks all labeled and organized. When I asked to bring the laptop cart to my classroom so we could create “stuff” and replaced all the desks in my room with tables (so I could stand on them-no really) and so the kids could really work together people thought I was crazy. I remember doing a “teleconference” with a school in New York where my students did book talks in any format of their choosing and the kids in New York did boring poster presentations (Can I be honest? Really?) and the Director of Technology spent an entire day dragging this monstrously huge piece of equipment into my classroom so we could do what would come to be known as Skype, it was a two day affair of preparation for a moment of bliss! Today, we can do that with a touch of the screen or click of the mouse!
Our kids aren’t lining up for training on the apple watch, the next iPhone, etc. They take the bull by the horns and do what my mentor once told me was the best kind of training-on the job training. I like to call it on the job learning now. If you are a teacher or educator, your first responsibility is to learn. Your second one is to teach. That my friends is the way this school thing is supposed to happen. Our students aren’t supposed to be the only people learning. So ask yourself, what’s the last thing I learned? And if you hear crickets, you know what to do. On the job learning! Get to it.
Until next time-be you, be true, be a hope builder!
I can remember a student I taught several years ago. David was not into my English Language Arts class at all. It was a true struggle to get him to read and even more of a struggle to get him to write. But when he began writing about how much he enjoyed working on automotives and rebuilding engines, I came to know and to appreciate him. I thought to myself, if I had only known this earlier, what more we could have accomplished. I now realize, I didn’t know because I didn’t ask. And perhaps, he told me, but I didn’t listen. I was too busy trying to conform him and make him appreciate the things I loved and enjoyed. I did not embrace what made him different and what made him, quite frankly, him. ISTE helped me realize that I need to apologize to my former students and for that I am grateful.
2. People don’t trust you until you break it. They don’t trust you until you earn it.
3. Trust increases over time.
10. Trust is not easily obtained, but easily lost.