Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Principal's Guidelines

I found this on the web and I really liked this list:

27 Tips & Tricks for Principals

The following 27 tips and tricks are designed to help principals (new and seasoned) fulfill their leadership role.  If you can help add to my list, you may win a special prize for you and 5 of the teachers in your school!  Keep reading to find out how...
  1. Maintain a positive attitude – You set the stage for your school just as your teachers set the stage for their classrooms.
  2. Pick your battles – Realize that not every issue needs to be addressed. Identify what you stand for and fight for what is important.
  3. Be your own cheerleader – Constantly tell yourself, “You can do it!” Find within yourself the strength and courage to keep going.
  4. Don’t expect to win the popularity contest – Decisions you have to make will never please everyone. Do what's is right, not what will help others like you.
  5. Understand that schools build character – An effective leader has the power to help students and teachers grow and learn in profound ways.
  6. Put children first – Don’t let media or political agendas get in the way of deciding what’s best for your students’ needs and learning.  
  7. Connect with other principals and administrators – Find out what they are doing in their school. See what is and isn’t working for them and come up with solutions together.
  8. Embrace technology – Realize that it’s here to stay... now learn how to become a leader in it.
  9. Keep the central office informed – They can be your allies or your critics, so be sure to ask for advice and let them know stories of your journey along the way.
  10. Acknowledge and respect your predecessors - Keep in mind that ghosts of the past can haunt the school.
  11. Remember the #1 rule of customer service – When it comes to your students, faculty, and parents you should always kill them with kindness.
  12. Once you walk across the Principal threshold, relationships change – Recognize that you are now viewed as the ultimate authority in school by parents, former colleagues, and students.
  13. Don’t change anything the first year – Focus on personal learning by observing and building relationships. Teachers resent change, so make sure that any change you later propose had better be worth it and acknowledged by most as needed.
  14. Meet with your faculty regularly – Prepare teachers ahead of time about what will be discussed, and be respectful of people’s time. Keep the meetings short if at all possible.
  15. Assign leadership roles – Design a school-wide discipline plan with your teacher leaders and decide who will handle what and what will be the penalties for a range of behavior infractions.
  16. Don’t think teachers want you as their friend – They need someone who will make sure the school is running properly.
  17. Write notes of appreciation – Never devalue the simple act of thanking your staff for doing a great job.
  18. Refer angry parents to speak to the teacher first – If a problem is not resolved after talking to the teacher, have them contact you to help improve the situation.
  19. Offer teachers meaningful professional development – Make sure that anything presented to them is worth their time and effort.
  20. Don’t forget your own professional development – Spend time reflecting on your leadership, continue to learn by reading, attending professional meetings, and conversing with other administrators.
  21. Accept that you are not perfect – And realize that concept applies to others as well.
  22. Don’t be a workaholic – Take care of yourself and your teachers. Encourage your staff to go home to a healthy and balanced life.
  23. Have a vision for your school – You must believe in your vision if you hope to inspire your staff to get on board with the same goals.
  24. Embrace new ideas – If you or one of your teachers discover something new, get everyone involved by learning and exploring together.
  25. Always remember that communication is key – Observations with formative feedback go a long way in helping your teachers meet your expectations.
  26. Be an advocate – Get to know your teachers; become their biggest fan and supporter.
  27. Lead by example – Start each day by saying to yourself, “I’m going to be the principal I’d like to work for.”

Tech Savvy Superintendent Video

Here is the link to the interview for Tech Savvy Superintendent that was recorded in Houston, TXTech-Savvy

Zhoa Yong

I have recently been introduced to the work of Yong Zhao and I am intrigued! I find his work compelling and thought provoking.
Here is the link to a recent speechZhoa Yong

iTeam travels to DeSoto

Having 3rd and 4th graders present to teachers about using the iPad is a big step in education. As an educator, I have realized early on that I was not the sole holder of the knowledge and information. The students can teach us a lot! Our trip to De Soto was a great trip for the students! They got the teachers involved and shared some very good information with the staff. I was very proud of our students today!
Click for full-size image

Getting My APPS Together

This is an exciting week! Our girls basketball team is headed to state and our iTeam is headed to DeSoto for a day of sharing how we use the ipads in our 3rd and 4th grade. Please click on the link below to look at some great sites on our wiki for ideas on using the ipad in the classroom.



Video for the Tech Savvy Superintendent

Here is a link to the video that was created at ASSA for the Tech Savvy Superintendent Award.
Your video from Tech Savvy Superintendent Awards is available.

The direct link to your interview video is:

Congratulations on winning this prestigious award!

Lynn Carnes
Video editor, JDL Horizons

November: You Must Embrace Student-Centered Learning

by Liz Griffin
Superintendents should find teachers who believe students are teachers and teachers are learners, said Alan November during a Thought Leader session on Sunday at the AASA national conference in Houston.
Alan November
Alan November asks, "Who Owns the Learning?"
The role of the leader is process change, he said. “Education has held onto the organization of school rather than to change the way learning occurs.”
November is the senior partner and founder of November Learning, running workshops for educators.
A new way to organize classrooms, he noted, is the “flip model” because it changes who owns the locus of control for learning. It is one example of a change process that leaders can employ. In the flip model, students are doing the teaching, and teachers are facilitating.
Yet in most classrooms visited by superintendents, November says, when the leaders ask themselves who is working harder -- the teacher or the student? “In almost every case, it’s the teacher.”
Research shows that learning is improved when it is a social endeavor, for example, taking notes in a lecture versus having to talk to a peer about what you’ve learned and then defending your conclusions. Research also shows that students want to contribute to their own learning, November claimed.
“If you show a kid that her (tutorial) video has been watched by 20,000 – that’s empowering,” says November.
He told a story of the transformation of Eric Mazur, the dean of physics at Harvard University, who was troubled by the fact that students were getting high marks on courses but were still missing a grasp of fundamental concepts. Mazur researched whether subject matter expertise contributed to better student outcomes. The data proved otherwise, said November. Harvard professors, including Mazur himself, like other college professors contributed an average 20-percent value from the pre-test of what students knew at the beginning of a course to their end-of-test score.
Mazur was truly shocked; he had thought to himself, "not mystudents!" because he had taught for seven years and always received high marks by students in end-of-semester evaluations and his students had received good grades on tests that he knew were difficult, often requiring advanced Calculus. “He was furious,” November recalled, but Mazur knew he this test of 30 questions focused on deeper understanding of fundamental concepts of physics, not the mechanics of solving equations, which some students had been able to do without understanding the physics that was going on.
Mazur shifted the focus from teaching to learning by putting students more in charge. He started a Facebook-like application to gather students’ questions about physics, asking them to contribute questions about the reading assignment before class, and he found students raised many more questions by contributing online than they would in class. (As an aside, November said that Mark Zuckerberg had been a student in Mazur’s class before he created Facebook, which initially had an interface that looked a lot like Mazur’s web community.)
During class, instead of Mazur only lecturing, he focuses on exploring the questions students have raised from their reading. And he throws the questions back to the students, asking them to work with a peer to solve them, and defending their answers. Mazur then walks around the class to listen to students, so he can examine their thinking, and correct misperceptions. "What was once homework (answering questions assigned by the teacher) is now schoolwork," said November.
Today, Mazur’s contribution has grown from 20 percent to 85 percent, which November attributes to teaching that is driven by students’ questions gathered on the community website, where students teach other students what they know, and where the teacher has a much firmer grasp of what their students’ understand or fail to understand and can work as a diagnostician to address misperceptions.
November drove the message home by taking attendees via YouTube inside a public high school near Detroit to Grey Green Clintondale, which has found similar success by transforming the way education happens.
“We’ve been doing technology a long time,” says November. “We cannot simply give every kid a laptop and every teacher a smartboard and think we’ve done it.” The transformation will involve taking a more student-centered approach.
Mathtrain.tv — for tutorial videos students have created; iTunes University — which has just begun collecting K-12 content; Jing — free software; Screencast.com — a recording software for podcasting; Eric Mazur.

Tech Savvy Superintendent Award

eSchool News names the Top 10 Tech Savvy Superintendents in the Nation.
Two were from Kansas- Mark Evans and Jerri Kemble

2012 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award winners announcedNation’s top educators recognized for vision and leadership in ed-techBethesda, Md., February 1, 2012 – eSchool Newsa publication network of eSchool Media Inc., announces today the top ten superintendents from coast to coast who best exemplify outstanding leadership and vision in using technology to advance their district’s educational goals.
Here are the winners of the 2012 eSN Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards:
  • Mark Evans – Andover Public Schools – Andover, Kansas
  • Daniel Frazier – Sioux Central Community School District – Sioux Rapids, Iowa
  • Nicholas Gledich – Colorado Springs School District 11 – Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Michele Hancock – Kenosha Unified School District – Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Michael Hanson – Fresno Unified School District – Fresno, California
  • C.J. Huff – Joplin Schools – Joplin, Missouri
  • Jerri Kemble – Centre School District – Lost Springs, Kansas
  • Bradford Saron – Cashton Public Schools – Cashton, Wisconsin
  • William Skilling – Oxford Community Schools – Oxford, Michigan
  • Todd Yohey – Oak Hills Local School District – Cincinnati, Ohio 

Chosen by the editors of eSchool News with help from last year’s winners, the 2012 honorees were selected based on 10 “Hallmarks of Excellence”.
“Research shows that technology can facilitate better teaching and learning, but only when used effectively,” said Dennis Pierce, editor of eSchool News. “And that starts at the very top, with strong school district leadership. If you start with a clear vision for how to implement technology wisely, and you make sure your staff are well trained and supported, and you seek to transform instructional practices to leverage technology’s full potential, then technology really can empower education. And that’s what the winners of our annualTech-SavvySuperintendent Awards are doing.”
Winners of the 12th annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards Program—sponsored by Global Scholar and JDL Horizons—will be honored in a ceremony held in conjunction with the Century Club 100 annual meeting at the American Association of School Administrators’ annual conference in Houston on Feb. 18, 2012. The Century Club 100 is an honorary organization composed of superintendents from every state in the USA. 
The ceremony’s keynote speaker is renowned education consultant Alan November who will discuss technology and today’s superintendency. 
Watch the ceremony live online on February 18, 2012 athttp://www.eschoolnews.com/video/
<http://www.eschoolnews.com/video/> from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Mountain time (1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Eastern Time).
To learn more about this year’s winners, visithttp://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/02/01/meet-our-2012-tech-savvy-superintendent-award-winners/<http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/02/01/meet-our-2012-tech-savvy-superintendent-award-winners/> .
For a list of the criteria used in judging these awards, visithttp://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/01/26/ten-hallmarks-of-excellence-for-the-eschool-news-tech-savvy-superintendent-awards/<http://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/01/26/ten-hallmarks-of-excellence-for-the-eschool-news-tech-savvy-superintendent-awards/> .

About the TSSAsLaunched in 2001, the Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards (TSSA) Program honors K-12 chief executives who have displayed exemplary vision in the use of technology to further the goals of educating today’s students and equip them with 21st century skills. Initially, superintendents are nominated by their colleagues and peers. Once a field of hundreds of nominations are culled, the editors of eSN along with past-years’ TSSA laureates select the current cohort of ten winners.
In support of the TSSA Program, the eSchool News Network provides comprehensive editorial reporting in its print and online publications along with video coverage of the awards ceremony as well as interviews with the winning superintendents at its online video channel,www.eSchoolNews.TV
About eSchool Media 
eSchool Media Inc. is a news and information organization delivering print, web, e-mail and video communications to nearly one million K-20 decision makers and influencers throughout North America and around the world. Its information networks provide education-technology content and services for leaders in schools and colleges and help educators successfully use technology and internet to transform education and achieve their educational goals. eSchool News is the flagship publication of eSchool Media Inc., which also includes eCampus News Network, serving higher education exclusively, andeClassroom News, an electronic publication network for teachers and other classroom practitioners. 
With more than 290,000 registered members and more than 500,000 page views a month,eSchool News Online (http://www.eschoolnews.com
<http://www.eschoolnews.com> ) is the No. 1 website for ed-tech daily news and information for K-20 decision makers.

Blue Ribbon Day 2012

Blue Ribbon Day

On February 6, the Centre School had over 500 people at an appreciation ceremony for people who make a difference in our lives. Each student and staff member was asked to invite someone to school who had made a positive difference in their life. In the morning, Monte Selby worked with the K-4 students on songs and then actually wrote a song with our 5-12 students. The song was created to show appreciation to the people who make a positive difference in our lives.
Download file "freepress06.pdf" Here is a copy of the newspaper article about our incredible day.
Here is a link to the song the students and Monte wrote.www.monteselby.com/GetThere.mp3
Monte is an amazing performer, educator and person. Please check out his website. www.monteselby.com

Wordle in the Classroom

During the USA Conference I attended a session with great technology integration ideas.  I really liked this one.  Copy the text of the State of the Union Address and paste it Wordle.  The words that President Obama used the most in his address will appear bigger than the others.  Great visual concept of the speech.  Next, I want to take the Republican's rebuttal and see how it compares.

Here is the Rebublican rebuttal to the State of the Union Address in a Wordle. What a great idea for a class discussion!

Centre Teacher of the Year 2012!

Congratulations to Candace Tajchman, the Centre Teacher of the Year in 2011. Candace was honored at the annual Herington Chamber of Commerce dinner on Monday, January 23. Candace has been instrumental in establishing the Multi-tiered System of Support for reading at the elementary level. She has successfully integrated ipads in the classroom and works hard to promote good character in her students. Candace is known for her impeccably organized classroom, her great sense of style, her commitment to teaching and growing as a professional, and her love of her students. Congratulations, Candace, we appreciate the work you are doing at Centre!

Kansas Online Learning Program

In 2010, Centre created the Kansas Online Learning Program. Our first year we enrolled 25 students and celebrated our first graduate. In 2011, we expanded our staff and our program to 80 students. We are so proud of our virtual program. Not onlyu does is serve students from across the state of Kansas, it has also increased the class offerings to our high school studens by 250 classes. This program has been an outstanding addition to our district. Please visit our website and Facebook page.
Centre K-12 School
(facebook page).
If you know someone who is interested in a virtual program, please call us at 785-366-6923.

Self-Regulated Learning

Last Spring, our district was fortunate to be asked by the Smoky Valley District to participate with them in a disimination grant for our virtual and brick and mortar students. The grant afforded a core group of teachers the opportunity to learn about Self-Regulated Learning through Dr. Tim Cleary.

Powerpoint from Dr. Cleary to introduce us to Self-Regulated Learning.

We are going Mac!

Last spring, our school board made a trip to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City for a special presentation by Apple Computer. Several teachers and our virtual coordinator joined the school board for the presentation. After a day of learning about the power of the mac in the educational environment, the board was convinced to move to become a Mac School District. This fall we purchased MacBooks for all the high school students, ipads for all the 3rd and 4th grade students and ipod touches for the K-2 students. It was an investment in providing the Centre Students the best in technology solutions.

Our staff has embraced the "new normal" and made big changes in their classrooms. Linda Loder, our technology integration coach, has been an asset to the staff. Mrs. Loder believes that technology needs to be infused into the curriculum seamlessly and has worked with our staff to assist them with the project.

The Laptop Rollout in August was a huge success. Parents and students learned together how to care for the computer. Marla Elmquist from Smokey Valley School District demonstrated the mac laptop and talked with parents about monitoring their children at home when they are on their laptops.
Sharing some links for using ipod touches in the classroom:
Over 40 links to iPod Touch resources: http://www.delicious.com/lloutback/ipodtouch

Video from Escondido Elementary School: http://www.apple.com/education/profiles/escondido/

Slide to Learn:

Great article on using speech recognition: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/06/15/speech-recognition-mobile-apps-help-build-reading-skills/print/