Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Access Access Access

What I advocate for
is not
all day
every day

I advocate for
access to
all day
every day

That's a big distinction

Friday, April 22, 2016

Let's look at the evidence

I saw strange sights on my way back from a Google meeting in Des Moines a few days ago. The first thing I saw was a school bus being dragged from its rear axle. As I was contemplating what that evidence suggested to me, I saw this sight - Another school bus being dragged by it's rear axle. The two buses did not have the same school names on them. Suddenly, the scenarios that I had spinning around in my head as to why that first school bus was being towed changed on the basis of the second school bus I saw.

A couple of days ago I presented to the School Board the list of quotes and my recommendations for purchase of tech equipment. I explained how I solicited quotes, how I analyzed them, and how I made my decision for my recommendation.

I also presented the financial Tech Plan for next school year. I explained the process that went into creating that plan - the work of the EdTech Committee, the spreadsheet to make requests that was available to teachers all year, the input from the building principals, and the process of prioritizing.

My thought for the day is that our world view on all things will be based on the evidence that we are personally exposed to. Therefore, it's exceedingly important that we expose ourselves to all the lines of evidence that we can. It's important to systematically gather data and then make our decisions. It's important that all the players are invited to the table to make sure we aren't making decisions based on too little data or flawed data.

Our students are depending on us.

And, really, why do you think there were two school buses within a few miles of each other being towed by their back axles?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

We are a little island of happiness

Joyland by Stephen King is a coming of age novel set in an amusement park in 1973. When the owner of the park addresses the employees at the beginning of the summer season, he says this:

"Children will go home and dream of what they saw here and what they did here. I hope you will remember that when the work is hard, as it sometimes will be, or when people are rude, as they often will be, or when you feel your best efforts have gone unappreciated."

And all I can envision are our classrooms.......

For all their years of school, many of our children spend more time with us than they do with anyone else in their lives. We are their guides, their mentors, their friends, their guardians, and their fellow learners. What are we filling their dreams with? What are we imprinting on their memories? Are we sharing our joy for learning? Are we a welcoming place where it doesn't matter who you are, what you know, where you come from, or how you got here?

Stephen King goes on to say this:

The influence we have on making or breaking our students can't be overstated. May we foster in them a love for learning and pure joy for each new day. May the dreams and memories we provide be sweet ones.