Saturday, September 8, 2012

Superintendents Lead The Way For Learning

How many of your students run into school with an excitement unequal to any other excitement you see on any given day carrying a worksheet they want to show you?  I've never had a student run down the hall to show me a worksheet they've done.  I have had students, although, run down the hall to show me projects they've worked on the night before at home.  Here is an example of what I'm talking about.  A student, Eric, carried this from his house 3 blocks away from the school to show me one morning about a week ago.  Mind you, this is my first year at this school and we were only 3 weeks into the beginning of the new school year.  His pride and excitement so very apparent that I wanted to share this experience.  Kids love projects!!  Kids love creating!!  Kids love showing off their work!!  Kids are excited because they feel the satisfaction of grasping a concept and then demonstrating that   Remember all those neat worksheets you did as a student?  Neither will your students.  But they'll remember projects like this one.  Why are we still questioning the value of this kind of learning?  Why?  Why is there so much resistance to change?  Why do we question the need to go down new paths?  When you look at evidence of learning or lack or, the data is overwhelmingly convincing.  When kids aren't learning, the data shows it.  We are working hard to improve the quality of instruction at my new school.  We are implementing assessments to target areas of low learning.  We are then using that to drive our instruction.  Our REACH coach has been invaluable!!  Kids need specialized instruction to fit their diverse learning needs.  It's like shoeing a horse.  You don't put the same size shoe on every horse.  Different sized horses require different sizes of shoes.  Just like we do.  Try putting on a size 5 when you're a size 7 or 8.  It doesn't work very good.  In fact, it hurts!!  That's the dilemma we've created in schools today. Corrective shoeing is expensive and, ultimately, detrimental to the overall well being of the horse.  Horses develop navicular disease and other ailments from years of poor shoeing.  Vasodilators, egg bar shoes, and pads easily prevented had the horse been shod right from the beginning.  When I get a bad shoer, I fire them.  My horse is an investment.  Their value commensurate of the care and concern I invest.  Pull those ott's off and put the right shoe on before it's too late!!  You'll cripple them it you don't!!





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