Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Great Day of Learning

Today was a fabulous day for our building for building relationships. Just coming back from a nice long break, we were ready to engage in some learning. Our focus today was people, PLCs, and student learning. Embedded within this was trust, collaboration, and learning. Our instructional leader (i.e. principal) took us through some fun team-building exercises as well as meaningful conversations as a group.

This is the first year our teams have been able to drive their own learning. Many were excited to dig in and created a plan based on student needs/teacher learning needs. What an exciting day! This can only result in better instruction and quality education for our students. How lucky are they?

One of the books I've been reading is Crucial Conversations (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler). A key element you must have when communicating with others is trust. I sat with a team as they looked at student data. One of the newer teachers was visibly uncomfortable with what she saw in her students performance as compared to her peers. I knew I needed to make this a safe place for her to feel comfortable in asking questions and seeking opportunities. We were able to pinpoint the spot that her students had trouble. Another teammate pointed out that this was something her team had worked on in previous years and how they had addressed this. Immediately, the newer teacher looked relieved and began asking questions.What a perfect example of one teacher creating a safe environment for her team!

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