Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Nothing is Certain, Anything is Possible

“In dreams there are no impossibilities.” Janos Arany

What if nothing was certain?  What if you had unlimited possibilities and opportunities?  How would you act?  What would you do?  Who would you involve?

Things change rapidly and nothing is truly certain.  We have to stop operating from a place of "No" or "This is impossible" because it is keeping us from the truly remarkable things that are out there.

You will be amazed at the outcomes when you shift your thinking towards possibilities and away from obstacles.  Take a step towards that dream and the obstacles will begin to disappear.  Who knows....That possibility could end up being a "history in the making" moment.

How can you start operating like anything is possible? B

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Kids Can't Wait!

"If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. 
You have an obligation to change it. 
You just do it one step at a time."
 - Marian Edelman

There has been a lot of talk about reform and what needs to be done in education.  I spend a lot of time thinking about next steps in the field of education.  I'm a strong advocate for reform and I believe that we need to make some major changes in the way we approach learning, assessment, etc.  While I believe that change needs to occur; my kids can't wait for it to happen on a national level.  As a teacher and a leader I have an obligation to make it happen today.  We need to make it happen locally and grow it nationally.

We are committed to showing people what education should look like.  We will continue to aim for targets that are much higher and more rigorous than any standardized test score.  My kids deserve that today.  Don't wait for national reform.  Start a movement today! What would be your first step? B

Monday, April 12, 2010

Separate Yourself

"Don't Try To Stand Out In A Crowd; Avoid Crowds Altogether"

I've been reading a lot lately about reform efforts, innovation tactics, and fostering change.  Reform typically doesn't work because it is aimed at fixing problems in the present and not looking towards future learning .  The key to me is not about trying to keep up with the curve.  The key is to actually set a new curve altogether.  This must be an intentional, daily practice to truly be effective.  

People are talking about becoming 21st century schools a decade into the 21st century.  We should really be looking at the future and stop striving to be something we should have been ten years ago.  

The following quote by Maria Robinson best sums up my feelings on reform, change, and innovation.  

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but  anyone can start today and make a new ending." 

Today is definitely the day to make a new ending. What would that ending look like?  How would we get there? B

Monday, April 5, 2010

Priorities, Passion, and a Podcast

"A Great Leader's Courage To Fulfill His Vision 
Comes From Passion, Not Position." 
- John Maxwell

I recently had the privilege of recording a podcast for ASCD on "Examining the Blueprint for Reauthorizing the Elementary Secondary Education Act".  You can read more about it by clicking on the following link.


The podcast airs on April 8th but I thought I'd post a preview of some of the topics that will be discussed.

1. Priorities: The proposed blueprint provide a greater emphasis on administrator accountability.  As an administrator I believe in accountability at all levels.  I've always been open to the idea of a 360 degree evaluation by all stakeholders.  I currently have a boss that conducts my evaluation but my students and our community are the ones that truly count on me.  I believe that all parties should have a voice so why not have a voice in my evaluation.  

2. Passion:  Standards need to be the floor that we walk on and not the bar that we are trying to clear. Schools should be places of passion and not test preparation centers.  We know that all kids are different and yet we try to measure them with the same instrument.  That makes as much sense to me as using a fork to eat soup because it does a good job with other food.  Passion, pride, and performance are the ingredients that have made us a successful school.  We take pride in the things that we are most passionate about.   Embed the essential learning opportunities/standards with a passion-based learning approach.  Engagement will soar along with the minimum standard test scores.

These are just two of the topics that we talked about in the ASCD podcast.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the proposed changes and their impact on the work that we do.  B