Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leadership means you're supposed to lead

Dangerously Irrelevant: Leadership means you're supposed to lead

The Scott McLeod, (blogger, professor, consultant, funny man) has made the clear case that we don't want administration or school boards to tell us how to teach or to prevent us from being innovators in the class. He used an anonymous example of a school board telling a teacher what to do. 

"No one else is doing this in our state, so why should we?"
-is the response from an unknown school board in reply to a teacher who is doing something differently.

Is the board right? Is the Teacher right?

Honestly, we will never know.

Now, if the teacher had been collecting data, disaggregating it into graphs of some sort and providing the school board with those results, then this teacher would have a leg to stand on. Don't be surprised when some adult walks into your class and does not agree with your teaching methodology. This can and will happen to all of us. So, we need to be ready for that day, not caught off guard and told "no."

Writing excellent assessments that can then be easily graphed and communicated to others (students, colleagues, parents, admin and school boards) is your best tool. Collect as much as you can, and for years. Note and show where the limitations of your strategies are, and what you are doing to solve them. Show the evolution of your practices, and compile this information into folders or on the computer. Don't over do it, just do what is also beneficial for you and others immediately around you. Share the data with the students so the too may buy into your teaching and their own learning.

Here, your best defense is a well planned offense on your effectiveness.

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