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Maybe I'm cynical and suspicious by nature, but Carver seemed to be using the topic of student achievement to make a completely different point. If you recall from the article, he was making comment regarding the suitability of student achievment as a measuring stick for policy governance. While he did address this issue, he spent a great deal of time making comments about the interference of state, provincial, and federal legislative bodies in the school board governance business. He even went as far as to say he doubted there were any school boards left that were able to do their jobs as intended. Now, this is interesting because Carvers' life work has been the development of a governance model, and it seems to me he may be capitalizing on the stated issue to make points about another issue entirely. As my stepson would say: "its kinda cheap". Did anyone else notice this?

I agree that time is always a factor in making change and that buy in is important. Providing multiple opportunities for learning in grade groups meetings, professional learning communities or professional growth groups might help people to feel more comfortable with new curriculum materials.

Re: Time by Sarah GazanSarah Gazan, 16 Oct 2010 14:06

I think that is a great idea using technology as a focus for PD. I for one would not seek out opportunities to learn about technology but I starting to see the value in using these tools to improve communication among communities of teachers and with parents. I also agree that it is important not to lose the human aspect of communication as I think that can be easily lost with technology. My husband has started to use twitter and he seems to enjoy the ability to follow and not follow topics that interest him. Although I am still learning, I can see how something like twitter could be used as a power PD tool.

Re: tweets for teachers by Sarah GazanSarah Gazan, 16 Oct 2010 14:02

Hi Clark,

I was wondering if I could join Wanda in learning about the del.icio.us site. It seems interesting but I am also very much out of the loop. Also I cant seem to post any articles to the Ning. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong…would you be able to help?

This was a difficult article to follow but I can't help thinking that an analogy for the ICT situation would be the range of discomfort many teachers are experiencing with the changes in high school grading practices. Without mutually developed consequences for work not coming in, teachers may be left as frustrated as those in the article were. The default would be to bargain to return to previous practices.

Hi Wanda:
I'm willing to introduce you to the benefits of social bookmarking. I have provided a link to the del.icio.us site on my Wiki page. We can become collaborators once you've set up an account. Keep me posted as you move through the steps. Then I'll invite you into my network. Good luck, Wanda.

Clark

I posted responses on the scrolling page and they are lost forever in cyberspace :(

I wanted to mention that a friend joined Twitter to tweet about what was happening at his school. Much like the company that wanted to create a community, Twitter has allowed a small community to subscribe to the school's updates. Many community members joined twitter to follow the school and for those that access it, it has proved to be another positive way to promote the great things happening in schools. Sports scores, special days, snow day announcements…simple notes that are normally handled by email, newsletters etc can now be communicated immediately to those that follow.

I agree with Castle that trust can be jeopardized when administrators are placed in a position of having to evaluate staff. However, I also agree with comments in the group tonight where it was pointed out that supervisors outside of the education system have to evaluate their employees all the time. I think what is important is that evaluation should focus on supporting professional growth and further that the process and expectations for evaluation should be clear.

This article also caught my eye. One of the difficulties that I had with the article was the use of American examples. I think that the education system in the United States is much different from Canada even though alot of the educational research and theory that we apply to classroom practice comes from there. The American system does not value teachers as professionals as shown by the level of education required to teach. I agree with the group that professional development is important in the teaching profession. As with other professionals we can grow and learn new skills and apply them to new contexts.

I would just like to reply to this article and let you know that I had the honor to work with Brent Castle as a superintendent in my previous school division. Everything that he states in his article definitely coming straight from his heart and is truly his character. I am going to focus my paper on this topic after reading his article.

This was one of the articles that caught my eye. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I truly do believe that teacher can grow when they find an area that they are interested in, however we sometimes have difficulty granting the teacher their area of expertise. I feel that our district offers a lot of professional development for teachers so that they can get acquainted with all the new "fads" that are out their in the teaching profession.

Hi Clark

I am so out of the loop…. I don't know what del.icio.us is………. If you are willing to do some on-line sharing I would be interested.
Wanda

Hi Matt:
I've been using del.icio.us for over two years, and I've managed to amass hundreds of bookmarks. If you're interested in networking, I could invite you as a friend. Perhaps we can get a few other classmates on board, and develop a shared web of fellow ed-admin students. This might prove to be a valuable collaborative research tool in future ed-admin courses.

Clark

If the administrator makes it a priority to come into the classrooms frequently, they would get a better feel of the room's climate, the student's learning needs and the teacher's style. All these factors will help when "formal evaluation" time comes around. Crampain has set out some good examples of teacher's expectations concerning supervision and evaluation. I was able to relate to the themes of being professional, role modelling and always providing support.

Castle states that administrators should not be put in the position to evaluate. He mentions the difference between supervision and evaluation. Castle argues that the trust can be jepordized if administrators are expected to evaluate teachers, when they work closely supervising. I am thinking of my situation and I have evaluated teachers and have still maintained a strong working relationship based on trust. Teacher's personal growth plans are more effective and they can all be tied into professional development. I have in the past used the professional growth model as a teacher and have found it very beneficial in the sense that it was involved around my goals and interests.

I agree with the time element, but also feel that "buy in" is crucial to accepting change. Teachers need to see the value of what it being implemented and how they can make it work for themselves in their particular assignments.

Re: Time by Wanda EinarsonWanda Einarson, 27 Sep 2010 02:12

This article really caught my attention. I often wonder how teaching would look if our salary increments corresponded to the progress of the class. In some areas in the states they are using this type of evaluation process. Teacher competence is important. I believe that everyone has their talents and areas of expertise but content can be learned. If one possess the true nack of teaching; the ability to bring out the best, engage the students and motivate them as life long learners….then they would be able to transform to most (not all) teaching assignments. I do respect the speciality classes and that they require a teacher with expertise in that area. Professional development is essential for growth. Growth needs to be consistently monitored, evaluated and reflected upon.

I just posted something similar in the rolling format but far prefer trying it this way!

The statement that we are asking our kids to power down when they walk through the school door is very powerful. It seems the result is powering down in so many other ways, with disengagement being a real problem. I would like to think that many of the decisions made on site (like blocking electronics at the door) are based on research and collaboration. Unfortunately, I believe that despite our good intentions we often act too quickly without taking the time to consider the bigger picture.

I like the list of recommendations given in this article. That list is useful when you are trying to be started in this complex online world.

I posted this earlier on the rolling page but am trying again at this location.

We are delivering some of our PD and holding meetings through an application called Elluminate. We have found that people don't get familiar with it until they are forced to spend time there. That parallels what the principal found when he did his immersion of teachers in Twitter. I have not tried Twitter and wonder if you get the security of feeling you are in a one-on-one conversation. In Elluminate, the participants can all see each others' names and know who is talking. It can make people shy to respond at first. Usually they prefer to use the chat feature first.

I posted this earlier on the rolling page but am trying again at this location.
I liked the specifics in this article of what our future might look like, especially the three school scenarios. I shared some
of this with other teaching colleagues this week but they found it very far fetched. It is just too hard for many people to imagine a world without subject specialists. After all, isn't that how we were identified in university? I was science and math - how about you?

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