Our Blog.

15 things every teacher needs from a principal

 

“‘Principalship’ entails many things, but at its core, it is — and has always been — about building trusting relationships,” writes ASCD EDge community member Ryan Thomas. In a recent blog post, Thomas explains why it’s important for principals to build relationships with their teachers. Thomas also shares a list of 15 things that every teacher needs from their principal starting with knowing their principal will deal with their problems directly and privately. Click Here to view the original post and download a FREE principal coaching guide.

 

Shaking Hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All teachers need to:

  • Know that their principals will deal with their problems directly and privately.

  • Be given credit for their ideas, creativity, hard work, and willingness to take on additional responsibilities (privately, publicly, orally, and in writing).

  • Know that their principals will not jump to conclusions or make hasty decisions, particularly when their welfare is under consideration.

  • Have principals who are available and listen to them.

  • Have reasons and explanations given when problems occur, requests cannot be fulfilled, or promises are broken.

  • Have all of the information and facts put on the table and be kept apprised of what is happening in their schools.

  • Know that when possible and where appropriate, when decisions are made that affect them, they will be given opportunities for input and discussion.

  • Feel their principals are fair and will not show favoritism to an individual or group.

  • Be assured that principals will keep open minds when they advance ideas or make suggestions for change.

  • Be a part of the team when parent and student problems are under discussion, problems are being solved, or plans are being developed.

  • Feel supported in their disciplinary decisions with students.

  • Know that their principals will admit mistakes, sincerely apologize when wrong, and then move forward.

  • Be confident that their principals will send parents to them first if there are questions or concerns about what they are doing in their classrooms.

  • Be able to bring problems and concerns regarding their principals’ performance to the forefront and, that such problems and concerns will be addressed honestly, immediately, and positively.

  • Know that their principals value their personal lives and, when appropriate and possible, will take them into consideration when making requests.

 Photo credit: Chris-Håvard Berge / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

Sign-up to receive more news and updates from Always Prepped:

 

 

 

 

Video Games Over Tests?

Gone are the days where parents can yell at their kids for playing video games with good reason.

NPR Ed wrote on the growing study of why people play and play relates to learning. No, the survey didn’t involve asking questions to kids, but instead reached out to professors and directors of research labs at Stanford University and Arizona State University.

James Gee, the godfather of game-based assessment and professor of education at Arizona State University said, “Is a video game a test or a learning encounter? It’s both. You’re always being tested — you can’t get out of a level until you finish it.”

As adults that grew up playing all different kinds of systems, we love the idea of using gaming to measure the abilities of students.

Does anybody remember playing Number Munchers on your elementary school teacher’s MAC that seems like an antique now? All you wanted to do was answer the presented problems correctly so you wouldn’t be eaten by the monsters. You also wanted to be able to brag to your friends about who had a higher score and who got to a higher level.

While competitiveness might be the one of the few consequences of using video games in place of tests, that is also the case in written or standardized tests as it is. The only major problem with replacing video games with tests is the reduction of responsibility for a teacher. Developers and administrators need to find a good balance for gaming and unplugged education. Once they do, we will see a time in history where schooling became extremely personalized and teachers can swiftly figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each student through in-game psychology and reports.

So remember kids, if your parents are yelling at you for playing too many video games, just tell them you’re taking a test. We promise they’ll understand.

You may have read Louis C.K.’s Twitter rant on Common Core a few months ago. If you missed it, here’s the link.

The State of New York has responded.

Commissioner John B. King, Jr. released a statement yesterday, as well as critical assessment information from the 3rd-8th grade ELA and Mathematics state test questions. You can view those questions here and judge for yourself.

“As you know, frustrations around testing and test prep, along with questions and concerns about educator accountability, generated considerable public dialogue last year, some of it productive and some of it counter-productive,” wrote Commissioner King Jr. “No one equates testing with teaching, and test prep should consume as little classroom time as possible. We should test only as much as is needed to inform instruction and hold ourselves accountable, and we should do everything possible to minimize unintended consequences from testing – from narrowing of the curriculum to student and parent anxiety.”

This is our peer into what the State Education Department is thinking while also giving us a firsthand look into the kinds of questions that are being asked.

As the New York commissioner stated, there are two sides to it.

The one view that is counter-productive believes that it’s not that the questions themselves are too rigorous; it’s how they impact our classrooms and the assessment of schools in general.

The productive argument sees that the progress of students can be easier understood through high-stakes testing.

What do you think? Did New York respond correctly or is Louis C.K. still in the right?

While reading the Harvard Business Review blog this morning, I stumbled onto a nugget in a post by Joe McCannon and Sachin H. Jain entitled “A Fairer Way of Giving Credit Where It’s Due.”

In their piece, they were discussing how managers should approach assigning credit to employees in the knowledge economy where outcomes are valued more than anything else.

“Our experience has shown that the most successful teams align their recognition systems with the outcomes they want and periodically reassess the outcomes to determine whether they are still relevant. By contrast, we have seen many struggling teams that award recognition for activity metrics (e.g., length of service, attendance) that may not have direct bearing on those goals. Johns Hopkins Medical, the internationally renowned health care system, has recently taken a bold step toward rewarding outcomes. Instead of pegging academic advancement solely to peer-reviewed publication, it now provides academic physicians with points for a successful project to improve patient care or outcomes, regardless of publication.”

After getting through this bullet, I realized that the new take on teacher tenure (starting with California) is very similar. Now be patient with me for a second, as I don’t want to take sides here.

If the medical field is employing its physicians based on how effective their theories are, shouldn’t education be treated the same?

In both instances, livelihoods are at stake for all involved. For those in Johns Hopkins Medical, there are the patients who are being tested on, and there’s the doctor who’s being critiqued by his performance. In schools, there are students and teachers.

There has to be a middle ground because if we hold this over a teacher’s head, then their performance may not be measured correctly. Just like in the argument against Common Core, teachers would focus on themselves and teaching to the test when their job is to focus on the maturity of the students.

Yet, for doctors and teachers, our nation can’t afford for them to underperform. The futures of medicine and education are on the line.

There were two #edchat discussions today. This post covers one of them, and the other will be talked about shortly.

#edchat Moderator Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) asked “What does a lead learner in a school look like? Should it always be the principal? Can there be more than one in a school?”

Dr. Mark Weston (@ShiftParadigm) had a great response. “Since learners receive grades, should leaders be graded too? If leaders are graded on their learning then what should be basis for such grades? Who should do the grading? What a lead learner looks like is of less importance than what a lead learner does.”

In our opinion, if a leader isn’t learning, it is much more dangerous than if learners aren’t leading. Lead learners don’t always need to be a principal; however, that’s the easiest person that students can look up to.

On the other hand, we need learners to lead courageously. This is much tougher as it requires someone who hasn’t assumed the role of a leader before to take action. This means that there CAN be more than one lead learner in a school, and it doesn’t matter what their age is.

What do you think about lead learners?

Contact get in touch.

  • 6900 Wisconsin Ave. Suite 300
    Chevy Chase, MD 20815
  • 202.596.1530
    9am - 6pm Mon - Fri
  • Contact@alwaysprepped.com
    Start the conversation

Communicate say hello.

Send
 
Reset
 

Thanks for your inquiry!

* Please fill all fields correctly.