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MAKE A DIFFERENCE

As the new school year nears, I have been thinking a lot about how to move any teacher beyond complacency, beyond mediocrity, and toward motivation and the desire for excellence. To do this, it will take competence, dedication, and the courage to speak about hard truths along with sustained efforts to improve when the going gets rough. It will also take the knowledge of a strong PLN.


Many of us are familiar with the movie Fireproof and the book, The Love Dare. What if we were to dedicate 40 days to a teacher? Could we move a teacher from good to great? We all know great teachers make great schools. Would you be willing to perform a simple act a day, to rescue a teacher?  


Now, here is where a strong PLN comes into play! For this to work, we need to develop 40 purposeful acts to be carried out by the principal that will ensure effective growth in teacher effectiveness. Some acts may require 45 minutes, others maybe only 5 minutes.  However, each act must serve a purpose.  For instance: Videotape the teacher for fifteen minutes during the instructional delivery. Together, watch the videotape and allow the teacher to analyze the dynamics in the classroom and to accurately diagnose weak areas while together, creating a road map for improvement. (This might be Day 16)  


I would like to start my first hash tag #TheTransformationDare  


I think it would be great if teachers and principals alike, respond with purposeful, authentic ideas that will provide valuable feedback to improve teacher effectiveness. I look forward to arranging and sharing your top 40 ideas on how a principal can lead and transform a teacher from good-to-great.  I think we all agree feedback one time a year is not enough.


Please Contribute - Day 1..... Day 2..... Day 40!!! 

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Comment by Shawn Blankenship on July 20, 2011 at 1:19am

Thanks Toni,

I have had much feedback on this topic and daily visitation, along with timely, meaningful feedback to the teacher, and a detailed action plan is the trick.  I've learned that it isn't so much a different act a day as it is building on the previous day.  Embedding PD into everyday by replacing non-instructional duties with valuable, relevant professional development.

Todd Whitaker states, "Outstanding principals know that their primary role is to teach the teachers.  We can't teach from the office.  If we want teachers to do better, we must help them improve their skills and master new ones.  And since teachers do the best they know how, we can expect that they will put knew skills into practice." 

Comment by Toni Jones on July 20, 2011 at 12:04am
It all starts with classroom visitation. How does a principal really know what is going on without getting in the classroom....perhaps it is number 1.... How often do you visit and take notice of what is really taking place?

If you ask a principal what frequent classroom visitation means it takes different forms. Some leaders say once a week, some say once a day, and some say once a quarter. How often does the principal visit the
classroom of a teacher who really needs support? daily...daily...daily....Act number 1: classroom visitation :)

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