Scott Staff News

Staff Mini Pack Update 2/19/2016

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Principal's Pen

Scott Staff,

I wanted to share some interesting information from an article entitled, "Building Team Efficacy" by Anthony Muhammad, PLC at Work associate. The author of this article has been working with collaborative teams of teachers who are in the beginning stages of their PLC journey. Over that period, he shares that he has witnessed some phenomenal teams as well as some very dysfunctional teams. He believes that what separates the two is efficacy.

Efficacy is defined as the ability to produce a desired or intended result. This may sound simple; however, there is a high level of coordination and focus required to achieve collective efficacy. In order to produce the desired result, the team must first agree on what result they want to produce and the methodology to produce it and then work collaboratively through the process.

At Scott, our collaborative teams focus on the desired result of student learning. Not just learning for a few, but learning for all. I know that at times, as educators, it is easier to embrace this concept philosophically but we become stagnant when we do not have the tools, structures, and attitudes necessary to bring that wish to reality. It makes me think of a few of our trickier students and the times we feel as though we have no other "tool" options in our toolbox. Sometimes, frustration sets in, teams can revert to psychological defense mechanisms, which makes the process even harder.

So, this article notes that after 10 years of observing, guiding, and coaching teams, two common threads that all of the teams with high efficacy possessed were 1) they kept their collaborative conversations focused on the four essential PLC questions, and 2) they never spoke negatively about students, parents, or colleagues. These might sound like simple principles, but they become the foundation of strategic and intentional collaboration.

Ask yourself..."Does my team keep the focus on the four essential questions?"

  • What do we want students to learn?
  • How do we know if they have learned the skill?
  • How do we respond when students don't learn?
  • How do we respond when students have already learned the skill?

These four questions were designed to keep your collaborative team focused on the real work of student learning. To stay totally focused on these questions takes discipline and peer pressure. Why do we say peer pressure? You need the group to hold one another accountable. When things get tough it is easy to venture into other topics and vent frustrations over things that are outside of our control. Make a commitment to stay focused on these four questions and improve your efficacy.

Ask yourself, "Does our team speak negatively about students, parents, or co-workers? One of the biggest issues that we see when teams are struggling with collaboration is that the collaborative meeting turns into a "complaint session." Complaining is a by-product of frustration, and it is very counterproductive. Frustration usually is a result of feeling as though we are running out of tools in our toolbox. We never want to give-up on a student, not provide the necessary intervention, or try to prove a point to a parent. Use the people around you to get tips, advice, and new ideas to try.

We know you all go above and beyond each day to do whatever it takes for your students. As we hit the homestretch, let's keep the focus on our students, stay the course, and finish strong. (First 2 to turn in your team's next steps to improve efficacy will receive a Sonic drink of your choice.)

We hope you have a relaxing weekend and take time for yourself and your family.

Paige and Leanne

Our Very Own Janette Church's Artwork Displayed at the Administration Building!

Our AMAZING Scott Staff Leading by Learning!

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Shout Outs...

  • A HUGE shout out to Camille Bryan! A parent emailed her saying how thankful she is for the dyslexia program her child is in. She is seeing such amazing changes in her child who is now picking up books and wanting to read. Thank you!!!
  • A Big thank you to Kristi Taylor, Janette Church, and Jenny Clemens for volunteering to help 4th grade out with rating their writing samples!
  • Holler to Whitney Zorn and her 3rd grade students for a fun and impressive musical program. You are amazing!!
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