Weekly Coaching Communication

Make it a great day -- every day!

01 - 05 February 2016

On the Standards Front . . .

"[Standards-Based Grading is] about working kids through a growth mindset; it's about always making themselves better, and less about getting an ‘A'" ~ Peters & Buckmiller


The purpose of the paradigm shift to SBG is so that teachers can better communicate to parents (and students) the answer to the question, "How is my kid doing?" Letter grades are no longer a viable tool of communication or reporting.


In trying to keep the big picture clear for us, I did a lot of reading this past week. In my perusal of Matt Townsley's bibliography of Standards Based Literature, I came across Peters & Buckmiller's article showcasing three different schools and their very different implementation practices. The sentence at the end of "Section 6: Rationale," quoted above, echoes the same reason why I am presenting Growth Mindset (GMS) to you in the morning meetings.


Several times in conversations, I have staff members who recognize that along with the paradigm shift to SBG, we also need a shift in culture where students are more prone to see the purpose of reassessment to further their learning rather than to attain a letter grade that offers no information about what they have learned. Being more mindful of our own growth mindset is the beginning of a culture shift. When students see us modeling the positive behaviors of a growth mindset, we have a better chance when it comes time to begin teaching them how to use a growth mindset.


At the Middle School, Mrs. McNeill has already worked with the teachers on being more mindful of a growth mindset, and now, she is in the process of teaching the growth mindset to the students. The Intermediate and Primary buildings are teaching growth mindset in their Social Thinking curriculum. So, much like PBIS, the implementation at other levels will benefit us greatly; however, if we are not prepared and mindful ourselves, the power of the students' previous learning/training will be for naught.


Through a growth mindset, students will see the purpose of learning and reassessment, and as they do, it will become part of our culture. I'm not offering that the change in culture will happen as we passively inherit students each year; we are going to have to teach the students we have and keep the growth mindset fresh in learning, not just for our students, but also for ourselves.



*Peters, R. & Buckmiller, T. (2014). Our grades were broken: Overcoming barriers and challenges to implementing standards-based grading. Journal of Educational Leadership in Action, 2(2),http://www.lindenwood.edu/ela/issue04/buckmiller.html

Quick Clicks

Quotation of the Week . . .

" . . . students and staff are given permission to shift their thinking and are inspired to change their behavior in order to hear themselves echo these words: I can….. I know I can."


Jimmy Casas is going to get a second shout-out in this weekly communication because his new blog post, "Leadership Echos for Eternity," resonated so soundly with me and the work of being mindful of maintaining a growth mindset. Granted, Casas gears his blog posts to educational leaders, but the message is for teachers, as well. When provided an environment to cultivate the freedom where "students and staff are given permission to shift their thinking and are inspired to change their behavior in order to hear themselves echo these words: I can….. I know I can."


The words are definitely simple and can be cliche, but notice the change from, "I think I can . . . " to "I KNOW I can." Even a simple change in the wording brings new confidence and fresh optimism. And the idea of it echoing with our students, our parents and our community transcends the joy of success from ourselves to others. Isn't that why you became an educator -- to build an identity as an educator and to leave a legacy for learning?


No one pursues a career in education and claims that they are in it for the money or the recognition of their personal agenda. Teachers and educational leaders are in it for the impact that they have on others. "I know I can" is a change in perspective from "I think I can." In just that one word, ". . . [b]y changing our perspective we can change lives. And that in turn echoes for eternity."

Coaching Schedule -- see Google Calendar for specific "Busy" times **schedule subject to change**

Monday, 01 February

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources


Tuesday, 02 February

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources


Wednesday, 03 February -- Data Teams Meeting 7:30 AM @ Library

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources
  • IC Team presentation to School Board


Thursday, 04 February

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources
  • ASCD Webinar "Focus"


Friday, 05 February

  • IC/Principal Weekly Meeting 7:30 AM @ HS Office w/ Libolt & Popenhagen
  • IC Team Meeting
  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources
Pope's IC Weekly Communication Archive & Index 2015-2016


Click on the link to access prior weekly communications.

Contact Information

Instructional Coach

Center Point - Urbana CSD