"Super" Spruce Scoop

Volume 2 Edition 18

January 11, 2016

Climate Data - Kudos!

While many of our schools continue to make strides in moving the achievement needle, many have also correspondingly moved the needle in campus climate survey data. Kudos to the following campuses for creating the right conditions for our students and staff:

  • Comstock Middle School
  • Anderson Elementary School
  • Blair Elementary School
  • Cuellar Elementary School
  • Douglass Elementary School
  • Gonzalez Elementary School
  • Lagow Elementary School
  • Macon Elementary School
  • Moseley Elementary School

When the conditions are optimal, achievement is likely to follow!

ACP Instructional Planning / Progress Monitoring

Now we have the data, so what do we do about it? Each campus has the autonomy to determine how student and teacher data will be progress monitored by the leadership team and teachers. During my upcoming campus coaching visits, your calendar invitation has guiding questions we will use to drive our conversation around your ACP and Climate data. Please bring your progress monitoring artifacts you and your staff will use to monitor the progress of your data.
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Crest Award Winner

Congratulations to the committed counseling team at H. Grady Spruce High School! They are the recent recipients of the Crest Award.

CREST, which stands for “Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas”, is an award which recognizes excellence in school counseling. We are so pleased that this is the second year Spruce High School has been recognized. Our previous application of 2012 was also a winner.

Events for the Week:

  • Monday, January 11 - High School P. C. Night, School Board appreciation month
  • Tuesday, January 12 - Middle School P.C. Night, TEI Focus Group @ Seagoville North Elementary
  • Wednesday, January 13 -
  • Thursday, January 14 - Elementary School P. C. Night
  • Friday, January 15 -

"Attitude Creates Altitude"

We have often heard the phrase, attitude creates altitude, and I believe many of us would agree with it. Having a positive attitude with a strong commitment to good work will get us to the altitude we expect to achieve. Recently, Ms. Elizalde, our Chief of School Leadership, talked with us about how important attitude is to creating altitude. I know each of you exhibit the right attitude and leadership for our students and staff. Please continue to do so in order for your campus to achieve the altitude you desire.

Weekly Administrative Information Packet

While I realize you are looking at the linked weekly WAIP, I would like to bring a few important topics to your attention:

  1. School Report Cards are to be sent home to parents by January 28, 2016.
  2. Title III Funds available for tutoring
  3. Accountability Training with Region X - January 27, 2016 (I will be attending.)
  4. Mandatory Naviance Training for all middle school and high school counselors
  5. STEM Day is February 6, 2016 at Skyline High School

Marshall Memo - The Qualities of a Good Teacher

In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, A.C. Grayling (New College of the Humanities, London) says there are two ways that ineffective teachers can harm students: putting them off a subject and undermining their confidence and self-belief. “Good teachers do exactly the opposite of these things,” says Grayling, “and as a result inspire, guide, and give their students a broader sense of life’s possibilities… the desire to know more, understand more, achieve greater insight.” He lists several qualities that the best teachers possess:

  • Enthusiasm – Students often catch this in their classrooms.

  • Charisma – Teachers can be Pied Pipers for their subject.

  • A capacity to clarify and make sense – This quality illuminates any subject.

  • Humor – It lightens the hard work students need to do.

  • Kindness – A teacher’s power is enhanced when there’s a human connection.

  • A genuine interest in students’ progress – This involves constantly checking for understanding and responding accordingly.

    Good teachers have these qualities in varying proportions, and the net effect is that students begin to teach themselves. “And that, paradoxical as it may seem, is the best outcome of good teaching,” says Grayling. “Independence of endeavor, and soon therefore of mind, should be one of the fundamental aims of education.”

    Some novice teachers worry that if they show humor, kindness, and interest, they’ll come across as weak. But Grayling says there’s “no inconsistency in being both kind and firm, humorous although not prepared to tolerate messing about, and interested without being partial. It is a matter of operational tact and good timing.” “Good teachers are those who remember being a student,” he concludes. “They hear themselves as their students hear them. They know which aspects of their subject might present a difficulty, which require to be grasped before which, and what their best students will be keen to know, and why… Students’ questions and doubts compel one to think and rethink, often prompting one to see things that had not been noticed before. For this reason it is never boring to teach the same subject repeatedly.”

“What Makes a Good Teacher?” by A.C. Grayling in The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2015 (Vol. LXII, #15, p. B4-B5)