"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
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.
"Attitude Creates Altitude"
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:
- School Report Cards are to be sent home to parents by January 28, 2016.
- Title III Funds available for tutoring
- Accountability Training with Region X - January 27, 2016 (I will be attending.)
- Mandatory Naviance Training for all middle school and high school counselors
- 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)