the RAH

Nov 16-24, 2015 (the-not-so-special Thanksgiving edition)

Powerful video on perspective and how we unknowingly respond to assumptions we make.

THE LAB: DECOY - A portrait session with a twist

from The Mayor

One topic that came up at the Transportation Advisory Committee is your ability to ask questions about routes that might need to be re-routed or load balanced. The Transportation Department already has a process to balance loads and look for more efficient ways to run the routes but it takes time. If you think you have a route that might be improved with re-routing or load balancing, please contact your transportation supervisor and they can move it up the priority list.


At a leadership training this week, I received the following resource:https://thelibrary.org/directory/documents/directory.pdf.

It provides a list of non-profit providers in Springfield. The list would be an excellent resource as you look for businesses to support PBL units and serve as authentic audiences.

Leadership Series: Ignite- what's all the hype?

Tuesday, Nov. 17th, 1pm

1359 East Saint Louis Street

Springfield, MO

Session 1 on Tuesday at 1pm, Session 2 continues on Thursday

The Wisdom of the Hubb-

Carla Soffos, MEd in Reading Education, University PCL/CIM Clinical Coach did a regional training for teachers, specialists, and coaches. During the training, she emphasized the importance of our foundational beliefs about reading and writing instruction.


How do you teach reading and writing in your school? What is your theory base? If you can't answer that, it might be an indicator that a hodge podge approach is occuring, and people are pulling from everywhere. For successful reading and writing instruction to occur, we all have to be working from the same theory base to implement instruction with fidelity. Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, ZPD, is a theory of differentiation and scaffolding. What theory base do you work from? What is the foundation? Does everything align? If not, we are seeing things through different lenses.


Here are some major tenants that are the foundation of working within each child's ZPD.


Self regulation- our goal is each child developing as a self regulated learner. Then, children have the capacity to monitor, guide, and control their own actions to become independent.


Gradual release- scaffolding changes over time. Responsibility moves from teacher to child. Don't let time dictate or rush this. It must be in response to student need, not time. The scaffold is only in place to help the child become self regulated. Change happens over time. Staying on the cutting edge of the child's ZPD will help the child progress at the fastest rate possible.


Then, it has to move to TRANSFER. Teachers must help children transfer from the assisted setting to independent work. The whole goal is the self-regulated learner.


So, how do you teach reading and writing in your school? Are these theories and foundations in place in every classroom?

Board of Education meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 17th, 5:30pm

1359 East Saint Louis Street

Springfield, MO

from J-

Some recent discussions during my rounding has prompted some healthy reflection for me. Many of you, recognizing the quickness of change in our system, have shared concern about staying a step ahead of it all in order to support your teacher and students. I greatly appreciate, understand and have had the same thoughts myself. In the past weeks, I have come to realize that is futile; there is simply no way that I can become the expert on all things education, not even those hitting the elementary level. I'm watching how many teachers/staff are surpassing the instructional skillset of us as the leaders. This is something that we all need to be good with, and encourage. We should want our staff (and our students) to surpass us. What this may cause us to do is to re-define our lead learner roles.


Take a moment to identify with a related role. Some of you may identify with a coaching model. We all know the names of Michael Jordan, Muhammed Ali, Babe Ruth, Nadia Comaneci, Martina Navratilova.... all superstar athletes. But can you name their coaches? They all had one. Or maybe you identify with great performers of music. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, The Choir of Westminster Abbey, and yes, even Metallica...all greats, and all have conductors, directors and producers driving them to be their best. Can you name these individuals? My point is that each of these greats, individuals or groups, have a central person who is the lead. They may not be the greatest individual scorer or performer, but they orchestrate greatness.


So please, don't feel feel vulnerable when others do well and surpass us in learning and performance. Keep supporting and growing them. I think this a wonderful leadership challenge for us all to embrace: improving those around us even when they exceed our knowledge and skillset (this is how I feel about you, btw).


Wishing you a fabulous week plus 2 days before Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to Mann, Jeffries, Gray, Harrison, McBride, Fremont, Sherwood and Westport visits. I will be out of pocket next Friday, November 20, spending the day shadowing and learning from my counterpart in the Rockwood School District, Dave Cobb.


Don't hesitate to call, text or email for any support.

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