Uinta County School District #1
February 2018-Weekly Newsletter, Volume 13
WHY THIS WORK? WHY NOW?
There is a sizable amount of research summarized by Robert Marzano and others supporting the positive effects of a “guaranteed and viable curriculum" (GVC) on student achievement. The folks at Solution Tree also have research, and personal experience, behind their support for professional learning communities (PLCs) as the most effective way to develop, manage, and modify the GVC and determine both interventions and enrichments for students based on real-time assessment data. In the short six months our district has used the collaborative process to focus on the development of our grade-level and content priority standards and learning goals, we have witnessed excellent results.
Are we on the right track? You bet! Not too long ago, our district faced pressures from both inside and outside of the organization to change. What types of change were requested? The most prominent were tied to curriculum and teacher empowerment. The High Reliability Schools framework focuses on three essential areas: safe and collaborative schools, effective instruction in every classroom, and a guaranteed and viable curriculum. Of these, teacher collaboration is the lynch pin.
We are very proud of the work our teachers are doing and the products of their labor. We believe that we have outstanding educators who, when given the opportunity to work collaboratively with their grade-level or content peers, can and will develop outstanding learning pathways for our students. As Thomas Many says, “those closest to the work are the best suited to define the work”.
The greatest concern expressed since beginning this journey is time. Time to collaborate-time is essential to the work teachers are being asked to do. What is clear is that our current system for providing time is inadequate. We’ve looked at multiple options and would like to try a delayed start on Mondays. This time commitment will be focused on the development of a guaranteed and viable curriculum, and effective instruction in every classroom, every day. We recognize that there will be problems to solve in the new system. We have great faith in our people and their collective ability to solve our most difficult problems. We are committed to providing the highest quality of education for all students and look forward to working with our teachers and community to make it happen.
Ryan Thomas, Superintendent
Doug Rigby, Assistant Superintendent 6-12
Dr. Joseph Ingalls, Assistant Superintendent K-5
CHOOSE BEING KIND OVER BEING RIGHT
Without getting too psychoanalytical about it, the reason we are tempted to put others down, correct them, or show them how we're right and they're wrong is that our ego mistakenly believes that if we point out how someone else is wrong, we must be right, and therefore we will feel better.
In actuality, however, if you pay attention to the way you feel after you put someone down, you'll notice that you feel worse than before the put-down. Your heart, the compassionate part of you, knows that it's impossible to feel better at the expense of someone else.
Luckily, the opposite is true-when your goal is to build people up, to make them feel better, to share in their joy, you too reap the rewards of their positive feelings. The next time you have the chance to correct someone, even if their facts are a little off, resist the temptation. Instead, ask yourself, "What do I really want out of this interaction?" Chances are, what you want is a peaceful interaction where all parties leave feeling good. Each time you resist "being right," and instead choose kindness, you'll notice a peaceful feeling within.
Recently my wife and I were discussing a business idea that had turned out really well. I was talking about "my" idea, clearly taking credit for our success! Kris, in her usual loving manner, allowed me to have the glory. Later that day, I remembered that the idea was actually her idea, not mine. Whoops! When I called her to apologize, it was obvious to me that she cared more for my joy than she did her own need to take credit. She said that she enjoys seeing me happy and that it doesn't matter whose idea it was. (Do you see why she's so easy to love?)
Don't confuse this strategy with being a wimp, or not standing up for what you believe in. I'm not suggesting that it's not okay for you to be right-only that if you insist on being right, there is often a price to pay-your inner peace. In order to be a person filled with equanimity, you must choose kindness over being right, most of the time. The best place to start is with the next person you speak to.
"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" by, Richard Carlson, PH.D. (Chapter 37, Page 95)
Cheri Dunford, Supt., Board Exec. Assistant Ext. 1021
Dr. Joseph Ingalls, Assistant Superintendent K-5 Ext. 1026
Doug Rigby, Assistant Superintendent 6-12 Ext. 1025
Alicia Johnson, Instructional Services Admin. Asst. Ext. 1024
Kristine Hayduk, Human Resources Ext. 1023
Matt Williams, SPED Director Ext. 1040
Shannon Arellanes, SPED Admin. Asst. Ext. 1041
Bubba O'Neill, Activities Director Ext. 1060
Dauna Bruce, Activities Admin. Asst. Ext. 1061
John Williams, Business Office Director, Ext. 1030
Jaraun Dennis, Facilities Director, Ext. 1075