The Longfellow Voice

April 20 - 24, 2015

Principal's Message

Longhorn Team as we return this week we will focus on having smooth and successful STAAR testing sessions. We will be testing Monday through Thursday of this week and I'm certain all of your effective instruction will pay off for our students.


I want to give a big Longhorn thank you to all of the faculty and staff that made our final Saturday School a success this weekend. We had a great turnout of students and you were able to get those final intervention strategies in with small groups.


As we complete the STAAR testing, remember we must continue to press forward. We must continue to give our best effort to the very end. Each of you should be reviewing your end of the six weeks data and be prepared to discuss your data in your PLC meetings next week and make adjustments in your instruction in anticipation of the upcoming ACP exams.


On another note, spring is in the air and our students are feeling the change. All of us need to help them to stay focused and get to class on time. Additionally, we need to maintain our focus when supervising students both during morning duty and during class changes. Remember the expectation is to be outside your doors during each class change to monitor students during this time.


Keep giving your best for our students and providing them with high quality instruction until the year is over. One more six weeks to go!


Make it a GREAT week!


Dr. Wright

Feedback for Thinking: Working for the Answer

Instead of giving students the answers, encourage them to think independently. Click the link above to learn more.

Week-at-a-Glance

Monday, April 20th

· STAAR testing

· Sack lunches for students

· Accelerated half-day schedule

· STAAR testing (logistics) debriefing meeting - 3:45 in the library


Tuesday, April 21st

· STAAR testing

· Sack lunches for students

· Accelerated half-day schedule

· STAAR testing (logistics) debriefing meeting - 3:45 in the library


Wednesday, April 22nd

· STAAR testing

· Sack lunches for students

· Accelerated half-day schedule

· STAAR testing (logistics) debriefing meeting - 3:45 in the library


Thursday, April 23rd

· STAAR testing

· Sack lunches for students

· Accelerated half-day schedule

· STAAR testing (logistics) debriefing meeting - 3:45 in the library


Friday, April 24th (Feedback Friday)

· Longhorn Day Bell Schedule

  • Instructional feedback conferences – TBA
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Four Qualities of Great Teaching


From Marshall Memo #580


In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, veteran professor Rob Jenkins (Georgia Perimeter College) describes the qualities of K-12 and college teachers “who most move us, who have made the most difference in our lives, and whom we most wish to emulate.”


· Personality – Great teachers tend to be good-natured and approachable; professional without being aloof; funny, perhaps because they don’t take themselves or their subject matter too seriously; demanding without being unkind; comfortable in their own skin, without being in love with the sound of their own voices; natural; creative; and always willing to consider new ideas, sometimes on the spur of the moment. Some of us enter the classroom with more of these traits than others, says Jenkins, but that doesn’t mean we can’t develop and fine-tune how we come across. “With apologies to Lady Gaga,” says Jenkins, “your students will never know if you were born that way or not.”


· Presence – This is “the ability to appear completely at ease, even in command, despite being the focal point of dozens (or even hundreds) of people,” says Jenkins. “That’s a type of presence to which we can all aspire, whether or not we’re born with great charisma. All it takes is a degree of self-awareness, a little concentration, and a fair amount of determination.”


· Preparation – “Knowing what you’re talking about can compensate for a number of other deficiencies,” says Jenkins, “such as wearing mismatched socks, telling lame jokes, or not having an Instagram account.” He believes preparation has three levels 1) Long-term: Your professional degree and training; 2)Medium-term: Reading extensively in your field, attending conferences, and continuing to explore new ideas and teaching techniques. “It means being so familiar with your subject matter that you can talk about it off the cuff,” he says. 3) Short-term: Great teachers go into every class meticulously prepared – but also constantly reassess what they’re doing, prepared to abandon ineffective or outdated strategies. Some of this comes with experience, says Jenkins. “Then again, just because you’ve been teaching a course for 15 or 20 years doesn’t mean you shouldn’t approach it each term as if for the first time.”


· Passion – “Of all the qualities that characterize great teachers, this is the most important, by far,” says Jenkins. “Passion, or love, manifests itself in the classroom in two ways: love for students and love for your subject matter.” Some educators are always complaining about how their students are irresponsible and disrespectful, say stupid things, don’t do their work, etc. Jenkins has found that students pick up on this attitude and heartily dislike those teachers. Jenkins wants to say to them, “If you dislike students so much, why are you in this business? Why in the world would you want to spend so much of your time with a bunch of people you find so disagreeable?”


“Conversely,” he says, “the faculty members who seem to love teaching and love (or at least really like) students are the ones who are the most popular and, I believe, the most effective… Students might not even like a course at first, especially if it’s one they’re required to take, but a teacher’s passion for the subject can be extremely infectious.”


“The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers” by Rob Jenkins in The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2015 (Vol. LXI, #29, p A31-32), http://bit.ly/1Cbnx0B; Jenkins can be reached atRobin.Jenkins@gpc.edu.

Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy

"Our students are learning to think globally, act locally and go boldly into the future."