Posts

Climate Conflicts: Uncertainty Among Teachers

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It's Rose's first year on your campus. She has promise to be a great teacher and only has 2 years of experience. The students love her, you like what you see in walk-throughs, and she gets along with her team. However, there's a problem, and it's going to impact your entire school climate - uncertainty.

Innovation Misinterpreted Rose attended the last team meeting and offered some great ideas about improving students' math computation skills. She listened to the feedback on her team and decided to implement her ideas with the adjustments suggested by her teammates. Sound good, right?

Well, it is good.

The problem is the uncertainty on the team about your expectations for innovation.

At a recent staff meeting, you made it clear that you expect everyone to work together. Your exact words were, "Every teacher on your team needs to be on the same page."

The Problem with Your Solution You were addressing a problem that was arising on a 2nd-grade team where ea…

The Growth Problem with Evaluations

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Many teacher and principal evaluation systems are evolving more and more into growth vehicles. And that's a good trend.

However, there's a major problem haunting evaluation systems.

Evaluation systems will never equal growth systems.

I know that's superlative, and there's no room for mistake in my claim. So let me explain.

Evaluation Does Not Equal Growth Evaluation is judgment. It's a stamp in time on your performance.

Evaluation is a rating. A score. It's not a discussion that promotes thought, reflection, or creativity. Therefore, it does not equal growth.

That's not to say evaluation is unnecessary. Of course, it's needed for many reasons. But it's not to be confused with growth tools.

Evaluation is about Employment An evaluation measures your performance as an employee. It doesn't gauge you as a professional or as a person.

It compares you to the expectations of an organization. It's used to make employment decisions and formalize deci…

Context Switching, How it Impacts Your School!

You do it and great leaders do it. Context switching.

Not every scenario, team, or individual should be approached exactly the same. There are unique forms, functions, and frames of mind required of school leadership throughout the day.

Great leaders understand this. Good leaders do it. And...well, we've all worked for someone who made mistakes with this...or was unable to execute the context switch.

And yes, it's easier to see in your boss than in the mirror (oh, the power of reflective practice).

In this post, I will show:

How three different school leaders do or don't context switch.The positive and negative effects of each leader.Steps to effectively context switch and lead your school to greater learning outcomes!
The Promoted Manager The context for this school leader is managing up. They intuitively know relationships above in the chain of command are vital.

This leader places an imbalanced effort in managing up. The efforts in this context often result in promotions…

How Long Should Direct Instruction Be?

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How Long Should Direct Instruction Be? Direct instruction is great, but how long should it be - based on brain research? This is a great reminder from Eric Jensen about the length that most students can cognitively engage (in direct instruction, that is).

Thanks @DavidJHuber, for sharing this as we go back to school.

But what can be done in only 8-12 minutes? Here are 5 high-yielding strategies that fit perfectly in this short direct instruction window.

1. Expand Prior Knowledge in Direct Instruction Part of the challenge in teaching classes of students (instead of individual students) is the range of background knowledge. Each student comes to class at a different starting point.

Direct instruction can very efficiently build prior knowledge for all students. Present visuals, videos, quick reads, or graphic organizers. Fill in prerequisite background knowledge and push the limits on enriching background knowledge.

This will allow all students to make richer connections and build sche…

Word Study Warm-Ups

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I'm proud to watch our team at TeamTom Education lead into another area of curriculum and instruction...Word Study!

They are hard at work developing a free spiraling warm-up resource for reading teachers in grades 2-8. In just 10 days we've had almost 300 teachers sign up, and the list is growing by 5-20% per day.

If you know a reading teacher, team, or department that could benefit from a streamlined approach to teaching word knowledge to young readers and writers, this free membership may be for them.



The power in this resource is in the research-based video instruction and the spiraling curriculum. Daily word study warm-ups guarantee each student has hands-on practice and direct instruction with the following skills and concepts: consonant clustersvowel soundsvowel combinationsmultiple syllable wordssentence fluencyacademic vocabularyword partsroot words Our authors are at work developing the curriculum into all areas of word study to build stronger readers and writers.  💪?…

Teacher Appreciation Week from TeamTom Education

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Teachers Really Do Amazing Things! It is so hard to adequately so thank you to the professionals who delicately and passionately touch so many thousands of lives!
TeamTom Education is inviting teachers to access free resources as a part of TeamTom Testers. I think it is a valuable opportunity and a great way to give a little back to teachers.
Teachers really do touch more than test scores!
Read the article and the full invite on the  TeamTomEducation.com blog:
Tap to read Keep Calm and Thank a Teacher

Powerful Teams Don't Compromise Collective Purpose!

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Collective purpose is such a buzz-type word. But the concept is more than buzz. It's the foundation of good teamwork.
In practice, it is not as common as you would think. At least not as common as it should be with the surge in "collaboration" over the last 5 years. Everyone talks collaboration. Working together. Yet, it is not uncommon for many teams to actually collaborate with collective purpose.
What is collective purpose? There are four basic features at the core of collective purpose. Here they are from big picture down to technical detail.
1. When a team shares a vision about what needs to happen and where they intend to be.
2. When a team shares what they hope to achieve and the goals they have to reach along the way.
3. When a team understands how they go about their business.
4. When a team accepts the roles and plays those roles with passion and strength.

Collective purpose can empower and awaken a team to move in the same direction. Collective purpose create…