Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Positive Pressure and Support: Driving Your Initiative to a High Level of Implementation

June 14, 2012

Ok. It’s no secret.

Just having professional development doesn’t mean that your initiative is going to get implemented or implemented well. It doesn’t mean that your initiative will have it’s desired effect on your school.

Sure. PD is critical to getting where you’re going. But it isn’t sufficient.

Level of implementation matters.

A lot.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to get better at implementing your laptops, or you’re using Bright Futures to look at your middle level practice, or if you’re working on a literacy initiative, or implementing the Common Core, or on Customized Learning, if you want your initiative to have the impact you’re looking for, then you need to insure that you have a high level of implementation with a high level of fidelity.

So, how do you get to a high level of implementation with a high level of fidelity?

The answer is possitive pressure and support.

Positive pressure and support has three easy pieces: expect, supervise, & support.

Expecting includes strategies like starting simple, participating yourself in trainings and meetings, having teachers set goals, and collaboratively setting expectations.

Supervising includes checking with teachers, talking about implementation at meetings, doing walk throughs, and talking about the walk through and level of implementation data.

Finally, support includes things like celebrating successes, facilitating the sharing of ideas, providing opportunities for PD (of course!), providing resources, and removing barriers and running interference.

 

How could positive pressure and support help your work at your school?

 

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Calling All Arts Teacher Leaders!

March 11, 2012

Regional VPA Assessment Leader Search

Are you interested in leading Maine Arts Education Assessment Initiative: Phase II?

Join us for a GREAT opportunity! YOU’re invited to be part of Maine’s exciting arts education initiative. The initiative is looking for teachers who are interested in participating in Phase II to take a close look at assessment in the arts. If you are selected as a teacher leader, we will provide training in Assessment, Leadership, and Technology, and ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region and across Maine.

OVERALL PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Create an environment in Maine where assessment in arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to improve student achievement in the arts.

Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team - Professional Development, August 11

Phase I, Timeline:

  • Summer 2010: Argy Nestor, Rob Westerberg, Catherine Ring attended the New England Arts Assessment Institute and formulated initiative plan
  • Summer 2011: Professional Development – Regional VPA Assessment Leaders
  • October 2011: Regional VPA Assessment Leaders facilitate workshop sessions at statewide conference on arts education assessment
  • Winter/Spring 2012: Regional VPA Assessment Leaders facilitate professional development opportunities on assessment by regions
  • 2011-12 School Year: Arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators
  • February 2012: Reflect on the work and determine next steps

Phase II, Timeline:

  • March 2012: Call for Phase II Teacher Leaders
  • Summer 2012: 4 day Professional Development – Regional VPA Assessment Leaders
  • Summer 2012: Phase I Teacher Leaders continue assessment work by going deeper and developing arts edcuation resources of best practices for online access
  • School year 2012/13: Teacher Leaders facilitate professional development opportunities on assessment by regions and across Maine

DEADLINE FOR APPLYING IS APRIL 6th

To read more details and for the application please go to http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/vpa/news.html

Phase I Teacher Leaders Allysa Anderson, Jenni Driscoll, Lisa Marin, Bill Buzza - UMaine Museum of Art, Feb. 12, Reviewing work and planning Phase II

A Conversation With Commissioner Bowen: Leading from the Middle, Bright Futures, MLTI, and MLEI!

April 26, 2011

Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule and sharing some of your thoughts with the Bright Futures readers Commissioner! So let’s get started. Here’s our first question.

CT-What did you see and hear on your listening tour that you think all Maine middle schools should pay attention to?

SB-What I’ve seen so far is that Middle Schools are really taking the lead on the kind of student-centered learning we want to see at all levels. At Massabesic Middle School, for instance, they have implemented a true outcome-based learning model that allows students to move ahead based on mastery of standards rather than seat time. Because of the student-centered focus that middle schools tend to have philosophically, I see them really taking the lead in moving us in this new direction.

CT-I’m sure middle level folks are pleased that you see how important it is to keep students in the center of everything we do in our schools. So on to our next question.

CT-Maine is the world leader in the implementation of 1:1 learning with technology. What do you see happening with MLTI in the next four years?

SB-The world of digital learning is moving so fast that it is hard to say where we’ll be in four years. It is pretty clear, though, that digital learning has become much more central to content delivery and instruction than it has been, and we will need to do a lot of thinking and planning to make sure we’re adapting to this new reality in a thoughtful way.

CT-Very true. We will need to change to keep up and stay ahead of the ball that, in many ways, Maine’s middle grades started rolling a decade ago!

CT-How do you see the department supporting middle level leaders as they implement the tenets and core recommendations of Bright Futures?

SB-Part of the work we propose to do around a comprehensive state strategic plan for education will be to answer that very question – What is the proper role for the state in supporting the work of Maine’s educators? The state has to deal with the same resource issues that local districts have to deal with, which means we’ll have to work to strike a balance between what we’d like to be able to do and what we have the resources to do. Finding that balance will take a lot of thinking and discussion and planning, and that is what we plan to do over the next few months.

CT-We wish you and the department well on that! It will be a challenge. I’m sure I speak for the Bright Futures Partnership and many other middle level folks in saying we are willing to help in any way we can. Just let us know!

CT-How can the department encourage and support effective Middle level teaching in Maine’s schools?

SB-On the listening tour, I’ve talked with educators about strengthening the Department’s role as a clearinghouse for best practices in curriculum development, instruction, assessment, etc. We need to build out the Department’s capacity to allow educators to share back and forth across districts those things that are working for them. Fostering better communication is a way that we can help teachers learn from each other, and I think that is a great role for the Department to play.

CT-For sure. Communication and building networks is so important. Thanks for focusing on ways the field and the department can share what’s working around the state.

CT-You have a daughter in middle school. As a parent of a middle school student what do you think is important about the education your daughter receives at this time in her life?

SB-The key piece for me is the exploratory nature of middle level education – the way that the middle level provides students with exposure to a rich curriculum that has academic rigor, but also fosters curiosity and maintains a focus on the complete child. This is a time for students to move from simply learning how to learn to really building a passion for learning. It is a very exciting time for them!

CT-Yes, the whole child, and a passion for learning in every Maine middle level student, no matter where they go to school!

CT-What message would you like to send to all of Maine’s middle level educators?

SB-Keep up the good work! I look forward to working with you as we undertake an effort to really transform our schools.

CT-We’ll continue to do our best, improve where we can, and change when we must!

CT-I understand that you are familiar with the Middle Level Institute being held from August 1-4 at Thomas College. Would you be willing to share your thoughts about MLEI for those considering attending this summer?

SB-In my time at the Middle School in Camden, I attended two MLEI sessions and found them to be a great opportunity to do what educators seldom have time to do, which is to reflect on our instructional practice and to really do the kind of thinking and planning we all need to do to be effective. It was always a great experience and one I hope to get back to one day!

CT-Yes, MLEI is all about middle level teachers taking time in the summer to be more effective with students in the fall and beyond. I’m sure you’ll have the opportunity to visit MLEI in the near future! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for all you are doing and planning to do with Maine’s educators on behalf of Maine’s students Commissioner. We wish you well, keep in touch, and let us know how we can help!

Congratulations Linda Bleile!

March 18, 2011

The Bright Futures Partnership congratulates Linda Bleile, the Maine Principals’ Association Middle Level Principal of the Year!  Linda has been principal at Wiscasset Middle School for nine years.  Before that she was a teacher at the same school.  As principal she has exemplified Bright Futures’ Core Practice 6: School leaders, using a collaborative and democratic leadership model, focus on establishing an environment that supports the learning needs of young adolescents. During her tenure the school has participated in a CSR grant, implemented Expeditionary Learning, revamped their schedule to better meet the needs of their students, and incorporated literacy across the curriculum.  Linda models the changes that need to occur.  When her staff was educating themselves about literacy, she participated by trying out new strategies in a classroom and shared her successes and challenges during faculty meetings. She shared the same risks as her staff as they worked to change their pedagogy.

When the award was announced at an assembly at Wiscasset MS, Linda called her entire staff out to join her and said,”This is an award for all of us. Wiscasset Middle School has a wonderful staff, school and students.  All the staff from the teachers to custodians to kitchen staff helped earn this award.” (http://lincolncountynewsonline.com/main.asp?SubSectionID=75&ArticleID=51313&SectionID=1)

Congratulations Linda!  This award is well deserved.

MLTI, Leadership, Librarians, and School Change

October 30, 2010

Guests for First MLTI Principals Webinar

Just a quick note to thank Teri Caouette, Pam Goucher, Eileen Broderick, and Nancy Grant for graciously serving as guests for our first MLTI Principals webinar of the 2010-2011 school year! We had a good turn out for the 4 PM session with 26 participants from all over the state and even from Arizona! While we had a great conversation about ways principals, school librarians, and technology leaders can collaborate to support best practices around integrating learning and technology the chat pod was perking along as participants shared their insights, ideas, resources, affirmations, questions, and advice! Here’s a small excerpt from the chat window as an example:

Peggy George: did any of you get to see this presentation by David Lankes called Focus on Connection management and not collection management-he made excellent points related to connecting with people and content and curriculum!

http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/blog/?p=1044

To read the rest of the chat window, hear the conversation, see the powerpoint slides, and access the list of online resources head on over to:
http://stateofmaine.na4.acrobat.com/p56289213/

And just a reminder, We’ll be gathering more guests on the 4th Tuesday each month at 4:00 PM. We are in the process of planning out the MLTI principals’ webinar topics for the remainder of the year. If you have a topic or two that you think should be taken up just let me know! You can respond by commenting below, or email me at christoy.net@gmail.com. I hope principals make a point of gathering their leadership teams and/or staffs to join in on these conversations, Because as we know, when it comes to school improvement…It’s all about leadership!


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