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Showing posts from 2015

Take A Risk: Being Connected #ce15

Today was a great day at work. I had the opportunity to work with a fellow educator, one of the most intelligent and thoughtful educators with whom I have ever worked. Through some supportive pressure and encouragement, he finally agreed to let me introduce Twitter as an educational tool. It was a risk to do so, and he trusted me enough to take a leap.
Before my wonderful colleague @DelEdTech and I jumped in to the nuts and bolts of Twitter, we paused – and talked about the why. Why bother to connect? Why bother to share our edu-thoughts through social media? We found ourselves getting increasingly excited with our colleague, discussing the why behind being a connected educator. As educators, we are so excited to continue learning, share our learning, reflect on our learning and discover new resources, it is important to stop to pause and think about the WHY behind being a connected educator.
What made today such a wonderful day at work is that I was reminded that we are all lifelong le…

Educator Evaluation Process: It's About Growth and Reflection @sguditus

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When I arrived at my school two years ago, I inherited an outdated and incomplete ed eval system, which included a negative culture and many assumptions around what the ed eval process could be, is and is not. As Massachusetts rolled out an updated and revised system over the past few years, I worked to form relationships with teachers and not just tell them, but show them, that the ed eval process can be a productive and effective tool – not something to be feared or to dread. Over the course of the last two years, I have worked to form relationships with teachers; I have worked to make a required process as positive and productive use of time as possible. Since this is something that needs to get done as per Massachusetts state law, why not make the best of it and use the time and tools to improve student learning and teacher instruction? This is, after all, a teacher's educator evaluation - so I find it imperative to engage educators in their evaluation process to ensure owners…

Words Matter

Although I know it, I'm reminded: words matter. Especially when you are the leader of a building, words count, and words matter. How you use words, which words you use, how you share them, when you share them - it all matters.

Recently, I have made an effort to provide feedback to teachers after I have been in their classroom, even if it has only been for a few minutes. Some feedback I was getting from teachers included questions such as: Why didn't you give me any feedback? Was my lesson ok? Did I do something wrong? Was I on target? We are educators, and good or bad, we are usually rule followers, hard workers, and want to do our jobs well. I found that exiting a classroom without using any words, without providing any language was leaving staff without any understanding about how things were going.

I decided to turn to Voxer. Once I leave a classroom, it takes me literally 30 to 60 seconds to record my thoughts, which are fresh in my mind. Sure, students walk by me and thin…

Finishing Strong #BostonStrong #satchat #bfc530 (@sguditus Steve Guditus)

Today in Massachusetts, it is Patriots Day - the remembrance of the Battle of Lexington - known as the turning point of the American Revolution.  Many hearty Yankee souls out there hoof it at 4am to participate in the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington, while thousands of others hoof it 26.2 miles.  Me, I went for for a 6 mile run, made dinner, and am thinking about finishing the school year strong.  Here are a few ways that I plan to do so, and perhaps you can as well:


Get into the classroom: Make it a priority.  It is easy to get bogged down in state testing, meetings, and more meetings.  Let's be honest: the center of learning and teaching is occurring the classroom - so go see what's happening and ensure you are the instructional leader you were hired to be.Talk to students: In my opinion, the #1 place for this to happen is lunch.  Sit down, say hello, and get a pulse on the building.  Here's how it will go: 6th graders will be a bit scared to say hello; 7th grader…

Every Day: A Gift

You never know when the opportunity to make a difference will present itself. Yesterday, while I was prepping for the school day, a student popped into the office at 6:30 to ask if she could chew gum during our state assessment exam, which was being held later in the day. I answered her question and then asked her, "How are you feeling about it?"  She replied, "… kind of nervous, honestly." 
We took a few minutes and chatted about the fact that the day's test was just a snapshot in time, a way to help the adults know how much she has grown, for her to know how much she has grown, and that it is just one moment on the timeline of her educational career. It doesn't mean that she's a good or bad person, and that this is an opportunity to have fun and and and to be excited to tell a story (it was the composition exam). A little nervous is an ok thing, I told her - it might even help her - to try to use her feelings to help her. It was just a quick conversati…

Once A Teacher, Always A Teacher

Recently, I had the opportunity to teach all the six graders in my school. We needed to roll out Google Apps for Education, and I was able to match up my schedule with the student schedule with the computer lab schedule – a feat in itself, for sure!
What a great two days I had spending time with middle school. I got to see students through another lens, and be reminded of how exciting and nerve-racking it can be to facilitate learning. It was a wonderful day for several reasons, but especially because I got to spend a lot of facetime with students, focused on teaching and learning. A close second, however, was a reminder of all of the pressures, stressors, excitements and decisions that educators have to make every day. Did I remember to restate the objective, every day and every period? Was I sure that I was accommodating for each student in the class needed something a little different? Was a meeting students needs who needed to get the scaffolding? Was I holding the students back we…

One word for 2015: TRUST #oneword365

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Instead of a giant list entitled, "All The Things That Steve Should Do To Improve in 2015," I followed the lead of my wonderful PLN, and chose one word on which to focus:

Trust.

My 2015 is going to be the year of trust:

I will trust myself.I will trust my instinct. (And back it up with facts.)I will trust colleagues to do what's best for our students.I will trust that others have the best of intentions.I will trust that doing what's right for students may not always be easy.To kick it off, I have decided that I will trust that our new core values have importance in our school, that modeling reflective behavior is important, and that it is important as a community (one of our core values) to take the time to reflect on 2014, look ahead to 2015, and select one word to direct our attention for 2015.
The lesson that I created for our students is entitled "The Lion Tamer and One Word."  Clyde Beatty, the lion tamer who figured out that a four-legged stool would para…