Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What I Learned @ teachSDA This Weekend (CHRISTMAS EDITION)


I know it's Christmas, what am I doing making a news letter on Christmas Eve!?  Well, I couldn't help myself:)  I had so many good article and didn't want to have a mega list in a few weeks.   I look forward to seeing you @teachSDA January 6th!  Remember you can find us on twitter @teachSDA or online at www.teachSDA.org

1. Teachers: How Slowing Down Can Lead to Great Change
Sometimes, in order to gain perspective on a situation, I imagine myself zooming into outer space and looking down on whatever is going on. From a distance of thousands of feet above whatever craziness is happening I can see more clearly and determine the actions that are available for me to take.

2. When You Criticize Someone, You Make It Harder for that Person to Change
“If everything worked out perfectly in your life, what would you be doing in ten years?”
Such a question opens us up to fresh possibilities, to reflect on what matters most to us, and even what deep values might guide us through life. This approach gives managers a tool for coaching their teams to get better results.

3. What Makes a Master Teacher
The term “master teacher” seems to get thrown around a lot, but is something that many educators aspire to be. In my ten years in the field of education, I would say that the definition of “master teacher” has definitely changed. When I think of a master teacher, here are the qualities that I would suggest they have:

4. Great Teaching Costs Little… Just Everything You Have
When you write about teaching, it changes you. You examine yourself and align with what you need to be doing. Writing about teaching changes your own practice because you can't say something without examining if you do it yourself.

5. Sir Ken Robinson: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley
The ever eloquent Sir Ken Robinson contends in this TED Talk that the culture of American education contradicts three principles that make human life thrive: diversity, curiosity and creativity. Humans naturally embody those qualities, but school has become a system based on conformity and testing, qualities that don’t use the natural learning tendencies inherent within every child.

6. It's All in the Thumbs: What David Hockney Can Teach Schools About Technology
David Hockney's exhibit at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco is awe inspiring, jaw dropping and a tribute to what is possible with a phone or tablet. His imagination is boundless, providing the viewer with a journey into a wonderful world of color, space, expanse and tributaries into landscape and portraiture.

7. Are You a Leader or Manager?
Most school districts claim to want to move from good to great, become world class, become a 21st century district, or fill in the slogan blank.  Getting past the cliches (and the fact that we’re 14 years into the 21st century already), effective implementation of these transformations/progressions requires progressive thinking and leadership.

8. How to Move PD Forward
Fixing professional development requires much more than online videos

9. Social Media: An Asset for Teachers and Leaders
Students and parents are growing users of social media. There is great value in meeting them where they are.  Allowing their communication arena to grow without us can be a mistake. Reasons for joining the social media environment seem clear. Business calls it branding; each of our districts is unique and so are our communities.  How do we want to be known? What is the vision toward which we are working? We think of social media and branding as a convergence creating a valuable leadership opportunity to focus on the values and direction of the district.  But before jumping in, serious consideration needs to be given to essential information and careful decisions have to be made.

10. The Best Ways to Retain Good Teachers 

11. Boston Study: What Higher Standardized Test Scores Don’t Mean
The MIT researchers avoid loaded terms like intelligence, so let me be the blunt one and sum up a provocative new Boston-based study coming out soon in the leading psychology journal Psychological Science:
If you’re a kid who’s lucky enough to go to a school that boosts your performance on standardized tests like the MCAS, you’re scoring higher because you know more, but probably not because you’ve gotten smarter. And by smarter, I mean better at certain measurable cognitive skills that psychologists call “fluid intelligence” or “fluid reasoning” — like working memory and problem-solving in a novel situation.

12. Five-Minute Film Festival: Best Education Parodies of 2013
I can't believe it's already the end of the year again and time for all the wrap-ups and best-ofs you can stomach. Among my favorites each year are Google's get-the-Kleenex Zeitgeist and YouTube's Rewind -- which is like the most meta-parody-mashup video you can imagine. I had a blast putting together the Best Education Parodies of 2012, so I thought I'd do it again for 2013. I hope this list gives you a few belly laughs, not too many obnoxious ear-worms, and a sprinkling of good ideas for fun student projects in the new year.

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