Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chapter 5

I think you all know by now how I feel about this chapter. We just touched the beginning of it on Tuesday morning - talking about the 5 Principles. As we talked about Culture and management at the DC meeting - I just reread this sentence which I wanted to share, it is an overview of Chapter 5: "Chapter's 5,6,and 7 focus on building classroom culture - making your room, a place where students work hard, behave, model strong character, and do their best." I can't imagine anyone at NMS or any other school not wanting those exact things to take place in their classrooms. The 5 principles are not techniques, but I think it will be great when we all have the same vocabulary to talk about what we are trying to accomplish in the classrooms. I am so excited for next year, to see how we can stop the death spiral from occurring! I am so very optimistic about where NMS is going! I have great faith in all of you, that you DC's will be able to lead your departments to joining in the enthusiasm for learning as we work to make NMS a most wonderful place in each and every classroom. You are going to be the leaders that make this happen! As we move forward in our quest for strong culture - let's work on simultaneously creating a culture of feedback. I want to work in a place where everyone is comfortable giving feedback, and even more importantly receiving feedback, myself included. It is the receiving that is harder! Lol!!! On Friday, March 2, we will work together to create a plan to make that happen!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Teach Like A Champion

In the foreward of this book, written by Norman Atkins, I love the analogy that he uses when he compares Doug Lemov to John Madden. He comments that Doug Lemov watched thousands of hours of teachers' game films and analyzed their teaching moves with more enthsiasm and attention to detail than virtually anyone else in the history of American Education. That is quite a statement and I believe important to note as we begin to read this book. They also talk about in the book how this book helps good teachers become great! I believe that is what we are working towards! We want to move from good to great! I love how he has taken techniques that I have seen great teachers use, and given them a name, defintion, and expanded them! Norman Atkins says that Doug Lemov found and captured on video, "beyond No-shortcuts preparation and an essential mindset of high expecations, were highly skilled individuals, working with a common discrete set of tools, building systems of classroom culture and instruction brick by brick.
Love this book - this has been the most motivating book I have read in a long time! I love how he named the tools, many times these were things I have seen used, but now we have a name for these techniques and we can employ common language when we talk about great instruction and effective techniques. I also love the idea of videotaping lessons in order to see in action what tools are being used in the classroom. What an amazing opportunity for growth! I see such amazing opportunities for NMS and our students through this book! I hope those of you who are DC's and participating in the book study, as well as those of you who are reading it along with us and commenting on the blog, can get excited about the possibilties that are ahead! I am excited!