Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Give Back

     One of the best ways to become involved in professional development for yourself and for educators new to the profession is to have experienced educators mentor new teachers, administrators, and heads of school.  I began mentoring my eighth aspiring head through the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads program.  Here a description of the program as presented on the NAIS website:
     "The NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads is a one-year professional development program for individuals at NAIS member schools who wish to become heads of independent schools. Through programming, mentorship, and a school project, fellows develop their own leadership styles, learn key issues and skills, and develop a strong network. The fellowship is a critical component of NAIS's leadership development philosophy. We invest in this program because we believe strongly in the importance of nurturing the next generation of independent school leaders. Equally important is the investment that fellows, their schools, and their mentors are making in their own leadership development."
     Keep in mind, to have a true mentor/protege relationship there has to be give and receive at both ends — not just mentor giving to protege.  Get involved in mentoring a colleague and GIVE BACK to the profession.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pink & 930: An Article

     After listening to Daniel Pink author of A Whole New Mind, I was inspired to take what he said and write an article right after I heard him in February 2008 at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference in New York.  The article eventually appeared in the September 2009 issue of the American Montessori Society (AMS) Newsletter "Daniel Pink Presentation Sparks Revelation of Long-Held Secret: '930'”
     I am looking forward to seeing him at the AMS annual conference in Boston the end of March.  To get primed to hear him, I picked up his newest book Drive; it was no surprise to read his glowing references to Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Robert Sternberg, Carol Dweck, etc. as those who were instrumental in the analysis of his motivation operating systems: Motivation 2.0 and Motivation 3.0.
    See what you think about the article.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Faculty & Staff Meetings

There are department faculty meetings, and there are division faculty meetings, and there are school meetings for all employees.  Author Thomas Hoerr discusses these meetings by asking  What If Faculty Meetings Were Voluntary? in his December 2 edweek.org piece.  I enjoyed reading his five myths and how he addresses each.  Here are the five:

Myth No.1. Faculty meetings are good times to share information.
Myth No. 2. Faculty meetings belong to administrators.
Myth No. 3. Faculty meetings are times for administrators to be in charge.
Myth No. 4. Faculty meetings should focus only on content.
Myth No. 5. Faculty meetings are serious, and a smile means we’re not being productive.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Hunger Games

     The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a must-read for middle school students and teachers.  It is the first book in a trilogy by Collins.  I thought of S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders while I read the drama-packed Hunger Games and the gang mentality of the characters.  It is one of those books that captures the life of teen years in a very unusual setting.  Snippets of Orwell's Animal Farm came through as well as I read about the Capitol government and big brother hovering over district citizens and tributes.  Click here to get a glimpse of images that depict scenes from the book, but do read the book and get ready for the movie.  
     I'm off to read Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


     Recently while I was at the front doors of the School greeting students and parents at the beginning of school, I noticed a father with his second and fourth grade children approaching.  The father recently changed jobs and was about to begin his first day of his new job.  So, as the three of them entered, I said to the father with a wink of the eye, "Hey, David, break a leg."  He smiled and said, "Thanks."  Immediately the second grader looked up at Dad and said, "Why would Dane tell you to break your leg?"  I had to trust Dad would explain what an idiomatic expression is.  In case you forgot, check out this great site: Using English.com.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Online Education Resources

     Online resource from Apple:

"iTunesU, part of the iTunes Store, is possibly the world’s greatest collection of free educational media available to students, teachers, and lifelong learners. With over 200,000 educational audio and video files available, iTunes U has quickly become the engine for the mobile learning movement. It puts the power of the iTunes Store in the hands of qualifying universities so they can distribute their educational media to their students or to the world." 
     Visit iTunes U and click on the demonstration video. Pretty amazing.
     Also, you might click on British TV's teachers.tv.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Author, Ventriloquist, Magician

When I walked into our school library during the annual book fair, I knew I would be listening to author Grace Chang read from her book Jin Jin the Dragon.  What I did not expect to see was 40 children and adults mesmerized by this very talented woman.  Jin Jin the dragon came alive with a voice and jaw-dropping magic that captured everyone's imagination.  Visit her website to see a bit of what I am writing about.