Making Curriculum Pop

School Administration


School Administration

I don't know if the 'Lean on Me' image of administration is the best to go with but the first pop administrators that came to mind were Morgan and Mr. Rooney (Ferris B's Day Off). Talk about stereotypes...

Members: 26
Latest Activity: Mar 31, 2019

Discussion Forum

CASE STUDY: Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens

American teens are chronically sleep deprived, in part because of early school start times. But how much difference can a later start make? As Seattle's school district found out, it can help a lot.…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Mar 31, 2019.

RESEARCH: Having a diverse workplace is a worthy investment

Prof. Katherine Phillips of @Columbia_Biz researches diverse teams in workplaces. Hint: they lead to more profitability.…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Mar 26, 2019.

TOON: Your perfect SAT Score

Obviously, the testing scandal is deeply troubling but when faced with absurdity ...Today's daily cartoon by Ellis Rosen:…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Mar 13, 2019.

VIDEO: Schools strive to support the unique needs of military children

"At one point, my boys had been in 5 diff schools in a 2 1/2 yr period," says U.S. servicemember, adding, having a community & a school system understand that dynamic really allows those children…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Feb 17, 2019.

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Comment by Ryan Goble on April 26, 2010 at 12:41pm
Comment by Stephanie Young on April 26, 2010 at 12:37pm
Cool! That is a plan! I'll get it there :)
Comment by Ryan Goble on April 26, 2010 at 12:22pm
Steph - maybe if you post this as a blog post (go to the "my blog" tab up top) we can share that out as a crowdsource post next monday. I'd say we should put it in here but a lot of non-administrators might be able to help us out. Sound like a plan?
Comment by Stephanie Young on April 26, 2010 at 11:46am
Hello all,
I'm trying to put together a survey for high school assistant principals and they work they (used to be "we") do. How many APs are in your respective districts? (approximate) Do you think they would participate in an online survey that took about 20 minutes? Thanks
Comment by Stephanie Young on March 10, 2010 at 8:30pm
@ Susan...Time definitely has to be adjusted depending on the school system. We can't possibly expect a smaller school to function they same way a larger urban or suburban school does. Technically a teacher should have a prep period for each subject taught - your teacher doesn't have enough time in the day to do that! One period isn't enough! That is a tough one. At least 2 preps would be great...ideal would be to have the funds and space to add another teacher :)

@ Shawn - I don't know if there is ever enough time for teachers to plan, meet, etc., but it also depends on the the teacher and subject. At my former school (where I worked with Ryan), we had the arts teachers who didn't need much time and the core subject teachers depending on the time of year it was. Then we had special education teachers who had to keep up with their assigned classes and hold/complete IEP meetings. Their teaching load was perceived as much lighter than others (and at times it was), but they were crunched with paperwork during the middle and end of year.

In the end, I think administrators need to assess the needs of departments and grade teams at the end of each year knowing the time may have to be tweeked during the following school year.
Comment by Shawn LaTorre on March 10, 2010 at 8:12pm
Public displays of curriculum...I like that term, Ryan! Today I saw a student made movie on a social studies topic and heard about a some lawyers who came to show students how jurors are selected. Students were being selected and then either accepted or rejected. On the basis of the trial at hand, the lawyers told the students why they were either chosen or rejected. Our teachers are being held accountable for their data and for telling us how they are intervening with students who are not making the grade. I simply feel like we need more time to CREATE dynamic, engaging curriculum rather than being data watchers so much of the time...I thank you all for your comments because I love to see what others are doing and thinking about this.
Comment by Susan McKinney on March 10, 2010 at 11:56am
Shawn....I am Susan McKinney. I am the Curriculum/Federal Programs Coordinator at a small rural school in Arkansas. You question regarding time is very interesting. So many of the models I see are based on a departmentalized structure where a teacher is responsible for 1 or 2 courses. Our situation is very different. Our teachers are responsible for SEVERAL courses. One teacher in our district covers Geometry, Investigative Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus/Trig. Moreover....she is the ONLY one teaching these subjects. Is one period a day adequate for planning lessons, grading, responding, planning interventions, etc. for all of the subjects...especially in isolation? WOW!
Comment by Scott Eggerding on March 8, 2010 at 4:51pm
Shawn: We implemented PLC's this year and there has been a dialogue about "teacher" time and "district" time when it comes to doing the work of PLC's. We have one period a day for teachers and one period that is used for professional development every other day. (The formula works out to 77 hours), Then we have late start days (15) for hour long PLC meetings and 5 early dismissals for 3 hour department meetings. Is that enough time? It depends on the group. But there is a sense that everything you mentioned for "good, professional" teachers cannot get done during the day regardless. Our hope is that the better coordination of admnistrative and organizational layers will allow for the teacher time to be more productive and useful. And the ultimate goal is for all of the PLC time to be used meeting the needs of students through dialogue with data and feedback on interventions rather than articulating outcomes and revising/improving assessments.
Comment by Dr. Edie Weinthal on March 8, 2010 at 4:43pm
Welcome Erich and Scott - Love seeing you on this site! Let the conversations begin!!
Comment by Ryan Goble on March 8, 2010 at 12:44pm
Shawn & Dr. W - my pleasure - I'm super excited that folks are coming out to the group - it was probably long overdue.

From '05-'09 Steph (the one who is "excited" above) and I were AP and Curriculum Coordinator/New Teacher Coach respectively at our school in NYC. Out in the Bronx we had a lot of room to experiment. We did have the most success when we found ways to distribute leadership (like Dr. W suggests) but also we tried to do something like a PLC but very different - we made interdisciplinary peer observations of teachers and "public displays of curriculum" a major part of our PD. We also worked hard at always modeling differentiated PD.

It is a long and winding story but if you want to chat more about it we can Skype sometime - or, better yet we can come out to your school someday and present on it. I think it was very successful until we had to toss "all hands on deck" to focus on our School Quality Review.

The other question I'd ask Shawn (now I'm going to sound like a real administrator - lol) how are you holding teachers accountable for PD in terms of products and artifacts they must show?

I think PD time is best spent when teachers can instantly workshop their own practice around that pd - it seems to me that there is never ENOUGH time for that. There are just a lot of variables to consider in the busy schedule of schools, eh?

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