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Chad Ostrowski | @chadostrowski

Chad Ostrowski | @chadostrowski

After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree In Biology, Chad Ostrowski or “Mr. O” as his students fondly call him, set his sights on education. He was chosen as one of only 50 individuals in the state of Ohio to be granted the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship through the Ohio STEM Learning Network.  Through this fellowship he received his Master’s in Science Education and gained intensive training and expertise in STEM education, Problem Based Learning, Inquiry based instruction as well as other cutting edge educational research and modern pedagogical theory.


 


 


 


Ostrowski has since presented research at the NSTA National Conference on Problem Based Learning in the Gifted Classroom and Continues to develop and research modern innovative educational practices. Chad has been teaching  Middle School Science in a high needs urban district for 4 years. In that short time, due to his dedication to teaching, innovative teaching methods and educational leadership he has been named Science Department Chair within his building, Building Leadership Team member and District Co-chair of Middle School Science Curriculum.


 


 


 


It is through these foundations that he has created and developed  the The Grid Method - Mastery Learning System in order to synthesize his knowledge of best practices in education into a system that allows ALL of his students to meet and exceed  their potential.


 


 


 


Chad has now left the classroom to shre his innovative practices, techniques and strategies with educators all over the country. He does this through speaking at conferences, providng teacher development and workshops, as well as producing blogs, and videos.

Posted by on in Education Leadership

Sometimes things aren't what they seem...

As a teacher I very rarely thought of things from the perspective of my administrator. I still tend to develop training, development, and the services I provide to schools and districts from a teacher-centered perspective. It has always been and always will be my belief that initiatives and instructionalmethods will work better when built this way.

While I continue to primarily work with teachers, my interactions with administrators are much more frequent than ever before. From these interactions I have realized that some of the misconceptions I harbored from the classroom were not only incorrect, but actually very far from the truth.

Here are 3 things I've learned that your administrators wish you knew.

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Posted by on in General

Quit Complaining About "These Kids."

Seriously, stop it.

We spend a lot of our days visiting districts, observing classrooms, and talking with teachers, and I'm starting to hear something more often than I should. I keep hearing teachers say things a long the lines of: "This would work, but 'these kids' can't do it...next year will be better."

I've had my share of "bad classes" and I admit,I've succumb to this statement earlier in my career. But as I grew as a professional I realized one simple fact: It's not the students job to change...It's my job to adapt. So I did.

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Posted by on in General

In case you don't know what the term means (you probably do) teaching in a fishbowl is when your classroom is being observed by other professionals, administrators, colleagues, and stakeholders constantly. Essentially it means that your teaching is always on display. Now, I know you are thinking, "I would hate that!" but I assure you it has its benefits.

When I first started teaching I was part of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which was an intensive master's program that included 3 years of follow up mentoring and support. As a new teacher Ialso had to deal with Ohio's Resident Educator program as well as standard teacher evaluations.

All of this added up to being observed, coached, and supported by 3 different systems. My room became a revolving door of evaluations and observations, and most of my lunch periods became feedback and reflection discussions. I really was teaching in a fishbowl. I know this sounds a little torturous and at the time (especially in the beginning) it was definitely stressful, but it also made me the best possible version of myself as a teacher.

Here are three things I learned from this experience:

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Posted by on in General

A difficult choice

Leaving the classroom was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Making the decision was one of the hardest I've ever made. Not only did I have to say goodbye to my colleagues, my administrators, and the mentors who had guided me throughout my career, but I had to leave my students. I say "MY" students purposefully. Regardless of if I taught them 5 years ago, 3 years ago, or I was going to teach them next year (as most teachers know) they areand will always be "MY" students. I wasn't leaving because it was "too hard" or because I was burnt out, though. I was leaving to make a greater impact on education and to reach more students than I ever thought possible.

How it happened

I had developed, tested, and created a system in my classroom now called The Grid Method. In my high needs, urban school with 100% free and reduced lunch, and economically disadvantaged students, it was working. Students were more engaged, achievement was increasing, management was improving, and I quickly realized that I had something here that could help more teachers and more students. Colleagues had been asking how to implement the system I'd designed and so had others I shared it with. I quickly started looking for ways to spread the word and share the techniques and systems I was using to reach more students.

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Posted by on in Classroom Management

megaphone girl

You've probably been there before. A student, frustrated with their hand in the air decides it's all of a sudden ok to yell across the room "Hey Teacher!" (they might use your name, but you get the point). There's a good chance this isn't a rare occurrence in your classroom. You're awesome, so you probably manage your classroom well and when this happens, you reinforce your expectations and model appropriate behavior.

And that's good. That's what you should do. But I'd like to take thisa step further and look at what causes this type of disturbance to happen in your classroom.

The Classroom Management 'Play By Play'

Step 1: Bobby raises his hand across the room, silently, as they are supposed to. They can't continue working without assistance. And because you are helping Katie at the moment, and your back is to Bobby, you don't see him raise his hand.

Step 2: You finishing assisting Katie and move on to Jake, who is close by and just raised his hand. Now, you don't know this, but Jake actually has a much less urgent question than Bobby, but because Jake was closer, you noticed him first. This frustrates Bobby, because he raised his hand first. He now feels  like he is being ignored.

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