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Posted by on in School Culture

 CONSENT

On the first day of my grad classes we do a funky intro ice breaker.  Students pair up and google the person next to them and introduce them solely based on what they find on the internet.  Afterwards each person gets to ask me a question.  During one of the classes I received the question "Have you ever heard of or read the book Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea?"

I have to admit, I had never heard of the book.  And a couple weeks later she gave me a copy of the book to read.  Here is a confession, it has been probably 20 years since I have read a fiction book, but since it was being given to me from a student, I could not just ignoreit , I had to read it.

I did put it off for a few weeks and then decided to read it last week.

 

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Tagged in: consensual terupt

Posted by on in School Culture

redfining

My wife is taking a professional development course this weekend, and one of her classmates (a football coach) brought up one the truly genius models of distinguishing between types of coaching. If you're active in the world of coaching, you may know these terms, but for the rest of us, let's talk about transactional and transformational coaching.

The transactional coach is trying to make a deal. The athlete has a skill, a power, a strength that the coach needs to win games, so the coach works hard to get that game-winning something out of the athlete. The work between athlete and coach is about developing a particular skill out of the athlete with the goal of wining. If the athlete loses the ability to produce, then the coach no longer needs the athlete, discards the athlete, replaces the athlete, moves on. If the athlete has no ability to produce, that athlete can ride the bench or just get off the team. If the athlete can't help get a W, the athlete is of no use to the transactional coach. For the transactional coach, the athlete is like a vending machine-- you put in money (time, attention) and out comes a treat (victory).

The transformational coach has a broader view. The transformational coach is there to transform the entire athlete, or as one site puts it "by giving individual consideration to all aspects of an athlete’s performance - skills and techniques, motivation and behavior, work ethic and sportsmanship - the transformational coach has the ability to positively affect, and to positively produce, the optimal sports performance of the entire team." The transformational coach looks to transform every athlete on the team (even those who cannot help get the W or have no future in athletics) into their best selves, to build up their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, and in the process teach them how to be their best selves not just in the midst of the contest, but in the larger world.

The transactional coach only needs to check the wins-losses numbers. The transformational coach looks at what kind of people the athletes are when they emerge from the program. For that same reason, it's very easy for a transactional coach to measure "success" with a clear, simple metric, while for the transformational coach, it's much harder to reduce "success" to a quick number.

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Posted by on in School Culture

LifeLearn

High school classrooms offer learning targets and reminders. The room littered with informational facts that inspire and create connections throughout the year. A word wall with prior, current and future learning keeps an eye on where we start and where we are going. How many people have seen a college classroom or job cubicle look like this?
High school classrooms offer learning targets and reminders. The room littered with informational facts that inspire and create connections throughout the year. A word wall with prior, current and future learning keeps an eye on where we start and where we are going. How many people have seen a college classroom or job cubicle look like this?

Rereading this older post from sometime in 2013, I'm reminded of how I got to the current belief system I have. What a great reminder of each step. Check this out and try to see the steps of what got me here. The below post originally ran on April 4, 2013. 

Let the transformation begin.

Last night I diligently lurked on a chat about grading practices. Although I agreed and practice many of the theories espoused, inside an irksome voice lingered.

One brave soul, a person I correspond with on Twitter frequently asked, "where do we draw the line?" Referring to how many opportunities we should give without some kind of negative consequence. I tentatively began to type a response only to be beaten to it by a barrage of aggressive comments about learning and how giving grade reductions or zeros give students the right to not do the work.

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Posted by on in School Culture

shareasimage 15

 

Can you come with me please?

We walk down the hallway and step into my office.

I close the door.

Have a seat please.

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Posted by on in School Culture

Wallpaper

During the 22-inch dropping blizzard of 2016, I was cooking, cleaning, tending to my babies, and even spruce up my 'man cave' in the garage. In the midst of cleaning, I found wallpaper. I could not help but to think of all of the horror stories my mother use to share with me about the horrors of wallpaper. She was adamant about doing all of the home decorating, but anytime wallpaper came into play, I ran for the hills. Wallpaper covers up a lot. It can look pretty to the hanger, ugly to the spectator, and even come off as crummy for some who live in the house. Eventually, it does start to peel. What normally happens when it beings to peel? We ignore it. We ignore it until it becomes problematic. Then we try to quick fix it. The same can go for a school.

When I started in a new District a few years ago, I was given very specific marching orders by the Board that the past was in the past and we don't look at the past. I saluted. When I spoke to staff, it was the same story on how much they did not care for their leader; most wanted to move onward and forget the past. It was like placing wallpaper up on an old wall. I made a new website, pumped folks up with positivity, and went full throttle. I even made a new website. Wallpaper on the old wall. 

Looking back now, I see a new website, new positivity, and a showing of being "united". Looks great, but truth be told, it's more wallpaper on the old wall. I hope the wallpaper stays, and the new handyman has the ability to patch up holes in the wallpaper when it becomes present. Something very beneficial for the new handyman - the new handyman and the former handymen (plural) talk. A lot. In the meantime, enjoy the new wallpaper. It's very pretty to look at; after a couple weeks, the handyman will start seeing what it was covering up. And then the handyman, with the help of former handymen, will get to work. Stay safe out there.

 

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