September 15, 2013

Leaders Stepping Forward

Professional development manifests itself in many ways online and in person. It takes place through conversations, classes, Twitter Chats, workshops, blogging, book studies, challenges, team meetings, etc.

This year I have come to the conclusion that  sometimes the best professional development comes informally through the behaviors of others, influencing how I think and what I think about.

I have been out and about in the high school and middle school classrooms. I learn so much from students.. We have fabulous conversations, they share new perspectives and creative solutions with me. They also teach me how to be a better person through their inquiries and their behaviors.

I do my best to be a good model for them, but some of their behaviors are ones I'd like to see change, but no matter how much we talk about it, they continue with the same behaviors. That's when it dawns on me, they are behaving the way we are behaving. So, if I want their behaviors to change, it means my behaviors have to change.

This same principle of modeling what you want to see in others applies to other settings such as the classroom and the school building.

I'm fortunate to be surrounded by those who model what they want to see. For example, a learning culture is strong in our district, and it shows in our behaviors.

In the past three weeks, I've been privileged to see these leaders stepping forward as learners to model what they want to see: 

  • EHS Principal Russ Fussnecker decided to learn several new technology tools including Google Docs and Spreadsheets for the purpose of modeling for his staff how technology can enhance collaboration within his staff.

  •  EMS Principal Alesia Beckett has taken time to dig deep into STAR testing procedures and results, to model for her staff how these scores can enhance instruction. 
  • Technology Director Chris Andrews and Technology Integration Specialist  Kathy Korty continue to inspire me with their forward thinking and solutions that are outside the box.
  •  I was fortunate to spend the day in the classroom of Becky Oswalt and Brandy Salyers coaching them on the use of the Promethean Active Expressions.  These two educators were not afraid to tell their students they were just learning.  They made some mistakes right in front of those students, however we kept going and they are now pros! Now, that is modeling! 
  • I received an email from itslearning about  Mr. Kieron Boyle who attended a Webinar about a new feature they are offering.  Thank you Kieron for modeling continuing your education on your own.  You need to share with us what you have learned.  
  • I KNOW I AM GOING TO LEAVE SOMEONE OUT, however, I know there are several high school teachers who are on twitter looking for other educators to collaborate with including Kieron Boyle, Jason Pierce, Chris Holland, Katie Schmidt, Shelly Rees, and Cari Vangen.  

Have you witnessed any of your colleagues stepping forward as learners to model what they want to see? It's time we start bragging on each other!  Leave a comment below and tell the world all of the GREAT things that are happening at EDGEWOOD! 

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