LEADING SCHOOLS… from good to great!

Impossible? Impossible!

High School Course Selection Begins At Consentino

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Happy Spring from the Guidance Department at Consentino.

Miss Vangel is currently meeting with 8th grade students to discuss selecting courses for high school. This week, students will receive a form to help them in selecting foreign languages and electives for their 9th grade year at Haverhill High School. Please fill out the form and select three choices for a language and three choices for electives. (Note: a form must be completed for all students even if they will be attending a different school next year). These forms must be returned to homeroom teachers as soon as they are completed. Parents will be able to view their child’s teacher recommendations on the portal shortly. Students will also receive a Program of Studies and it is also available on Haverhill High School’s website. This can be accessed by clicking here or accessing the “Program of Studies” on the HHS main page.

Written by Dr. Thakk

April 9, 2014 at 3:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Trust – a basic building block for successful collaboration #SAVMP

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Trust and transparent culture go hand in hand. In this blog I discuss two prompts involving trust building in a community.

  1. How do you work to build trust starting in a new place? New anything is exciting, but most exciting new thing is a new place to work. There is equal amount of eagerness to learn and anxiety about the learning curve. Underneath it all, one question burns: Do my colleagues trust me? I think that in order to earn people’s trust (and yes, you have to earn it), you have to be honest. Honest with yourself and honest with your colleagues. That means asking someone when you don’t know something and then listening to them carefully. The ability to listen, then, is the second element after honesty, that builds trust in a new place. When I started working at a new school as an assistant principal this year, I really tried to meet as many people as possible, ask them about the environment, and really listened to them. I tried very hard to remember everyone’s name and that, I believe, went a long way in generating trust. The third element is transparency. The best way to breed transparency is by developing a culture of open environment. Open door office policy is a great way to build transparency. And this leads into the second prompt.
  2. In a world with social media so evident, how do you use that technology to create a transparent culture within your community? Using a blog is the best way to create a transparent culture in your community. When I became an administrator at a new school this year, I started a blog to foster communication between the school and the community (http://connectingconsentino.wordpress.com). I also incorporated a widget available on WordPress that feeds my twitter timeline on the blog. I printed off QR codes for the blog and posted around the building during open houses. When administrators, teachers, and parents all read and comment on the blog posts, a thriving transparent culture is created. Trust and transparency breed a successful collaboration. 

Written by Dr. Thakk

August 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My Educational Philosophy #SAVMP

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In his book Future Focused Leadership, Dr. Gary Marx (2006) identified 16 trends that will profoundly affect how teachers teach and students learn in the 21st century. He predicted that “Continuous improvement and collaboration will replace quick fixes and defense of status quo” (p. 48).  This prediction has helped shape my philosophy of education for the 21st century and prepare each student for success in college, inspire a lifelong love for learning, and foster responsible citizenship.

Continuous improvement means that in order to be an effective 21st century leader, I must first be a lifelong learner. Such a learner actively pursues learning to achieve a lifelong love for learning. I model this active pursuit. For example, a student learning about photosynthesis listens to the teacher’s lecture, reads the pages of a static text book, explores science websites, watches videos, interacts with apps, writes blog posts and wikis, plays games, and collaborates about the topic with peers in the classroom and on social media. A teacher becomes more than a lecturer—a guide who helps students discover an unbounded future made of what they create with the knowledge they discover. Teachers and students become explorers of knowledge and creators of concepts in a collaborative pursuit. Once a learner learns how to learn, he or she develops a deep seeded and lifelong love for learning.

As teachers and leaders we inculcate good citizenship in our students by encouraging them to work collaboratively in classrooms and outside events with respect for one another. As an institution we must provide an environment where students feel safe to develop friendship with everyone. We must also foster a culture of kindness where all opinions—even dissenting ones—are listened to and respected by everyone. In addition, the concept of responsible citizenship extends to digital learning as well. If I am teaching students utilizing digital tools and technology, it is incumbent upon me to teach those students how to find and evaluate websites for accuracy, determine the educational value of videos, blogs, and games, and model responsible digital citizenship for ethical behavior on the internet by constantly modeling good digital citizenship in the classroom.

In order for a school to improve as an institution, it must create an environment where teachers feel free to learn to become 21st century teachers. This proposition becomes even more relevant as more and more schools incorporate online assessments as part of both student and teacher evaluations. An institution can create such an environment by encouraging teachers to join professional/personal learning communities and provide them real time data about student performance. These two practices will help teachers learn about effective tools, creative resources, and practical philosophies in real time, and implement solutions personalized to their students. Institutions that arm teachers with real time data about student performance are more likely to help the teachers create personalized instruction so that all students are more engaged in their own education. This type of collaboration will improve equity for all students, and increase the odds of college success in favor of all students.

When teachers and students collaborate in gathering, information, evaluating the value of the information, applying the knowledge to practical questions, and creating solutions for real life problems, they prepare students for college success, develop a lifelong love for learning, and foster responsible citizenship (including digital citizenship).

Reference

 

Marx, G. (2006). Future focused leadership: Preparing schools, students, and communities for tomorrow’s realities. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

 

Written by Dr. Thakk

August 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

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The new role of a 21st century school leader

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My vision of an effective 21st century school leader is that the leader creates an environment where collaboration, high expectations, and commitment to every student’s success are common phenomena. Traditionally, teaching has been an isolated profession where opportunities for collaboration have been few. In the 21st century, collaboration plays an increasingly greater role where teachers, administrators, students, and community members learn from each other how to set and reach common goals. A 21st century leader leverages technology to connect teachers across the district and across the diverse world offering them professional development that takes advantage of professional learning networks, Twitter, edcamps, and webinars. Learning about success and best practices in real time from the field using Twitter and edcamps helps everyone realize how high we can raise our expectations. The collaborative work environment rich with technology infused professional development helps us commit to the success of all students, including those with disabilities, English Language Learners, and socio-economically disadvantaged students. In addition, a 21st century leader collects and analyzes data from everywhere possible to inform the policies, curriculum, and instructional priorities so as to meet district initiatives and improvement plans. Again, to come full circle, a leader should not do this in isolation. An effective leader should help develop everyone’s expertise in comprehending and using data so that goals are set, measured, and achieved. I believe that this comprehensive vision, technological expertise, and experience with longitudinal and relational databases to drive decisions informed by data analysis will help every student succeed in the 21st century school, college, and career. That is the new role of a 21st century school leader.

Written by Dr. Thakk

July 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

Posted in Leadership

Repurpose hall duty

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It is a familiar sight in high schools: a teacher sitting by the door in the hallways asking students passing by for hall passes. Those who have them show it, those who don’t, argue with the teacher and move on. The teacher then continues correcting papers or reading the newspaper– until the next student passes by. Wouldn’t it be better use of the teachers’ time if, instead, they were to spend that period in the school’s technology room learning about new apps or improving their knowledge about multimedia learning? Or, use the time to engage in scholarly research about pedagogical issues that may be buying in their mind?

Written by Dr. Thakk

June 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Leadership

Hello and welcome to my blog.

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Written by Dr. Thakk

May 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

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TheEduKid

Hi! I'm the EduKid, and I am going to write about what new things I learned every day. I have now started quotes and words of the day. Follow me to receive updates on when I publish something. Or, you can follow me by email to receive email updates.

GPS EdTech

"We are preparing our students for their future, not our past"

http://savmp.edublogs.org/

Impossible? Impossible!

Connecting Consentino

Going from good to great

BPS EdTech Team

Burlington Public Schools Library and Technology Team

Thomas Lienhard

Mr Lienhard's Technology Page