Friday, July 22, 2016

Flashback Friday!

One of the best things about working during the summer as a school administrator is getting a chance to read and reflect with minimal distractions.   Today I decided to tackle my closet and review the contents of about a dozen binders that were just collecting dust on a top shelf.  As I went through the binders, I was quickly reminded how so many "innovative" educational ideas are really just ideas that have been dusted off and repackaged.  Not that I have a problem with that.  But it makes me wonder (1) If it didn't work 20 years ago, why do we think it's going to work now?  And more importantly (2) Why didn't it work?!?!?!?   A lot to think and I will probably continue to ponder these questions as an educator but back to Flashback Friday.

As I was reviewing the contents of an administrative observation report binder, I found one of my own observation reports.  It was from 1992, my 2nd year as a classroom teacher that was written by my former principal and mentor Mr. Charles McIlwain (Roosevelt, NY).

Here's a screenshot of the observation report.
Again,..lots of thoughts behind it, but for now I thought it would be fun to share!  

Teacher: Ms. S. Jefferson Date of observation: 1/28/92
Ms. Jefferson began her class by explaining to her class the objective of today’s lesson: Social History: Essay - describe how Rap Music influences the lives of young people. (Rap Music, Rap Artist, Incidents or Messages).
The teacher also explained to the class that this assignment is good preparation for end/year requirements (150 words) - Students were given a work sheet to serve as a guide for the first draft.
It was quite interesting to note that there were differences of opinion as to what was negative or positive influences often stated by "Rap Groups".
The teacher has a lot of influence on the class because of her age and is recommended to continue this type of dialogue more frequently for the sake of our young people
Ms. Jefferson has a very good rapport with her students and displays a genuine concern for energy providing the necessary leadership that
these young people need and deserve. Ms. Jefferson is a true asset to our staff and student population.
Ms. Jefferson is extremely patient, kind, caring and provide the time for individuals and group assistance. She is constantly encouraging students to seek additional assistance during non-class time and after school. Ms. Jefferson arrives at school very early and remains very late in the PM for students assistance.
Ms. Jefferson is a very young teacher and has all the ingredients in becoming a Master Teacher and should often practice being firm, fair
and demanding at all times. This will come shortly if practiced on a continuous bases. Excellent lesson.

Do you have observation reports from your first few years of teaching?  Are your hopes and dreams still the same? If you are an administrator - does your leadership style and expectations align with your teaching style?  For me, I think I have been pretty consistent - meaningful, relevant learning experiences for all students.  #learningisjoyful