Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer 2014

As you can see, I haven't had a post in a few months. After returning from sabbatical into full-time middle school principal, I lost the habit of posting on the blog. A mistake for sure because there has been a lot happening!

EFMS: Our middle school is in the midst of developing and trying out our ideas for implementation. We saw a very good response from our celebration of achievement skills. Students took it seriously and we honored two students and two adults in our community as All-Stars. We also had success in reading the book WONDER as a school. Enosburg was featured on VPR in Mike Martin's commentary. I also filled in for our guidance counselor on maternity leave this spring in our guidance elective class. It was a joy to see about fifteen 7th and and 8th graders wrestle with the ideas of growth-mindset and self-control. Direct instruction seemed to land well. We also did a blog where students chose something to practice self-control with. Some students chose swearing less, not eating salt, going to bed earlier and so forth. They did a great job! Here is our blog:

Talks for Teachers: If you follow the blog, you know that I was one of the early participants in Angela Duckworth's series: Talks for Teachers. We concluded our last session in April. The last speaker was Grant Wiggins, who gave a very interesting presentation about measuring character. Look for some exciting work coming from him in the coming year out of Harvard. Overall, the series was fantastic. Each speaker was filled, so look for a condensed movie version somewhere down the road. I learned a lot and I had a culminating idea that has become a culminating document. I believe my idea will help explain what I learned in a clear and easy to access way for educators of all kinds. Its called, The Hierarchy of Achievement. I've posted some PDF versions in my twitter account and will dedicate a full blog post to the work this summer.

Spreading the Word: I have presented a number of times recently. I have a slideshow and some handouts that can walk the participants through some of the key ideas and research. The slideshow usually features 3 or 4 videos as well. Its a condensed version of this blog! I have presented for my supervisory union's guidance counselors, principals and superintendent's office, as well as for a group of folks from a neighboring school district. In each case, it seemed to be very well received. I also will present on Oct. 30th for the Rowland Annual Conference which will feature the keynote speech of Angela Duckworth. Angela has been amazing in her willingness to work with me and the Rowland foundation to bring this knowledge to Vermont. We are looking forward to Oct. 30th! I also am teaching an online class through Castleton State College's Continuing Education, titled, Increasing Student Achievement through Social-Emotional Learning. Gabrielle Marquette and I are co-teaching the course. We have 13 educators participating and it is going very well. It is exciting to see the strong interest in the topic.



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