My friend and colleague of many years Angela Stockman is now going to be working with teachers and communities to start their own Writing Studios. I’ve been learning from Angela for a long time and watched and read with great interest the work she has been doing with young writers. Angela shares her learning with all and that is special. Angela made an announcement today and I am delighted for her.
Well friends, I’ve been called to travel down a brand new pathway as I continue this writing studio journey of mine. The good news is that I’m beginning to realize the vision that launched the WNY Young Writers’ Studio ten years ago: starting this summer, I will be helping school districts, community leaders, and even nonprofit agencies launch and sustain their very own writing studios within and well beyond western New York.
Equally, Steve Peha has received another award for his book Be A Better Writer and once again I am incredibly pleased that Steve and his wife Margot are receiving recognition for their amazing work. I’ve been using Steve’s work for many years. Visit Steve’s site Teaching That Makes Sense.
Recently I’ve noticed that one of my posts is receiving many views. The post is about communication and leadership which I wrote after attending the Leadership for Community Engagement program. One of the program leaders was Dr Elizabeth Mellor and I wrote a summary of her ideas in a previous post which I have reposted below.
You, as a leader, will be different to a manager, you will be finding solutions, you will use your courage and confidence to influence others, you will speak a common language and find that common language so you can move forward. You will empower others and be an enabler so you can shift barriers. You will encourage others to ‘think big’ and work towards delivering transformational change. You will coach others on how to measure change, be respectful and a listener so you understand and collaborate.
You will not shy from anything and you will get in and learn. You will empower others to solve problems because you can’t fix it all. You will take risks and from taking risks you will gain experience to put into other aspects of your role. You will give others a voice and act on what they want and work side by side with them to achieve your common goals. You will be capable of ‘unlearning’ and not be judgmental. You will build a ‘treasury’ of good practice to help you evaluate actions and capture what has been learnt so you can measure the impact of changes and improvements.
And finally, you will deliver to every child and family. Your flexibility will be key to you being a leader, as without flexibility you will impede innovation. You, as a leader, must leave the profession in a better state and by building the capacity of others you should do yourself out of a job!
Teachers in Victoria, Australia use the first three days of the school year for Professional Development. My school completed the International Baccalaureate Organization Primary Years Programme Asia-Pacific In-school Workshop: Assessment in the PYP. Our presenters were David and Bec.
‘Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. It is central to the PYP goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding students through the five essential elements of learning, the acquisition of knowledge, the understanding of concepts, the mastering of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take action’ (MTPYP, 2007)
The two days were engaging due to a mix of thinking activities, videos and discussion. Discussions centred on the ‘principles of assessment’, assessment for learning, assessment as learning and assessment of learning.
Our professional development also included ‘the impact of sharing learning intentions’ with students, ‘the impact of process success criteria’ and ‘assessing for improvement’. We also spent time discussing and building our understanding of authentic assessment, and the ‘Backwards by Design Process’
And finally we spent time understanding reflective thinking, purposeful rubric development and the various types of conferences.
I’ve included this video shown to us: Take a look and have a laugh! It’s about curriculum.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank David and Bec for a fabulous two days.