Principals say “instructional leadership” is important, but what does that mean? Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham praises a new study that recorded how 100 principals spent their time during the school day. Principals averaged 12.6 percent of their time on activities related to instruction, including classroom walkthroughs (5.4 percent) and formal teacher evaluation (2.4 percent).
Online tutoring, provided by the FMU Writing Center (WC), gives FMU students a new way to access tutorials outside of normal hours. Dr. Jennifer Kunka, director of the WC, implemented the program last semester for off-campus students, but has decided to offer online tutoring for the entire student body. “It began because we wanted to provide Writing Center tutoring assistance to students who are not physically taking class on the campus,” Kunka said. “[Now] we have decided to expand it this semester to a wider audience. We’ve opened it up to the entire university and have started to get some interest in it from students who are signing up to make use of what we can offer.” Justin McGee, one of four online WC consultants, said that Collaborate is an environment that provides almost the same experience as meeting face to face. “It’s different because you lose that one-on-one interaction between the student and the tutor,” McGee said. “However, the program we use, Blackboard Collaborate, really makes the sessions as similar to normal tutoring sessions as possible.” Tutorials take place through an online application called Blackboard Collaborate. Collaborate is part of the Blackboard website which many professors use to post assignments and quizzes for students. Collaborate provides specialized tools for online tutoring allowing students to share documents and to interact with the tutors in various ways. Students who are interested in using Blackboard Collaborate through the online tutoring program are required to have a microphone and speakers or headphones in order to talk to the tutors. A webcam is helpful, but optional for students. The tutors, however, will have a headset as well as a webcam so students can both see and hear them during the tutorial. Although the tutoring sessions provide the same quality of tutoring found in the WC, some prior set-up is essential to make sure everything happens as it should.
"Ryan Fuller, a former aerospace engineer, is a high school teacher in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 'In 2007, when I was 22, I took a position as an aerospace engineer working on the design of NASA’s next-generation spacecraft. It was my dream job. The work wasn’t easy. Our team was trying to re-engineer, with modern technology, something that was designed in the ’60s. As a design engineer, I had to integrate the efforts of several different groups that often didn’t talk to each other or even get along very well. My deadlines haunted me like a thousand nightmares. Over the course of the next few years, though, I received awards and exceptional performance reviews, and I gained the respect of my colleagues, some of whom had been in the business for about as long as I had been alive. Because I’ve worked as an aerospace engineer and later as a teacher through Teach for America—this is my second year of teaching 11th grade math and robotics at Sierra High School in Colorado Springs—I find the public perception of both careers to be fascinating. I experience more failure every five minutes of teaching than I experienced in an entire week as an engineer. As an engineer, I dealt with very complex design problems, but before I decided how to solve them, I had a chance to think, research, and reflect for hours, days, or even weeks. I also had many opportunities to consult colleagues for advice before making any decisions. As a teacher, I have seconds to decide how to solve several problems at once, for hours at a time, without any real break, and with no other adults in the room to support them. There are days of teaching that make a day in the office seem like a vacation." | via Larry Cuban
In order to once again attempt to further refine my own practice, I have decided to post what I consider to be the most important qualities of a good school principal. This is essentially my own list and are rules I live by every single day on the job. I would love to get some feedback at the end of this article in the comment section in regards to your thoughts or insight into areas I may be missing or neglected to mention.
Exams vs. projects? UbD is agnostic about many educational practices, be they final exams or projects. Yet, we often get queries such as these two recent ones: what’s the official UbD position, if any, on final exams? Should we be doing more hands-on projects if we’re doing UbD?
The glib answer: no technique is inherently sacred or profane; what matters is how exams and projects are shaped, timed, and assessed – mindful of course goals. As you’ll see below, I think we tend to fixate on the format instead of worrying about the key question: regardless of format, what evidence do we need and where can we find it?
Literacy has strong similarities to synesthesia, and indeed is really a form of learned synesthesia. If you can read, you look at visual marks and automatically, involuntarily experience sound and meaning.
The University Council on Diversity and Inclusion invites you to an evening with School of Education's Dean, Kevin Kumashiro. He will discuss the current debates on educational reform that seem to unquestioningly place blame on public school teachers, teacher unions, and teacher educators for all that is wrong with schools, with little critical questioning of the real, systemic problems.
“Many materials we have are not aligned, online resources are not updated, and neither are materials from publishers. There is very little money to buy updated materials. I have to create a lot of my own to meet the standards.” - Intervention Specialist
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