Thursday, May 29, 2014 by Jethro Jones
Monday, May 26, 2014 by Jethro Jones
- Experience as a principal and a teacher around the country.
- Why he has moved around so much.
- Doctoral Program and how he balances that with being a principal and what he hopes to get out of it.
- Clay Shirky Cognitive Surplus
- Every single day I learn something about being a school leader.
- The 4 C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity
- Ninja video by his kids. (And the Harlem Shake)
- Technology as a tool that supports the kind of learning we want for our kids.
- Voxer App. Sharing things a little more privately and allowing for a little more emotion.
Dealing with Student Loss through Developing Relationships with William Parker Transformative Principal 024
Monday, May 19, 2014 by Jethro Jones
William D. Parker is the principal of Skiatook High School. His web site and Twitter. He has also done some amazing interviews himself. I have learned a ton from reading those, and I am sure you will, as well.
Due to technical difficulties, we recorded our phone conversation, so the quality is a little old school. But, I almost felt like a radio DJ with a call-in show.
- What he learned as the Assistant Principal to the Principal at his school, who recently retired.
- Bonuses for students who take all the assessments they are required to.
- What skills he had to learn as an educational leader, that he wasn’t taught in school.
- Key Responsibilities Areas from Entreleadership tells people who is in charge of what area. Here is his blog post about KRAs.
- Michael Hyatt leadership podcasts.
- How he has dealt with student loss. They have tragically had 2 student deaths this year.
- Excellent and a lot of communication.
- Be visible.
- Maintain as much stability as possible.
- Open to creative and spontaneous.
- Show appreciation to the kids who are present.
- Tried to communicate well to media.
- Allow yourself to grieve.
- How he knew what the right thing to do was. Be part of a good team. Trust your people.
- How he has established collaborative culture of trust.
- Hiring great instructors and compassionate people.
- Treat teachers how you would want to be treated. Shotgun blast of directives is not effective.
- Relationships matter.
- His blog rocks!
- Give him some more followers on Twitter, because he has great things to say. I have learned so much from Will.
Monday, May 12, 2014 by Jethro Jones
Doug Robertson (Twitter) teaches 3rd grade in Southern Oregon.
Here’s his blog or media empire homepage.
I interviewed Doug because I read his book and was really fascinated by it. I have learned that not everyone teaches the same way (DUH!). But, also, our own life experiences have taught us and shaped us into the people we are today. To be a great teacher, you don’t need to be like [Enter Great Teacher’s Name]. Doug and every excellent “popular” or famous or movie teacher have two things in common:
- A strong desire to be your own person, regardless of the status quo or anybody else’s judgments.
- A passion to help kids learn.
As part of this podcast, I want to start interviewing master teachers who are really great at what they do. I am especially interested in teachers that are great at making their kids enjoy class and learn life lessons, not just making sure they are acing the tests. ;)
Notes from my conversation with Doug:
- He used to teach in Hawaii, so we talked a little about that before the official interview started, but it was fascinating, so I included it.
- Teaching is a performance art
- Acting vs. Teaching.
- Importance of trust in teaching.
- What happens in my classroom happens because I want it to.
- To Principals: You hired me to do my job, now let me do it.
- Chris Hardwick
- How he takes away the opportunity to make excuses.
- How swimming helped him learn to stop making excuses.
- Why you can’t keep complaining without doing something to fix it.
- It is OK to vent about kids. “But, my kids don’t give me much to complain about.” (That is because if they did, he would take responsibility for it!)
- “My classroom is noisy because it has to be noisy.”
- “My students are weird, what am I doing to make them weird.”
- I give two cents on why I like a noisy cafeteria.
- Some discussion on the term “digital native”.
- We should call what we do “Practicing Education” just like lawyers practice law and doctors practice medicine.
- How being a good teacher and establishing the basics allows us to know how we can change things up as we go along.
- What kind of an environment does Doug need to thrive? Trust!
- How trusting students is an extension of the trust from administration.
- Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire by Rafe Esquith
- How to have your own style. Don’t teach like someone else. Teach like yourself.
- Some kids don’t respond well to the style of Doug’s teaching.
Monday, May 5, 2014 by Jethro Jones
In this second part of my interview with the amazing Chris Wejr, we go deeper into the ideas of student discipline and learning. We also discuss some other cool things that are happening at his school.
- Punishment. How to approach it correctly.
- How do we help students with disabilities.
- How to deal with parents of victims that are upset that there are not visible consequences for misbehavior.
- If we don’t teach this child, he will continue doing this.
- Following up with parents a couple weeks after an incident to ensure it is not still happening.
- Restorative practices - should be tied to negative behaviors.
- Finding opportunities for kids to serve others.
- Be proactive to find opportunities to prevent problems that may arise.
- FedEx Prep - giving teachers time to be innovative and productive on their own with their own passions.
- Advice for being a transformative principal. “It comes from the teachers, of course. I can’t transform something in a classroom.”
- Something in his office that motivates him. I asked him to send me the picture of him with the paddle.
Thursday, May 1, 2014 by Jethro Jones
The ProblemLast Friday we had kindergarten orientation. Last year, we thought it would be fun to take pictures with the school mascot and share them with the families. The only problem is that we didn’t have a way to get the pictures printed and distributed to the families, so we took a bunch of pictures and they sat on the person’s camera and nothing was done. A great gesture, but not helpful in the end.
This year, I was tasked with making sure the families got a picture of their student with our mascot. The picture would be on the bottom half of an 8.5x11“ piece of paper. On the top of the paper it said, ”Future Cougar, Class of 2027" and that was already printed out. So, I needed to get the picture on those papers.
The original idea was to print 2 pictures on 8.5x11" paper and then cut them out and tape or paste them on that piece of paper. I knew that we wouldn’t have enough time to cut all those pictures out.
The SolutionHere is what I wanted to do:
- Since the papers were already printed, and just needed the picture, I could print right onto the paper that said “Future Cougar”.
- I created a Word document that had a top margin set to about 6" (which is about how much space the words took up).
- I would insert all (expected) 70 Kindergartner pictures in the Word document.
- I would then print them.
Another wrench that quickly messed things up is that printing pictures from a camera that takes high resolution pictures takes a long time on our computer, especially if it makes the Word document really big. So, I would also need to reduce the size of the pictures to something much smaller, so they wouldn’t create a bottleneck at the printing process.
The Automated SolutionAutomator is an app that comes with every Apple computer, and it automates things you would do on your computer. It is pretty awesome.
I already created the Word document. I already had a folder that I would put all the pictures in. I just needed to get them reduced in size and inserted into the Word document.
Automator takes care of that for me.
Here are the Automator steps:
- Get Selected Finder Items - This gets the Finder items that are selected in the frontmost finder window. I just selected the photos that I had taken.
- Scale Images - I needed the images smaller, but not too small I had to play around with this one, but I got it to work well at about 50% scaling.
- Move Finder Items - To not confuse myself, I had Automator move the pictures from the folder they were in to a folder in Dropbox called “Print these” which is shared with the office staff, where the pictures were printed. They did quality control and made sure all pictures printed correctly.
- Insert Content into Word Documents - This is where the magic happens! Automator takes care of the annoying mouse clicks and just inserts the pictures into the document. I chose the bottom of the document, so that they would be in the same order as they were taken.
BonusWe took the pictures using the iPad. I had Camera Uploads turned on, so that when we took a picture, it almost instantly went to the camera uploads folder on Dropbox. That got it to my computer quickly. Using Hazel, I created a rule that watched the Camera Uploads folder for new files and moved them to a folder and then ran the Automator workflow on those files.
BAM!Dropbox, Automator, and Hazel allowed me to take pictures on my iPad and by the time I got back to my office, they were in a Word document ready to review and print on pre-made stationary!
Have a Good Life.
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