Monday, March 26, 2012

Ready for Action!

I have spent the last three days at the annual conference for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and am brimming with thoughts, ideas, and goals for Kwajalein Schools. Over the course of the conference, I went to sessions on everything from the new national Professional Development Standards to the Common Core Standards to iOS apps for the classroom and education. My head is swirling with ways to not improve our schools, but also tools to improve my own teaching practice with kids as well as when leading professional development for our staff. I looked back over my notes and was amazed that I managed to type up 15 pages of notes during all the sessions I attended, but there was just too much great knowledge shared that I had to try and record as much as possible in the hopes that I will be able to recall all that I learned and my thoughts during the sessions I attended. 


Now that the conference is over, I am excited to have some time to begin to process everything I learned and take positive action for Kwajalein Schools. A few things that I stood out to me this weekend are: 
1. Technology is an expectation in today's world. Having lived on an island for the last three and a half years, technology has definitely taken over the world and I wasn't prepared for it! The number of sessions I attended that incorporated polls (pollev.com) to assess who was there and what they hoped to gain from the session was astounding to me. I have always had the latest and greatest technology (and still do!) but was surprised by the level it was used at the conference level and look forward to when I will teach in a school that is technologically advanced. Although at this point though, I would settle for a school that has wifi. 
 2. I can be a better Professional Developer. I went to a session on the revised National Standards for Professional Learning and realized that while there are some aspects our school system does well, there are areas we could do better with. Did you know that for a teacher to imbed a new practice in their classroom they need over 50 hours of professional learning to fully embrace it!?! I just keep thinking about how we throw so many things at our staff: RTI, differentiated learning, curriculum mapping, common core standards, technology integration, disaggregating data; but don't allow them time to process and fully embrace one before moving onto the next. I am not sure what the answer is, but know that there will be some changes coming to our PD program. 
 3. The education world is abuzz about the Common Core Standards. I am excited to see how education is transformed when states/schools fully adopt these over the next few years. It is definitely time for some changes and this is one I can't wait to witness! I learned so much more, but those are a few highlights. In the next couple weeks, I will work to share info from some of the sessions I attended.

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