Saturday, September 27, 2014

Staff Development..... Time to "Do" it Differently

I have been thinking about how to make a positive impact as an instructional leader at my school. I am an administrator, but my role has not changed all that much.  I am still a teacher. Only now, my students are adults.  With the help of my awesome librarian, Shawna Ford, I have also tried to "Bring It" to my students.  Shawna has helped me to "do"  staff development differently, and she is leading the way for our teachers to "do" school differently.

Instead of making 70 staff members at my school sit and suffer through the titillating details of the staff handbook, I created a Padlet.  My teachers loved it! (At least they told me that they loved it...) Teachers were able to participate in this type of staff development on their time.  Padlet allows you to upload documents and link videos.  It is one of many alternative presentation styles for sharing information whether it be for professional development or just to share information!

I recently created a professional development screen cast using Screencast-O-Matic.  This was really easy to do.  However, it was a little scary for me.  Those of you that know me just love me for who I am, but in case you don't know me,  I can be a bit of a hick talking goof ball.  Once I got over the high pitched twang of my own voice, I had a lot of fun creating a screen cast for the  TAAS (Texas Alternative Appraisal System) training for my teachers. Teachers liked being able to open the document when it was convenient for them, which also gave them the ability to go back to it at anytime to any part of the training session for review.   After having a weekend to watch the screen cast, teachers came to the Monday faculty meeting prepared to ask questions.

Searching for innovative and creative ways to lead  teachers will have a positive impact on Curtis teachers and students.    Racheal Rife, the Curtis Principal, and I are committed to always moving forward to provide the best experiences and education for our students.  We also like to also have some fun.   Several years ago, Racheal and I decided to start "Cart Service."   We choose one day each month to stop by teachers' classrooms to brighten their day with a little treat. It is our way of thanking teachers and celebrating them.  They work so hard.   About three years ago, Lindsay Fuller and I were planning our year of "Cart Service" themes.  The September date we chose happened to be the opening day of the State Fair of Texas.  That is when I decided that every year we would celebrate the opening day of the Texas State Fair.  We serve lemonade, State Fair Corn Dog Bites, and caramel apples to our teachers. The fun part is we dress like Big Tex.   Here is a picture from yesterday.

 We are not afraid to have fun at Curtis Elementary.  We want both our teachers and students to love coming to school every day.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bully Busters; No Room for Bullying!

Now that school is full swing, it is time to make sure that school is a safe place for everyone!  I  hope that students read this blog post to learn how they can help make Curtis a "World - Class!"   Students are making good choices and following the most important rule of all which is showing respect.  I would like for Curtis to continue to be a place that has a positive learning environment for all students and staff members.  It is important to keep Curtis bully free.  We have great kids at Curtis Elementary that are importnat in helping to eliminate bullying.  Curtis Roos can be Curtis Bully Busters! 

What is Bullying?

 It is defined Policy FDB(Legal) as written or oral expression or physical misconduct that a school district's Board of Trustees or the Board's designee determines: 1) to have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student' s property or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or damage to the student's property; or 2) to be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive  to create an intimidating or threatening or abusive educational environment for the student.

Who Can Stop Bullying?

Students have the power to put an end to bullying.  Students are on the  playgrounds, in the bathrooms, in the halls, and in the classroom.  Bullies do not bully in front of adults so it is often difficult for teachers or staff members to be everywhere all at once.  If students see somone bullying another person, or a student is being bullied,  it is important that students report it!   Each teacher has a Bully Report form at Curtis.  Students can report bullying activity to any adult in order to report this behavior. That is what Bully Busters do!

It is my goal to help make Curtis a Bully free school so that Curtis is a safe learning environment for all, and I need every one's help.  Students can unite and be Bully Busters!  At Curtis, we have lots of room for kids, but we have no room for bullying.