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.

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