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Journal/Portfolio 1

Portfolio/Journal Colleen Humphries Florida Gulf Coast University

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1. Analyze Research and Policy Issues Related to Instructional Improvement, Particularly in Using Technology to Improve Learning..........................................................................................3 2. Develop a Means to Steward a Vision of Improving Instruction Within One’s Own Work Environment or In Another Organization........................................................................................6 3. Evaluate Individual Performance by Demonstrating the Ability to Utilize Several Strategies for Differentiated Supervision to Improve Instruction....................................................................9 4. Utilize Information Found in Research, Observational Tools, and Professional Development Strategies to Determine Instructional Needs and to Increase the Use of Best Practices to Improve Teaching and Learning...................................................................................................................12 5. Explain Supervisory Behavior in Working with Diverse Groups of Individuals......................15 6. Demonstrate Various Communication Strategies in Helping Individual Performance.............17 7. Develop Professional Development Plans for Individuals to Help Improve Job Performance.20 8. Demonstrate the Application of Adult Learning Strategies.......................................................23 References......................................................................................................................................26

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1. Analyze Research and Policy Issues Related to Instructional Improvement, Particularly in Using Technology to Improve Learning
1/21/2009 Analyze Research Teaching High School Science through Inquiry was written byDouglas Llewellyn. This concept is a new lesson plan approach to making lessons in science. Mr. Llewellyn's book uses the “5 E’s” for the Learning Cycle; engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and ending with evaluation. The research in science suggests that science teachers need to investigate instructional reform in science. Researchers have discovered a new scientific inquiry method that works excellently with science students. Mr. Llewellyn gives lots of basic examples and case studies to explore. The “5E’s” is a new program that science teachers in Collier School District will be using in the fall 2009.

3/2/2009 Video The new technology that teachers will be using in elementary schools to improve instructions (PBS). 3/9/2009 New Learning Strategies for Generation X The title of this article was “New Learning Strategies for Generation X” written by Bettina Brown (1997). This article is about how the leadership and teachers need to understand generation X. The life experiences of the present day young adults are different from previous generations. Generation X’s grew up with fast food, remote controls, entertainment and quick response devices. This generation is familiar with computer technology and having quick access to the Internet, CD's, and social networking. With this quick access, Generation X can locate information faster and demand immediate gratification. Generation X is never wasting time and always expecting their work to be meaningful to them. “They want to know why they must learn something before they take time to learn it” (Brown, 1997). Generation X grew up on computers. This generation uses the mouse to jump around and explore new areas of information. At times, students may have three to four web pages open. Generation X is assimilating information from all pages at once. Generation X can focus on multiple taskseasily. Students of Generation X can scan and surf the internet quickly searching for information. Generation X student has acquired this huge talent. The previous generations are

Journal/Portfolio 4 readers and viewers and the new Generation X is constantly searching for information to assimilate (Brown, 1997).

1/12/2009 Old/New Policy Issues Do you believe that teachers are happy isolated in “one room schoolhouse” or is it that they never had and opportunity to work outside of the one room schoolhouse concept. Teaching is an isolated field, here in this country and it has been that way for years especially at the high school level. Elementary schools appear to be more open to new concepts. After reading, your paper and seeing the collaboration that is happening in your school a teacher can have great hope! Your fourth grade class is a wonderful example of team work. All of the schools, which I have worked at, the teachers, have no rooms. The students remain in the classroom and the teachers always move on. This movement is healthy for teachers always being able to get new ideas. We always must move from classrooms to classrooms. We get to see new idea everyday. Perhaps, if we change the teacher’s philosophy on owning a classroom, we can get teachers to buy into leaving the one room classroom concept.

1/11/2009 Analyze Research “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. Leadership Brain: How to Lead Today’s Schools More Effectively was written by David A. Sousa who is an international educational consultant (2003). Sousa wrote this book in 2003. The author explains how the brain works in relationship to brain structure andfunction. He linked the brain to leadership and stated, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” (Sousa, 2003). Souza touched on guidelines for leaders to use to be able to link brains to compatible instructions and assessments. He examined ethical leaderships and spiritual leaderships. The whole brainapproach to leadership was the last chapter of the book. I enjoyed this book especially because of my interest in the brain. David Sousa ends each chapter with a wonderful summary, which included major points from the chapters. If I ever wrote a book, I would use the approach that David Sousa did.


Journal/Portfolio 5 FCAT Technology Thank you for posting early. Your report was well- written, and your personal analysis was impressive. You questioned if school districts have the resources available to support the development of higher-functioning faculty groups. I was thinking about Collier School District and how this district has a lot of resources available for items that they consider important. I have never seen money available for support to develop a higher-functioning faculty group. If the district finds something, important they do support it for example: FCAT materials, benchmarks materials, more FCAT materials, more technology materials and FCAT materials. Time and commitment in supporting teachers or administrators of a higher-functioning group is not there.

3/11/2009 Geometer Sketchpad Technology I also agree with your ideas about, “past experiences and treatment of professional development.” The authors spoke correctly when they called it, “one shot deals” workshops or trainings. I think of how many times teachers are given new methodologies that are not translated into practices in the classroom. For example, I just went to a workshop on geometer’s sketchpad and it had wonderful information. It can be used on the dot camera and worked can be done using the mimio! All great technology! But guess- what? I don’t have a class set of graphic calculators!

3/18/2009 Private/Charter School Policy I really appreciated the fact that you brought up the private school system and charter schools. In response to your stated question about, “….intrigues people and leads a majority of people to think the curriculums at these schools are “better” than the public school system?” I believe the private school system/charter schools are handling curriculum very differently than public schools. As you have probably already read, the President of the United States believes schools need to turn into charter schools. My worry is that our already lowly paid profession will be decrease even more causing less college students to choose teaching as a career path.

2. Develop a Means to Steward a Vision of Improving Instruction Within One’s Own Work Environment or In Another Organization.

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Improving Instruction Gayle H. Gregory and Carolyn Chapman wrote a book on Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All. The book concentrated on the highly diverse students that are in today’s classrooms. The authors introduced many practical techniques that teachers can use in the classroom to improve instruction. I have personally used Problem-Based Learning, Inquiry Models, and Cooperative Learning in the classroom. The materials on differentiated instruction that I have used came from this instructional strategy book. The explanation and examples were clearly stated and user friendly. These authors provided graphic organizers, checklists, templates and rubrics for alternative assessments. Differentiated instruction was made easier through the help of this book. 2/2/2009 Teacher Environment with Students I believe that this is great insight into developmental supervision, if we want teachers to grow and become independent. Teachers need to be challenged and to be given confidence in the ability to make decisions. I really like the fact that you chose Glickman, Gordon& Ross-Gordon statement about teachers, “thoughtful teachers promote thoughtful students”. I agree, that thoughtful teachers do promote better understanding for students. Do you believe that a school district could replace the current evaluation? I can not say that a school district would change their evaluation very easily without a lot of teachers upset. 2/11/2009 Improving Instruction of ESE Students This was great and interesting to read. I found your observation very detailed and your insights remarkable. The United States of America is the only country I know of that doesn’t give teachers free time between classes. Why are teachers doing duties? Every school, that I know or heard of is very similar to the Hungary school unless it has an America basic curriculum. I think your statement; “children are not medicated for ADHD because the lessons are manageable for all” is quite interesting. Did you see if there were any children that actually had ADHD but were not medicated or diagnosed?

3/2/2009 Improving Instruction The Progress of Education Reform 2007: School Improvement asks, “What Works in Improving Low-Performing Schools and Districts?” This issue of the Education Commission of

Journal/Portfolio 7 the States ECS was made possible by a grant for the GE Foundation and written by Kathy Christle who is a vice president of Knowledge Management and ECS Clearinghouse. This writer examines what is being learned from research: 1. The need for support and aligned systems, for greater performance management and for community engagement. 2. The need to improve instructional capacity and conditions. 3. The need to empower strong leadership. The author has many conclusions about the Environmental Context (timetable, freedom to act, support and aligned system, performance monitoring and community engagement), Turnaround Leadership (analyze, problem-solve, drive for results, measure, reports, influences,) and Policy Implication (assistance, coaching, curriculum) (Christle, 2007). The article has no references for the conclusions that were being proposed to the public. The price, for the monthly magazine was very clearly stated. The logo stated, "Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy." My question is, “Can this article be authentic”?

3/11/2009 Work Environment Good question. I would like to add to your first question: “What can schools do to maintain a pool of experienced, highly qualified teachers?” I am glad to hear you are thinking about how to keep highly qualified teachers because to often many highly qualified teachers leave the profession. In math especially, most highly qualified teachers return to engineering because of the pay and amount of demands made on them. In the engineering field fewer demands are made on them. Of course, these engineers make more money in engineering than in education. I’d like to suggest much more money and fewer demands. I believe, if our society expects highly qualified teachers to remain in the teaching field we will have to think about better pay for teachers.

4/1/2009 Gender Work Environment Thank you for your wonderful reflection. Question number one is interesting- how does supervisor gender affect individual supervisory style and outcomes of teacher-supervisor

Journal/Portfolio 8 interactions? I agree, that maybe gender can influence the style of leadership. I have worked for both genders and have had excellent experience with both. However, I think gender does make a difference in the way they administrate. Women that succeed it into such higher level positions have made it passed the “glass cliff” that we tend to face in the work field. Successful female supervisors (who are often called, “bad names” for being in their higher position) might not be taken as seriously as a male supervisor would.

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3. Evaluate Individual Performance by Demonstrating the Ability to Utilize Several Strategies for Differentiated Supervision to Improve Instruction
1/28/2009 Individual Performances The Differentiated Classroom Responding to the Needs of All Learnersby Carol Ann Tomlinson was written in 1999 and provides a practical solution to differentiated instruction. Her approach was to change the teaching and learning of students. The first three chapters, described how to write lesson plans, and units for differentiated classes. In the last section of the book, Tomlinson looked at both elementary and secondary classrooms and laid groundwork for differentiated instruction. Tomlinson was interested in using amultiple intelligent approach with the high-risk students. She is a leading authority on effective classroom approaches for teachers at all grade levels. The author does a great job at explaining the how, what and why differentiated instruction is effective. This book has the most beautiful colors on its cover to attract the reader.

3/23/2009 Individual Performances Differentiated Literacy Strategies for Student Growth and Achievement in Grades 7-12by Gayle Gregory and Lin Kuzmich was written in 2005. The authors concentrated on middle school and high school and the need to differentiate literacy instruction. Research on the brain and specific differentiated literacy instruction for adolescent was investigated. This book was written for classroom teachers in 7-12 grade level and included many preassessing literacy skills techniques. Many models were considered and offered to help accelerated learning. The book helps teachers understand new methods and strategies when working with the diverse population of students that have functional literacy problems. The authors suggested many strategies to help students within the science and math content area on literacy problems. 4/16/2009 Video differentiated instruction A teacher’s interview on differentiated instruction.

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3/18/2009 Portfolio Strategies I liked how you reflected on your own classroom design. What a great opportunity for you to design your entire classroom. Students will have success if they are allowed to assess themselves in portfolio form. The portfolio will allow your students a new prospective on assessment. I would be interested in hearing, how you were able to incorporate all the benchmarks (total of 87) in science. Now, that the FCAT is over, I am allowed more freedom with my classes. Soon, we will be starting a new project on Energy. The class will be making a portfolio for assessment. 4/1/2009 Individual Performance 10 Traits of Highly Effective Principals: From Good to Great Performanceby Elaine K. McEwan was written in 2003. This book was written for administrator teams, principals, central office administrators, educators and university educators. She explains in detail the tens traits, characteristics, and behaviors that make an effective principal. The author did an intensive statistical survey and came up with the 10 traits that a principal needs to be highly effective: (1) a communicator (2) an educator (3) an envisioner (4) a facilitator (5) a change master (6) a culture builder (7) an activator (8) a producer (9) a character builder (10) a contributor The author, Elaine K. McEwan, made an in-depth summary and suggested benchmark builders at the end of each chapter (McEwan, 2003).


Journal/Portfolio 11 Developing Peace Strategies I like the fact that you are interested in the concept of peace. Glickman, Gordon & Ross Gordon suggested that leaders and teachers need to view themselves as healers and peacemakers. I agree maybe, if we could change the schools to become more of a “school of peace” the students would feel more at peace while at school. That is a good question to think about if there are any programs to teach students about peace in their lives. It would be gorgeous to find a program that could curve violence and misbehavior.

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4. Utilize Information Found in Research, Observational Tools, and Professional Development Strategies to Determine Instructional Needs and to Increase the Use of Best Practices to Improve Teaching and Learning
3/17/2009 Research Practices What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things That Matter Most by Todd Whitaker? The author wrote this book in 2004. Whitaker investigated what great teachers do differently, what they believe what behavior they have, what are their attitudesand what the best classroom environment looks like. He was a high school teacher and principal for years and seems to have the ability to understand teachers’ leadership and principal effectiveness. Whitaker investigated basic questions of interest and proposed answers to the following questions: • • • • Is it high expectations for students that matter? How do great teachers respond when students misbehave? Do great teachers filter differently than their peers? How does the best teachers approach standardize testing?

This book is being used in education classrooms in the United States of America. Developing different strategies is always enlightening in teaching and leadership (Whitaker, 2004).

2/19/2009 Research Classroom Instruction That Works: Research Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering and Jane Pollock. The three authors wrote this book in 2001 for busy teachers and administrators. The book explained in detail what works in education, how teachers canfind good research ways for the classrooms, and how to apply research to individual students. These authors examined decades of research and indicated nine teaching strategies that have positive effects on students learning; 1. Identifying similarities and differences. 2. Summarizing and note taking. 3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition. 4. Homework and practice. 5. Nonlinguistic representations. 6. Cooperative learning.

Journal/Portfolio 13 7. Setting objectives and providing feedback. 8. Generating and testing hypotheses. 9. Questions, cues, and advance organizers. Many models were examined and success stories were told. If the nine strategies were used a big difference would be seen in the classroom and leadership. This particular book has sold over 500,000 copies.

2/17/2009 Observational Tools This is an extremely insightful reflection paper. I like the fact that you are analyzing how different teacher summative evaluations look like in your district. I too am wondering what a socalled ‘bad’ summative evaluation looks like. If the administrator decides on a ‘bad’ summative evaluation for the teacher, does this mean they do not have a job anymore? Is there a second chance or an option for the teacher to appeal this decision? How can one administrator decide the fate of a teacher? What if the administrator has a misconception or is poorly informed about evaluation process? What if there is discrimination on the behalf of administrator who is has a biased view. For example, race, gender, socioeconomic status etc. Furthermore, will teachers be offered room for improvement? After all these questions, I am contemplating whether administrators are perhaps becoming the chiefs.

2/18/2009 Formative Assessment You say, “We need more teacher-teacher formative assessment” and “a cause beyond oneself.” Extending mentorship to the veteran teachers would be an interesting concept to implement in our schools. I believe receiving mentorship from such veterans would be quite beneficial because teachers would develop a sense of trust, rapport, and collegiality with them. Furthermore, they would be able to understand the concerns and the needs of the teacher. Perhaps, teachers might not feel as threaten with a veteran who has experienced similar situations. Hence, be able to relate to each other on a different level and become better professionals.


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Action Research Time does seem to always be a major problem in many jobs. I believe action research is important for us to be involved in as teachers. Teaching is demanding but action research is necessary for improving our teaching skills and teaching environment. If every teacher would be involved in just one research project per year could you imagine all the data that could be generated? This data could be used in our work place and intertwine into the curriculum.

3/18/2009 Better Practices to Improve Learning As always I enjoyed reading your discussion. When you spoke about, “… they don’t understand respect, manners, and what is appropriate during lunch time” I couldn’t help but agree with you. Why has the value of manners and respect become so unimportant for parents. Do you think it is the school’s sole responsibility to teach respect and manners? Are our schools not giving the student enough time to eat a proper lunch? Hence, we are the number one fast food nation in the world! The kids are in a hurry to get outside with no time for lunch. I think we need to consider longer lunch hours so that students can play. The definition of play has changed so much in the last years with video games, and television. Therefore, they need to learn how to interact and play with each other.

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5. Explain Supervisory Behavior in Working with Diverse Groups of Individuals
3/31/2009 Diverse Leaders Christine D. Townsend editor writer in the Journal of Leadership Education wrote THERE IS NO F-R-A-U-D IN LEADERSHIP. This editor wrote about howthere is no “I” in Teams. In the year 2008, there were many crisis, struggles and change due to the economy and environment. Groups of people startedthinking about leadership abuse. Townsend stated that the Association of Leadership Educators cannot support leaders who misuse power, conduct unethical practices, and take advantage of people inside and outside of the organization. Educators in universities now must develop leaders who support authenticity, truth and humility (2008). Leadership mantra in the 21st century is no longer “I” and group of people are shouting out “NO FRAUD IN LEADERSHIP.”

4/15/2009 Video Evaluating a teacher who works with a diverse group of individuals.

3/11/2009 Diverse groups In response to your question, “can our schools ever become the kind of learning organization that Senge proposed?” I suggest some changes need to be made in the learning organization. Senge spoke about “disciplines of personal mastery and shared vision the need to think about complex issues and mental models”, and “the need to be responsive to others with advocating our own views.” I believe to be a successful group we need to learn how to talk together and share ideas. Communicating with each other would be a good place to start changes. I was thinking vision needs to be shared by learning how to talk together productively and respect each others values. Collaboration needs to be done verbally with respect for all involved.

Journal/Portfolio 16 3/25/2009 Diverse Groups I like the fact that you are interested in the concept of peace. Glickman, Gordon & Ross Gordon suggested the leaders and teachers need to view themselves as healers and peacemakers. I agree maybe, if we could change the schools to become more a “school of peace,” the students would feel more at harmony while at school. That is a good question to think about if there are any programs to teach students about peace in their lives. It would be gorgeous to find a program that could curve violence and misbehavior.

2/25/2009 Supervisor Behavior of Conflicts I really like the fact that you, as a future leader, enjoy reading the section about “conflict resolution procedures.” Disagreements do happen over ideas, especially when two or more members come together and discuss an issue. I would like to suggest that it is a good idea to post these procedures for administrators and teachers to review each time there is a conflict. However, I think posting conflicts resolution procedures is a good idea, but have not these basic skills been learned early in life? (I would hope so, but obviously not.) I believe that basic social skills are learned starting way back in preschool. Perhaps, with such a diverse population in the United States some have learned their basic skills at different magnitudes.

3/25/2009 Art/Music for Society That is very sad to hear that elementary schools have limited number of art and music teachers and they are going to drop art and music from the schools. This is a great loss for society and especially for elementary school children. What has happen to the well rounded citizen and student? Art and music are necessary and valuable for students to express themselves. I truly believe, elementary students love to color and hear music. Many of my quieter students enjoy art so I try at times to incorporate drawing into a project. Perhaps, a visual stimulus concept helps them understand what is being taught. What a shame that this will be cut.

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6. Demonstrate Various Communication Strategies in Helping Individual Performance
4/2/2009 Communication Strategies Executive Education Middle Management Development-Communication Strategies for Improving Performance is a management/leadership program offered by Moore School for Business at the University of South Carolina. The program suggested an important way of improving performance is through the Birkman Method. This method examines behaviors and reactions in relationships, to conflictsand decision-making. The primary focus is to understand your individual traits and how you areperceived by others. Once you know how you relate to others, then you can begin developing communication skills effectively. Shaping your performance in persuasive speaking and active listening are essential elements forgood communication. Benefits Learn to identify the skills necessary for you to communicate effectively. Understand the style of communication you need from others in order for you to be an effective communicator. Gain the ability to recognize and manage your reaction to different styles of communication. Learn to focus on communicating persuasively. Improve your ability to more actively listen in order to meet the needs of others. Gain a proven method for assessing and managing individual and organizational effectiveness. Take away useful guidelines for giving and receiving feedback. Gain valuable insight into the role of a facilitator. Improve your ability to identify specific situations where communication is critical to the life of a group. Enhance your ability to coach individuals and team members to improve performance. Executive Education Management workers are being trained in the Birkman Method. Birkman International has been involved in leadership assessment for over 50 years. They are actively training whole teams to be pro-active, finding individual strengths, needs and motivating.


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Cultural Communication Strategies That is a great question: When will our practices in the school system catch up with the knowledge imparted upon us by the experts in our field? This past week, I attended a lecture in the philosophy department here at FGCU. The guest speaker was Lama Migmar Tseten from Sakya Center in Rajpur, India who is presently a chaplain at Harvard University. He spoke about all the “knowledge” there is at university for example at FGCU and Harvard, but how this knowledge can be useless when we don’t use “wisdom”. Making the right connections between bits of knowledge so that practical and meaningful conclusions can be drawn is wisdom. We might say the experts in the field of education have “wisdom” and our school systems are not necessarily taking advantage of it.

2/4/2009 Principal Helping Individual I really appreciate the fact that you describe your growth as a professional. You used a lot of description through your reflection “When I faced the "bars" he was on the other side of the table/courtroom, which concerned me a great deal because I valued our professional and personal relationship and realized that the negotiating experience could be a deal breaker especially with a strike in progress”. I could visualize the room, which you and the principal sat in. I must say, what a principal to support a teacher so strongly “during those difficult few days and he was the first to reach his hand across the table to shake my hand, congratulate us for our commitment”. What a supportive principal!

2/9/2009 Understanding Individual I greatly took interest in your excerpt from Chester Barnard in 1947. I think he summariy it flawlessly; “science of organization and administration can never be a substitute for specific experience in a specific organization.” Furthermore, I like his description, “…administrators of organization comes from the rational understanding it gives of behavior that is largely based on trial and error or repetitive experience.” I believe he explain it nicely because trial and error or repetitive experience is the basic for success. However, principal- teacher relationships are on thin lines at times because of the lack of experience from both sides. Hence, I think a principal must trust and believe in the teachers they have hired.

2/26/2009 Improving Individual

Journal/Portfolio 19 I like your second question about going “against the grain and dealing with budget cuts and how does one person begin to attempt systematic change without risking his/her job?” Working against the grain is a frustrating task to take on. It is quite time consuming but rewarding if you succeed. As a teacher, I believe there is a limit to how far you can push your ideas. If the principal you work for is a “directive supervisor” I believe systematic change will not happen and it could jeopardize your employment. Teachers must have a good understanding on how their principal feels about the issues that they are trying to change and modify. I think many of the administrators in the district are also feeling the budget cut and have their hands tide.

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7. Develop Professional Development Plans for Individuals to Help Improve Job Performance
3/1/2009 Professional Performance CAR-PD is a new program offered by the Collier School District. It is for individuals to improve on the job performance and be exposed to subjects reading areas. Individual teachers that choose this program will receive intense interventions on the reading, in their content areas. The CARPD will be used in the subject area classroom instead of having students go through intense reading and intensive language arts courses. The teachers will be the leaders, for the content area reading monitoring. Student that are at FCAT level 2 will be allowed to have teachers with expertise in CAR-PD teach reading in their content area. After 150 hours in the CAR-PD program, the teachers will be endorsed in the content reading area.

1/21/2009 Professional Development What can we do to challenge the majority of teachers to raise their levels of professional and personal development out of the moderate range- I am wondering what you mean! Do you believe that the majority of teachers have not risen to levels of professional and personal development? In Collier School District, I observe teachers always attending professional development classes and growing in different areas. Professional development is offered free of charge and the teachers really take advantage of it. Many of my colleagues, in Science/Math are attending classes from the University of Florida, which are in advanced degree programs. These colleagues are professional and personally developing themselves in many different areas, not just education. Of course, it is important to invest in the students. I believe investing in both teachers and students is an obligation for society. I believe, the saying goes “do not put all the eggs in one basket”! Focusing on students and teachers would only increase scores. Isn’t life long learning important for both students and faculty?

Journal/Portfolio 21 2/11/2009 Professional Development DOE I agree with your point, “sometimes that can be intimidating.” You are right, it can be very intimidating as they “check” away while I am teaching. Honestly, I must tell you it is my fifth observation this year. Department of Education, (DOE) administrator, principal, special coaches, and teachers on assignment come to do the observations. Luckily, I have become great friends with DOE observers and have grown professionally in teaching.

3/18/2009 Design Portfolios I liked how you reflected on your own classroom design. What a great opportunity for you to design your entire classroom. Students will have success if they are allowed to assess themselves in portfolio form. The portfolio will allow your students a new prospective on assessing. I would be interested in hearing how you were able to incorporate all the benchmarks (total of 87) in science. Now, that the FCAT is over, I am allowed more freedom with my classes. Soon we will be starting a new project on Energy.

2/25/2009 Improve Job Performance You raised an interesting question about procedures for large-group involvement. Can they be effective when working with hundreds of people? Large-group involvement is usually seen at the business level. It would be quite interesting to see how companies make decisions. The three procedures for large-group decision making is presented on page 343. They are very interesting education models. Do large companies like Novartis, IBM, UBS Bank use these models? Have you experience any other large group models? I also found it interesting learning, that as groups works together, the leader is able to practice skills that help them become more responsible, cohesive and autonomous.

3/11/2009 DOE Job Performance I like how your report was a reflection on your own professional development plan (PDP). It was very interesting how at the beginning of the school year you started the process. What a great ideas starting early in the school year. Also, its good thought to have the faculty members visit the computer lab and pick two or three goals off a pre-generated list. Of course, as you know my professional development plan is done by the Department of Education. Hence, I have learned

Journal/Portfolio 22 tons of new strategies from them. The Department of Education will be here with me on March 17, 2009. I believe professional development should be done by the Department of Education because they are truly “ENLIGHTING.”

8. Demonstrate the Application of Adult Learning Strategies

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Adult Learning Transforming Schools Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvementwas written in 2004 by Allison Zmuda, Robert Kuklis, and Everett Kline. The book’s main interest is in having adult staff be involved in learning, growing, and working to improve student’s achievements. The authors are interested in transforming mind-numbing staff development requirements classes into more involved ever lasting successful learning and teaching classes. Six steps for continuous staff improvement were investigated throughout the book: 1. Identify core beliefs. 2. Create a shared vision. 3. Use data to determine gaps between the current reality and the shared vision. 4. Identify the innovations that will most likely close the gaps. 5. Develop and implement an action plan. 6. Endorse collective accountability. Dialogue between administration, teachers, and staff were real life examples and entertaining to read. Conversations were analyzed and explored by teachers and staff. Principal reflections were written and then analyzed. The authors suggested in the book, that continuing improvement for adult learning needs to be dynamic (Zmuda, Kuklis & Kline, 2004). 1/21/2009 Adult Learning Strategies for Teachers We know what works, but we can not implement. I believe that is a big problem for us educators. Maybe we do not have the right connections? Or is it because we are not sufficiently funded? Is the teacher’s union not strong enough? Why isn’t the administration helping us to implement new ideas? I believe many questions need to be answered before any implementation of what works can even start. Getting your voices heard is the hardest part of implementing anything. For example, the teachers at the school where I worked called a new board member to discuss a problem they were having. The new board member was a teacher and had some great ideas, on how to approach and solve the problem. After discussing the issue and successfully convincing the administration about it, the problem was cleared-up. These teachers had the right connection, their voices were heard, and action was taken. Getting a community of teachers involved in creating dynamic change in education would be a great investment. What I am seeing, a big problem is the community of teachers has a lack of respect for their profession. Dynamic change within the profession can not happen until teachers find respect in their profession. Teaching is a wonderful profession and change will happen only, when teachers start respecting themselves.

2/14/2009 Adult Community

Journal/Portfolio 24 Professional Learning Communities at Work; Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievementwas written by Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker in 1998. The two authors explained how important it is to have the professional learning community involved in school transformation. Both authors have great experience in the schools and communities. DuFour was former superintendent and principal. The other author, Eaker is a former Dean of College of Education and an instructional leader. The Professional Learning Communities are to have a vision and a strong mission for success. This helps build the strong foundation for a school community. The authors were always asking questions to the professional learning communities. For example, “What is our purpose?” and “What do we hope to become?” The authors claimed that Professional Learning Communities are the key to a successful school (DuFour & Eaker, 1998).

2/26/2009 Adult Peer Coaching I liked your question about whether, “any schools in Lee County have actually implemented a “true” model of peer coaching.” I was interested in the true model of peer coaching and spent some time investigating the subject. Collier School District has implemented peer coaching in their district. I think the model of peer coaching is being misrepresented by the schools. After learning about what a “true” model of peer coaching is I believe it is just a “watered down” version. Therefore, the Collier District can’t say we have “peer coaching.”

2/17/2009 Adult Learning Strategies I really like the fact that you hit the nail on the head with your statement, “who is evaluating the administrators to ensure they are doing all they should be doing to promote student learning in their respective buildings.” Yes, I wonder too who is doing the evaluations of the administrators? Why are they not evaluating the administration? Why the solely the teachers? Today, in my class I have employees coming from the Department of Education to evaluate me. I will spend one hour alone discussing my teaching styles/techniques with them. Hopefully, it will prove to be both a very interesting, and insightful experience. Hence, I am looking forward to growing more as a professional from this experience. 3/11/2009 University Learning I enjoyed reading your reflection and how it ties-in to your own experiences. I was interested in the question, “when schools partner with universities for professional development programs, shouldn’t teachers be able to earn graduate credit?” To answer the question, I believe it would be

Journal/Portfolio 25 a good idea. Many more teachers would become involved, if they knew they could earn graduate credit. I think it would be a learning experience for both the university and the classroom teacher. I was wondering if the university would be against it.

2/25/2009 Adult Learning I can’t imagine the amazing experience learning from a brilliant educator in a private school. What a great idea, putting everything in writing before the meeting even starts. Having a hard copy of dates and calendars is always good to have on hand. I must agree with your statement about “having a meeting set for every Tuesday doesn’t mean we need to meet.” Isn’t it a bit silly to have a fixed meeting date and invent new problems? In education, I think we do make many critical decisions to fast and always on a deadline. 3/11/2009 Adult Learning My guess, why we might not apply enough real world assignments to adult learning, is because we have time restraints. For example, university courses that do meet face-to-face are only once a week (or every other week in our case) which might make it harder to incorporate real life learning activities. I am also interested in what you think might be the reason we don’t apply adult learning daily?

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