Core beliefs about teaching


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What are your beliefs about teaching and learning?

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Core beliefs about teaching

  1. 1. 4/21/2013Stephanie Dixon 1Core Beliefs about Teaching, Learning, and LeadershipEducation is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.W.B. YeatsCORE BELIEF I: THE GOAL OF TEACHING IS STUDENT LEARNINGWhy is this important and fundamental to good schooling?Student’ learning is at the heart of education. It drives every facet of school organization and operation.Teachers who are focused on student’ learning design instruction to ensure academic growth. They beganand end each day with the goal of making sure learning takes place. Learner-centered teaching takes intoaccount the individual progress of each student and provides a path by which academic success can occur.What does it look like in a school?Teachers are committed to students and are present each dayEffective use of instructional time as a result of careful planning and implementationBest practices at work in each classroom; varied instructional strategiesStudents are engaged and on task during every instructional minuteImplementation of curriculum with fidelity; pacing and benchmark testingStudent success is celebrated daily, weekly, and at each grade reporting periodTime for re-teaching and enrichment; re-teaching plans are developed and implementedActive learning can be observed in every classroomChecking for Understanding: ongoing informal and formal assessments provide critical dataregarding student’ performanceData-meetings among teams and departmentsFull implementation of RTIHow does a school need to be organized in order to support fulfillment of this belief?Teacher-collaboration and planning; daily and weekly planning meetingsTime appropriated for small group and individualized instructionalParent/community support on and off campusEffective use of resources and materials aligned to school goals and the curriculumSchool activities support learning, reinforce skills, and provide enrichmentOngoing job-embedded professional development based on student’ dataAs a leader, what do you need to do to ensure this belief is embedded in your school?Ensure that teachers on staff have the knowledge, skills, and will to provide quality instructionEngage in creative scheduling to best support the learning needs of all studentsEnable time and resources for teacher collaboration and planningLead by example- model expectations for students, faculty, and staffAttend teacher collaborative meetings and participate in data dialoguesConduct frequent classroom observations; provide feedback, coaching, and resources as necessaryWritten by:S.
  2. 2. 4/21/2013Stephanie Dixon 2CORE BELIEF II: LEARNING IS BEST SUPPORTED BY A POSITIVE,COMMUNITY-CENTERED APPROACHWhy is this important and fundamental to good schooling?Students succeed in environments where they feel a sense of identity and belonging. Community-centered approach to learning is based on the precept that the classroom is the community. This approachinvolves aligning student with the overall expectations of the school and classroom. Community-centeredapproaches are vital to the school environment because they provide necessary structure and consistencyfor students. In such environments, accountability for student’ learning is shared by all stake-holders.Collective beliefs help maintain high morale among the students and faculty and positive attitudes aboutlearning.What does it look like in a school?Classroom norms are implemented school-wideCultural differences are recognized and celebratedStudents, staff, and faculty feel respectedPeer-led, team learning; inquiry-based, problem-solving learning activitiesThink-Pair-Share during lessons; students facilitating discussions and challenging one anotherCollaborative learning opportunities via professional learning communities create a network ofresources and support for new and “not new” teachersIntellectual camaraderie exist among students and facultyTeam teaching supports the needs of students with specific learning needsStudents are involved in activities that cultivate team building and citizenshipDaily rituals involve students and facultyCommunity-partnerships that support student’ learningParental participation in decision-making and planningHow does a school need to be organized in order to support fulfillment of this belief?Homeroom and mentoring activitiesSchool-wide and classroom expectations are fully implemented (PBIS/CHAMPS)Open communication between school and home (phone calls, email, and conferences)Cultural competency and diversity training for all faculty and staffShared belief systems drive all school activities and instructionParent advisory committees have integral roles in decision makingAs a leader, what do you need to do to ensure this belief is embedded in your school?Foster a community of learning and excellence among faculty and studentsBuild relationships and a sense of value among faculty, staff, and study bodyEnforce discipline policies firmly, fairly, and consistentlyProvide resources for sustained professional development and professional learning communitiesInitiate communication and partnerships with families and community businesses andorganizations
  3. 3. 4/21/2013Stephanie Dixon 3CORE BELIEF III: LEADERS ARE NAVIGATORS AND EMPOWERWhy is this important and fundamental to good schooling?According to John Maxwell in 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, good leaders are great navigators.Leaders are essential in navigating schools toward the road to academic success. Leaders begin thejourney by forging a shared vision that takes into account the needs of not only the student body, butalso the school community. Good leaders are not sole travelers, rather, they build capacity to ensureall components work together harmoniously to bring the shared vision to fruition. Leaders are notafraid to make early-course corrections or when there are deviations. Leaders monitor growth andoffer guidance along the way continuously chart the path to sustaining a school that yields consistentresults.What does it look like in a school?Leaders are visible in classrooms and in the communitySchool website, newsletters, and social media tools keep parents and the community abreast tothe schools’ progressCulture of high expectations is apparent in every classroom on posters, banners, and other visualaidsLeaders build capacity for sustainability through teacher workshops, training, and professionaldevelopmentTeacher-leaders have integral roles, meeting often to make decisions and recommendationsProfessional culture exists, first exhibited by the leader, then modeled by all employeesShared commitments and responsibilities by students, faculty, and staffHow does a school need to be organized in order to support fulfillment of this belief?Vision shared and embraced by students, faculty, parents, and communitySchool planning aligned to school vision and goalsTeacher-led committees plan activities aligned to school vision and goalsOpportunities for professional growth to improve teachingAllocation of money and resources to support school visionAs a leader, what do you need to do to ensure this belief is embedded in your school?Be vision conscious- keeping the overarching goals in mindProvide models of success; help faculty and staff to visualize what success looks likeProvide feedback on progress toward visionValue people: motivate, challenge, encourage, congratulate, recognize, and even activate at timesCreate structures to support teachingAssist teachers with instruction and data-monitoringMaintain effective two-way communication with students and faculty; listenFrequent observations in classrooms; one-on-one conferences and discussions with faculty