Rscon 4: Michael Berry

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Shadowing as an effective model of observation and organizational change in schools

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  • Staff – Staff were more open to feedback and thoughtful reflection because I was there looking at things via a student, rather than directly observing them. It’s a small perception shift, but significant for some educators.
  • Rscon 4: Michael Berry

    1. 1. Shadowing Students An Effective Observation Strategy for School-wide Leadership and Change
    2. 2. A Little About Me… • • • • • heading into my seventh year as a principal elementary educator for 8 years prior to that grew up in a house of educators elementary age children of my own just a guy that wants to learn how to be better at his job and life!
    3. 3. My Professional Goals • Goal 1: I will increase my capacity to actively close the achievement gap. To reach this goal I will: • Conduct an action research study seeking to understand existing and necessary academic, environmental and social resources associated with scholars within the achievement gap • Participate in shared discussions with the CESU administrative team specific to the data collected within the study. • Partner with CHMS administration to create a proposal for improvement by the end of the 2013-14 school year
    4. 4. Professional Goal 2 • Goal 2: I will work toward improving the achievement and learning of all members of the community. To reach this goal I will: • Provide meaningful and relevant data and feedback to educators, families and school board. • Utilize existing supervision and evaluation systems to provide thoughtful guidance to staff • Improve communication systems to allow for more direct contact and involvement in curricular, instructional and programming decisions • Participate in and the support the implementation of embedded professional development within grade level and content teams • Maintain and improve lines of communication with community, families and staff • Incorporate Common Core State Standards professional development into school-wide professional development systems of learning
    5. 5. Professional Goal 3 • Goal 3: I will implement a shared leadership model and increase the internal leadership capacity of our school community. To reach this goal I will: • Create structures of shared leadership that provide opportunities for educators to increase shared responsibilities within the school community • Support professional development in the area of leadership for various teams and individuals in the school community • Encourage shared accountability for outcomes within the school community • Solidify a common mission, vision, set of values and goals for the educators and families within the learning community.
    6. 6. Where did this all start? • Visiting schools – The Harlem Children’s Zone – The Riverton Street Charter School – The Mission Hill School • • • • Goal obsession Some more goal obsession Just a little more goal obsession Superintendents – @alberghinij John Alberghini – @jencesuvt Jennifer Botzojorns • The Article
    7. 7. The Article • Lytle, J. H. (1996). The inquiring manager. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(10), 664-670. • “Mr. Lytle describes a three-year effort to lead a group of urban principals and a group of middle management support staff toward the design of demonstrably effective educational organizations.” Image from https://scholar.gse.upenn.edu/tlytle/
    8. 8. Changing Leadership Paradigms • Modeling intensive field study – first impressions – classrooms and subjects – focused on students and how they were “experiencing” classes and school in general – challenged what superintendents were “supposed to do” • What are the themes? What are we seeing? How do we change it? • (Lytle, 1996)
    9. 9. Bringing the Concept to Administrators • Student studies to understand why students behave and perform the way they do – – – – – – – – single student shared with staff shadow the student for a whole day interview (student and family) record review interview teacher keep a journal report out • Changes the culture of reflection (Lytle, 1996)
    10. 10. And On And On And On… • Principals studying principals • Openness to learning from each other teachers training principals • Examining systems, models, instruction
    11. 11. Our Administrative Team • • • • Everyone read the article Discussed and formed a plan Agreed to shadow at least one student Discuss and share data and reflections at monthly administrative meetings • Connecting with our goals, missions, action plans, etc.
    12. 12. Partnering Up • The middle school principal and I have partnered up in this endeavor, taking it one level higher. As one of our professional goals for the year, we plan to use the reflections and information gathered through the process of shadowing to help us formulate a proposal to our town, district and supervisory union in an effort to close our achievement gap.
    13. 13. Back To My Professional Goals • • • • • • Goal 1: I will increase my capacity to actively close the achievement gap. To reach this goal I will: Conduct an action research study seeking to understand existing and necessary academic, environmental and social resources associated with scholars within the achievement gap Participate in shared discussions with the CESU administrative team specific to the data collected within the study. Partner with CHMS administration to create a proposal for improvement by the end of the 2013-14 school year Goal 2: I will work toward improving the achievement and learning of all members of the community. • • • • • • • • To reach this goal I will: Provide meaningful and relevant data and feedback to educators, families and school board. Utilize existing supervision and evaluation systems to provide thoughtful guidance to staff Improve communication systems to allow for more direct contact and involvement in curricular, instructional and programming decisions Participate in and the support the implementation of embedded professional development within grade level and content teams Maintain and improve lines of communication with community,families and staff Incorporate Common Core State Standards professional development into school-wide professional development systems of learning Goal 3: I will implement a shared leadership model and increase the internal leadership capacity of our school community. • • • • • To reach this goal I will: Create structures of shared leadership that provide opportunities for educators to increase shared responsibilities within the school community Support professional development in the area of leadership for various teams and individuals in the school community Encourage shared accountability for outcomes within the school community Solidify a common mission, vision, set of values and goals for the educators and families within the learning community.
    14. 14. Needed To Create a Timeline – September - shadow students, observations and review paper records • (student observations continue throughout the year) – – – – – – – – – October - Interview students November - Interview students’ parents or guardians December - Interview teachers January - compile information February - Draft Presentation and report review March - Draft/Edit April - Roll out to admin May - Roll out to staff June - Summer planning based on findings and implementation plan • In addition we met weekly to determine data collection themes
    15. 15. The Volume Got Turned Down… • As you start this process, there’s a level of calm and clarity that comes along. The volume on a lot of outside stressors gets turned way down and you realize how important it is to focus on the students. It’s very powerful.
    16. 16. Where to start with groups? • Scholars can be grouped any different way: – one student – A group of students – based on data – Demographics – history – challenge – instructional experiences – randomly
    17. 17. How we grouped students… • We chose to select one student in each classroom as an anchor student. Our reason was that this: – would give us an opportunity to provide feedback in every classroom (buy in from all teachers) – could help us identify trends across the school setting – would passively motivate staff toward improvement
    18. 18. Day One • I started observations on the very first day of school – Wanted to see how that first day went from a student’s perspective – Spent about thirty minutes in each room, observing through the experience of the anchor student – Took copious notes!
    19. 19. Discoveries • Scholars – There were several immediately significant themes that I observed in that first day: – The anchor students I identified had challenges associated with food – Adults didn’t consistently connect with the anchor students as easily as with other students – I became hooked on the process!
    20. 20. Nuts and Bolts • There were some things that helped in terms of set up: – Folder on my computer for each student – Color coding notes (red = something that could be measured, blue = significant, etc.) – Connecting with guidance counselors, social workers, etc. – Brainstorming with other admin – Taking lots of notes!
    21. 21. Weekly Data Themes • In partnership with the middle school administrator we’ve weekly chosen a data theme or question. Some examples are: – Record review – we reviewed the records of each student (quality of records and interesting connections) – School readiness (preschool experience and readiness for middle school) – Attendance information (tardy, absent)
    22. 22. To What End… So, why do this? • Encourage and model a culture of introspection and reflection • Find ways to design organizations, pedagogy, programs and curricula that are responsive to our students’ needs • Be a better leader, connect with students and staff on a deeper more pertinent level
    23. 23. My Contact Information • Michael Berry • Email - Michael.Berry@cesuvt.org • Twitter- @principalberry • Google + - Michael Berry • Future of Education: www.futureofeducation.com/profile/MichaelBerry412 • Blog - http://principalberry.wordpress.com/

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