This blog will be very random based on recent thoughts and reflections that I was thinking about blogging but never did. Here goes!
- We have been exploring and discovering about project-based learning since last school year. Yet teachers still have questions. I've pondered why the same questions keep popping up like "What is PBL?" or "How can we fit PBL into our schedule when we have the standards to teach?" or "How can PBL work with younger students?" or "How can I, as a teacher, keep track if students are all doing different projects?" As I thought about how our PBL team has rolled things out, primarily during Wednesday extended day meetings, I think I realize the problem. Spreading out the PD has meant that we are always reviewing or answering the same questions especially when we have new teachers who have not received PBL training. Teachers have not bought into the driving question, "Why PBL?" We have lots of work to do. As one of our teachers shared last week, "Is PBL a mindshift or a process?" I think it's a mindshift." I agree, but making that shift isn't easy. That is our challenge.
- It is important for our staff to stay fit and healthy so we are presently in our second annual Wellness and Fitness Challenge. After last year's Challenge, we made some changes this year. Last year, participation was optional; this year, everyone is on a team. Last year, the challenge was for 4 weeks; this year, our challenge is for the entire third quarter. We've encouraged team members to write down their goals and to encourage each other to achieve their daily and weekly goals. This year, I'm keeping a daily journal, and it's helped tremendously to keep me on-track. Teachers keep data on their students, but I think it would be more powerful for students to keep their own data on their progress towards their goals
- Funding for education will never be adequate. I am presently serving on the Committee on Weights (COW) to determine the formula to fund schools under Weighted Student Formula. Although everyone says they support public education, no one wants to raise taxes or find other sources of revenue such as a lottery. Unless we can increase the pot, the members of the COW will do our best to ensure that funding for schools is based on a fair formula. It frustrates me that the public says they support education, but no one has an idea on how to provide our Department with adequate funding. If the public wants our students to have a well-rounded education, we need to provide art, music, physical education, drama, and STEM teachers. Our students deserve it, but we can't provide that without adequate funding.
- I am concerned about the state of our nation. Our State depends on federal funding; without those funds, we will struggle to provide services for students who need it the most - our disadvantaged and those with special needs.
Okay, that's it for now!