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Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Institute Day 1: Those Damn Relentless Mosquitoes

My first long day! I have officially been up 16 hours and counting! Today was a PACKED day and I am pretty exhausted so I am going to write a laundry list of things that I found interesting/concerning/worth looking up today. Hopefully I will have the chance to expand at a later date, but that is doubtful given our schedule.

Here it goes...

Goals must be ambitious AND feasible. Ambitious=high, more than expected, challenging to students. Feasible= this has been done before/ is slightly higher than before.

My School Site Goal: ON AVERAGE students will achieve 100% of their individual growth goals.

"When we see it is possible, other people can do it"

I have learned more about the use of assessment and data in 2 days then I did the past 2 years. I am excited to combine my classroom experience with this new knowledge.

The Delta Institute makes up the 2nd largest "school district" in the Mississippi Delta.

In no way do standardized scores tell everything about a student. They do, however, provide a broad context of student achievement and the achievement gap.

Use data as a motivation/ urgency to build skills, mindsets, and habits.

All of us are responsible for students achievement. It is not "these" kids...it is OUR kids. They are MY kids.

Research points to 9th grade as a critical year to determine graduation rate.

In our classrooms we engage in rigorous and challenging activities AND we like it. We have fun doing it.

I believe that a child's teacher is the most important factor in his or her education. This does not mean there are no other factors, but it is a mindset that inspires achievement and prevents excuses for why students cannot/are not learning.

We want confident students so we need to be confident teachers. Teachers are climate setters for their classroom.

The front page of the local newspaper. Cleveland and Delta State have been  extremely supportive of TFA and incredibly welcoming! From fraternity boys and boy scouts helping us to unpack, Walmart's TFA section, to free ice cream and coffee I have definitely felt very welcome!

We had an inspiring session tonight that was the first time the whole institute was able to come together. We heard from TFA alumni, directors, current CMs and saw a welcome video from Wendy Kopp. The bottom line is that we are together, united under one vision: That one day all children will have have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Like mosquitoes it is our job to work relentlessly (and effectively) to make this a reality.

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