Excerpt From My Principalship Paper…

Just a few nights ago, I revamped my entire blog. Here’s what’s been on it since April 17, 2012:#

Here’s what I put out:

#

You can’t see it very well, but there’s marker drawn between many of the notes creating a web. Going forward, my blog will be divided into four different types of posts. They are:

  1. Sunday Night Prep – lessons put out every Sunday night during September through May.
  2. Radical School Design – project notes and design thoughts
  3. Reflection – learner centered “I” as leaner and “We” as learners. Focus on improving the system to improve the experience for the learner.
  4. Worked Examples – documented activities and lessons from the field


My plan is to begin posting lessons every Sunday night during the months of September through May. I’m going to call these posts Sunday Night Prep. I want to put something out other educators can utilize; especially, people who are facilitating or advising in non-traditional environments. I hope colleagues I’ve worked with will contribute lessons and this can grow to be a small database, a one-stop-shop for innovative practices with students.

There’s a more selfish reason to go forward with posting weekly lessons as well. This past year, I struggled greatly with creating a hundred lessons for Advisory#. After doing quite a bit of research, I couldn’t find any such lessons online. A colleague of mine from another school had put together a binder of activities, but there wasn’t a set of progressive lessons available. In my opinion, part of the reason why I couldn’t find the lessons is because Advisory is a constructivist practice. From what I witnessed in many schools practicing Advisory, there was more art than science when it came to deciding what to do with students on any given day (a practice which I love). I had an incredibly difficult time explaining to the teachers I taught with what Advisory was. Advisory is a daily gathering of coming together to build community and get better at learning#.  It was very difficult for me to design lessons based on what should be facilitated. Another observation from seeing the model in several schools and practicing it,  Advisory should be facilitated rather than instructed and the learning should be shaped rather than spilled. Saying that, there’s a myriad of ways to build community. I want to continue to create lessons as if I’m still an advisor in an innovative school- even though that is not currently the case. I want to provide resources which were largely missing when I needed them. Another one of my aspirations with the Sunday Night Prep is to transform learning in all classrooms. I have complete authorship over the ownership of the what gets published and I plan to leverage that control for what I deem as positive change. My lessons are not aligned to any standards, they are aligned to authentic learning experiences. They are aligned to creating a participatory democratic environment. They are designed to increasing student voice and empowerment. I’m really excited to begin these posts. I have September through November already planned out.

The second type of posts I plan on putting out are radical school design. I have a lot of ideas for different types of schools and programs. I plan on putting out my most radical thoughts in these types of posts. I am hoping to continue to work with individuals in progressive education and the charter school movement. This could be a great space to have other colleagues post their craziest ideas. These posts have a systems heavy perspective. They will focus on the parts of the K12 process needing change, transformation, and complete destruction. These posts will also highlight the great things that schools do. I’m hoping to put out at least ten posts per year under the radical school design section.

Reflections are another type of post. They are lengthy rants and I’ll probably only do a half dozen of these each year. Reflections were the primary post type of my blog until this latest redesign. This type of writing is dangerous. It is raw, it is from the heart. It’s the type of writing a future employer could take out of context and make claims that I am half crazy and arrogant; however, these writings get the best feedback from other teachers. In these posts, I’m documenting the grind.  Being a teacher is one of the hardest professions to do well. This type of writing is necessary for me to do in order to get through the doldrums of February. It’s cathartic. Reflections lead to change. They serve to keep me accountable for what I write down.

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About Michael

Do Work!
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