Tag Archives: teaching abroad

The Philippines – From Tropical Paradise to Tropical Depression

The Philippines before
Before: The Philippines – a tropical paradise
After: Typhoon Yolanda – a tropical disaster

When Disaster Strikes Near, But Not at You 

By Kailie Nagrath

I have been getting a lot of inquires from friends and family members who have been hearing about the devastating super typhoon Yolanda.  “I am perfectly fine and safe,” I assure the people back home.  But I can’t help but feel sad, and even a bit guilty, about all the thousands of people who are not so lucky.

Manila and the surrounding metro area seemed to escape the wrath of this violent typhoon, but the ‘eye’ of the storm struck hard on the southern part of the Philippines.  So hard, that Filipinos are calling this the worst typhoon in the island nation’s history.  Filipinos are not ones to sensationalize their weather as they have grown accustomed to these powerful tropical storms, living in a land where almost half of the year is considered typhoon season.

Yet many of the southern islands could not have known or prepared for the stormy uproar that struck their land late Friday night into early Saturday morning.

Eastern Islands Hit Hard

The area of the Philippines most affected is the Visayas provinces. Tacloban City in Leyte caught the full force of the typhoon with winds of up to 310kmph (195mph) completely decimating the city.  Exact figures are still unavailable but the death toll in that city alone is expected to reach the 10,000 mark.  Countless others are suffering from injuries, loss of shelter, food, electricity and clean drinking water. The actual destruction of this storm is so massive it is still being mapped out and the damage and human toll has yet to be fully calculated, but one thing is for sure, this is a disaster on a massive scale.

President Benigno Aquino III declared a “state of national calamity” in a plea to the international community to offer relief efforts.

Manila not Hit but Hurt

Seeing my host country going through this disaster is so heartbreaking.  Although Manila was largely unaffected by the storm, the emotional and psychological effects are plainly visible.  In a small island nation almost anyone living in the capital has friends, family or relatives in the outlying islands, so everyone is affected.  In a culture that is as family-oriented and giving to friends and loved ones as the Filipino culture is, everyone feels personally connected to this tragedy.

The current mood of the city is contrasted sharply to the city I landed in just a few short months ago.  A city where I could always find a welcoming smile, a helpful hand to assist me, a friendly face eager to say hello, or a warm smile sent my way.  The typhoon has left such sadness in the air that it seems to have washed all the smiles away.  I wish I could give back more to the people who have welcomed me to this country, because I have seen first-hand that these are a people who do not think twice to help out someone else in need.

Images Don’t Capture the Devastation

They say a picture speaks more than a thousand words… but none of the images you see can fully capture the magnitude and level of devastation that has hit this country.  Nor are there enough words, or even the right words, to explain the wreckage this storm has caused.  Lives were lost, families torn apart, and countless people have been left homeless with nowhere to go.  Survivors are desperately looking for loved-ones and searching for food and clean water to drink.  One can only imagine the desperation these people are feeling.

This morning when I went into the convenience store across the street from me, the man at the counter asked me to donate all of my old clothing.  It’s the least I can do, but of course I want to do more.  I know there are many people who feel the same way, but need to know how or where they can best help. 

How to Help

I would like to pass along this message from the International School of Manila on how best to help at this time.  ISM would normally send teams from the school to help assist first-hand but due to the level of devastation and the health risks that is not currently possible.

The best form of aid is financial assistance.  If you would like to help out with a donation you can either give directly to ISM’s Disaster Relief Fund or to UNICEF Philippines.  Please click on the link to ISM’s fundraising page to see details on how to make your donation:

Donate Through ISM

The people of this country have welcomed me with smiles on their faces everyday and I have learned to love and care for this country and its people.  As a guest in this very special land, I know they really need our help right now.  It is my hope that anyone who can make a contribution of any kind would do so now in this hour of dire need.

 

Speed Transitioning

We’ve just completed our first PD day of the year. As a staff- new and returning- we’ve now been together for 30 days. DAYS.

A good friend of mine in the US has been teaching with the same person- her grade 3 partner- for 12 years.

Reflecting on this, it has occurred to me that there are times when international teaching is very much like speed dating. From the interview process to orientation and the first days of school, we are rapidly getting to know and getting used to each other. The necessity to be able to “know” rather quickly is a skill I believe most of my colleagues have, and need.

From the initial, “I want to work at your school and live in this new country- I’m up for an adventure,” to the reality of living and working in a new place, there is so much transition. Some people, (regular people, my daughter calls them, meaning not superheroes like us) don’t go through a “life transition” such as moving or changing jobs. They stay where they are and do what they do. That consistency roots them to a place and a community. Others only transition when they must. For some of us though, the scenario of new job, new school, new country is a familiar one, occurring every two to six years.

Right now, I’m working with a new admin team. Of the eight of us, six are new to the school and country. In my division, we have 13 new teachers. Unlike a business where we could spend weeks, months even, getting everyone up to speed on the project at hand, we have to be ready to work with kids from day one. That requires people be quick to come together, fast to plan, and most importantly immediately ready to trust.

That is where the speed dating turns into more of a shotgun marriage. The immediacy of the “I dos” (and maybe some I don’ts) are what allow us to get moving, so we can serve our students and families.  We sort out the details as we go.

While I can’t imagine having the luxury of teaching with the same person for 12+ years, I do know there must be a sense of safety with that consistency. However, I also know that for our transitioning population, there are lessons to be learned from teachers and leaders who can quickly get up to speed. It is a life skill. One we can model because we are living it.

Here’s to the unique few who can transition, adapt and thrive. All in record time.

Photo credit: http://spark.utah.edu/images/ideas/581/images/large/timer-icon.png?1349198229

Teaching Overseas — The Adventure Begins!

This afternoon I walked off one of the most anticipated flights of my entire life. From
the time I first entered college I dreamed of what this exact moment would feel like
and there is no doubt it exceeded all expectations.
The days leading up to my journey to the Philippines to begin my first job after
college, were filled with excitement and massive preparation. There were travel
documents that had to be updated, banking and tax documents that had to be
completed, along with medical records and a host of other formalities that had to be
submitted to the school before departing for my new job. Not to mention packing
which is always a challenge especially when you’re packing for a year!
Despite all these preparations and the excitement leading up to my departure,
nothing could have prepared me for the anxiousness I felt as the plane touched
ground in Manila, and a new chapter of my life was about to begin. Knowing my
flight had been delayed by more than 24 hours, I worried about figuring out my
transportation from the airport to the school. Walking off the plane, and heading
into baggage claim, my heart pounded faster, as I wondered what I should do if no
one from the school was there to greet me.
My fears were completely unfounded, as soon as I turned the corner to the baggage
claim area, the first face I saw in this unfamiliar airport, was a familiar one. It was
none other than David Toze, the superintendent of the International School of
Manila. Mr. Toze, the Head of School who interviewed me on a snowy February day
in Boston — the one who offered me the job, was the very same person who was
there to greet me at the airport, on a steamy hot day in July, in this tropical island
nation on the other side of the world.
What a relief! Right then and there I knew I had landed at the right place. As an
intern, I know I am the low man on the totem pole, so to speak, but to be personally
greeted by the head of the school, sent a very strong message to me on my arrival. It
told me, without words, that I am an important part of the team and I am a valued
member of the ISM community.

TEDxHongKong Thoughts

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The following post is cross posted from Expat Teacher Man


“There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.”

Aristotle

I  attended TEDxHongKongED  event to “exchange ideas, discuss thoughts and ask questions.” I listened to some influential people speak about learning and the power of discovery. Below is a series of questions that I wrote in my notebook during the course of the day.

Parents

Why do you send your kids to school each day? We haven’t always taught children in a classroom setting…why do we now? Are you satisfied with your child’s academic growth? Is the classroom setting the best avenue for learning? Can we do better? Does sending your kid to school each day makes economic and intellectual sense? Do your kids complain of boredom? Is educational technology used often and appropriately in your child’s classroom? Is your school doing what is right for your child? Is your school doing what is right for the future of the planet? Does your school preach classroom management over individuality? Are you aware that nearly 20% of American students suffer from some sort of mental disorder? (Merikangas KR, etal. 2010)

Teachers

How do you feel about your career path? Does the digital age frighten you? Is this possibly the golden age of teaching or will only the best, brightest and luckiest be well compensated? Are schools truly future focused?  Do teachers develop a curriculum that above all else, keeps them employed? Why do you still teach inside a classroom setting? Can you effectively reach more children online? Could you be better compensated online? Do we let kids truly discover? Or rather, do we set them up to discover what we consider is important? Do we censor too much? Is the school day too long? Do we pay enough attention to physical fitness and the arts? Do your students look bored? Do your kids complain of bullying? Do your kids receive individualized and proper services? What percentage of your students need counseling support?

Administrators

Do you treat all with fairness, dignity and respect? Do you offer multiple ways for student learning? Do you trust your staff? Are you effective in conflict resolution? Are families involved in improving curriculum? Do you support continuous improvement? Are you using your time wisely? Do you have effective communication skills? Are you willing to hear bad news? Do you inspire your staff to do great work? Are you socially innovative? Is creativity a part of your school’s mission? Do your students create music? Do you allow students to discover mathematics? Do you offer an environment where students can learn from failure?

TEDxHongKongED was most definitely time well spent. I look forward to the speeches being uploaded so that I can share them with my professional learning network.

 Reference:

Merikangas KR, He J, Burstein M, Swanson SA, Avenevoli S, Cui L, Benjet C, Georgiades K, Swendsen J. Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2010 Oct. 49(10):980-989.

 

What is my Personal, Plausible Future in Education?

This post was originally posted on: http://expatteacherman.com/

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell
Buddha

I offer you greetings, from Big Wave Bay, Hong Kong, on this Sunday afternoon. From today’s twitterverse, I read about how to plot my future in an uncertain world.  Living overseas, contract-to-contract, I write. I highly recommend that you follow the work being done on fastcompany. They force one to think deeply. Read on:

 What unique value do you bring to the world?  

Belief in myself is secondary only to my belief in others.

First of all, how does one answer this in complete seriousness? I do not think that I bring any”unique” value to the world. People tell me that I am “beyond outgoing.” I trust parents.  I believe that attention disorder is wildly overrated. I believe that standardized testing, in moderation, is an excellent teacher’s  friend. I believe that parents and students should evaluate teachers, each year.

I am optimistic in the future of education and have experienced drastic changes for good since I started earning a paycheck. I believe that teachers matter. I believe that empathy cannot be taught by lecture but through experience. I believe that kids want a structured learning environment but demand to laugh and have a lot of fun, as well. I believe that it is harmful to tell a nine or ten-year old that she has anything wrong with her ability to learn.

I believe that you cannot teach effectively when you are sick or pushed to exhaustion. I believe that we all need help to live a meaningful life. I believe in “kid language” and that sometimes peer tutors are the most effective tools in getting students to learn.

I believe that confidence is what I offer my students more than anything else and that classroom teachers cannot overemphasize  impacting real confidence among students. I believe in honoring and not fearing  ”tiger moms “ for each successful person has a mom that has fought hard. I believe that “koala mom’s” deserve equal consideration and perhaps listened to even more actively.

I believe that their is little chance for a classroom teacher to  compliment a kid too much. There are just so many good things going on in class.

What is my life’s purpose?

My life’s purpose is to help others. For me, I try to do this through teaching. I try to do this by inspiring others to teach. I try to do this by working hard.

What is your personal, plausible future?

Hopefully, my future will be largely what it has always been: optimistic, focused, and in the moment. I am too old to think any other way.

What is your vision and plan of action?

To be determined!

 

Why I Teach

4th-grade-fun-1272“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”
-Andy Rooney

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”
-John Steinbeck

I have been teaching for 23 years in Maryland, Singapore and Japan and now teach 4th grade students in Hong Kong. It has been a wonderful ride.

In 1985, I enrolled as an elementary education major at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Initially I merely wanted to help struggling kids find success in the classroom. As a high school senior, I was an intern in a classroom of learning-disabled elementary-aged children. Within the first week of my internship, I knew I had found my calling, and I have lived a life of learning and teaching ever since.

Many inspired educators inside and outside the classroom have affected the way I practice my craft. As a public school student, I was taught to value all teachers, regardless of their capability. As a teacher, I teach my students to value themselves and acquire the habits of lifelong learners.

Effective teachers must model kindness, compassion, organization, intelligence, flexibility, and collaboration. They need some understanding of educational technology, a belief in their own ability, trust in their teammates, and perseverance. I am happy if school leaders provide a brain-researched, structured, and engaging differentiated curriculum.

My first day as a teacher was nothing short of a disaster; my Mid-Atlantic based students had little idea what their New England teacher, with his thick Boston accent, was saying, I talked way too much, and my students giggled nervously when I tried to communicate.. Although my lesson plans were highly organized, I was painfully unsuccessful as a manager of time. I had no clue just how mentally exhausting the job would be.

Today, I am much more relaxed and confident. I investigate neurology–specifically how the human brain actually acquires knowledge–instead of accepting what administrators might tell me. For professional development, I greatly rely on Twitter and my professional learning network. I make the time to read professional trade books more than ever.

My advice for new teachers is to live conservatively so that you can be liberal in your craft. Demand more from yourself than any evaluator could ever demand. Work hard. Inspire others to believe in themselves through learning.

Teachers, all over the world, why do you STILL teach? How has your teaching practice evolved? What factors stand in the way of your being able to do your best work?

This was first posted on http://expatteacherman.com/2013/04/14/why-i-teach/

Enriching Opportunities in International Education

Being an international educator yields tremendous professional opportunities that can enrich your teaching.  Living and working in the U.S., professional development opportunities were limited to whatever the school sponsored at the school.  Many teachers received additional professional development by working on advanced degrees or paying out of pocket to go to a training or conference at a nearby university.  In the 7 years I taught in Georgia, I received only a handful of professional development opportunities outside working on my master’s and doctorate degrees. One of these was AP Government training, which was a wonderful experience.

Since Jamie and I have taught internationally, we have had the pleasure of working at schools who have provided us with meaningful professional development opportunities.  Our school systems have both hosted conferences and brought in educational specialist like Virginia Rojas, Martin Skelton, and John Almarode.  We have also had the opportunities to attend regional professional development opportunities in Bahrain, Kathmandu, Nepal, Dubai, UAE, Muscat, Oman, and Bangkok, Thailand for various conferences. Large names like Tom Guskey, Ken O’Connor, Jay McTighe, Leanne Jung, and Lucy Calkins have all been speakers and presenters at these conferences.  Just recently, I served on a Middle States Association accreditation team, which was the best professional development I have ever had.  I play on attending an accreditation team chair training on Philadelphia this summer.  Jamie has traveled to Denver and Tampa for AP training in Psychology and Economics, respectively. She will also attend a conference training in Houston this summer for training in the Schaffer writing method.

Most of this is paid for by the school.  We receive professional development funds each year that we can apply to conferences or post graduate work. On several occasions, we have received these trips for no cost because we are leaders on committees.

In addition to professional development opportunities, we also have travel opportunities with the students.  Jamie has attended the TIMUN conference in Istanbul, Turkey two times in three years with her high school students as well as sponsored student study trips to Kenya and Bali.  I have taken my middle school students on study trips to South Korea and Prague and Budapest.

Additionally, we travel in Kingdom to places like Riyadh and Jeddah for various school events like honor band/choir, MUN, and sports teams.  These opportunities just don’t happen back home where many school systems won’t allow student field trip to leave the county.

We are already planning next year where we will sponsor study trips as well as travel for various staff development trainings. Of course, these trainings and conferences are in addition to our normal vacation times.  This year for vacation, we have traveled to France, USA, and Thailand.  Next year, we plan on visiting Spain, Germany, Jordan, and some other destination to be determined.

Granted, this is all due because of money.  These are private schools that offer their students and teachers amazing opportunities, but one would be remiss if they didn’t take advantage of these opportunities.

International Recruitment Fairs: the Pros and Cons

As you know, over the next few months a number of leading recruitment agencies will host fairs throughout the world, which are designed to produce direct contact and hiring decisions for hundreds of international schools and thousands of candidates. For those unfamiliar with this phenomenon, it may be difficult to gauge the benefits of participating, and to weigh the drawbacks.

I will assume here that the typical candidate has had some positive contact with at least one school that has shown interest in interviewing her/him. It is certainly wise for all candidates to seek the specific interest of a few schools well before December. And it is increasingly the case that schools are offering jobs and filling positions well before the recruitment fairs even begin.

Nevertheless, taking part in a recruitment fair conducted by ISS, Search Associates, Council of International Schools (CIS), the University of Northern Iowa, Queens College and others has these distinct advantages:

1) You get to meet the school head, and often a principal, in person, and the chance to make your case as a desirable candidate.

2) There are anywhere from 70 to 220 international schools at these fairs, so your chances of landing at least one solid offer are very good. (Check out carefully which schools will attend.)

3) You can also meet many experienced international school teachers, and learn about the challenges and benefits of an international teaching career.

4) You can and should engage any prospective employer about the school’s mission and focus, the major qualities they are seeking in candidates, and the benefits and drawbacks in working in their schools and living in their environments.

5) You will, through this process, attract interest and even offers from schools in countries you had never considered. Many of those hired end up in places they had never anticipated.

You must bear in mind, however, that your chances of success at a fair are greatly enhanced if you have had positive contact with at least a few of the schools that will be there; this can best be accomplished by seeking positions through agencies, such as TIE and tieonline.com, well before the fairs begin.

Now for some of the discouraging issues in attending one of these fairs:

1) The travel, lodging and fees can add up to a considerable expense, coupled with days off from your current school.

2) There is usually some fervor, intensity and often-long lines in getting signed up for an interview with the schools of your choice.

3) More than ever, schools are asking for decisions and commitments almost immediately after the initial interview. This can be disconcerting if you have not been reviewing the information about that school before attending the fair.

4) You may be a very effective teacher, but not strong in the interview, or there may be physical or stylistic handicaps that detract from your presentation.

5) If you are a strong candidate and get more than one offer, the pressure to make a decision without adequate time to consider all the ramifications can be very disconcerting.

6) It may be that a desired vacancy was filled at an earlier fair, which often happens towards the end of the cycle. And at best, roughly half of the candidates attending can expect to be offered a position as a result of the fair.

So the choice of whether to attend an international school recruitment fair is complicated, and highly individual. You should at least ask schools you are in touch with if they require your attendance there: will Skype or some other alternative enable them to make an equally informed decision?

There is some excitement to these events though, and they are well organized. You may meet many interesting people, and learn first-hand what it means to be part of an international school staff.

Inspiration

I’ve been incredibly inspired lately by a number of different things, and it has opened up my eyes yet again to one of life’s undeniable truths……..which is that inspiration is all around us, in every moment of every day, just waiting to be found. The truly challenging thing however, is to have your eyes, heart, and mind open to all of life’s beauty, and to the inspiring moments that continually present themselves to us. More often than not, we get so busy as educators with our report writing, our lesson planning, our weekly meetings, and all the rest that these special and simple moments can quite easily sneak by sadly without notice……and that’s a shame. So with that in mind I’d like to talk this week about inspiration.

Since I began thinking about this a few weeks ago, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by how easy it is to gain strength, energy, enthusiasm, and hope just by stopping for a moment and taking a look around. I’ve been inspired by so many things over the past few weeks that I don’t really know where to begin honestly. First off, there’s the inspiration that can be found in the moments of adversity that so many people struggle with on a personal level. My brother for example, who has been recovering from a stroke with an incredible amount of determination and optimism, and our dear friend and colleague who’s struggling with cancer but doing so with such unbelievable strength, poise, and courage.  It’s not hard to be inspired when you see this kind of fight in people….it makes you want to do all the things that you’ve been putting off, and it makes you want to say all the things that you’ve been meaning to say…….inspiring.

I also recently came back from an EARCOS leadership conference, which literally made my head spin with excitement, and inspired the hell out of me. Living in this day and age of education is amazing, as we’re in the midst of some long overdue transformational change. What schools are doing right now with technology, project based and experiential learning, authentic assessment, and non-traditional timetabling is astounding in my opinion. Schools around the globe are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in education, and it has inspired me to think hard about how we can do better for our students and community here at SCIS. The opportunity to hear a few of the world’s visionary leaders in education talk about how they’re bringing educational change to their schools has made me want to work harder, and think bigger for the future of our kids……inspiring.

I want you all to think about what has happened in our own environment over the past several weeks. The UN Day and International Food Fair, the Zombie Love performances, and this past weekend’s Dynamix music festival have all been ridiculously inspiring for our students and our community. Think about the experiences that our kids are receiving that are not only transforming who they are as performers, but who they are as young adults. It’s not hard to be inspired by all that our students have access to, and by all the wonderful, future shaping work that you (their teachers) are contributing to their young lives. If you take it down to more of a micro-level, look at what’s happening in your own individual classrooms on a daily basis, or down the hall in a colleague’s classroom, or out on the soccer field or up in the gym……..inspiration is happening everywhere, all the time, and it’s there for all of us to feed off of…….take a moment and take a look around.

I’ve been inspired lately and I wanted to share this with you…….I also want to encourage you all to slow down and open your eyes. It’s as easy as meeting the kids first thing in the morning and being inspired by the energy, innocence, eagerness, and joy that they bring to school each and every day. I meet them every morning coming off the buses, and it’s rare that I don’t have a belly laugh due to the pure beauty of who they are and what they say as they high five me on their way to first block. Inspiration is all around us….everywhere….in everything that we do……..don’t get caught with your head down and your eyes closed everyone. You’ll miss out on what’s really important in life and education, which is us……the kids, your colleagues, and the natural world around us. Take it all in and be inspired!

Have a great week everyone and remember to be great for your students and inspired by each other.

Quotes of Week……..
Remember that life’s most treasured and inspired moments often come unannounced
– Anonymous

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working
-Pablo Picasso

Inspiring TED Talk – Chip Conley
http://www.ted.com/talks/chip_conley_measuring_what_makes_life_worthwhile.html

Thought Provoking TED Talk- Matt Killingsworth
http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_killingsworth_want_to_be_happier_stay_in_the_moment.html

A few inspiring Websites and Projects…..there are so many!
http://www.ligercambodia.org/liger-learning-center/

www.edibleschoolyard.org

 

www.achievement.org


 

 

Teachers teaching Teachers

Less than two weeks ago we rolled out our new “SIPS” initiative in the Middle School, as part of our attempt to take advantage of the incredible amount of educational expertise that we currently have on staff. We set up a situation where monthly, we carve out some time to allow teachers to teach other teachers, and to infuse some internal professional development into our working lives. I’ve heard it many times before (and I tend to agree) that the most powerful form of professional development is the utilization of the amazing talents and skills that a faculty brings to an organization, coupled with a format that sets it up in a way that is relevant, regular, and sustainable. I had a chance to sit in on and videotape two of the first four sessions, and to be honest, they were outstanding. The feedback that we received from teachers was extremely positive with the only real criticism being that they were too short!  I’m very excited to showcase the next four sessions in a few weeks time, and I believe that this initiative could quickly become part of the fabric of our Middle School…….

If you’re looking for an acronym for SIPS, it’s “School Improvement Program”, although we’ve been using the following analogy to get the idea across to our community. Essentially, if you view all of the Professional Development opportunities that are open to us as educators each school year as a big jug of PD water, we are looking to drink from this jug one “sip” at a time. A once a month showcase during our sacrosanct Wednesday Faculty meeting schedule, where we set up either half hour or hour long mini PD sessions that are led by faculty members with something to share. Like I said, the first four were fantastic with Joel presenting Garage Band as a assessment tool, Ross presenting on the effective use of Smart Boards, Bret presenting on Power School, Grade book, and our new engagement rubric, and finally, Jason and Dominic presenting on the educational value of SAS Curriculum pathways.

We’re also in the process of setting up a collaboration blog of sorts, which can house many of these videos and podcasts (with teacher permission of course) so that we all have access to each session, because unfortunately you can only view one or two of your choices on the actual day. The call is out already for the next set of presenters, and I’m excited to lead a session myself during the next round on November 14th. I’m encouraging you all to think about a possible “sip” that you could deliver at some point throughout the year. I’ve been into each one of your classrooms and I see the wonderful things that are taking place…….please try to find the courage to share one part of your teaching talents for the betterment of us all! It’s a powerful and empowering thing to sit and watch a colleague present, but another thing altogether to get up there and present yourself. Talk about professional development! Here’s a brief list off the top of my head as suggestions and examples of potential upcoming “SIPS”…….

6 traits writing and rubrics
Reading comprehension strategies
Intervention strategies
ESOL in the mainstream
Differentiation
Anything Technology focused (prezi, word press, podcasting, iMovie, ect)
Classroom management techniques
Collaboration techniques
How to have hard conversations
Inquiry based learning
Proper Research and citation procedures
Experimental learning
Literature circles
Interactive read alouds
Setting up a professional blog/portfolio
Assessment strategies
Using Drama/Dance to aid in student understanding
Service learning
Curriculum development
Rubicon Atlas
Teaching non fiction writing/different genre writing
Balancing your school life and personal life

As you can see, the possibilities are immense, and after looking at this quick list it’s not hard to recognize how much we could potentially learn from one another. Thank you to those of you who have already presented, and thank you in advance to those of you who are about to step up….I cannot wait. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.

Quote of the week…
Ultimately, we hope teachers will not only retain what they learn in professional development encounters, but also transfer that new knowledge into action.
– David Sousa

The following articles are taken from Kim Marshall’s weekly roundup, which can be found at www.marshallmemo.com
Article #1 – Seven Keys to Effective Professional Development Seven Keys to Effective Professional Development
Article #2 – How to Make Professional Development Stick  How to Make Professional Development Stick

Teachers Teaching Teachers Article
http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin459.shtml
Professional Development Website
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/pro-dev/resource/5778.html
Professional Development Conversation
http://www.edweek.org/tsb/articles/2007/10/25/01chat.h01.html