What is School improvement?
When I ask groups of teachers I work with this question, most often the description is synonymous with the words “have to” and “hoops we have to jump through”. Often school improvement is seen as what schools do to satisfy someone else or another organization.
Our principal made us.
The state department made us.
We have to do this to stay accredited.
These responses indicate that staff members have no ownership in the school improvement process. For lasting school improvement to occur, time must be given to teachers to reflect on data and understand what story it tells. Teachers need time to formulate goals for the their school that are linked to district goals. Teachers need to develop personal goals that are linked to the school and
district goals. Those goals are the driving force for instruction and intervention.
An understanding of formative assessments will help teachers realize where gaps are in their instruction and what professional learning opportunities should be afforded to the teachers in order to bridge
Time for conversations is a must to fine tune practices and ensure continual success for all. With the Common Core Standards upon us, now is a perfect time to have conversations about how classrooms will be affected and what resources will be needed.
Summative assessments should be a non event in our schools, an end of the year test that measures the growth of each child. An
event that all students are prepared for because teachers knew where they were heading and fine tuned it along the way.
This process is led by the school principal, but in order for it to make
a lasting impact on students, our teachers must OWN IT!
School leaders who wish to help their schools make this transformation should check out The Leadership Summit being held at ESSDACK on April 10, 2012 or the monthly leadership sessions for ideas on how to move people through change effectively and get
the results we want for our students.