302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: What You Need to Know About Student Engagement in a Post-Pandemic Disruptive Era and Why

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: What You Need to Know About Student Engagement in a Post-Pandemic Disruptive Era and Why

What better conversation to have in August than the very best ways to engage students this school year. Our focus throughout this school year must be on the whole child–an academic intensity coupled with social and emotional development. You will hear us often say that our students need to know that our care for them is just as important as our curriculum. To ensure this focus, we developed the 6 Key Classroom Practices Model.

This model encompasses each necessary element that we must reflect upon, and, if needed, make a change to ensure that we are leveraging the practice to its fullest extent. In this fireside chat, T.J. begins by breaking down the model with details about how educational leaders, and, in particular, principal leaders, can use these 6 categories to ensure that student achievement remains our central focus throughout the school year. Each element is interconnected and strengthens the other. 

 

In addition to breaking down this comprehensive model, Joe discussed the critical importance of  capacity building. We rarely have a discussion on leadership and not discuss personal growth and capacity building at some point. One important result of a leader who embraces being a learning leader is that they are far more receptive to ideas and advances because they naturally see opportunities and possible connections to the overall vision.

Critical Ideas from our 302 Thoughts: A Deeper Dive

In light of time, for this podcast episode and live broadcast, we decided to hone in on three of the six practices that are simply a must in this post-pandemic educational world. They also provide a gateway for other practices to be used effectively. The first practice we delved into was the importance of an organized learning management system (LMS). 

  • An LMS can serve a few very important purposes. As a software application, it is designed to turn virtual learning into a reality. But, we’ve also discovered that it is very effective at providing direction and organization for students and parents, even during in-person learning. We often discuss creating transparency between the classroom and the home, and teachers who excel at using an LMS truly create clarity for families. 
    • Technical Tip: One aspect that we truly appreciate about an organized LMS is the connectedness it can have to what is being learned in the classroom. For example, with the ability to house information, teachers can create enrichment and remediation support directly tied to formative assessment results from class. 
  • Another vital aspect of learning for our students this year will be our consistent use of methods to determine their Evidence of Learning. The reality is that due to Covid19, many teachers’ technological skills skyrocketed. Although we don’t subscribe to one primary tool to assess students throughout the lesson, we do believe in Madeline Hunter’s 10+2 method, ensuring that you’re checking for understanding on a regular basis throughout the lesson.
    • Technical Tip: If you want to track formative performance in your grade book and not necessarily assign a grade, change the weight of the formative to “0” so it doesn’t impact the overall average. 
  • Lastly, we didn’t want to overlook the power of reflection for teachers. Not only is this a great way to learn and grow as a professional, we also tie this into the social and emotional well-being of staff. Recognizing how much growth we’ve all experienced in our profession is inspiring, and we need to continue to experiment, reflect, and grow within a learning culture in all of our schools
    • Technical Tip: Create specific PLC time for reflection on very specific topics. In these instances less is more and be sure to effectively train the facilitator. Leading effective meetings and PLCs requires training. Don’t assume that because someone is a good teacher, or even an effective department head, that they can lead every conversation. For more on the power of teacher leaders and candid conversations, check out our book, Candid and Compassionate Feedback. The third section of the book is dedicated to teacher leaders. 

Join Us for the Next Live Session of 302 Thoughts 

This was our second live 302 Thoughts and we were thrilled with the turn out and look forward to our next episode on September 22nd at 7:30 EST. We are going to be talking about social and emotional learning and how to build a school culture that supports SEL for students and staff. Register today

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: ESSER Spending 101: Invest in Your People for Sustainable Growth & Greater Student Achievement

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: ESSER Spending 101: Invest in Your People for Sustainable Growth & Greater Student Achievement

The Trifecta for Educational ESSER Spending

Education is a people business–a community built on the premise that through excellence in teaching and learning students can and will learn. However, the road to learning is fraught with ups, downs, obstacles, and challenges. No one expected the tumult of Covid19. The path that we were on was shut down, and educators had to find a whole new route. We commend teachers, support staff, and school leaders for pivoting quickly and working tirelessly to educate students. But, we’re just getting started. 

Now, months after the pandemic first hit, in an industry completely disrupted and upended, we find ourselves with an influx of money to help students in an accelerated fashion and to minimize the devastating impact of the pandemic. The big question looming is how best to spend our new ESSER funds?

For us at TheSchoolHouse302, we go back to where the greatest impact lies and that’s with people. Investing in our people first, developing their capacity, helping and enabling them to learn and grow so that they are better equipped, is the key to success. Below, you’ll find our model for investing in people–pay the people, get them what they need to be successful, and develop them as experts in their domain. We need to retool our thinking around money and how we use it. One tip for that is to consider that our staff are builders–builders of the future by teaching our students, supporting them socially and emotionally, and offering them unique learning experiences.

This is what we call a learning culture, and it’s why principals who want to build a learning culture need to think about all of their pots of money in these three primary buckets. This culture doesn’t just happen, though; it is a concerted effort to empower our teachers–as expert builders–for a sustainable and productive future. The alternative is to spend the money–new and old–on contractors, shiny new programs, and other stuff that simply goes away when the money runs out. 

 

Critical Ideas from our 302 Thoughts: Capacity Driven Investments

Administrators must ask, what investments will yield the highest returns? When considering staff members, be sure to have a 360° view, including administrators, instructional staff, support staff, and non-Instructional personnel. Schools need an all hands-on-deck approach, which we describe in great detail in our book, Passionate Leadership

Professional learning should be dynamic, not only focused on equipping the educator with skills, but also diving deep into self-care and ways they can fill their own cup each day. There should also be a clear distinction between training and professional learning. There are incredible products that can definitely help students learn and assist teachers in the classroom. But, consider services and products that help staff to learn beyond training them to use a new tool–a new way to rejuvenate and get better at the work, now and into the future. We think highly of the following purchases that school leaders might make with ESSER funds because we believe that they can be impactful as we ask ourselves this critical question: what investments will yield the most sustainable returns? 

    • Great educators are lifelong learners, but that doesn’t mean that they have had access to some of the most impactful experiences for lifelong learning, including a mastermind group designed to lead better. Check out Danny Bauer’s mastermind, Better Leaders Better Schools, and join a group. Also, get his new book and don’t miss our review of it
    • An investment that we find captivating since it solves so many common problems in the classroom is Organized Binder. Organization, goal setting, productivity, and more are all skills, and as we seek to address unfinished learning, we need our students to be organized and ready for what we put in front of them. 
    • We also dug into what is called the fitbit of education, TeachFX. Great teachers design lessons where the learners are the ones who are working the hardest within the classroom, not the teacher. Put simply, TeachFX measures teacher talk versus student talk. Check it out. 
    • It wouldn’t be an episode of 302 Thoughts without a book recommendation or two. We simply can’t ignore the expansive research found in neuroscience and how that impacts the classroom. As much as Joe tried not to mention a particular book, three titles were dropped quick:

One thing we learned after No Child Left Behind is that money is not the answer for sustainable outcomes if not used wisely. In fact, hiring more personnel and filling voids can lead to unwanted vacancies in just a couple short years. Invest in your people, help them develop and grow by asking them what they need and want. They are the professionals in the classroom and can provide tremendous insight. 

Join Us for the Next Live Session of 302 Thoughts 

This was our first live 302 Thoughts and we were thrilled with the turn out and look forward to our next episode on August 11th at 7:30 EST. We are going to be talking about leadership during such a disruptive period and how to re-engage students as they return to in-person learning. Register here. 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

 

 

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

 

 

Dear DE School Leaders, 

We hope all is well with you. 

This week, our friends at TheSchoolHouse302 are hosting a live event, much like their FocusED podcast, where they’ll be live for a conversation about school funding. They will be available for questions after about a 20 minute recorded chat. The topics covered this month: funding 101 for principals, including a framework for thinking about spending, how ESSER money should support capacity, and a product review of some of their favorite services and solutions right now. 

We hope you can join us on Wednesday at 7:30PM EST. The registration information is below. Bring a friend. 

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat — School Funding for Principals — Live Event — July 14th @ 7:30PM EST

July — Spending/budgeting/ESER funds — Danny Bauer

TeachFX 

Organized Binder 

August — Post-pandemic student engagement 

Differentiation is the king — Dwight Carter 

Each one is a bit redefined for users, like differentiation is really about outcomes

Grading 

Sept. — The 10 surefire ways to build an SEL-focused school culture — 

Taking Social-Emotional Learning Schoolwide: The Formative Five Success Skills for Students and Staff

by Thomas R. Hoerr

Oct — Richard Shell — 5 tips for amplifying your ambitious goals so that they are unstoppable 

Conscious Code: Lead with Your Values. Advance Your Career 

Extracurricular

http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Educational-Leadership/Write-for-Educational-Leadership/Write-for-Educational-Leadership.aspx

Feedback for Impact

As the late Grant Wiggins wrote, “less teaching plus more feedback is the key to achieving greater learning.” This is as true for educators as it is for the students we work with. In this issue, we will explore the key characteristics of effective, actionable feedback—whether provided in the classroom, following a teacher observation, or during a coaching conversation—and how schools can create cultures of effective feedback and make the most of feedback for growth. Articles will look at feedback protocols and routines; evidence-based formative assessment strategies; best practices for differentiating and delivering feedback; and how to make feedback stick.

Submit a manuscript for this issue.

Deadline: November 1, 2021

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf