Monday, June 5, 2017

We are Lucky!

In April our teaching staff engaged in a discussion of personalized learning for our students. Our current definition of personalized learning remains the same, "Providing students with what they need, when they need it, and how they need it." It is clear this definition may change over time but the impetus of it will remain the same.

We started the day with an overview of personalized learning and how it impacts students, teachers, and the school community as a whole. From there we went into a panel discussion with teachers that have visited learning organizations that have implemented personalized learning. To put it bluntly, this discussion was powerful. Staff members shared highlights and wonderings from their experiences. In addition, solid questions were asked that created organic conversations. This process was a great segue to the rest of our learning on personalized learning for the day.

During the morning and afternoon sessions our teachers disaggregated data compiled from surveys of students and staff. The survey administrated included the following questions:
  1. What new things would you like to see in our school?
  2. What things are in our school that you would like to keep?
  3. What things should we get rid of in our school?
By simply asking those three questions of our students and staff we learned valuable information. In both of our buildings it became clear that a common language should be developed so that students from PreK through senior high have a clear understanding of what is being communicated by all adults. In the high school is was discovered that the elimination of a bell schedule would be welcomed. In addition, participants in the survey communicated that there should be further conversation about the loosening of the hat/cell phone policy and more flexible learning opportunities provided. All of this learning was discussed by our staff and an action plan has been created to develop responses to the survey results.

If one piece was gleaned from April's work it was the fact that we have amazing individuals on staff filled with knowledge and a solid understanding of education. Combining all of their knowledge was nothing short of remarkable. I enthusiastically tell you that we are all lucky to have these individuals providing education to students of our outstanding school district. We are lucky!

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