Skip to main content

My Bloggy of Evidence

So I've been writing this blog for about 13 months now.  Just wanted to take the time to reflect on why I started and where it has taken me.

There were two main reasons I started blogging.  The first was to force myself to reflect on my practice.  I am very good about thinking random thoughts about why I do what I do and how I feel the day went.  But these thoughts never make it to the concrete or conclusion level.  They are left as disconnected or half thought ideas floating around in my head.  Strands that may never be tied together and I'll have to start anew because I never took the time to take them down.

The process of writing or planning a post forces me to communicate these thoughts in a way that may not make sense to the world, but at the very least make sense to me and can be picked up by me to carry a little bit further.

The other main reason I ended up starting this blog process was to keep track of my evidence and create arguments around my evidence for the educator effectiveness process that is a part of my evaluation process as an educator in the state of Wisconsin.

As a part of the process, teachers are required to provide evidence to demonstrate proficiency in different regions of the Danielson Framework.

So as I begin to find evidence to present come evaluation time, I am able to look back over the last year at my posts.  They provide the evidence and the rationale behind that piece of evidence.  I'm on an evaluation this year, so we'll see how it goes.

Teachscape has been an issue for educators all over Wisconsin.  My administration has used Google Docs to make the process supper efficient.  To provide evidence for the framework elements we provide links in the matrix below. The links in the links send the evaluator out to appropriate blog posts which provide more analysis then I could hope to in a simple meeting.

I figured that I would be one of a handful of people reading my blog.  It would be limited to my evaluator and myself.  Once I started writing more, I found that it represented more than just a simple reflection space.  It became a space for me to share new tools or methods I was trying in my classroom.  To take it a step further, I have a colleague who has begun tagging her posts with the applicable domain as she posts them.  I wish I was that diligent. Well, there's always room for growth.

I am not one who does a lot of sharing in meetings.  I can lead a meeting if I am tasked to.  I am not the first one looking to fill a vacuum of leadership.  In fact, I am the student who is most likely to work by themselves or let others do the work even though I have my own ideas going on in my head.

The blog has become my way of sharing my voice.  In that respect, I have gone out of my way to post links to my posts on Twitter and Google+. So although I am writing for reflection and fixing my own thoughts in my mind, It has become a place for me to share what I am excited about.   It's heartening to see that people are listening and commenting.

Popular posts from this blog

Waves of Innovation in Elmbrook Part 1

As a part of a graduate project, I am looking at innovations in education within my school district, Elmbrook Schools. I am specifically focusing on those looking to provide learners with more ownership over their own learning (a.k.a. personalizing learning). I've completed 4 interviews so far.  I had no intention of sharing them via this blog.  But, I think the stories and insights of these educators really are important for all.  They were vulnerable in a way that shows their passion for what they are undertaking.  They want the best for all learners not simply students, but educators who may hear their words.  So, please take the time to listen to their stories.  

In this video, Jeff Ortman a teacher in his 22nd year, discusses implementing strategies to give students ownership of their learning in his high school English classroom.  He discusses why he wanted to change his learning environment, his first steps to bring change, how choice and feedback are key to his classroom, a…

Can I Believe These Numbers?

Our union put out the results of a recent district survey.  The number of those who responded to the survey was low in comparison to the total number of certified staff. But the number and comments related to personalized learning struck me as troubling.

Based on this data, over half of the district staff polled are not onboard with the district's vision for personalized learning.  I would argue that not knowing the district vision for personalized learning is synonymous with not understanding what personalized learning is. The mission of the Elmbrook School Districtto inspire every student to think, to learn and to succeed.  By personalizing learning, we hope to achieve that mission.
I begin to question have we put the phrase before the meaning?  Have we thrown out this word without intention?  Have we made it to much of another thing to do rather than a method to achieve our shared vision.
These numbers shake me to the core.  After the recent presidential election, I realized I was…

How to Personalize Learning Part 3: Knowing How a Classroom Learns

Now, it may seem contradictory to state that teachers should create a classroom learner toolkit.  All individuals in our class have their own profile. We can’t simply design on blanket profile for the class.  That is very true.  That’s why Bray and McClaskey take a different approach to what a classroom learning toolkit looks like.  It is a 3-step process Class Learning Snapshot Preferences and Needs Class Learning Toolkit

Class Learning Snapshot In this model of designing tools for a whole classroom, the authors first recommend the teacher identify 4 learners who are diverse.  The Class Learning Snapshot records the specific strengths, talents, interests, and challenges of those four learners. If a teacher could meet the needs of these diverse learners through UDL, the needs of the other students in the class would probably be met.

Student Strengths, Talents, and Interests Challenges 1 It's easier for me to understand content when I am taught by a teacher and then am able to get informati…