5 Ways I Reduced Burnout in My Special Education Teachers
When I became principal for a specialized school with various sites throughout a borough in New York City, one of my first priorities was to develop a plan of action to better support my special education staff.
Professional Development Program Evaluation: Using Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups and Observations
In the previous article in this series on evaluating teacher professional development, I shared that evaluation questions drive data collection and asked, “How would we know what data to collect, and from whom, if we haven’t settled on the questions we’re asking?” Once we have settled on a small set (about 1-3) of evaluation questions, we set our sights on how to collect data to answer them.Continue Reading
5 Principles for Decision-Making Using K-12 Talent Data
In recent years, districts and states have made great strides in both the implementation of K-12 data tracking systems and more strategic approaches to human capital management (the support of educators and other key personnel).
Recruiting & Hiring
Using Data to Set & Reach Your Teacher Hiring Goals
Across your district, teachers and principals are using data to set goals and evaluate their performance. It should be natural that data-driven decision-making and strategic goal-setting are par for the course in the central office as well. When it comes to some of the most essential work in the district — recruiting and hiring exceptional educators — there’s often a lack of actionable goals and strategic use of data.Continue Reading
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6 Best Practices to Elevate IEPs
The individualized education program (IEP) is the seminal planning document for teaching students with disabilities, and the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) section should be its heart and soul. When done well, the PLAAFP describes a multi-dimensional student — one with strengths, interests, needs and aspirations. I’ve provided suggestions on how the PLAAFP can tell “the right story” for each student — let’s review some of these ideas and connect the dots so your PLAAFPs can set the stage for compliant, individualized and relevant IEPs.Continue Reading
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Dr. Jim Knight: Videotaping Lessons as Professional Development for Teachers
Dr. Jim Knight is widely known in the world of instructional coaching. He is president of the Instructional Coaching Group, and author of such books as The Impact Cycle: What Instructional Coaches Should Do to Foster Powerful Improvements in Teaching and High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching.Continue Reading
Teacher Absences & Subs
The Value of Providing Feedback for Substitutes
With the new school year just around the corner, there’s a lot on your plate. You’re working hard to ensure that everyone is ready, from bus drivers to teachers. But we’d like to suggest one more thing to consider: adding a commitment to feedback to your substitute management plan. You’ll help your substitutes become more effective in the classroom and gain more visibility into your sub pool’s performance across the district.Continue Reading
K-12 Cyber Security – Survey Reveals IT Leader Perceptions
Do you know what would happen to your school district’s data in the event of a cyber-attack? How much data, exactly, would be at-risk if your school district were suddenly exposed? Who would be affected and what information could become available?Continue Reading
Cultivating a Positive School Culture Through Hiring & Onboarding
Have you ever worked in a school with an amazingly positive, supportive culture? The type where relationships are characterized by respect, trust and transparency; where mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth; where individual successes are recognized and celebrated. If you’ve been lucky enough to work in such a place, you know that a positive school culture has a certain magic to it — you can’t see or touch it, but there’s no denying that it’s there, uplifting students and staff alike.Continue Reading
Evaluating Professional Development for Teachers? Evaluation Questions Are the Linchpin.
Evaluation questions form the cornerstone of professional development program evaluation. They both frame and focus the work, pointing us in the right direction for data collection. After all, how would we know what data to collect, and from whom, if we haven’t settled on the questions we’re asking? Crafting the right questions for a particular evaluation project is critical to an effective evaluation effort.Continue Reading
4 Survival Strategies for Special Education Teachers
It’s estimated that up to almost 50 percent of a special education teacher’s time is spent completing paperwork. Yet, as a teacher, you want to spend your school days teaching. You want to work hard in ensuring that every student — no matter their ability — gets a fair shot at success. In short, you chose to become a special education teacher because you care. Because it’s a hard job and somebody has to do it; why shouldn’t that somebody be as qualified and invested as you?Continue Reading