Snow Days! A day both loved and hated by school personnel. It always seems that timing is everything. The day's "worth" or "value" all depends on the week's schedule, how long it has been since the last day off, and how long into June might we have to go until the warm summer days are impacted.
I can't deny the day's value for me. I slept in. I napped (I never nap). I played Super Mario Brothers. I built legos. I invested in my own learning <<insert sound of a needle screeching on a record and a whip of a head>>
I see "Snow Days" as "Grow Days". Besides growing with my family, I like to spend time on those things that I seldom have time to do (or commit to do) on a normal day. Today, I plunged into our semester ending data and began reflecting on our building goals that we have yet to achieve for the end of the year. I asked myself "what do we need to do?" while filtering it with "what can I get teachers to do without a tyranny or pitchforks?" That took me to YouTube...
Having just completed a session on McREL's Balanced Leadership, I filtered our goals through the Classroom Instruction that Works materials, made connections, and sent some of my learning/findings to teachers. The first video that I repeatedly watched connected to our goal of setting objectives in the form of content and language targets. This video (starting at 1:43) nails our goal of implementing this with fidelity:
After I shared this video over email and Twitter with staff, I made a snack. I mean, it is a snow day...
While the videos aimlessly rolled on YouTube, a video of a Webinar from about Hattie's work on "Visible Learning for Literacy" began to play. This is a book I have been slowly learning through this year. I get to spot that validates and challenges the work we are doing and I stop reading to focus on improving. This webinar had fantastic timing due to the data I examined and our goal of using "Elaborated Communication" as a tool to deepen learning. I realized I stopped reading and was focusing on "Surface Level" strategies and hadn't made it to "Deeper Learning." I need to read on!
I love Snow Days. I love Grow Days.
Up next: Culturally Responsive Teaching "Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher.
Ryan Dumkrieger is the principal of Sioux City North High School.