🎼 Summer learning, had me a blast. Summer learning happened so fast... Tell me more, tell me more...
Over the past three days, teachers, consulting teachers, program coordinators, building administrators, and district administrators attended Iowa Core Institute 2017 (#ICI2017) to gain a deeper knowledge of what works. The focus remained on integrating various literacy strategies into classrooms.
We must be deliberate in everything that we do. This fits perfectly with our 2017-2018 focus of completing a common lesson plan templates. Planning saves time and ensures the focus remains on the most important aspects of learning. Teachers must be intentional in thier planning for learning to be effective. Consulting Teachers must be intentional in their coaching for teacher growth to be effective. Administrators must be intentional in their feedback for teachers to grow and reflect.
This finally makes sense to me. When I am deeply interested in something I read it closely. Self taught, many of us use elements of close reading to ensure a deep understanding. I recall elements of my professional learning where I closely read and interact with my text. I have a personal system of annotating and recalling content of text I felt important. The missing element may be the most important - collaboration over the article.
The final take away is the importance of collaboration. Every session I attended had an element of collaboration. In my first session with ASCD's Heather Donnelly (@DonnellyinFOCUS), she connected the need for our collaboration to that of our students. They thrive on the ability to interact with one another. We know that students will interact whether we want them to or not. When we are intentional with what we want students to collaborate on, learning happens. I also see the connection between close reading and Authentic Intellectual Work. Students receive both a deeper understanding of a text and collaborate. Students have greater opportunities for substantive conversations. Well planned collaboration achieves deeper conversations and understanding of the concepts.
Learnig alongside staff is a great way to spend the first few days of summer. The learning simmers in the back of teachers minds as they refresh and renew for the fall semester. It is the job of building leaders (teachers and principals) to revive those thoughts and great ideas when we return.
Ryan Dumkrieger is the principal of Sioux City North High School.