InnovatorAccording to the CBAM Model of Change, individuals involved in change can be placed into 5 categories. 8% of people involved in change can be considered innovators. These individuals are eager to try new ideas, are open to change, and are willing to take risks. When it comes to the academic advancement of students, one must be open to change. The old saying you only get what you’ve been getting if you do what you’ve been doing is true. According to the High School Redesign report only 56% of the ninth graders involved in the study graduated from high school. Therefore, change is warranted and people who accept and understand this are needed in leadership positions. The leaders need to be knowledgeable, wise, and assertive because change is not always accepted especially if it flies in the face of what people perceive as the norm or when you move people out of their comfort zones.
Committed President Obama said “Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” Committed people recognize that failure is the step right before success. I am committed to students , committed to my own acquisition of knowledge, committed to my personal and professional growth, committed to the betterment of my profession. I’m committed to see teaching receive the prestige it deserves, but that requires teachers to hold themselves to a higher standard. I’m committed to become proficient in National Educational Technology Standards for teachers and tech facilitators, committed to my students being proficient in NETS for students. And I’m committed to continuing my education.
InquisitiveFor the last ten years I have prepared Educators to teach the digital natives that are our students. However, I have also been a student those years. I consistently attend professional development, read technical and erudite journals, participating in distant learning, and collaborate with peers in order to stay abreast of the newest technologies. My inquisitive nature makes me a teacher and student embodied in the same person. I interchange the roles: student to acquire new knowledge and teacher to share the knowledge I’ve gained. Over the last 4 years as a technology trainer for my school district I have created 14 professional development courses from new ideas I’ve learned about. The creation of the courses allow me to explore and acquire new knowledge. However, I am not satisfied to merely acquire the new knowledge I like to share with my collogues and see their view and ideas for implementation of the technologies. Even this opportunity presented an inquisitive opportunity for me. I had always heard my technology coordinator speak about E2T2 funds. I learned about E2T2 funds and how my district receives those funds and what they can do with the monies the receive from the formula and competitive grants.
Driven • Driven people are self motivate. I am always seeking to improve myself, my situation and those around me. My drive is one reason I am pursuing my National Board Certification and attending grad school. I have a dogged determination to preserve in the face of insurmountable odds and to overcome even the bleakest of situations. The current educational outlook in Louisiana is bleak. Our literacy rate is low and our poverty and dropout rates our high. Our state is not affect by the recession to the same extent as our friends in the North are; we have jobs but not enough skilled and educated work force to fill the vacancies. We need to prepare a technologically advanced work force to meet the rigor of the 21st century. In my drive to improve our students I accepted a position at a GED/Option School. I had worked with elementary students prior to this and I was concerned about my ability to work with the age group. However, once I was at the school I realized how many of our students were dropping out and I am determined to do something about it.
Passionate I’m passionate about educational advancement. I’m passionate about preparing Louisiana students to be digitally proficient citizens prepared for the technological world that is the 21st century.My passion has infected some of my colleagues. I have worked and trained Educators who hasten to implement technology into their classrooms. They find it an intimating obstacle. A colleague who faced this same dilemma about introducing computers into her teaching repertoire once told me that my energy and passion were infectious. She currently uses technology and has moved herself and her students into the 21st century. We need passionate knowledge people in leadership positions. We need leaders who can lead by example yet have the wisdom to listen.
Academic Advancement of Louisiana’s Students Louisiana’s students are lagging behind students in other states. Our curriculum is not rigorous enough therefore our high school diplomas do not carry the same weight as diplomas from other states. We have students who make straight As in high school but can’t qualify for TOPS because they can’t score a 20 on the ACT. Something is wrong with that picture. I have been working to correct this but I am only affecting a very small percentage of students. I want to make a larger impact and I want Louisiana to take its rightful place at the top of the academic leadership ladder. Louisiana is a beautiful state and it is a shame that we lose our top performing college grads to other states where they can obtain the pay they deserve. With my level of expertise, knowledge, and wisdom I can affect more teachers and students in this position.
Tech Infused PBL Camps Abraham Lincoln said if you give him 6 hours to cut down a tree he would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe. In order to implement project based learning into Louisiana classrooms we must make sure that teachers know what PBL looks like, sounds like, and operates like. 3 to 5 day PBL camps would be long enough to adequately cover the topic and interesting enough to engage teachers. The camps could help teachers address the NETS for teachers and it could show teachers how to help students achieve mastery of NETS for students. Skype is a great free service that education needs to utilize in order to deliver quality professional development. Initial hands on pd are still necessary for certain topics. After teachers attend face to face pd, Skype can be used to assist with the implementation of the training. Collaborative tools provide the needed follow-up and support teachers for successful implementation of new training.
Performance Measurement Systems Focus groups serve evaluative purposes better because the evaluators are present and their comments can be expounded upon. Focus groups can address concerns that arise during an evaluation. You could bring in a certain percentage of users and select your high-end users and your low-end users. If you select a percentage of users and they state the same strengths/weaknesses of a program then their comments are valid and should be considered. And because they are present you can ask them specifically what they liked/disliked or would change about the program being evaluated.
Problem:Missing Component Discussions are made without consulting the main user of the programs, the teachers. Therefore teachers have little ownership and often feel forced into things. Not to mention that some programs just aren’t viable every classroom setting. My district recently purchased a new reading program. They did not involve the teachers in the selection process. The program arrived in early October and professional development for teachers began shortly after arrival. Once the teacher began the PD the teachers and administrators realized that they did not have the time allotment nor physical resources for successful implementation of the program. Solution: Involve teachers in the selection process. They have valuable information and they know what programs are ‘doable’ in certain classroom situations. They have pertinent knowledge that is often overlook or not considered. Also, districts should seek programs created, at least in part, by real classroom Educators. Classroom teachers know what works and doesn’t work.
Problem:ResourcesFiscal and human resources Problem: School systems often select programs that they fiscally are not equipped to maintain. Or select programs for faculty where the staff is not proficient enough to administer the content. They may receive grants for one year, select programs that have a recurring cost and not receive the grant the subsequent years thus the program falls by the wayside. Or they select manageable programs but lack the equipment to run the program efficiently. Or they select programs that require the faculty to obtain training and then fall short on delivering adequate training and job embedded follow ups.Solution: Districts must consider how they will fund the program if they were to lose or not receive the grant in following years. They must consider the machines the district already possess and do these machines have the capability to handle the new program. They must create a calendar to training prior to the start of the school year and then consider how they will get the faculty to attend the PD. And make concessions fro follow-up and support throughout the school year.