Site Meter Josh's Blog: A great day

Friday, October 26, 2007

A great day

I had a great day on Thursday this week. I started the morning with a breakfast meeting with Kelli Wells, who heads the College Bound District Program for the GE Foundation, and is a Stamford resident. (I highly recommend the City Limits Diner). After breakfast we went to KT Murphy school to see a 1st grade class engaged in Everyday Math. I wanted to show Kelli the great work our teachers are doing in implementing EM. Along with Rebecca Thessin, Barbara Friedman and Joanna Nicholson, we sat in Ms. Cassidy's 1st grade class for an hour. She did a fantastic job of engaging all of her children in the "penny grab game." What I found most intriguing about the lesson is that it taught children multiple concepts - counting by one's, greater than/less than, and money. Additionally, because the children had to play in pairs, they were also developing important SEL skills.

In the afternoon I went to a meeting of high school department heads and administrators. They were in a two hour training on PLC's with Kathy Mason, a former HS principal. Winnie Hamilton arranged for Kathy to provide training on specific PLC protocols that we can use to look at student work together. I was only able to be there for 45 minutes, but it was wonderful to see our HS instructional leaders fully engaged with each other in learning about how to facilitate groups of teachers looking at student work. This is no easy task for any group of teachers and HS teachers typically don't have enough time to collaborate and share. Yesterday our department heads and administrators had an opportunity to learn with and from each other - across schools and departments - while also learning practical skills about how to help teachers look at student work. Their written feedback showed how enthusiastic they are about this wok.

Finally, I had a "conversation with Josh" at Rogers at the end of the day. I love these conversations, as they're a great opportunity to get to know teachers and to hear about what's on their minds. Among other things, the Rogers group asked probiing questions about redistricting and the future of the IB program, and they gave me feedback about Everyday Math. Their committment to the IB program and the success of each and every child was palpable, and it's one of the main reasons why Rogers is having so much success.

Yesterday was another reminder of how committed so many of our teachers are to improving their practice and ensuring that our children have opportunities to be successful in school and life. The support we have from the GE Foundation and the dedication of our administrators and teachers serves to strengthen my conviction that we are soon going to be the highest performing small urban school district in the country. It was a great day.

1 comment:

Susan Cassidy said...

Thank you for coming! It was a treat to have visitors. We look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.