Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday at ISTE - JHU and Keynote

Monday morning almost 6am. I've only been up for two hours. I'm going to need some sleep when I get home, but I know I won't get it because my wife has been alone with the kids for 4 days and will need a break. Maybe I'll make up for it in my next life time when I'm a banker.

Sunday was spent in the clutches of the JHU Cohort introduction. I should have taken better notes, but I was just happy to be listening. I think all that stuff leaked out during the night. or maybe it bounced out during my attempt at exercise on the treadmill.

Anyway, here are the basics.

  • We want you certificate to mean something so we are going to give you a lot of work and expect quality product from you.

  • You will be working in teams, but just because we try to invite only the best cohorts doesn't mean you won't have slackers. Think of it as preparation for real life and deal with it appropriately.

  • When working with teams play to your strengths and the strengths of those around you.

  • We already know what worked back in the day, but we want to know what works for the future.

  • Standards and what do they mean looks like it will be a big part of the course.

  • internships with local administrator and ISTE will be another major part of the course.

I love the part about the internship running the entire year. I tell anyone who will listen the best way to improve the quality of teachers is to lengthen the internship. One full year working one-on-one with a mentor in the same classroom, then a second year with a small group of 2nd year teachers being observed on a weekly basis by a mentor. So why shouldn't the administrators be different.

Everyone I think is starting to agree that teachers are the most important influence on individual students. But one good teacher in a string of mediocrity will not the education of a child make. We need quality administrators creating the schools that high-quality teachers want to teach in.

I hear it all the time around the water cooler. Teachers in a district move from school to school depending on the principal. A good principal will get good teachers, an easy principal will get lazy teachers. A too strict principal will I guess get the left overs. I want to be a strong principal that the best teachers want to transfer to my school.


I agree the speaker, Jean-Fran├žois Rischard, could have been a bit more entertaining. He also could have been a lot more concise, in words and slides. I think he made two good points. First, the world is facing a multitude of crisis’s in the near future, and Second, educators can play a strong role in creating solutions.

As educators we need to help our students start to get beyond the narrow vision of OUR world and start seeing our lives in the context the a global village. We can find solutions to global problems that may effect individual lives, but they don't destroy us or our communities.

I think we might already be starting this trend with great programs like flatclassroom.

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Michael Walker said...

Thanks for your reflection. So you want to be a banker in the future, eh? Me, I'm thinking B&B owner!
I think you nailed the basics down pretty well. I like what you said about the internship opportunities both in district and with ISTE. Hopefully I won't be one of the slackers! Looking forward to the learning! Mike

Brendan said...

That is kind of a fear of mine also.