Sunday, March 15, 2015

Systematic Supervision...It's not just for recess anymore

Spring has sprung and we are coming out of hibernation from indoor recess to the world of outside again.  This world brings students into situations that they may not have faced for three months.  We know that our students are not the only ones who have not practiced these interactions, and it will take an aligned effort to be successful. This alignment recently has included, but is not limited to:
·      Announcements talking about our STEP model for problem solving
·      Classroom lessons and morning meetings focused on STEP
·      Acknowledgement of common expectations in our common areas
Another facet of our alignment is our paraprofessional learning meetings. Recently our paraprofessionals met to review the components of systematic supervision, and discuss what is and is not effective when supervising students in any setting.  The image below shows the components of Systematic Supervision.

We broke off into two small groups and looked at two areas: the cafeteria and recess.  We believe that the ideas below can transfer to any setting when considering supervision. Student and adult skills will continue to GROW at Crest, as we experience challenges and successes together.

What we know to be effective
What we know to be ineffective
·      Movement, just keep moving!
·      Positive contact- How’s it going? Great shot! That desert sure looks yummy J
·      Handing out acknowledgements using the 3 parts.
·      Teachers hanging out and interacting in the cafeteria, and at recess a few minutes before the whistle.
·      Proactive student placement if patterns have developed
·      Visuals
·      Responding to problems with an open mind and non-judgmental question (i.e. What’s up? What are you feeling?)
·      Knowing as a supervisor that we control the time when responding to problems. (i.e. It may not need to be addressed immediately)
·      Alignment of announcements, supervision, transitions, acknowledgements & classroom discussion when patterns emerge
·      Periodic review of common expectations
·      Standing in one area
·      Supervisors too close in proximity or chatting
·      Tone of voice when giving feedback, reminding, redirecting, or reinforcing language
·      Distraction-anything that takes away from the components of systematic supervision (i.e. jacket rule, candy or gum, footwear, etc…)
·      Assumption-could be based on previously developed patterns (i.e. what are you doing, why did you do that?)
·      Unclear expectations

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Art of Illumination


After Reading JeffDelp’s @azjd post titled, “There is NoExcuse…” regarding setting a goal to making personal connections with all students…it inspired me to touch on an opportunity that I want to better in my life. I see it every day, but yet let it go unnoticed.  I know it is contagious, but let it go untreated. I know it has the power to unite, but I allow the hitch to remain unconnected.  What am I referring to???  I am referring to the Art of Illumination. I want to illuminate the positives that I see every day in our building and in our district. “Success breeds success – it creates momentum.”

In Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, and Kae Rader’s book, Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance, there is a whole chapter dedicated to just that...The Art of Illumination.

The art of illumination requires the willingness and ability to see what works rather than what doesn’t.
Rader refers to illumination like the sun. “When it radiates, people feel it and are warmed by it-and are therefore eager to give their best.”

We always seem to be searching for answers in posts, books, articles, on Twitter, etc… but people’s strengths, capabilities, needs, wants, hopes, and dreams are a readily abundant, yet frequently are an overlooked source of positive power in our own buildings and districts.

The Chapter goes on to focus on four practices of illumination.  The book is filled with thoughtful and intriguing questions to stimulate appreciative action and conversation

4 Practices of illumination:
1.       Seeking the best of people, situations, and organizations.
Do you seek to understand why people succeed? Are you a strengths spotter?
2.       Seeing what works when people are at their best-Appreciative leaders have a way to get to the root causes of someone’s success.
Do you facilitate dialogue about the root causes of success?
3.       Sharing stories of best practices for learning and standardization-Appreciative leaders tell stories of success and give credit to where it belongs.
Do you collect stories and share them every chance you get?
4.       Aligning strengths for development and collaborative advantage-Optimize strengths by cultivating people’s unique skills and talents.
Do you engage diverse groups of people to optimize strengths?

As I return to work tomorrow, I am participating in Instructional Rounds.  It is an example of an opportunity I have, to begin the process of illumination.  I am excited to spread the positives of what I see every day. No longer do I begin with what we need and what we don’t have…what I begin with is the inherent good that I see every day.  The knowledge is in the room, it is in our building, and with that we build on our strengths, knowing that they arm us to face our challenges and grow together.
“Success breeds success – it creates momentum.” 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reflective & Effective

A good friend and mentor of mine had a phrase he used last year I loved...he called it M&M's (meaningful, manageable, and sustainable) It has stayed with me, and I often reflect upon it as I am planning this year.  I too was searching for a sticking phrase as I am working with others this year.  As I was reflecting I started thinking about how can I help others help themselves to move forward? Then it hit me...reflective & effective.

I have noticed that the best growth is that which grows from within an organization.  How does that growth develops through self-reflection. Those who are reflective usually tend to be effective.

One of my goals this year, as an instructional coach, is to get others to be reflective. I believe it is a great place to begin, and is SO powerful.

Some of the ways I have encouraged others to be reflective are:
  • examine your data and have a dialogue
  • keep a journal or blog about your experiences and learning -grow your PLN (twitter, Facebook, etc...) and share your experience
  • video tape yourself teaching/coaching and reflect independently or with a colleague
  • survey or interview students, parents, or colleagues who have a connection with you.

This is not an end all be all list, but is more of a reflective starting point to begin your journey towards effectiveness.