Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Embarking on a Journey

Wow!  This picture sums up the past month very well.  Being in a newly created position to advance student achievement I have found myself at a crossroad a few times this past month.  Do I take that single step or do I sit back and soak in what is going on so that I can take that single step.

Taking that step forward has provided many opportunities to help advance student based decisions and ultimately student achievement.  As a program coordinator I am often asked this question:  What do you do everyday?  My response has been "No two days have been the same, no two hours have been the same...what an incredible journey for impacting students."

Reflecting on the many powerful steps in this journey - a few highlights from the past month.
  • Met with another program coordinator to design a project for our educators and students.
  • Met with program coordinators and lead team to discuss student based choices and exploratory class design at the middle school level.
  • Attended two cadres:  Elementary and Middle School.  Powerful days sitting with Building Leadership Teams and Administrators talking about the here and now and the future of education.
  • Worked and traveled with a team and administration from our A+ school to visit Eugene Field, an A+ school in Sioux Falls.
  • Prepared for 5 different full-day professional development sessions with our art, music and pe educators.  All three content areas are unwrapping their new national standards as part of their curriculum review process.  The discussions that have happened around the unwrapping of these standards and moving our students forward have been incredibly rich and rewarding.  Helping to facilitate those discussions has been very powerful in my learning process.  Educators have left empowered and excited about the work ahead.
  • Met with activities directors to visit about ways to make sure we are offering our students as many possibilities as possible to be involved in their schools activities.
  • Coaching - the opportunity to coach and work with educators to advance student achievement has opened the door to more opportunities with those educators.
At one point in my career, I had an administrator say - "you are flying at the 30,000 foot level and I am flying at the 90,000 foot level".  Through this work and journey I have realized one thing:  there is great work being done and even more that we can do collectively for students.  I never really understood that flying statement until school started this fall.  I certainly understand it now.   I have been fortunate to travel these miles through a completely different lens.

In closing - this is a unique journey for our district.  One that I am proud to be a part of!  The next step is waiting.....

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