This focus frequently links with the quote of the week, but not always. I choose both the focus and the quote by thinking about our vision.
We are Newfield: Conscious, Consistent, Committed to what is best for our Community.

6/9/14
Relevant Education and the Common Core Shifts – With this week’s quote as background, talk with your colleagues about how nonfiction reading, writing, viewing, and discussing can be used to engage students in learning that is exciting, energizing, and relevant.

6/2/14
Review – As students spend the next two weeks preparing for finals, Regents Exams, and/or creating year-end portfolios, talk with your colleagues about some of the ways you help students do this. You might find a new method that’s worth trying or you might be able to share one of your own methods that works especially well.

5/27/14
Celebrate Success – This week, spend time talking with colleagues about the progress you have made in teaching high-quality curriculum and delivering instruction in ways that work for each learner.

5/19/14
Articulation - Spend time this week talking with your colleagues about some of the ways you have moved out of your educational comfort zone and how your willingness to do so has impacted your students. This will be important information to share with your new principal.


5/12/14
Reflection - Spend time this week talking with your colleagues about some of the ways you have moved out of your educational comfort zone and how your willingness to do so has impacted your students.


5/5/14
Evaluation - This week, spend some time carefully reflecting on the evaluation criteria you are using for work that students hand in. Ask yourself if the criteria you are using fully align with the intended outcomes you hope students will have learned.


4/28/14
Sustaining our Work – Spend time this week talking with your colleagues about our work: our goals, our vision, CCR labs, SOS, and our courtyard garden. One very important way to sustain our work is to deepen our ability to talk about what we are doing and why it matters in ways that are easy for others to understand.

4/21/14
Understanding Assessment – Choose one or two of the questions above and discuss them with your students or your colleagues. Use the discussion to inform how you construct a few assessments in the next week or two.

4/7/14
Pick five to thrive - We haven’t done this for a while. Some of us teach students in the classroom or CCR Lab. Some of us interact with students in the cafeteria, in a club, or on a team. And some of us interact with students in the office, in front of the school as they arrive for the day, or even on the bus. This week, identify five students that you interact with and engage them in conversation. Listen to them talk about school, home, and what they do for fun. Do what you can to build or deepen your relationship with these five students and let them know that you are here to help them move through our high school in ways that are safe, healthy, successful, and fun.


3/31/14
Critical Reflection - This week, spend some time reflecting on which of your teaching and assessment methods seemed to work unusually well for a few individual students or for groups of students. Share what you notice with a few colleagues.

3/24/14
Multiple & Various Assessments – This week, take a look at the next few smaller assessments you have planned. See if you can make them more varied than they currently are, so that taken together, students end up having a few different ways to show what they know and can do.

3/17/14
Apply, analyze, or explain – Reflect on the assessments your students will complete this week or next week and make sure to include at least one or two that require students to “thoughtfully use their knowledge” and skill by requiring that they apply, analyze, or explain.

3/10/14
Clarity – Once again, talk with a few colleagues about the quote above. By talking about this quote you will increase your own clarity about the concept of purposeful backward design.

3/3/14
Clarity – This week, talk with a few colleagues about the quote above. By talking about this quote you will increase your own clarity about the concept of integrating UbD & DI.
2/24/14
Big Ideas – Ask yourself which big ideas or essential questions students will be exploring this week. Post these on your board and take a few minutes for students to talk about these in pairs and then share out their ideas with the class.
2/10/14
Strategic Planning – Carefully review the unit plan you have for the unit you will be teaching next. Critique the major understandings through the lens described in this week’s quote. The goal is for you to deepen your own clarity about the priorities you have for this unit. Share your experience of doing this with a colleague.
2/3/14
Higher Expectations – Working backwards, identify a learning outcome that pushes your own expectations of what you students can accomplish. Then, build a lesson that includes the supports necessary to make success possible. Share what happens with a colleague.
1/27/14
Differentiation – As you prepare to start new units for the second semester chose one or two items (an assessment, an activity, etc.) to differentiate. Look at the charts on pages 97 – 99 for some easy to understand ideas for how you might do this.
1/21/14
Rethinking, Revising, Refining – Find one or two times this week to explicitly prompt your students to rethink their learning, or to revise/refine their work. Do they resist this work, or do they embrace it? Share your observations with a colleague or two.
1/13/14
Deep Thinking – This week, let’s push our students to think intensively and critically. Ask them to justify, revise, elaborate on, and/or evaluate their thinking. You can do this during class discussion or incorporate these prompts into a written assignment.
1/6/14
Observing Students – This week, purposely give yourself time to actively observe your students at work, with the goals of noticing factors that help them make academic progress and factors that make it difficult for them to do so.
12/16/13
Options – This week, consider ways to broaden one of your upcoming assessments to include at least one more option for how students will show what they know and can do. If you want help thinking about how to do this, please ask. I would be happy to work on this with you.
12/9/13
Collaboration – This week, reach out to a colleague or two and share one of your assessments (quiz, test, homework, project, etc.) with each other. The process of talking together about your work will likely prove insightful for all involved.
12/2/13
Understanding – This week, push your students to show you that they understand what they are learning, rather than just showing you they have the right answers.
11/18/13Responsiveness – As this week's quote above suggests, let’s all pay a little extra attention to the tasks we ask others to do and the welfare of those who have to accomplish these tasks. It’s always a balancing act – just enough nudge to motivate others without overwhelming them.
11/12/13
Core Values – What lies at the heart of your motivation to work with young people? What energizes and motivates your best self? Spend some time this week thinking about, and talking with your colleagues about your core values, in terms of why you teach.
11/4/13
Reflection – A vast majority of our students identified meaningful goals for themselves when they completed the CCR Reflection sheets. Give your students 3 - 5 minutes in each of your classes to think about, and write down, one or two learning, work habit, or skill-goals for your course this marking period. Collect what they have written, read through them, and return them at the end of this marking period.
10/28/13Celebrate Success – This week, take some time to reflect on what has gone well this year. Share a success story with a colleague, with a student, with a class, or with a family. Ask others to share something that has gone well so far.
10/21/13
The Big Ideas – This week, write an essential question or two on your board that will alert students to the deep thinking you are hoping this week’s lessons will help them ponder and discuss. See pages 110 – 113 in the text for an explanation and for some examples. If you want, talk to a colleague to help you develop these.
10/15/13
Teaching styles – Spend this week trying to identify your most comfortable and common teaching style(s). Talk to your colleagues and find out what styles others most commonly use.

10/7/13
Where we teach – This week, think about your classroom environment and the ways in which it impacts teaching and learning. Take some time to visit the classrooms of your colleagues and notice how their rooms are both similar and different from your own. Share what you notice with others.

930/13
Assessment – This week, analyze the assessments you are using in relation to the six facets identified in this week's quote. Are there certain facets you tend to emphasize and others that you don’t? I encourage you to talk with your colleagues about what you notice.


9/23/13
Engage – This week, push your students to engage. When you ask an open-ended or complex question and nobody initially responds, use more wait time than usual, even if it makes students a bit uncomfortable. When students give you a simple, one-word answer, ask them to tell you more, and wait for them to do so. Call on students to add onto another student’s response, and wait for them to do so.

9/16/13
Clear Expectations – Focus on clearly communicating to our students what we expect them to know and/or be able to do at the end of each class period. By explicitly telling our students the specific concepts and skills we are trying to help them learn or refine, we help them know what to focus on and why it matters.

9/10/13
Connections – This week, let’s work on making connections to our students. Spend some time asking our students what they did this weekend, what they hope and dream for this school year, etc. I encourage all of us to especially reach out to those students who are new to us, and to those who may not seem to have a strong social network.

9/5/13
Belonging - Belonging is one of the most essential items identified on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Each of our students needs to know that we are glad she/he is here and that we recognize and value her/his unique talents and abilities. This first week of school, let’s purposefully communicate to each of our students that she/he belongs here. Let your colleagues know how you do this and talk to each other about what you notice as a result.

5/20/13
Connecting with Families – This week, let’s push ourselves to invite families to share their insights with us. This week, let’s try hard to listen to families as much as we talk to families. Let’s actively work to interact with our students’ families in terms of their strengths and resources.

5/8/13 & 5/13/13
Mutual Support: Let's take some time this week to directly speak with our students about about the middle section of the discipline graphic below. It would be great ifour students could begin to explain what they think shared responsibility means, and what they believe it looks like, sounds like, and feels like.
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4/23/13
Transitions - As we move towards the end of our school year, some students will be eagerly anticipating this change and some students will be anxious about this change. Let's take some time to ask our students how they feel about the end of the school year. This will probably be most effective if we ask students individually or in small groups. Knowing how our different students are feeling can help us figure out the best way to support them during these last weeks of school.

4/15/13
Consistent – This week, let’s all try to use the language of “appropriate time, place, and manner” when asking students to think about and change their behaviors. This will help our students begin to internalize this way of thinking about their actions.

4/8/13
Bring out the Positive - This week, let’s work hard to notice and acknowledge our students when they make good decisions and exert a positive influence on our school community. Be concrete and specific when telling students what you have noticed them doing that helps us create a safe, healthy, and effective learning environment.

3/25/13
Wait Time – This week, let’s explicitly communicate to our students that we expect meaningful thinking to take time. Let’s show that we value meaningful thinking by slowing down our discussions and giving our students the time necessary to make important insights or connections. Our students will likely need us to directly tell them that we are intentionally slowing down our process for this purpose.

3/18/13
Student Voice – Given our conversation during Friday’s faculty meeting, let’s spend some time this week prompting students to tell us what they think they should be learning in school. You might embed this question into a lesson, ask students informally in the halls or the cafeteria, or even post it on your wall with a box for students to put their responses into. If you share what you learn with me, I will collate the information and share it with all of us.

3/11/13
Questioning – Using Danielson’s language, let’s spend time this week asking “divergent as well as convergent questions, framed in such a way that they invite students to formulate hypotheses, make connections, or challenge previously held views.” You can read more about this, and get some concrete ideas, by looking at pages 31 and 32 of the Danielson Rubric.

3/5/13
Uncovering – Let’s spend this week getting our students to tell us what they value and what they want in their futures. Although we think we know what they want, let’s push them to tell us explicitly. What we learn will help us figure out how to cultivate and nurture their interests in ways that our experience and expertise tells us are healthy and productive.

2/25/13
Engage – This week, push your students to engage. When you ask an open-ended or complex question and nobody initially responds, use more wait time than usual, even it makes students a bit uncomfortable. When students give you a simple, one-word answer, ask them to tell you more, and wait for them to do so. Call on students to add onto another student’s response, and wait for them to do so.

2/20/13
Purpose – What is the purpose of our work? This may be a simple question, but I do not think there is a necessarily simple answer. Talk with each other about this question and talk with your students about this question. If you share your answers with me I will put them all together and share them back with the whole group.

2/11/13
Motivation – The motivation committee has a bulletin board standing in the front hallway, posters around the building, an announcement in the morning announcements, and two slides on the T.V. monitors. Take some time this week to read learn about the March Madness initiative and talk about it with your students.

2/4/13
Purpose – This week, spend some time speaking with colleagues and student about the purpose of high school. What do you think is the purpose/are the purposes of high school? What do students think? Try to go beyond a short answer and delve a little a deeper. This will help us keep our vision alive and vital. If our vision states: We are Newfield: Conscious, Consistent, and Committed to what’s best for our Community – then what is best for our Community?

1/28/13
Vision – This week, spend some time speaking with our students about our school vision. What does it mean to them? To what extent do they believe we are moving towards our vision? Do t hey have ideas about any changes we might want to make to our vision?
1/22/13
Vision – This week, spend some time speaking with colleagues about our school vision. What does it mean to you? To what extent are we moving towards our vision? Might we need to make any changes to our vision?

1/14/13
Connecting with Students – This week, think about 3 to 5 students that you feel like you don’t know very well. Write their names down in your daily planner or on a sheet of paper in your work space. Each day, let’s make sure to have a brief conversation with each of the young people on our lists.

1/2/13 & 1/7/13
Affirming all Students – During the next two weeks, let’s each try to add three new items to our classroom, bus, workspace, or office that affirm the dignity and strength of students and families who are not economically privileged. These could be posters, books, calendars, poems, sculptures, figurines, pictures, etc. The challenge is to choose items that testify to the broad range of experiences, accomplishments, and contributions of students and families who do not have economic privilege. At the end of the two weeks, talk to a colleague about the impact this challenge may have had on your students and/or their families. Was it difficult or easy to find the three items you chose?

12/17/12
Connections This week before we go on break, let’s take some time to build and strengthen our connections to one another. We might talk about school, our hobbies, music, or books. Let’s continue to build community together.

12/10/12
Compassion – This time of year can often be very stressful. Let’s spend the week being compassionate to our students, their families, and our colleagues. Compassion can help us maintain a safe, healthy, and effective learning environment here at school, which might help reduce the stress for those who are feeling it.

12/3/12
Uncovering Confusion – Let’s spend this week trying to help our students articulate how and why they are confused by the concepts or skills we are teaching them. In other words, can we prompt our students to tell us with precision how and why they are confused? If so, this might allow us to figure out how to better help them learn the concepts or skills we are trying to teach.

11/26/12
(We only had two days last week, so let’s do this again.)
Assets – Notice all of the positive qualities that each of our students and colleagues brings to our school community. Focus on the positive, notice the positive, and share the positive, with students and with each other.


11/19/12
Assets – Let’s spend today and tomorrow noticing all of the positive qualities that each of our students and colleagues brings to our school community. Focus on the positive, notice the positive, and share the positive, with students and with each other.

11/12/12
Explicit Positive Feedback. Let’s spend this week giving students positive feedback by using the language of our goals and vision. Let’s tell our students when we observe them exhibiting responsibility for their work and actions, mutually respectful behavior, and/or advocating for the needs using proper time, place, and manner.
11/5/12
Pick Five to Thrive – Again: We did this early in the year, and I think it’s a good time to do it again. Some of us teach 9th graders in the classroom or CCR Lab. Some of us interact with them in the cafeteria, in a club, or on a team. And some of us interact with them in the office, in front of the school as they arrive for the day, or even on the bus. This week, identify five 9th grade students that you interact with and engage them in conversation. Listen to them talk about school, home, and what they do for fun. Do what you can to build or deepen your relationship with these five students and let them know that you are here to help them transition to the high school in ways that are safe, healthy, successful, and fun.


10/29/12
Still Getting Our Students Genuinely Involved – Last week was a busy week and I did not get any replies to the focus. Let's try it one more time: It’s time Reach out explicitly and invite genuine input about our vision from our students. They have really stepped up and are trying hard to meet our expectations. Now we need to work on making this a shared vision. Talk to colleagues at your grade level and/or department and see if you can work out a way for all of our students to spend 5 minutes this week talking or writing about our vision. What do they think it means to us? What does it mean to them? If you can collect their thoughts and send them to me, I will collate them and share them with all of us.

10/22/12
Getting Our Students Genuinely Involved – It’s time to reach out explicitly and invite genuine input about our vision from our students. They have really stepped up and are trying hard to meet our expectations. Now we need to work on making this a shared vision. Talk to colleagues at your grade level and/or department and see if you can work out a way for all of our students to spend 5 minutes this week talking or writing about our vision. What do they think it means to us? What does it mean to them? If you can collect their thoughts and send them to me, I will collate them and share them with all of us.

10/15/12
All Work Completed All the Time – This is the last week of our first marking period. As you begin figuring out student grades, make two lists. On one list, identify all students who handed in all of their work. On the other list, identify all students who missed assignments (and record the number of assignments missed). Come up with a way to provide both sets of students with specific feedback about work completion. Your feedback should motivate the one group of students to continue their excellent record of turning in all of their work so that they achieve the same level of success for marking period two. Your feedback should motivate the other group of students to acknowledge the need to change their work habits, and to clearly communicate to you how they plan to successfully complete all of their work for marking period two.

10/9/12
Learning How They Learn – This week, let’s take time to ask students how they approach reading a textbook, studying for a test or quiz, and/or turning notes into a presentation or paper. Jot down some of what you find out and send it to me in an email or put it into my mailbox. I will compile all of the information and then share it out. If I get one or two bits of information from each adult in our building, our combined list will be pretty hefty. This will then give us some idea of the kinds of skills we can consciously teach our students that will help them become more efficient and effective learners.

10/1/12
Synergy – Take some time this week to talk with your colleagues about good things that are happening in your work with students. I can sense that we are beginning to move, as a group, towards our goals and vision. By talking to each other about what is going well, we will continue to build positive momentum throughout the building.

9/24/12
Accountability and Support – This week, communicate directly and privately with every student who has not completed work for you, and/or every student who is not consistently writing down all the work to be completed for every class. It is important that we let our students know that we notice when they haven’t yet met our expectations, and that we tell them that we can provide them with support if they need it. Once students begin missing assignments and/or choose not to write down the work they need to complete, they can quickly become so far behind that they know longer have confidence in their ability to keep up.

9/17/12
Choose 5 to help Thrive – Some of us teach 9th graders in the classroom or CCR Lab. Some of us interact with them in the cafeteria, in a club, or on a team. And some of us interact with them in the office, in front of the school as they arrive for the day, or even on the bus. This week, identify five 9th grade students that you interact with and engage them in conversation. Listen to them talk about school, home, and what they do for fun. Do what you can to build or deepen your relationship with these five students and let them know that you are here to help them transition to the high school in ways that are safe, healthy, successful, and fun.

9/10/12
Teamwork – It is essential that we work together this week to begin solidifying two habits of mind and behavior with our students - being on time and writing down the work to be completed. In every class this week, please take the time to say, "Take out your planners and write down your work to be completed." Make sure that every student does this. If there is no work to assign, tell students to write down your class name and the word "none." This level of expectation for using their planners is new to our students and will require our best team effort.
In terms of being on time, our students are used to this expectation. We just need to make sure that all of us are consistently standing in the hallways between classes, interacting with each other and with students, and telling them when they are almost out of time. We also need to consistently tell them when they are late and let them know that there will be a consequence after they are late three times.

9/5/12
Building Relationships – As we begin a new school year, we begin the process of building relationships with our students, their families, and our colleagues. Take some time this week to reflect on this process and alert yourself to those relationships which might have already gotten off to a shaky start. Reach out to a colleague and ask for some strategies to help you shift these relationships towards a positive direction.

6/11/12
Reflection – Do you remember your hopes and dreams from September? What have you enjoyed most about this past school year? What have you found most challenging? I encourage you to ask yourself these questions, and to ask your students these questions.
5/29/12

Transitions – As we finish the school year, some of our students can’t wait for their summertime work and play, while others get tense and nervous about losing the routine and predictability that the school year brings. Investigate how your different students are feeling. Reassure those who are anxious and join in the excitement with those who can’t wait.
5/21/12

Food Security –Next week will be hosting a free community dinner to began a broader discussion of how we might work together to eliminate hunger here in Newfield. Spend some time this week talking to students about the issue of food security. Are there many people in our community who does not consistently have access to enough food? If so, what are some of the reasons why this is the case?
5/14/12

Community –Community is created as we build relationships with each other – students, staff, families and others who live & work in Newfield. What are some of the ways you promote community? What could help you do this even more? Let’s find time to talk about this in our conversations with each other throughout week.
5/7/12

Grading – It’s our last marking period of the year. Take some time this week to reflect on your own beliefs about grading. What is the purpose of grading? Does your current system achieve your desired results? What do your colleagues think about grading? If you were a student here, would you get the same messages about grading as you moved from class to class?

4/30/12
Our Building Goal – Let’s take some time this week to talk with our students about our goals work. Let’s try to find out what they think it means to take responsibility for our work and actions – students, staff, families, and community. Let’s find out if they think it is worth working towards this goal. Let’s find out if and how they’d like to get more involved in promoting this goal.
4/23/12

A clean school – Take some time this week to encourage our students to help keep our school looking good, and to provide them with positive feedback when they do so. I continue to notice more students picking up trash, putting things back where they belong, etc. I do believe that we all get a boost of positive energy when we see each other taking responsibility for making our building look clean and inviting.
4/16/12

High Expectations – It’s the middle of April and we begin our last stretch of the school year. So far, we’ve been very successful in our efforts to create a school where we all take responsibility for our work and actions. Please take time this week to review our Main Office Expectations and Consistency sheet and then remind your students of our expectations.
4/2/12

Motivation – Are your students motivated? If so, are they motivated to do their best, or just to get their work done? For those who are motivated to do their best, why are they motivated? Is it the content, their own drive, their family, your teaching? For those who are not motivated to do their best, or to even do the minimum, – why aren’t they motivated? Think about these questions, talk with each other, and share your observations with me.
3/26/12

Ethics – What do you think our students have to say about ethics? Do you think our students give this much thought? Let’s try to find out. Maybe you can build this into a lesson, or maybe you can work it into a conversation in the hallway. I’d be curious to hear what you find out.
3/19/12

Core Values – What are the core values that underlie the reasons why you teach? What are the core values of your colleagues? Let’s spend time this week talking to each other about our core values. In this time of educational change, it is vital that we hold onto our deepest beliefs about the purpose of education. By talking about this with each other, we will help to keep these beliefs alive and well.


3/5/12 & 3/12/12
Academic Excellence – Do you believe that all of your students can achieve academic excellence? Spend the week reflecting on all of the students who are not currently doing so in your classes. Ask yourself: “Am I 100% sure that this is a biological limitation, or is it possible that it is the result of some combination of my teaching methods, the student’s work habits and study skills, and her/his family’s style of support?” I have thought a lot about this over the years and have my own ideas. I’d be curious to hear what you think.

2/27/12
Commitment Cards - Set a goal for the week, such as starting off each class with a higher-level thinking question or asking students to build on each other’s comments. Post this goal on an index card by your desk, or write it down in your planner, to remind yourself to do it each day.

2/13/12
Deep Thinking – When you ask a question and a student answers, push her/him to go further. You can follow up an initial answer with prompts like:
  • Tell me more.
  • What are some other possibilities?
  • How do you know that?
  • What makes you think that?


2/6/12
All work completed all the time – Tell your students that you expect all of them to complete all of their work this week. Tell them that you believe it is possible and that you believe it is worth achieving. Find a way to get them motivated and excited. If every one of us does this all week, we just might “start a chain reaction.”

1/30/12
Responsibility for our Work and Actions – As our students get back their midterms, we need to talk with them about the results. What do the results tell us (both students and staff) we should continue doing, and what do they tell us we need to do differently?

1/23/12
Assessment – Spend some time reflecting on how well your midterms/finals deepen your understanding of what your students know and are able to do. What have your exams taught you about your students and about your instructional practice?

1/16/12
Explicit Positive Feedback. Let’s spend this week giving students positive feedback by using the language of our goals and vision. Let’s tell our students when we observe them exhibiting responsibility for their work and actions, mutually respectful behavior, and/or advocating for the needs using proper time, place, and manner.

1/9/12
To help increase academic rigor throughout the building, ask 3 analysis/evaluation/synthesis questions in each class. That is, explicitly ask students to justify, criticize, transform, or connect at least three times in every class.

1/3/12
Let’s put this week’s quote into action by asking our students – literally. Find a place in one of your lessons this week to motivate your students by challenging them to do this. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if students heard this in a number of different classes throughout the week. As always, send me a note if you try this and tell me how it goes.

12/19/11
Think about the work you do this week in the context of justice. How do you help promote justice in your daily work with our students? Share your insights with me, I would really like to hear them.

12/12/11
This week, let's focus on celebrating our successes. We have all been working hard and we have invested a great deal of time and energy into making Newfield High School an even greater place to be. Let's talk with each other about the progress we have made in our building goals work. Let's talk with our students about specific ways they have shown academic and/or behavioral growth. It is important that we do this thoughtfully – noting those achievements that are genuine and meaningful, and avoiding praise just for the sake of praise.

12/5/11
What is the purpose of high school? This is a question that I hope to get students to discuss during a lunch-time forum later this month. Let’s spend some time this week talking about this both among ourselves as educators as well as with our students.

11/28/11
In connection to this week’s quote, take what you know about your students and their lives outside of school and build this awareness into one of your lessons. I would love to hear how you do this and how it works.

11/14/11
Take some time to talk with 3 or 4 students that you don’t yet know very well. Write their names down in your planner or on a post-it note on your desk to remind you to talk to them each day. You might want to ask them about some of their goals in your class, or about what they like to do when they are not in school.

11/7/11
I would like us to really focus on doing this for another week - Use the language of our building goals with students and families. When you find places where the building goals language fits into a lesson, use it there. When you notice students acting in ways that support our goals, give them specific positive feedback using some of the goals language. When you are speaking with families, find a way to incorporate some of this language into the conversation. As always, send me an email or stop by to let me know how this goes.

10/31/11
Use the language of our building goals with students and families. When you find places where the building goals language fits into a lesson, use it there. When you notice students acting in ways that support our goals, give them specific positive feedback using some of the goals language. When you are speaking with families, find a way to incorporate some of this language into the conversation. As always, send me an email or stop by to let me know how this goes.

10/24/11
Fun and connection. Let’s spend time this week having fun with, and connecting with, our students, their families, and our colleagues. Send me an email or stop in to share a strategy you use or an anecdote.

10/17/11
I did not hear back from anyone about how this went, so I’d like us to stay focused on this for one more week: Motivation – Let’s actively encourage our students to complete each and every assignment on time and to the best of their ability. Send me an email telling me how you try to do this, and I will combine these into a list of strategies to share throughout the building. I have put two slides onto the monitor this week to help with this effort.

10/11/11
Motivation – Let’s actively encourage our students to complete each and every assignment on time and to the best of their ability. Send me an email telling me how you try to do this, and I will combine them into a list of strategies to share throughout the building. I have put two slides onto the monitor this week to help with this effort.

10/3/11
Conscious, consistent, committed to what’s best for our community. Let’s keep our vision at the center of our work and actions this week. We should ask ourselves, and each other, what this vision actually means. Let’s try to do what we think is best for our students, each other, and our community, each and every time - even when we are tired and our patience wears thin. At the end of the week, we’ll have a chance to talk about how this went.

9/26/11
Be on Time. You may have noticed that almost all of our students are doing an excellent job getting to class on time. Rather than back off and cut them a little slack now, it is essential that we explicitly notice when they are on time and that we maintain our efforts to actively encourage them to be on time. If we do this for another week or two, we will have cultivated a school culture in which being on time is the habit and the norm. If you are not quite sure how to do this, try making statements to your class like, “Thank you for being on time today. Now we can get started right away,” or “It’s really helpful that you all arrived on time today. Let’s get started.”

9/19/11
Let’s focus on clearly communicating to our students what we expect them to know and be able to do as a result of our daily instruction. By explicitly telling our students the specific concepts and skills we are trying to help them learn and refine, we help them know what to focus on and why it matters.

9/13/11
Let’s continue to focus on building positive relationships with our students and our colleagues. Ask people what they did during the summer and find out what they hope to be able to accomplish this year.

9/6/11
Let’s take some time these first two weeks to build positive relationships with our students and our colleagues. Ask people what they did during the summer and find out what they hope to be able to accomplish this year.




Thank you to Newfield Central School District for supporting much of this work during my tenure as Principal


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