Saturday, June 2, 2007

Year-End Evaluation

While reading Jeff Utecht's latest post, entitled End of year summative self assessment, I thought that the questions his supervisor provided for him to answer were a great starting point for some reflection on my part as well. So, here are my answers if Jeff's supervisor were asking me the very same questions.

1.What has been your greatest success this year? Have you been successful in meeting your professional goals? What specific examples can you provide?

There were many things that I accomplished this year that I had set out to do, and many more that grew out of what David Warlick would call "side trips." Here is a short list of things I am proud of:

  • Wikis
    • Our district now boasts ten active wikis on wikispaces, where in September when I took this position, we had none. I promoted them as a collaborative learning piece and as a way to extend the classroom beyond the 40 minutes we have with our students.
    • One of the wikis took a page directly out of Will Richardson's book in that we invited the author to participate in the wiki and then Skyped him in at the completion of the project to answer student questions. This went a long way towards humanizing writers for the students.
  • Professional Development Classes have been revamped in the district and infused with a learner centric focus. The key for me was to move away from the "make and take" philosophy. That works really well for elementary school teachers, but middle and high school teachers weren't responding to those workshops. I focused the classes on making the teacher more productive and efficient in their own research and planning using Web 2.0 tools, with the idea that this summer and fall, we can move the skills they became comfortable with to the students and into the classroom.
  • Leading by example. For instance, I wanted my staff to become familiar with blogs and connective writing, so in addition to this blog I started something called the Tech Dossier, which highlights useful sites and more importantly teachers who are using technology in their classrooms within the district.


2.What has been you biggest challenge this year? How have you adapted your professional or personal practice to meet and overcome this challenge? Do you feel you were successful? Why?

Again, I don't think this one can be solved without resorting to list format:
  • Getting teachers to buy into what I am trying to help them do. Essentially, my job is about helping teachers use tools to make them better at what they do. The various road blocks that teachers put up to stop that process (see "180," by Barry), or the road blocks that are put up independent of the teachers, really cause me spin my wheels at times.
    • This issue was apparent more so at the high school than at the middle school, which could be caused by a variety of factors, one being severe network issues that scared many teachers away from relying on the technology to work.
  • Managing the information v. time continuum was a real problem. Even with great tools like Google Reader and Notebook, del.icio.us, and Diigo, the amount of great information always trumped the time I had to reflect on it.


3.What has provided you with the greatest joy in your work this year? How have you found your work enjoyable?

The discovery of work as play once again invigorated me in every sense. As I wrote in an open letter to my children the other day

Your future is not just my responsibility as a parent, it is also my responsibility as someone in the position to institute real change in the way we understand and execute the processes of learning and teaching.

My real hope for you is that you discover what I have recently discovered about working: it has to be grounded in the same ideas you are using now at your ages. Discovery. Mistake. Attempt. Attempt. Attempt. Failure. BooBoo and ouch. Play. Build. Create. Mix. Smear. Mess.
The amount of problem solving I did in this school year was three to four times as much as I had done in the classroom. That may be an indictment on my teaching style, but this year presented myriad problems of all shapes and sizes. Some were really techie, and I had to reach way above my head to solve them. Others were a matter of finding the right tool for the job/project and applying it successfully. But every one of them was unique and refreshing.

4.Where do you go from here? What is next for you as a professional challenge for next year? Look ahead and predict what type of goals you would like for yourself in the 07-08 school year.

This next year is about instituting philosophical change within the buildings I work in. There is a core group of teachers in both buildings that are all in and willing to change the way they approach teaching in the 21st Century. My aim is to build within that group, prop them up to the rest of the staff and cause an epidemic. To that end, I would like to create a blogging community within the buildings for these teachers to share ideas, link out to other teachers in similar positions, and model what 21st Century learning is to their students and to their colleagues.

There are several things next year that I need to dedicate myself to, projects that need monitoring and growing and some serious thought. A virtual school should be a feasible option for our students by the end of the 07-08 school year. Our teachers, administrators and office personal should be masters of the SIS that we use. And our schools should be connected to information, in the words of MediaSnackers: "Whatever, Wherever, Whenever."

30 comments:

DK said...

Honoured to have been quoted - love to hear more about what you are doing so feel free to drop us a line through the MediaSnackers site...

Peace

DK

Jeff said...

Thank you for this. I love reading what others have accomplished in their schools this year as well. It's a great way for all of us to show that we are making changes, changing the system, and slowly making that shift in education we all keep talking about.

Here's to next year!

Patrick Higgins said...

DK-

Your work with Christian Long at DesignShare has been fun to follow, and I often use material from your site in my classes. I will be checking in shortly.

Jeff-

The thanks should go to you for providing this framework. I am sad to say that I won't get to introduce myself at NECC. I can't make it down due to the new addition here. In due time..

Bach said...

Patrick,

Thanks for the shout-out. I love to read about the work you are doing-- very similar to our struggles and successes. Keep up the good work! See at NJECC.

Barry

Patrick Higgins said...

Thanks, Barry. Friday at NJECC, we will be presenting briefly about some of the projects that we have completed this year.

I also wanted to say thanks for some great resources. My staff really responded to "42."

Anonymous said...

I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog's posts every day along with a mug of coffee.

My site affiliate network marketing
Feel free to visit my web site

Anonymous said...

Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this web site needs a lot more
attention. I'll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!
Review my web-site home equity loan comparison

Anonymous said...

It's hard to come by educated people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what you're talking
about! Thanks

Here is my page - basistarif private kv
Also visit my weblog ...

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering issues
with your website. It appears as though some of the written text on your content
are running off the screen. Can somebody
else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too?
This may be a issue with my browser because I've had this happen previously. Many thanks

Also visit my web page ... anbieter private krankenversicherung
Also visit my web-site

Anonymous said...

Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
like you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe
that you just could do with a few p.c. to pressure the message home a bit, however other than that,
that is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I'll certainly be back.
Feel free to visit my webpage - wie bekomme ich einen kredit trotz schufa

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but great topic.

I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info
for my mission.
My blog post ... die g├╝nstigste private krankenversicherung

Anonymous said...

We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in
our community. Your web site offered us with
valuable info to work on. You've done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.
Also visit my website - private krankenversicherung sinnvoll

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme.
Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back
as I'm looking to create my very own blog and would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!

my blog ... Clickbank affiliate marketing
Feel free to surf my blog post ::

Anonymous said...

Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look
forward to new updates.

Here is my website test krankenversicherung
Also visit my webpage

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.
My web site :: rate home equity loans

Anonymous said...

Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do
you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

Feel free to visit my site; www.capodimonte.com/profile/patsysowel
My blog ; designer outlet mode

Anonymous said...

Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

Feel free to visit my web site make money at home online

Anonymous said...

Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact loved account your blog
posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds
or even I fulfillment you get admission to persistently rapidly.


Look into my web blog home business start up
my web page - ideas about business

Anonymous said...

I am regular reader, how are you everybody?
This article posted at this website is genuinely fastidious.



Have a look at my webpage http://www.mariapinto.es/alfintra/wiki/index.php?title=Usuario:AlvinJ0

Anonymous said...

Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search
Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good results.
If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

My web-site; promote products online

Anonymous said...

Excellent web site. Lots of useful information here.
I'm sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks in your sweat!

Here is my homepage - vergleich krankenversicherung privat

Anonymous said...

Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What host
are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

my website - Freiwillige krankenversicherung vergleich
Also see my web page - Tkk studententarif

Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation but I to find
this topic to be really something that I feel
I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely wide for me.
I am taking a look forward to your next submit, I will try to get the hang of it!


my site :: http://www.paysage-en-herbe.com/documentations/encyclopedie/index.php?title=Utilisateur:Krystle077

Anonymous said...

Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you're working with? I'm looking to start my own
blog soon but I'm having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique.
P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

Here is my web site versicherung vergleich
my webpage :: Billige Online Shops

Anonymous said...

Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.

Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I'm thinking about setting up my own
but I'm not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

my weblog Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership: Katharina

Anonymous said...

I do not know whether it's just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your site. It appears as though some of the text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my browser because I've had this happen previously.

Kudos

My site ... coffee drinkers

Anonymous said...

Hi to every body, it's my first go to see of this website; this web site contains amazing and in fact excellent stuff designed for readers.

my website; Http://safedietplans.com

Anonymous said...

hello!,I love your writing so a lot! proportion we be in contact more about
your post on AOL? I need an expert in this area to unravel
my problem. May be that is you! Looking ahead to look you.


my web-site simply click the up coming site

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or
something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of
that, this is fantastic blog. A great read.
I'll definitely be back.

Also visit my web blog ... stem

Anonymous said...

You should be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs
on the net. I'm going to recommend this website!

My website: how to get rich fast