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In 2016, had a mind blowing learning expedition in Europe; in which I experienced mindfulness and what high performance teams are made of….they are made of flesh and souls that are blended with refine heartfelt machines . …
I met a group of volunteers who are working restlessly on a project to produce and publish audio books in Arabic language for the blind people in the Arab world. The main group are based in Egypt.
■They are a group of Volunteers who chose to beat up their own best time on a project that would benefit the Blind people.
■Their work space as volunteers became an Arena for expression of Authenticity
■They chose to resist bureaucracy, or being processed, or transformed into soulless machines for the production of output.
I chose to work with them as a Team Coach to enable them to learn, perform and develop. I chose to beat up my own best time to enable them as givers.
A new training program has just launched within the Team Academy in Finland. The concept is generated and led by team entrepreneurs but coached by qualified team coaches. Our very own, Wendy Wu, In…
Staff Development and the 5 Disciplines of the Learning Organization – to be continued:
Team Learning: The quality of relationships determines the outcomes. Teachers should learn to work together in an ongoing process, with enough time to learn new ways of teaching, to develop esprit de corps= a show of loyalty and attachment to a group with which one identifies – and to unlearn old habits.
Shared Vision: I first saw the power of shared vision when I was a Principal at a middle school in the USA. Once a month, I held a day of ‘family meetings’ as we called them – just to give kids a place to talk, grade by grade, about anything that they wanted to talk about. The topics ranged from citizenship in a free society, to racial stereotypes to dress codes,…But they always came back to the question of what they wanted from life and what they wanted from school. We talked about what it meant to have resilience or persistence; we’d talk about how you could get trapped by beliefs like ‘we don’t play chess, we play checkers’ or ‘we don’t play stringed instruments; we breakdance.’ And within a year of such meeting , we had kids in the school trying to do everything, including chess and playing violin, because they now believed it was appropriate to try. Shared Vision can be developed by deliberate conversations, supported by the community and the school.
When I was a principal at a Middle School, USA, I had some 6th graders in serious danger of not being promoted. They were not as serious about school as was necessary and had developed a peer culture that was anti-intellectual. They were kept in 6th grade for another year. However, I said to them, ‘if you do well in the 1st quarter, we’ll promote you to 7th grade at the beginning of the 2nd quarter’. They worked twice as much as their peers during the 1st quarter. The teachers began to change their perceptions of the kids and of themselves. They began to see the flex in the system that they could appropriate if they had to in order to make it work for the kids. – Edward T. Joyner
Teachers go a lot further for students that are responsive to them, and it’s fair to ask students to match or exceed the commitment of their best teachers. – Edward T Joyner
How is curriculum best taught?
Is it by teaching harder? NO – We educate kids by ‘any legal and ethical means necessary’
Teaching is the most complicated job of all the professions because children have been shaped by so many factors.
What are the Effective Teaching Behaviors?
Adapting, Planning, Relating, Evaluating, Managing, Instructing, Expectancy, and Resilience.
What are the Effective Student Behaviors?
Attention, Cooperation, Task-Orientation, Intention, Verbalization, Enthusiasm.
Learning is the creation of meaning that occurs when an individual links new knowledge with existing knowledge – Vygotsky (Willians and Woods 1997)
At Uniondale, we have 3 basic principles at the core of our schools’ staff development:
1-Looking at real challenges faced by the school. For example a number of non-speaking English language has enrolled at a school, another school is a neighborhood where students speak African American vernacular English (ebonics), and the school ideally would need to prepare the students for college and workforce that use the standard English language. This is not the responsibility for English Reading, and enrichment teachers; for example science and health involve a large number of important words that may not be used frequently in daily life. However the science and health teachers will need to be trained on how to increase the probability that students will read, speak and write well in standard, science oriented language.
2- Active learning at the session and in follow up.
3- Leadership and community engagement: For example; a principal at a school has agreed to a suggestion that a group of 6th graders who had behavioral issues, can work with the custodian on a landscape project around the school and earn a bit of money whilst working for their communities. The idea worked and the teachers and administrators reported that the impact of this community work has positively impacted the students and their grades went up. The Custodian didn’t teach them algebra, but he engaged their in social and ethical development, they became solid citizens- by setting a good example that showed how work, no matter what kind of work it is, has an innate dignity.