Byron's Babbles

Teacher of the Year Learning Continues in 2015!

Posted in Education, Education Reform, Educational Leadership, Global Education, Inspirational, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 10, 2015

thToday was one of my favorite days of the year. As an Indiana Teacher of the Year, I was part of the selection committee for the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year. Today we held the interviews for the top 10 finalists. As always, I was inspired! Click here to see the listing of this year’s top 10. I am so inspired each year by how great these teachers are and come away refreshed and rejuvenated as a school leader. During the interview I take copious notes to inform our decision making at the end of the day, but also take personal notes that I use for my own professional growth. Last year I wrote a post entitled Teacher of the Year Learning and this year I thought I would do the same. For this year’s post I am going to provide you a bullet point list of all the comments, phrases, and learning that I jotted down today.

Here is the list:

  • We must match teacher goals to individualized professional development
    • What steps should be taken to reach the goals?
    • Implementation plan
    • Feedback needs to be provided regarding progress toward goals
  • Purposefully select books for libraries that give a window to the world
  • “One of the things that makes me, me is…”
  • “I’m either going to fail forward, or being totally successful!”
  • “I’m just as much a learner as they [students] are.”
  • “I [teacher] lead sometimes, and they [students] lead sometimes.”
  • We should be blogging our thoughts instead of just journal-ling
  • Use formative assessments before even approaching summative assessments – this needs to be balanced
  • Diversity is not always visible
  • Teacher effectiveness starts at the local school – the school must have a process that supports growing highly effective teachers and teacher leaders
  • The community drives instruction
  • Share the gifts that you have
  • Read the book: 7 Habits of Happy Kids
  • Read the book: Mindsets in the Classroom
  • “Clustering” – bringing in students who aren’t quite ready for the High Ability program, but are close and need extra attention to get them there
  • We need to make students feel welcome and loved
  • We need to be writing from different points of view and exposing students to writing from different points of view
  • Twice Exceptional Students – high ability students who also have learning disabilities
  • “Teachers are effective if inspired” (my favorite quote of the day – I tweeted it)IMG_2997
  • “Let me make a theme out of all of this”
  • Blogging our journey
  • If you cannot adapt to changes you will not be successful
  • “Subject matter is important, but one to one contact and relationships are most important. Remember, what you are teaching today may not be the most important thing happening in a particular student’s life today”
  • Ask your students: “What am I doing that is irrelevant?”
  • You can’t put everyone in a box, you must individualize the instruction
  • Find the students’ strengths and weaknesses
  • “I evaluate myself every day”
  • “Shine On”
  • “Make kids first and everything else second”
  • “Immediate feedback should be innate in everything we do”
  • We need to love all the different experiences students bring to our classrooms
  • Teacher effectiveness measures – ask the kids
  • We need our students to do “authentic reading”
  • We must be immersed in what matters
  • We must create an environment where we have an investment in each other – this will build a true TEAM
  • As a coach/mentor – the goal should be to work yourself out of a job
  • We should have less required collaboration and more spontaneous/unstructured collaboration
  • Poverty is the biggest issue facing education today
  • Choice based classrooms –

    Give students the opportunity to explore what they are interested in. Help them ask powerful questions. Give them time to explore. Students should be able to share what they have learned in a compelling way.” ~ George Couros

  • We need to bookend creative lessons

Need I say more? Again, congratulations to this year’s Indiana Teacher of the Year finalists and thanks for inspiring me today!

I think my tweet at the end of the interviews says it all:IMG_2998

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