It’s almost spring time in Michigan! Did it seem like we would ever get to this point? While I know that winter weather isn’t gone for good, we are approaching the spring season. With that in mind, Blueprint Installation Central and our real-time supports will take this time to recalibrate and be ready for the mad dash that we all take following spring break to the end of the year. Thus, BPIC will take a pause following today’s post and will resume on April 8.
April 8 also begins our first spring professional learning term and there are many opportunities both online and in-person to take advantage of at that time. Before you depart for your much needed week of re-energizing, be sure to register you and/or your team for what you’ll need in that spring term. Today’s On the Horizon section below gives you a quick glance of what is scheduled to begin on April 8.
Don’t forget to register you and your teams for the summer institutes. Space is limited and registration is booming.
Have an amazing Spring Break. BPIC resumes on Monday, April 8 with our next edition of Blueprint Symposium to accompany this blog post.
The following will be on Spring Break beginning Monday, March 25 and will resume Monday, April 8.
SWFT Live Chat – Twitter, Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. #SWFT_LiveChat
Real Time! Real Support! Live Webinar Series – Talk about whatever you want.
Click on the image on the left to go to the Real Time Installation Support page.
The Blueprint Dialogue Series has a permanent home. You can find out more about blogs, vlogs and podcasts and connect directly to them from this page. You will find the image on the left on the Blueprint Tools and Resources Home page.
Blueprint Symposium, is a bi-weekly companion to Blueprint Installation Central. Here we will dig deeper into issues and ideas we presented in the blog, but now in greater detail. Listen when it’s convenient and use these podcasts to build capacity and deepen understanding within your district. Blueprint Symposium is now available on iTunes, Google Podcasts and Spotify!!
Blueprint Extra! is a bi-weekly video companion that will focus even more tightly on issues and thinking presented in the blogs and the symposium. Following each episode, we’ll invite you to a twitter chat session scheduled for that week to continue the discussion in real-time. Click on the image on the left to go the BP Extra! channel on Vimeo.
A small group of the SWFT had the great pleasure to be in Chicago this weekend for ASCD’s Empower 19 conference. You can imagine the craziness of the city with the Big 10 Basketball Tournament, St. Patrick’s Day, a green river, and 5,000 people or more attending ASCD.
But apart from the hustle and bustle of the weekend, we had a chance to see two incredible speakers, both of whom are fitting to talk about in today’s Becoming a Network of Disruptors.
Dwayne Reed is a fourth grade teacher in Chicago. He spoke brilliantly and courageously about the need to deeply know and partner with his students in order to provide them with the level of support needed to guide them to high levels of performance. He wrote, performed and recorded an incredible piece, Welcome to the Fourth Grade, which you can see from the link below. A highlight was an incredible performance by Reed and one of his current students about the power of the bond between teacher and student. His powerful reminder of why we do the work we was moving, inspiring, and timely.
The keynote speaker was Ron Clark, a former American Teacher of the Year, the subject of a Hollywood movie, and the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta.
In his presentation, Clark challenged every educator at every level to transform what he labeled as the mediocrity of the educational system and to do whatever it takes to provide the very best instruction to each and every child every day. He used two metaphors in this presentation: bread and pizza. Bread referred to mediocrity. Teachers and administrators who just do what they need to do to get through the day. They fail to connect deeply with children, fail to inspire them to learn, and fail to guide them to high levels of success. His challenge was for each of us to be bigger and better than that. To be PIZZA. To take teaching and learning to its highest, noblest potential and to provide each child with what she/he needs to be successful.
He talked about his experiences where in many of his roles and positions, bread was threatened by pizza and made many attempts to force pizza to be bread. As a beginning teacher, he was actually told by his administrator that his colleagues were upset because he was doing too much for his students, that too many parents were requesting him to be the teacher for their children, and that he could only continue to be this “amazing” if he agreed to do for his colleagues’ students what he did for his own students. He talked about his journey from this North Carolina school to his work in school in Harlem and ultimately to his own academy in Atlanta.
Here’s a scene from the 2006 film, The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry.
Here’s to the power of PIZZA. It’s yet again, another powerful disruption.
We are in the process of doing massive updates to the Online Warehouse. In doing so, you may notice that certain folders will temporarily be “under construction” as we do this work. Each time something goes down it shouldn’t be down for very long at all. This work will start this tomorrow and we are intending to be as intense as possible in order to get it all done as quickly as possible.
Click on images below for additional details.