What would make a faculty meeting FUN? WORTHWHILE? FULL OF LEARNING? IDEA-PROVOKING? INSPIRATIONAL? PRACTICAL? What do people want and need to learn and concentrate on for the start of school? If there are 80 faculty, how many needs and wants are there…80? Are there trends, patterns, groupings of wants and needs? What can pull us together as a team…as a community?As a principal who wants to serve his faculty well, these are the questions that challenge and motivate me.
In one week from today, the Westminster Junior High faculty will meet for our first gathering of the 2010-11 school year. Last spring, I encouraged the faculty to read Trilling and Fadel’s 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times. How could we connect this book with our last common read, Carol Dweck’s Mindset? What could we do with the 21st Century Skills book that would make the potential for project-based learning come alive…that would encourage a growth mindset for further developing 21st c. teaching and learning? What if we had a project ourselves? What if we built something together? How could a challenge be structured so that people might work together to build project-based learning ideas for their own classrooms and learning environments? How could we weave together the expectations that we all face, such as establishing a goal that I care about and want to pursue, such as visiting my peers and exchanging ideas about learning, such as taking risks and trying something new and different, such as showing evidence that my students have learned with enduring understanding? How will we measure if we are successful? What does success look like in this case of a meta-project for facilitating faculty development of project-based learning?
THE “BUILD SOMETHING TOGETHER” PROJECT: Coming Soon!
In the meantime, a few TED talks to inspire…
- A Need for a “Radical Shift in Tactics”… http://www.ted.com/talks/lewis_pugh_s_mind_shifting_mt_everest_swim.html
- An “I Can” Attitude… http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/kiran_bir_sethi_teaches_kids_to_take_charge.html
- Developing “Patient Problem Solvers”… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWUFjb8w9Ps
And, YES, I do see these as a package deal, which is to say…even better viewed as a synthesized whole.