Statewide Support

The journey is the reward. – Chinese Proverb

I am grateful for the educators in Montana!  With their support, nearly 400 hundred teachers and administrators took the time to complete my online survey, while eight also participated in an additional interview protocol that was created for my dissertation research at Montana State University. As I reflect on this journey and my recent Dissertation Defense, I am humbled. When one of my committee members asked me how I felt after my research was complete, I immediately responded with positive tears. I have always respected my colleagues; however, after spending over a year investigating their knowledge about and perceptions of the formative reading assessment process, my respect has increased beyond measure!  I was continuously fascinated by their expertise in and passion for reading instruction as well as their commitment to developing trusting relationships with each one of their young scholars.

Our educators are truly dedicated to our students, as both teachers and administrators, they continue to also be students who are engaged in life-long learning about best practices. Our educators have a relentless focus on learning how to most effectively meet students individualized instructional needs! Below is a visual of the conceptual framework for my research. Please click here to view my findings.

Diagram 7.15.15

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21 Century Leadership Institute

As the school year is quickly coming to a close, I am reflective and grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in SAM’s 21 Century Leadership Institute.  This year long program enabled me to collaborate and learn with skilled administrators across the state and have the guidance of an expert mentor.  Collectively, we were able to learn, celebrate, and support each other in implementing a meaningful project.  I chose to focus on improving the framework of our weekly PLCs.

My goals were:

  1. Use simple weekly protocols for each grade level team to follow throughout the school year (modified from Solution Tree resources and forms shared by colleagues).
  2. Support teachers in having a structure to collaborate around student data to guide instructional decisions.
  3. Communicate frequent feedback to grade level teams through Google Docs.

What happened?

  1.  Each grade level team had their own folder: Click here to view.
  2.  Each week (mostly) I emailed the teams to remind them of the protocol to complete.
  3.  The teams would take notes about their discussions, plans, and instructional decisions made on their protocol and I would follow-up with email communication or face to face meetings.

Improvements?

  1. I believe creating the protocols with a Google form or spreadsheet would be helpful to add notification rules. This would support me in providing faster feedback…
  2. I created a folder for our Special Education, Title One, and Para teams; however, the feedback and/or collaboration was not as consistent.
  3. Modify some of the forms to provide for a little more flexibility.

Other Resources that support our PLCs

  1. MCCS- Essential Grade Level Standards (Still a work in progress)
  2. 4 Essential Questions for teachers and students