Helping the cause

Today was the first day back to school for North Port High School, where I teach.  In Florida, as in other states, we have a high stakes test that all 10th graders must pass in order to graduate (the FCAT).  Our school earned a grade of a “C” for our efforts last year, and our Principal was understandably disappointed.  Of course, there are many factors that contributed to our grade, but one of the biggest was the fact that we have so many level 1 readers that did not make progress.

After analyzing data all morning (fun!) our Principal asked that the elective teachers stay behind for a brief discussion.  Now I’m getting to why this is in my blog…

He said that it is very important that the elective teachers partner with and reinforce what the core curricular teachers are doing with reading. When he asked for discussion, I raised my hand and offered that the elective teachers are often the ones with the closest relationships with our students.  They will often do for us what they wouldn’t even consider for their Math or Science teachers.  By communicating regularly with the core teachers, we can have a big impact on student achievement.

Now for the technology-

Most music educators that I know are EXTREMELY busy especially during the fall.  We groan when we hear about initiatives that “interfere” with our rehearsal plans and wonder where we are going to find the time to fit all of it in.  If you have been reading my blog- you know that I am a big fan of podcasting.  I think that this is an excellent way to recieve information from other teachers.  For example, the Reading teacher could outline a specific strategy and how to implement it on a podcast, and I could download it and listen while I’m mowing the lawn on the weekend instead of having a face to face or faculty meeting, taking valuable after school rehearsal time.  As I’ve said before, having the ability to choose when I recieve professional development has been a revelation.  When your Principal asks you to be a “team player” why not raise your hand and offer to teach your English teachers how to podcast!

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