Three best ideas from conference days….

29 Aug

 “Classroom teaching…. is perhaps the most complex, most challenging, and most demanding, subtle, nuanced, and frightening activity that our species has ever invented….The only time a physician could possibly encounter a situation of comparable complexity would be in the emergency room of a hospital during a natural disaster.”-Lee Shulman

This week has been a huge blur. Monday started with teacher orientation followed by conference days today and tomorrow. A lot of information is being given out to me in such a short amount of time…which makes for a very overwhelming week and sleepless nights. However I am discovering amazing new resources and tools that I hope I can start implementing in my classroom soon. Here are my favorites:

1. Charlotte Danielson Rubric:
Some schools are using this rubric to fit into the evaluation piece of the new teacher evaluation system. Reading performance indicators on the rubric on each ‘domain’ of teacher performance, I can easily understand what I can be working towards; and which behaviors to change. For example, one aspect of the rubric is “Demonstrating knowledge about how students learn”.
An unsatisfactory behavior for this is :

The lesson plan includes a
teacher presentation for an entire
30 minute period to a group of 7-
year olds.

I chuckled at that one. A distinguished behavior for this category is:

The teacher plans to provide
multiple project options; students
will self-select the project that best
meets their individual approach to
I just think this rubric really spells out what actions indicate effective teaching. 
2. My Big Campus: my district will be using this website and I can’t wait to learn how to use it! You can do blogs, wikis, post homework and even have online tests! I am so excited. I have always wanted to make a ‘school facebook’….and this application would basically take the place of that. 
3. Edutopia: This is a great professional development resource that I had no idea existed. There are countless videos and webinars on every aspect of education. Watching some of the videos I was amazed at the activities some teachers were executing in their classrooms around the country. I no longer have to go to a day-long workshop to get professional development. 
It’s good to know I am getting something very useful out of the time I’ve spent at conference days. Can’t wait for the kids!!


I’ve also started a teacher Twitter account…follow me! @MissBurgwin


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