Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thank a Union: 36 Ways Unions Have Improved Your Life

Orignally posted at this site.
Posted by the LCEA INSIDER on August 20, 2012 with some grammatical/content revisions.

Let's get one thing straight...

Employers and Corporations did not feel generous and decide to give (workers) two days off every week to enjoy a meaningful personal life. (Most Americans call these days off) weekends. Corporations did not just feel like being nice one day and give their employees paid vacations. CEOs didn't (brainstorm) together in a board room and say, "Let's give our employees more rights at work" or "Maybe there should be laws to limit our (unreasonable) power(s) over an employee".
Virtually ALL (of) the benefits (that union and non-union American workers) have at work--whether you work in the public or private sector--all of the benefits and rights you enjoy everyday are there because unions fought hard and long for them against big business who did everything they could to prevent giving you your rights. Many union leaders and members even lost their lives for things we take for granted today.

The right-wing attack on unions is nothing more than ignorance, lack of education, and propaganda.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Take a Risk...Flip Your Parent Communication!

by Peter DeWitt on July 7, 2013 6:17 AM|

The Flipped model can clearly be a fad, but it doesn't have to be if it is done with integrity.

Old model of parent communication - Monthly newsletters with important dates & info.

New model of parent communication - Classroom websites, district Facebook pages, school Twitter pages...and monthly newsletters.

But what about flipping communication? Most schools are looking for new and innovative ways to engage parents. Connected leaders have been flipping their faculty meetings in order to model the method for teachers who want to flip their classrooms. Some leaders are doing it because their teachers who flip their classrooms have influenced them and inspired them to take a risk. Yes, risk-taking is reciprocal.

Unfortunately, due to outside influences such as increased accountability, or to inside influences such as...well, staff and school leaders that don't get along, some school leaders are nervous about flipping anything.

They have a fear that the reaction to flipping will look something like this...

Last year I posted a blog about flipping parent communication and there were mixed reactions. I get it! There are educators who hate discussing technology because they believe it is a fad or feel that techies inflate the need for technology in the classroom. I have written numerous times about finding a balance, so even though I feel like it's implied when I write, I will say it's about finding a balance (Finding Common Ground) between being old school and school.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Three Things to Make Next Year a Better One

by Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers on July 9, 2013 5:55 AM

In 2007, Karl Fisch, Director of Technology at Araphoe High School in Colorado, and the author of The FischBowl, and Scott McLeod, widely recognized as one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues and author of Dangerously ! Irrelevant, developed the video, Did You Know; Shift Happens - Globalization; Information Age. They surprised everyone with some pretty overwhelming information. This link is to the original version. It has been updated several times over these past six years, but even the original message still rings true. We are faced with a world that is continuing to change at an increasingly accelerated pace and we are charged with leading learning institutions inside of the tornado that has become our life.

 Every day there are blog posts and articles that give us (as an example) the "10 most important things to do in order to...." They all have good pointers and are very helpful in helping us manage to keep our feet on the ground and move forward in spite of that tornado that sweeps us off our feet and throws us around. Each of us must choose which applies to our environments and which applies to the readiness level of our teachers and schools. We offer 3 things to do in order to figure out which of the other 10 things are worth doing for your classrooms and schools. If we do these three things, we may be better prepared to handle this next year with more wisdom and preparation than we had in the last.

 Take Control of Your Time

As impossible as this seems, we can do it better. In a long ago post, we talked about the work of Paul Bambrick-Santoyo. In his book Leverage Leadership he suggests that controlling our schedules gives us the opportunity to provide "Quality School Leadership." Certainly this seems impossible with interruptions, a child or parent in need, meetings, Email, phone calls to take and return - especially for building level leaders.