If you have ever had the opportunity to watch Ella Bess Marshall teach children or lead a coaching meeting with an adult, you know about 2 minutes in that you are in the presence of greatness (aka: a truly talented teacher). Ella Bess began teaching in 2006 and since that time has taught upper elementary and middle school math and coached 4th-8th grade math. In 2010, she was on the founding team at Henderson Collegiate and is there currently serving as an instructional coach and grade level chair coach. If you happen to find yourself in Henderson, North Carolina, go check her out. You will leave a better educator.
Do you remember studying for the ACT or GRE? Did you buy the vocabulary flashcards or make your own? I remember the summer of 2009 as “The One With the GRE Flashcards” because I took them everywhere and reviewed them in every spare moment. Whether it was by the pool, in the DMV, at the doctor’s office, or at my kitchen table, my anxiety about memorizing the vocabulary words continued to increase. I remember wishing I had received better vocabulary instruction in school. The reality is, in many places, we still aren’t YET teaching vocabulary, or word study, well. The key word here is: YET.
I entered the teaching profession hungry to learn how to be a great educator and ready to become the next National Teacher of the Year! I watched Stand and Deliver, Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me, and Dead Poets Society, just to name a few. I was ready!
As LeBron James says, “Nothing is Given. Everything is Earned.” Regardless of your feelings on LeBron, it is important for our young people (well, all people) to internalize this life lesson.
As the polar vortex is creating record lows and cities are experiencing the harshest cold in years, be certain your classroom climate doesn’t mirror this event. Instead, create or infuse a climate of JOY in your classroom as we head into the spring. Think back to a lesson you were taught in school that you still remember. What did the teacher do to make it stick?
We began the “Data Series” blog posts emphasizing the importance of daily independent practice, then explored 5 concrete steps to ensure your lessons are aligned to state standards, and most recently the 3 types of meaningful data that will help increase results in your classroom. In the latest post, the second type of data discussed was daily classroom data: data that a teacher collects during the lesson in one class period. This type often helps determine who is on track for mastering the daily objective and who needs immediate remediation. The game-changing strategy used to collect data daily is where we will end our “Data Series” posts. Educators, allow me to introduce you to Aggressive Monitoring.