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1. Presenting with a colleague on why we should consider the words of Scott Belsky in his book, Making Ideas Matter and investing in his project management program to help us stay on task, organized, and productive.
2. Thinking about project-based learning in the physics classroom.
3. Reading ‘Balanced Leadership:What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement’ (what a sub-title!). Part of my work to pursue my administrator’s licensure.
4. We’ve scheduled 52% of the students and the other 48% are just 1 course away from being completed (students need to choose a course but they don’t do that for another week and a half). This time last year, 19% of students were scheduled.
5. Going to review the Common Core standards in English. It’s a barn-burner, let me tell ya!
6. Working on house projects this weekend with my in-laws and wife. Can’t wait to knock a few more items off of my to do list. I can’t go wrong with Ken’s help (the man’s a Mr. Fix-it!!)

Yesterday I was jogging around Clintonville. It was a gorgeous day and my legs needed a good stretch. As I booked it around my planned 3+ mile path, I came to a number of intersections and this situation happened to me more than once: I would approach an intersection and see a car either coming or going. Each time I had a decision to make. Do I go or wait? When thinking about whether to come or go, I knew that there were implications. If I went, I would usually get further ahead, wouldn’t lose my pace (too much), but I would risk being hit by a car (kind of risky). If I waited, I wouldn’t get hit, but I would lose my pace and therefore some time and momentum.

So I am going somewhere with this story. Our enrollment is plugging along right now. We’ve really picked up a fast stride over the last 3 weeks but now we’re coming to this spot of where we have to make a ‘wait list’ decision. Do we wait or do we forge ahead? The x factor to this decision is attrition. It’s always a unique problem and there is a certain amount of postulation that goes into that decision. Clearly we want to provide every student a great educational opportunity, however, we have to have smallish class sizes in order to be successful.

The moral of the story, there is never a dull moment in the life of an administrator.

What a morning

On my drive, down High Street from north of Chatham until Arcadia, and then over to I-71, I didn’t hit a single red light!! I felt like I was in that commercial where the driver has this little button that appears on their dash and when they push it the roads clear up just for them to get through. I was great!!!

I’m now at my desk working hard. Today I’ll be working on updating everyone on a floor, thinking through how to teach Physics, scheduling (of course; update: 30% of the students have completed schedules. This time last year, 0%), and interviewing 4 students for enrollment this year. Of course, this is just the plan, we’ll see what happens. But when you start off with all greens, you gott a be excited about the possibilities!

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and RealityMaking Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading Belsky’s thoughts on productivity and how to squeeze the most juice out of your ideas. This book is probably perfect for the most creative silicone valley types, but as an educator and administrator, I got a lot out of it. I’m probably never going to have an earth shattering business idea or product, but as an aspect of my job I need to be creatively considering ways to improve the school. This book gave me some very practical tools and things to think about when trying to implement new ideas. Really great if you’re either frustrated that your ideas never go anywhere, you begin but don’t finish a project, or you find yourself stretched too thin over multiple projects. Great, easy read.

View all my reviews

Back in the saddle…

Just made myself a nice, strong cup of coffee and am sitting down to schedule the 9th grade class. Thanks to the help of Mr. McMullen and Mr. Butsko, we’ve schedule nearly 120 students so far. The 9th grade class is quite large, but I hope to complete them before breaking for the weekend.

On hiatus…

So, I’m taking a pause of writing & reading for the blog for another week or two. I’m on my own vacation and trying to slow down (plus the housework is piling up). Look back here around mid-August for more education-related news, tidbits, and insights. -Ed

Here is some NPR audio on this very story. Even if this law doesn’t impact me directly, I am at least happy that we are handling this better than Wisconsin is.  Can’t we have a law passed honestly minus all of the ‘gotcha’ of the partisan politics?  I’m not being naive when I say that this has got to be possible.  -Ed
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/23/134003966/Ohio-Follows-Wisconsins-Lead-On-Budget-Cuts

Animation showing the advantages of owning and using an e-portfolio.

I found this video on YouTube and felt like it’s a good primer for what ePortfolios are and how they can help solve problems.  The only thing I would add/modify to this is that an ePortfolio is a place to gather evidence, but while you send links to people, people come to your work, not the other way around.  This is the fundamental change in how web 2.0 and social networking strategies work.

At any rate, I think that a good next step would be to do a similar video but directed at high school students!! Oh yea, I am that crazy! 🙂  Our school is focused on all of our students doing an ePortfolio at the end of each semester.  This allows them to show their learning and growth over time.  Since we are a five year program, they will graduate with 10 iterations of growth demonstrated.  It’s an overwhelming endeavor but it’s a good challenge for our learners and our staff.  The really cool spin-off effect we have seen is that our students are more confident, better writers, and better digital information managers.

At any rate, neat video and I am glad that the paradigm of assessment in education is beginning to shift towards ePortfolios as opposed to standardized tests.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “e-portfolios for starters“, posted with vodpod