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December 1, 2007
Vol. 65
No. 4

Best of the Blog

      In response to "Leading from Second Chair," on how assistant principals can best support teachers and students:
      Administrators who are the most successful at overseeing positive student learning outcomes create, support, and fight enthusiastically to sustain time for teachers to work together at mentoring, analyzing student work, doing peer observation and feedback, and engaging in dialogue about improving instruction. Administrators who lead in this manner help create a culture where teachers are, quite rightly, the instructional leaders in a school.
      —Sammy Parker
      The best quote I have seen lately says it all: "The best teacher is the one who remembers what it was like being a student, and the best administrator is one who remembers what it was like being a teacher."
      —Matt Chalmers
      It's my second year of being an assistant principal. As our teachers learn how to use new assessment instruments, I am there learning right beside them. I want to be a vital part of the discussions of teaching and learning, so I must continue to learn how to teach better, too! One of the best lessons I learned from my predecessor was the importance of writing a note of acknowledgement and appreciation. It's a challenge to keep this at the top of my list of priorities for the week, but the benefits outweigh those of any other work I do.
      —Gail Neff
      In response to "McTighe on Making Assessments Meaningful":
      I am a 1st grade teacher. My students had to take many difficult and burdensome assessments at the beginning of the year. To make matters worse, they had to do these assessments on the computer. These assessments told me more about their computer knowledge than about their reading and math skills. I understand the importance of assessment, but with all of the other duties we have as teachers, it is definitely overkill!
      There needs to be some form of assessment—not necessarily a test—to show that students comprehend what was taught and learned. Educators do have to teach the test, especially in light of standardized testing and other mandatory assessments.
      I think that there are ways to assess for learning. I just have not figured out how this can be done without parents and administration having a fit about not tracking students through tests. Also, students need practice taking tests so that they do not feel overwhelmed when they take standardized tests.

      This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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