Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Does This Mean To Me?

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 1, 2012; 3:45 pm; Board Room
Here’s the presentation I’ll be using…
I’ll remember the time sheets and have snacks ready. Hope you can join us!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


We started our January 18 meeting with a few questions and answers about Certification changes and the Reduction In Force ("RIF") process. Matt assured the group that RIFing is generally not anything to worry about as long as (1) District funding from the State of Illinois remains solid, (2) student numbers in your grade level remain the same, and (3) teacher performance and certification is up to par with your teaching assignment.  In other words, keep working to help your kids learn and grow, be open to improving your practice according to your principal's suggestions, and keep your certificate up-to-date, and the rest will sort itself out. Control what you can control, which is YOU, and try not to worry about the rest.

Matt demonstrated how to use the Educator Certification System (ECS) on the Illinois State Board of Education Web Site to record professional development. We also briefly discussed the process of moving from an Initial Certificate to a Standard Certificate.  Contact Matt if you ever have any questions about this.

Books were distributed at our first meeting. Matt took the group on a quick tour of the book, using the presentation embedded below.

At our next meeting we will look at the 4 Domains in a little more detail and examine the levels of performance.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 Book Club Begins!

Welcome Back! Our Spring New Teacher Learning Team meetings will be in Book Club format. This year’s book selection is:

Image from www.ascd.org

Early indications point to this work as the possible foundation for the State of Illinois’ new teacher evaluation process, which is still under development.  Regardless of whether or not the new system will end up looking like Danielson’s Framework, this book is sure to help you develop the skill of self-reflection and build confidence in your classroom practice, and may help dispel the dread that many associate with the evaluation process in general. 

Books are offered free-of-charge to any first- or second-year teacher (in District #205 or KWSED) who can attend one or more of our meetings. The focus is on discussing the principles and helping you reflect on & improve your classroom instruction & professional practices. While all are encouraged to participate, you are of course welcome to simply drop by and just listen to the discussion, too! As always, time will also be set aside for peer-to-peer problem-solving (and a little venting, as well).

Meetings will be held every-other Wednesday, from 3:45-4:45 pm, at the following times & locations:

Jan 18 – GHS Library: Distribute books & Overview of the text

Feb 01 – Board Room: Discuss Assumptions & 4 Domains (pgs. 1-42)

Feb 15 – Board Room: Discuss Domains 1 & 2 (pgs. 43-76)

Feb 29 – Board Room: Discuss Domains 3 & 4 (pgs. 77-108)

Mar 21 – GHS Library: Discuss Specialists, Using the Framework, & Appendices (selections from pgs. 109-end as appropriate)

Apr 11 – Board Room: Discuss Applications of templates, rubrics, etc., throughout the text

Apr 25 – GHS Library (Make-Up Date)

May 09 – Board Room or other location: Celebrations!