The Joy of Teaching

I can’t help but share a few more highlights from my teacher development presentations in August. These teachers are so eager to learn!

I love the enthusiasm generated in several video clips that my colleagues presented during the day. Take a minute or two to watch—they’ll bring a smile to your face! The first video clip comes from Horizon Science Academy in Springfield, Ohio. Imagine the stress that the students (and teachers) feel on the day the students take their state tests. So what did they do at Springfield? The younger students in the school prepared posters, lined up on both sides of the hallways, and cheered the older students as they moved through the hallways to their testing rooms! What a great way to encourage the older students to do their very best on the tests. Talk about a team effort!

The other video below demonstrates the pure joy of teaching. The teachers joined together in dance, song, (and organized chaos!) to show their excitement and encouragement for their students. The teachers, custodians, cooks, and principal all joined in. What comes through is a true passion for their work—whatever it is– and for their students. What comes through loud and clear is TEAM—they are all committed to their mission–together. My thanks to Instructional Coach Rachel Snyder for these videos.

The last city on my tour of Teacher Institute Days was in Center Line, Michigan, near Detroit. Michigan Math and Science Academy just graduated their first eight students last spring. More are on the way this year! MMSA is one of eight high schools in the network of Concept Schools. Ali Uslu, Chief Academic Officer, shared with attendees that 380 seniors graduated from the eight high schools in 2014. Ninety-five percent of the graduates were accepted into a four-year college! And the students received in total about $24 million dollars in merit scholarships. That’s impressive!

Mr. Uslu (left of me) leads the team of Directors of the various subject areas who work with the instructional coaches for the schools. These Directors and coaches are there to support teachers both new and veteran—something that continues throughout the year. Teachers deserve this coaching and professional development year round—and they clearly welcome it. Data always drives the coaching and learning strategies. As Mr. Uslu says, “In God we trust…everyone else must bring data.” Amen!