Tag Archives: professional development

The Importance of Building a Positive School Culture

It is a joy for me to serve in education and I wanted to share some slides from one of my latest professional development sessions. As educational leaders, it is essential that we are reflective in practices and take the time to enter the difficult conversations and modeling this for our school teams. A positive school culture can not only make a difference in building a strong educational team and retaining teachers, but studies show that a positive school culture has a direct effect on student learning. Exemplary leaders understand how to create a climate of collaboration, they must determine what the group needs to do their work and build the team around a common purpose with mutual respect (Kouzes, 2017).

As we walk through this pandemic, take the time to invest into the discussion of developing or strengthening your school cultures…it will make ALL the difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

Reference

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B (2017). The leadership challenge-how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations.

Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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Teachers Sharing the Good with One Another

I am so excited to share that Maria Chubb and Karina Lepkowski mastered educators teaching at Most Holy Trinity within the Archdiocese of Detroit Catholic Schools will be coming to share their best practices they have been sharing at Detroit area EdCamps and Archdiocese of Detroit professional development sessions on March 3rd for our Archdiocese of Baltimore and Loyola University “Harness the Power Within” Professional Development Day!

#SharingTheGood #WeAreAllOneBodyinChrist

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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Join #AOBEDCHAT Premiere January 8th with Guest Fr. Matt Foley

We would love to have educators join the conversation on Monday, January 8th at 7 PM for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools premiere Twitter edChat. We will be discussing student service learning with guest, Friar Matt Foley! #ShareTheGood #AOBCatholicSchools #RiseAbove

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Technology, Education and Human Resource Recommended Blogs

Last week while sitting in an airport, I grabbed a magazine that featured information on Microsoft’s HoloLens. As an educational leader, I was simply blown away with the future classroom applications that could occur once this product’s engineers have worked out all the kinks and the price driven down to make it an affordable tool to use to enhance learning for learners of all ages, in school and in the workforce.

Below are some good reviews to get one acquainted with the product and provides a glimpse of what it can do and why this product is one to watch for making a change in the way we look at teaching and student learning.

Check out this YouTube Video, that is mind-blowing in educational possibilities for our future with preparing tomorrow’s leaders for any industry. Microsoft HoloLens-Transform your World with Holograms

A Look at Microsoft’s HoloLens by Sean Hollister on CNet.com

Education and Technology…Blogs to Read to Stay Current and use as a Resource

The 2016 Must Read Education and Technology Blogs by Ed TECH Focus on K-12.

The Top 10 EdTech Blogs by http://www.Brainscape.com

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website is very cool and offers a plethora for resources for educational leaders. The site offers blogs to follow and products to use to enhance any learning environment.

Continual Learning Across the Industries

Since we should always be learning new ways to perfect our craft, regardless of industry, this is a great site for professional development and human resource  leaders as well. Learning needs to be engaging for all learners, regardless of their age or level of education. SnackNation, conducted a survey and came up with some out-of-the-box blogs that share ideas on how to make your employees feel validated and engaged in whatever it is you as a manager, leader or employer have to offer.

In an age where after a 30 second sound bite, we lose interest, gleaning some perspective and new ideas from those with whom we want to engage, so they can lead our industries into tomorrow might not be a bad idea.

Human Resource Blogs

The Top 30 HR Blogs for High Performance HR Professionals by http://www.snacknation.com

Capella University’s 6 Must Read Blogs for HR Professionals

Great Leadership -A blog for a leader/manager at any level. This blog also shared best practices and tools to use with your team. e.g. Individual Performance Plans etc.

Strategic Human Capital Management A useful resource for an HR manager or leader in any industry.

As I transition from my role as a traditional education leader as a school principal into more of an education leader within the world of human resources,  I will share all the good sites and resources I discover. Life after all, is just one large volume of multiple lessons…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

 

 

 

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Change Agents, Curriculum Resources, Educational Free Webinars, Favorite Sites, Human Resources, Team Building/Positive Work Environments

20,000 Views…we can do it!

Thank you to all of our readers, who have been supporting our work as we have taking the last 1.5 years to write our series of books…stay tuned, work on our academic eBooks and get back int he schools to conduct professional development and student workshops.

Our entire team feels so blessed to be able to do what we do for the betterment of the educational process…for parents, teachers and most importantly for the child(ren).

Please continue to share the good in education, share your favorite learning tool here with our readers and seek to see the good in the life of those children that are placed before you…they are our future!

Together we can do great things!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

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“You are the Difference” Presentation for Birmingham Public School District’s MLK Educational Training Conference

Unlock the Teacher

Presents

“You are the Difference”

for Birmingham Public School District’s

MLK Educational Training Conference

January 16, 2012

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Unlock the Teacher was asked to present at Birmingham Public School District’s MLK Educational Training Conference.   The district invited over thirty presenters to come in an speak on various topics. The entire educational staff for the district was then able to look at all presentations being offered, and choose two to add to their professional development plan.

I was happy to come in and share Best Practices, Anti-Bullying techniques and remind educators the very important responsibility and role we play in the life of a child.  As Carol Buchner once said, “They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

As educators, we pass on wisdom/skills by modeling  the expected behavior.  Of course, all the wonderful educators knew the importance of these tips. However, sometimes even the most qualified and most dedicated teachers need reminders, and these teachers were positive and a joy to collaborate with today.

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”

  — Forest Witcraft

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Anti-Bullying Workshops, Conferences, Professional Development Workshops for Educators

Professional Development Grants for Educators

Many principals and teachers have been emailing us about our CCSS and Anti-Bullying Workshops.  However, many have asked us to help try to find grant funding sources for these given workshops, due to budget cuts.

We have conducted some initial research and here are a few grant sources that any school or teacher can apply for, to use to enrich the professional development for the teachers in your building.

Braitmayer Foundation Grant

This Massachusetts foundation provides seed money grants,  or matching grants to organizations striving to achieve its mission of preparing teachers and keeping teachers in K-12 education. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for these funds up to $35,000. The foundation encourages applicants to design projects that create professional development opportunities for teachers of high ability and diverse background.

Learning and Leadership Grants

The National Education Association (NEA) annually offers grants to both individuals and groups to participate in professional development and carry out study groups, research or mentoring experiences for new faculty. Eligible applicants include PreK-12 public school teachers, public school support professionals, and faculty and staff at public higher education institutions. NEA especially encourages applications from new teachers with less than seven years of experience and education support professionals. Grants are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups. All professional development must have the goal of improving student education.

Toyota Tapestry Grants

For K-12 science teachers, Toyota Tapestry Grants provide large ($10,000 each) and mini-grants ($2500 each) to improve science education in a particular school or district. Proposals should develop innovative and new ways of teaching science to motivate students. Projects could include creative use of technology, involvement with industry or curriculum development and implementation. In partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, the goal of these grants is to assist teachers to inspire students for lifetime science learning.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt now has a “Find a Grant” Database.  Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

We will continue to research more funding sources and post here as we find them. It is only in the collaborative process that we will be able to make a difference for our students…our future!

 
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
 
Denise

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F-R-E-E Educational Webinars for Teachers and Parents

Given our economy, professional development has been slim for many educators. There is a plethora of free webinars online. Have fun learning!

Life is busy and for those of us who do not have time to attend a class for learning or pleasure, webinars can be just the tool needed to achieve our goal. Given technology, webinars can be the next best thing for teachers too.

PBS Teachers Live Should be in Every Teacher’s Toolbox

PBS Teachers Live offers a wealth of webinars in many areas across the disciplines. For example, if a teacher were interested in educating students about Earth Day in April (hopefully), then PBS Teachers Live would be
a valuable tool. Teachers sign up for free and log on to various webinars, full of ideas, lesson plans and across the curriculum connections, to name a few.

Webinars, an Awesome Resource for Educators

After doing some research, here are a few webinar sites across the Internet that is recommended by those within the world of education:

Education Week (one of my personal favorites) offers many enlightening webinars. Check out “E-educators’ Evolving Skills”…talk about relevant!

American Statistical Association offers various webinars…currently hosting a K-12 “Meeting within a Meeting” for Science and Math Teachers

Exploring Middle School MiddleWeb is a blog powered by Typepad. They are a promoter of 21st Century Learning and offer live and archived webinars. Check out the latest webinar: The National Middle School Association is teaming up with the NSF-funded Middle School Portal to offer “Free math and Science Webinars”…the goal was to not only make the training affordable but user friendly; teachers could watch from home.

Webinars and Educational Professional Development

The life of a teacher is very demanding and organization is necessary. This is also true for those entrusted to lead and provide professional development for their educational staff. Given this amazing age of technology, regardless of budget, there is no reason that professional development is not occurring within schools.

All of the webinars posted here in this article, can be utilized to strengthen and enrich any school faculty. Time can be manipulated and educators can watch at their own pace or educators can be assembled and view webinar as a whole and collaborate in groups afterwards. This type of professional development is only going to increase not decrease as we progress further into the world of technology. There are many curriculum developers/professional development trainers, who utilize programs like these mentioned to create meaningful professional development for educators around the world.

Given our economy, we are going to need to be more creative with our training. Training cannot stop due to funding. Teachers still need to be prepared to teach the 21-Century student, we just need to be creative. MSN as created a fabulous tool for any organization looking to create “living” documents. For educators, this tool can be multi-faceted and utilized with students or within a building for aligning curriculum. This is just two of unlimited possibilities with OneNote. Check out the free OneNote Webinar below for further details.

OneNote and Education:
This MSDN blog was created to have a dialog about OneNote and education, including sharing ideas, resources, and building community with teachers, students and faculty.

Parents are the first teachers. All of these webinars mentioned are open to anyone interested in learning and changing the life of a child. This will be one of many articles written on the topic of professional development within the world of education. There is a plethora of free programs out there for all of us to learn and use, to meet the needs of our children,
our future.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

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Teachers are Planters of Seeds…What Kind of Seeds are you Planting?

As I sit and review my notes for Unlock the Teacher‘s first professional development session for the 2011/2012 school year, I reflect and wonder, what
words can I provide that might inspire and instill hope for all the amazing teachable moments that will happen in the life of the teachers with whom I will be speaking to tomorrow. Teaching is SO much more than a job, I honestly believe it is a calling; an urge that a person feels to make a difference, and is played out in the classroom.

We often think about all the teachable moments that happen throughout the school year for our students, our future. However, I also think of the amazing teachable moments that occur for the individual teacher. I hope that at this time of year, the teacher is reflecting and writing a curriculum map for the school year that will be used as a master plan.

The teacher, who starts the school year, is often different from the one who finishes it. Hopefully, this is the case, as a true reflective practitioner will evolve throughout the year as his/her students will…keeping in mind no two students are alike, no school year should ever mirror another for a teacher.

In regards to a teacher’s master curriculum plan, this is just a tool that is utilized to create lessons full of discovery for each quarter, with one scaffolding on the next to ensure that students are maximizing their potential. However, this is just a plan, as all good teachers know, true
“teachable moments” sometimes just happen and must be capitalized on in the moment.

I have chosen the theme of “Teachers are Planters of Seeds” for tomorrow.  I have had the pleasure of working with this staff on curriculum alignment and I am honored to be asked back into their building on their first day back to school before their eager students arrive next week.

I think as teachers, we have the awesome power to create new worlds in our students’ minds. We can take them to places they might not ever get an opportunity to experience, tell them and show them how to achieve the impossible dream OR we can crush the human spirit with one angry glance or snide comment.

Think about what kind of world we hope to have in the future and remember that it all begins with how we treat our children today, what opportunities we provide, what words of encouragement or defeat did we choose to utilize at the moment of chaos in the classroom. When we train our eyes to see the good and choose to use words to share the good, amazing things can happen!

 

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte

 

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live!

 

What kind of seeds are you getting ready to plant this school year?

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Professional Development Workshops for Educators