Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How does change happen?

First of all, check out the new blog format.

Second of all, today we played the Making Change for School Improvement game with the fellow Montgomery County instructional coaches and it was awesome.  Our group successfully moved every teacher to becoming a routine user, but ran out of money to perform a complete curriculum revamp. .  Amazingly, we still had plenty of funding to give our kids standardized tests (kidding).

What I left my meeting with today is that I don't talk to nearly enough people in our district.  I have a great rapport with our teachers.  I am friendly with our administrators.  It's REALLY hard to have a conversation about things that need to change with administrators though.  As a whole, I feel like preservation of the status quo can sometimes be more important to them.  Or, the need for change is viewed as such a huge problem that mere mortals are powerless to do anything about it.

It's become necessary for me to provide data at every waking moment to support what we're doing as instructional coaches.  I'm the one responsible for providing it, when there's a real easy way to collect that data.

If you want to see the effect that an instructional coach is having, GO INTO A CLASSROOM  and see.  Look at what is happening in the classroom first, then decide what additional data (if any) that you need.  As a statistics teacher, my recommendation is to gather data to assist in making an informed decision.  Please try to avoid gathering data to support an argument for/against.  It turns litigious and confrontational.

I had the pleasure of speaking with @kenrodoff about how his administrative team walked through classrooms for 6 hours as part of an ISTE site visit and was amazed at what was happening with technology. Hopefully this leads to a continued and improved support for instructional technology within their district.  Honestly, I have no doubt about it.

My classroom door is wide open for anyone that would like to visit.  My students and I would love to share what we're doing with you.  I have no reservations and I don't get scared when an administrator walks in to my room.  I want you to come in.  I want to share.  I want to be seen because I believe what I'm doing is in my student's best interest.  I am proud of the fact that what happens in my classroom is different than every other classroom in the district.  I have no idea how well my students will do on an AP Exam, in fact, I don't really care.  I care that my students are producing something they genuinely care about and are interested in.

Here's some of the great things happening:
Probability presented through Penalty Kicks
Binomial vs Geometric Probability: A Jimmer Fredette Example
Experimental Design: Pokemon and Smash Bros


Rokujo said...

Hi Mr. C!

I am a NYC sophomore in a highly competitive high school and I am registered to take AP Stats next year, even though all the upperclassmen told me the teacher wasn't particularly helpful... So that's why I'm trying to learn by myself and am starting nice and early, right now... So, drawing on your experiences, do you have any tips on how to excel in this course? Like how should you study to understand the material? Visualizing? The most important concepts that are covered?? Thanks.

Christiansen said...

My class wiki may be helpful to you, and we are always adding to it.