The morning was spent revisiting what we learned from Dr. Doug Fisher and sharing how we had applied strategies and learning from his October presentation and from his book, Culture of Achievement.
Some topics for review:
CULTURE TRUMPS EVERYTHING
Participants explored the idea of culture and why it is important.
According to Fisher, “Culture develops and grows up through an accumulation of actions, traditions, symbols, ceremonies, and rituals that are closely aligned with an organizations vision.”
The discussion of culture then transitioned to a focus on the 7 Domains of Teacher Leadership with the recurring theme of culture at the forefront of the discussion again being on the 1st domain:
Fostering a Collaborative Culture to Support Educator Development and Student Learning.
Pairs and then quads joined together to share how they have been implementing Fisher’s strategies in their classrooms and schools. Some of the strategies implemented by Galileo Leaders were 10 to 2, morning meetings, student ambassadors, and restorative practices.
In learning, depth can be more important than breadth. Leaders took the time to really explore and discuss four of the pillars of a culture of achievement:
Do No Harm
It’s Never Too Late to Learn
The morning’s professional development culminated in a discussion about the structure for instruction that works and looking at what the concepts of focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning actually incorporate and look like.
PBL- Project Based Learning
Since June, Galileo Leaders have immersed themselves in planning, preparing, and performing project based lessons. All of that hard work was on display this Thursday afternoon. Leaders shared videos that they had created to depict the project based learning journey of their students. The consensus was student engagement was at its highest and cross curricular connections were made at all levels and subject areas.
In the end, “We believe that no school improvement effort will be effective, maintained, or enhanced unless school culture and academic press are both addressed and aligned. Both developing school culture and creating academic press are necessary, but neither is in and of itself sufficient,” (Fisher, p. 5).