Updated: Feb 24
Hi colleagues, I hope you’re having a good week 😊
In each newsletter I’m trying to get the balance between literacy and numeracy, primary and secondary, as well as using the Goldilocks principle for the length of the newsletter each week.
Give me any feedback on how the newsletter has been landing for you.
Leading Literacy Workshop 5
With the end of the year fast approaching, this coincides with the wrapping up of the courses I’m attached to.
Since all courses went online due to the pandemic there have been positives and negatives to this transition. To my surprise I feel that workshop 5 has been even more successful in the online environment.
This workshop has always been a celebration, as well as an opportunity to get feedback around strategic actions heading into the following year.
I found the feedback to be even stronger this year, which is a testament to all participants given the fatigue everyone is feeling.
A few years ago, I made a couple of New Year resolutions.
To stop using the ‘b’ word, busy
To have my email inbox at zero whenever was practically possible
I can safely say that I have failed dismally at resolution number one. I still cringe every time I express how busy I am, but it’s a fact!
As for resolution number two, I’m pretty happy. Most weeks I have at least one day where my email inbox is sitting at zero. When this happens, I have a very productive week.
Email is designed to make our communication more efficient and flexible, but often people spend so much time in their inbox, that scouring and answering emails is a full-time job. In reality it is something we need to get out of the way so that we can do our jobs.
There are lots of guides out there regarding productivity and emails. I think this blog post by Tiago Forte is an excellent starting point if you want to improve in this area. https://fortelabs.co/blog/one-touch-to-inbox-zero/
I’ll keep working on maintaining my inbox regularly at zero, but I’m also contemplating a couple of new resolutions that I will share with you in a couple of weeks.
Kelly Gallagher is a high school English teacher in Anaheim, California. He is also an author/consultant who is a leading international voice on literacy education.
I’m a big fan and wish I was familiar with his work when I was embarking upon my career.
Based on his own classroom experiences, Kelly has written numerous books for teachers. I have included links below to my favourites. 180 Days (co-written with Penny Kittle) Write Like This Teaching Adolescent Writers Deeper Reading
The other resource that I would direct you to is Kelly’s article of the week. http://www.kellygallagher.org/article-of-the-week
Kelly posts an article each week to help support students build their background knowledge and comprehension. There are hundreds of articles, and they cover a range of topics including: space, climate change, global supply, diet, international relations, technology, sport, history, education, fitness, sustainability, etcetera.
Note, there is a USA flavour to the articles as well as many relating to COVID-19. There are still hundreds that have universal relevance to all students ranging from Year 3 -12. You might want to use a COVID article(s), but I know I’m fatigued around the topic, as I’m sure many of you are. I gravitate to the other options
Article Of The Week
I’m still working on my piece about principal wellbeing, a subject close to my heart.
In the meantime, I’ve included below a link to a really important article on this topic that was in The Age in 2016.
I didn’t know Dr Mark Thompson personally, but he is never far from my thoughts when I’m working closely with principals. The challenges for principals are ever increasing, and it beggars belief that contract tracing is something that is now part of the job description.
If I can support you with anything don’t hesitate to reach out.
The Australian Principal Federation, https://apf.net.au is also referenced, and if you’re a principal class educator, they are the organisation you need to be a member of. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. You can subscribe to my blog to have it delivered to your inbox when it has been uploaded.
I’ve also included links to my previous articles if you’re interested. Report Writing Season Finish Strong Victorian Education Excellence Awards Learning Can Be Life Changing Hate Mail Remembering Richard Elmore Depth Over Breadth Can An Entire Education System Become Coherent? Thanks for reading and see you next week,
P.S Feel free to provide me with any feedback regarding the newsletter, or anything for that matter via email. Also, let me know what topics you would be interested in reading more about.
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