Another semester is in the books. I had another great semester filled with many opportunities to learn, laugh, and grow. I truly do love my job and the school I'm at. I tired once again to strengthen relationships with my students and really enjoyed the groups that I worked with this year. The new room was also fantastic ... what a difference! I was also very happy to 'ditch' my desk in the classroom ... I definitely felt more connected to my students and didn't miss the urge to sit behind a desk. Working with an intern again was a rewarding and growth experience. I hope I was able to provide some sage wisdom, a chance to develop positive teaching practices, and help install a growth mindset. I thank my intern for helping me reflect on our profession, sharing new approaches and ideas, and fostering my own growth mindset. I once again really enjoyed the TIFA experience and really fell there is a need for video analysis in education. This was the first semester as a RCSD connected educator. The access to the technology was quite welcomed and I felt gave many new opportunities to innovate and incorporate 21st Century skills. The use of One Note in the classroom was a positive experience and allowed the opportunity to share information, new ideas, and better learning opportunities. I was able to expand upon my use of coding and Minecraft and was very happy with the results of using both. I loved seeing students create, take risks, and learn in new ways. I know I reached some students who are usually not as motivated to try something new. The play, struggle, and collaboration I witnessed was worth the time spent for sure. I will continue to hone my use and understanding of the flipped classroom concept. It worked well with my work place 20 math class and really gave me an opportunity to connect with the kids building relationships and delivering content. Still a ways to go with this including getting more students to watch the videos. Hour of Code, Bread Out Edu Boxes, Skype opportunities also added to the fun and learning. I'm still trying to work on effectively using technology tools like Formative and Plickers for formative assessment and the mini whiteboards continue to get more students sharing work and providing feedback opportunities. As I corrected the CFD exams it left me with more questions than answers of how to effectively get students motivated and measure understand and objectives met. Sometimes I feel I'm stuck in two worlds. I would like to be more innovative and provide students an opportunity to grow and challenge themselves, but sometimes the current system does not allow for som of the changes I'd like to see. I tired to grow my education leadership position by providing support and offering resources. The basic requirements have been met for this position, but I'd still like to see it grow into a tru PLC with more talk and sharing of best and innovative practice. Still a good challenge. I have enjoyed my work as part of the Communication Committee trying to spread and share the great things going on at our school through our digital signage, twitter, and our web site. The new semester should provide some new and exciting experiences with reboots to the website and in door digital signage. Working with the assembly committee was once again fun and challenging always interesting to put on a 'show' for over 800 people. Our TEDed group is moving along slowly but surely and hopefully we can pick it up a bit in the next semester. I'm also going to try and boot up a Titan News team and get some strong content going for the digital signage and school you tube channel. The O'Neill 50th anniversary is coming up and there will be lots of work with this too. Got some positive feedback from parents with the efforts I made to stay in touch through e-mail and Remind ... was happy that my efforts to do a better job of communication had positive results. Second semester should be great. Really enjoyed going to lunch masses once again ... really helps put things into perspective and always good to feed the soul. Look forward to a new challenge with a new class business/tech 9 ... we are going to have some fun and try lots of new ideas out with this class ... stay tuned. Have some great PD opportunities coming up this semester too as well. So blessed to have a great family and health too. New semester ... new adventures ... bring em on
I recently had the good fortune to work with an intern recently. It is always great professional development and a chance to impact the future of teaching by working with an aspiring teacher. Our internship journey had a unique, reflective, and what I feel is a game changing twist. A twist that is commonplace in many other professions and that is video analysis. Just like a football team would get the game film and break down what happened on offense, defense, and special teams and look for tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses in order to learn from and improve on last week’s performance, this process was very similar.
We embarked on what was know as the TIFA (Teacher/Intern/Faculty Advisor) program lead by Dr. Kathy Nolan of the Education Math Department at the University of Regina. The process involved recording an interns lesson, editing and submitting a 10-15-minute portion of a lesson, then getting together with the Faculty Advisor, other educators, and other interns to break down, reflect, and discuss what was in the video. First the video was shown in it’s entirety with the group writing down different elements of what they noticed in the lesson and the delivery. Noticing points could be on content, classroom management, student response, and more, but the key thing was to just notice and not make judgement statements in the first round of open reflection. We would go around and make statements like ‘saw head was down’, ‘heard you say cancel out’, or ‘the students had many questions on that problem’. After a round of noticing the intern that was videoed was able to make reflective comments on what was noticed, offered explanations, and made connections to all elements of their teaching. Finally, we had a round where we could drill deeper on an area that stood out and have a deep meaningful conversation with all involved. The atmosphere created for this type of reflection was safe, open, and trusting. We had two meeting that were face to face and we these days participating in meaningful professional development for all involved. We also did one session via video conferencing where we previewed the videos on our own and came to the meeting having seen the videos and did our noticing before hand. The face to face was more personal and intimate, but the video conference was also effective as the technology worked well and was time and cost effective. During the last session, cooperating teachers we also invited to share a clip of one of their lesson. I took this opportunity to get feedback and share some of my practices. I appreciated the candid feedback and the ideas that it generated for me. Overall it was a great experience and enriched the internship process for me and the members of this group.
This process involves having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. This opportunity is not meant as a way to judge, but rather a way to improve and reflect. We can all get better at our craft. I would also like to see this at a school level with teachers working together and sharing ‘game’ film and having conversations about teaching. I have reflected on this experiences and would invite others to consider this type of professional development. Looking for a couple resources to help you explore this opportunity check out https://www.edutopia.org/blog/video-pd-power-of-observation-nira-dale or Focus on Teaching Using Video for High-Impact Instruction by Jim Knight. As always feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @vendi55.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a call from George Couros for a reporter/blogger/connector of people named Jam Gamble that was looking to interview teachers for a blog series she was putting together. I answered the call and contacted Jam ... the result was a great opportunity to share my thoughts and reflections on what I do ... here's a link to the blog post http://www.msjam.ca/blog/how-do-you-do-it-6-dean-vendramin
Honoured to have my Hour of Code article published on page 6 of the STF Bulletin.
Submitted a vlog as part of my #30daysofblogging and #edu2017 goals. Really need to work at just getting things done rather than waiting for perfection or the right time. Sometime I overthink what I should post. One tends to worry if it will be good enough or will others find it intereseting rather that see it as a chance to share or even some might just be for oneself. I will continue this journey and hope others just get er done too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psqwxlw-EL8&feature=youtu.be
Ok just accepted 30 days blogging challenge found at http://ajjuliani.com/30-days-blogging-challenge/#comment-220253 . Just have to write and keep in mind it doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to get done (a mantra for many things). I have attempted to be more consistent in my blog posting but sometimes have left gaps between entries so I will try again to maintain frequency and just get er done. I remember keeping a teaching journal in my first year of teaching many moons ago and was able to keep that up (I actually found it and may try to use some of those 'posts' in future entries here.
My Blog Goals Are
Write 200 words per day, every day for 30 days
Publish at least on post per week
Thanks for opportunity to reflect and share.
Dean Vendramin. Educator for over 19 years. Currently Education Leader for Math/Science at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School. Have a passion for all things in education with emphasis on technology integration, assessment, professional development, and 21 Century Education. Posts are articles he has written for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation monthly newsletter The Bulletin, Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society The Variable, blog requests from memberships he is a part of, and his own thoughts.