It was our first week back from Spring Break this week and we got to surprise the kids with a beautiful new mural that a group of us worked on over break. I'm appreciative to have staff members talented and willing enough to come in and make "magic" happen over a break! The kids' faces and reactions on Monday made it all worth it! We have at least one hallway now that is that much brighter!
We had a great visit on Friday from my friend and presenting colleague, LaNesha Tabb, to Moore. She taught lessons in K, 2nd, and 5th grade, showing off her passion and talents in social studies. Culture was an overriding theme throughout each of the lessons, and she was able to show that through strong story-telling, research, and high expectations, we can make social studies relevant and prominent in elementary schools. Discussing culture, I believe, is more relevant than ever, and opening our students' eyes at a young age to different types of people is essential for a more successful future.
On Monday, Moore will be visited by two more of my good friends, Wade and Hope King, as we continue to push quality professional development and transform and rethink what our teaching can look like. My strategic plan for my first year as principal was to ensure that my staff was provided with opportunities to witness and experience professional development that pushed them. Throughout the year, I have tried my best to give anyone who has asked the chance to attend professional developments that will further their abilities to be a great teacher. During my administrative license program I did a research project/paper on professional development, and to no surprise, it showed that schools that put an emphasis on quality, on-going professional development with a strategic focus yielded higher results in testing, retention, and working conditions.
The returns this year on PD have been noticeable: I have had teachers transform their rooms, add rigor to their lessons, include chants/cheers, music, debate, and more. As I move into next year, and have the ability to hire new staff to Moore, I'm looking for teachers who are excited about the change that we have going on at Moore and are "bought in" to what we are doing.