Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend a professional development day working with the Allen Creek Elementary Staff on a Power2Achieve Toolkit on Utilizing Effective Goal Achievement Strategies. During the hour and a half drive from Pittsford, NY back to Liverpool, NY I had a chance to reflect on what was a very enjoyable day with their staff.
As I thought about the day I was excited about the Professional Ethical Learning Community (PELC) they have created where staff members truly show respect and care to one another so they can do their best work. We began the day reviewing their Faculty Power2Achieve Portable Compact-4-Excellence which they had developed after a training day we had done back in August of 2010. A real highlight for a consultant is when you go back to work with a school and see that they have actually taken what you shared and implemented it in their setting. Because we were involved in a five hour training on March 18th we had to make a few revisions in their general Compact to make sure we were ready to work together effectively in what was a slightly different environment. In our Culture of Excellence & Ethics Newsletter about the Compact we comment that, “High functioning groups have at least two essential elements: (1) common goals and (2) shared rules for how they work together to achieve their goals.” Allen Creek Elementary has used the Compact to establish very clear rules for them to work together to achieve their goals.
A common goal they share at Allen Creek Elementary is to “help students be their best selves and do their best work”. It is actually a goal that also includes the entire learning community and that was very evident from the active engagement of the staff during the day and their comments at the end of the day. We spent the day looking at the importance of effort and attitude and goal setting and how our Power2Achieve Attitude and Effort Rubric and the Power2Achieve Goal Map Tools could be utilized by staff to positively impact their learning community.
I have listed below some of their comments from an end of day feedback form about the training day. I was excited to see the many takeaways they had gained from the day and their enthusiasm to begin using these tools both with students and for their own personal growth.
- There were ideas/suggestions that I can implement in my classroom immediately.
- This workshop will enable me to intertwine the Power2Achieve Attitude & Effort Rubric into goal setting with my students.
- The Power2Achieve Attitude & Effort Rubric and Goal Setting Tools will be very useful to use with my students.
- The most valuable part of the day to me was being given some good strategies that can be applied in our classrooms along with having the opportunity to share and discuss them.
- I will use the tools as a Tier II R.T.I.
- Learning how to set goals was great-I can use this myself and with students.
- I plan to implement goal setting immediately with the steps discussed and to add a parent share component. I will also introduce the Attitude/Effort Rubric.
- I loved the Training Booklet with Tools and articles.
- IEE has had a transformative effect on my teaching and therefore on my students attitude and success!
Before leaving that day I said to Mike Biondi, building principal, and Sue Gager, school counselor, that I was really blessed to work with a learning community that was committed to being life-long learners and that I certainly appreciated the positive feedback about the day. However, I said the real test about the success of the day would be to see what steps the staff took to implement the Power2Achieve Tools we had worked with that day. Our goal at IEE is to give teachers practical tools that can be integrated into classrooms to help build the culture of excellence and ethics needed for success in school, work and beyond. I look forward to hearing about steps that they take at Allen Creek Elementary in the future.