The modern day principal (insert: lead learner, instructional leader, etc, etc) wears a myriad of hats. One of the most important aspects to our job is monitoring and understanding the curriculum. The curriculum sets standards to which the students learn information and how the teachers teach that information. This leads me to a few questions for you to ponder (no matter your position):
- How well do you (as principal) understand the curriculum being taught in your school?
- How well does your principal know your curriculum?
- What role does the lesson plan play in setting the stage for the curriculum?
- How familiar are you (teacher and principal) with the standards?
- How do you measure the effectiveness of the curriculum?
One of the reasons I am blogging about this topic is because I feel I need to place a greater emphasis on it myself. This year I will be working on a system to help support teachers and students understand the connections between the curriculum and their lesson plans, formative and summative assessments, as well as innovations such as genius hour, climate and culture, staff meetings, PLCs, and technology. I want everyone (students included) to get caught in the spiderweb of connections and bring the curriculum alive. How will I do this? Well, first things first, I will take out the i and replace it with WE!
We started out the year planning the cycle of assessments, and benchmarks with the instructional coach, teachers, supervisors, and district administration. We looked at the school year month by month and analyzed staff meetings, grade level meetings as well as assessment cycles, and professional development. We then began to plug in various activities that would assist teachers in reflecting on this information along the way. Once everything is finalized, we will share the outline with the teachers, students and parents to begin the process of working collaboratively and taking it to the next level. It will be (and has to be) a team effort.
With the advent of technology, there are so many opportunities to enhance the knowledge of the curriculum. We plan to use tools to convey the message of curriculum to the stakeholders. For instance, our already established blog could be used to communicate important aspects of the curriculum. As students and teachers “unpack” standards they could easily make short videos to share with the school community. Perhaps we could make an app for each grade level curriculum. As an administrator, walkthroughs, lesson plan checks, and observations could be brought together under an umbrella using tools such as prezi, or mind mapping software. The possibilities are literally endless.
This approach to bringing the curriculum alive will have enormous benefits for the school community and will bring the curriculum (and learning) to forefront… What do you think?