The Science of Teaching

Educational research asserts that teachers are the key to great schools and the number one catalyst to improve student learning. As a teacher, I didn't have access to student performance data, other than report cards and feedback from other teachers and colleagues

The Science of Teaching - Curriculum and Instruction

Educational research asserts that teachers are the key to great schools and the number one catalyst to improve student learning. As a teacher, I didn't have access to student performance data, other than report cards and feedback from other teachers and colleagues. Although I used a standards based approach to deliver curriculum, my assessments could (and should) have been much better. My students would have benefited from structured PLCs that examined student work, focused the data gleaned from that work to enhance student learning objectives, and ensured common formative and summative assessments accurately measured the standards. Working with colleagues would have been invaluable. We would have individualized interventions based on student work. We would have had a much better understanding of prioritized standards and their importance. Knowing what I know today about student learning and education, I would be a more effective teacher. When I reflect on my role as a classroom educator, I have some apprehensions about how effective I was in helping every student achieve his or her fullest potential. I was passionate and brought my best to class each day, but today, working with my colleagues, I would be a better or at least a more effective educator. To quote John Hattie, “Know thy impact.”

Curriculum and Instruction! Those two words sum up the two most important things we do as educators and what schools need to prioritize to be great schools. As a public school, we are required to teach the standards as mandated by the Minnesota Department of Education. As we move forward with best practices in how we meet the individual needs of students and how we can best support our teachers and paraprofessionals, I see our school at the center of powerful breakthroughs in student growth and achievement.

It is extremely important for me to facilitate changes in how we all deliver instruction and how we view and deliver curriculum. The School Board and I have been committed to bring world class staff development for our teachers including Mike Schmoker, Jim Knight, and Jay McTighe. We embrace collaboration and collegiality. This is why we have professional learning days. This is why we prioritized the backward design process in our curriculum development and why we championed the addition of a Director of Curriculum and Instruction to help guide our important work. We have revised academic goals for our district and have fine-tuned our curriculum design process through consistency among grade levels with a focus on spiraled standards. Our curriculum design process is posted throughout the District. I focus on those efforts every day.

I am proud of the expertise and commitment to education found in our faculty, administration and staff. With your talents and compassion for student success, we have laid the foundation for unparalleled growth in student achievement and proficiency. Imagine completing the structure of our curriculum process, the focus of our efforts to better understand data and implement tiered interventions, and the infusion of digital engagement which will utilize the tools teachers need to be effective. This is my vision for our District, and I am excited to be committed to this process and an integral member of this educational team.