Our mission: Through sustainable teacher driven change, we celebrate the creation of an educational community that is inquiry driven, collaborative, and promotes creative thinking by providing teachers with the freedom and support to be GREAT; we operate from a strength-based, optimistic position where teachers are the facilitators in taking back the schools for the futures of our students.

Public Service Announcement Video

2 replies, 1 voice Last updated by Profile photo of Chris Klair Chris Klair 5 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • #5939 Reply
    Profile photo of Chris Klair
    Chris Klair
    Moderator
    @chrisklair

    Begin the brainstorming below:

  • #5953 Reply
    Profile photo of Chris Klair
    Chris Klair
    Moderator
    @chrisklair

    Public Service Announcement

    Mission: The Think Tank is to facilitate and guide “strengths-based student-centered teacher-driven” reform.

    Vision: The San Diego Think Tank will be the social media reflection of this effort so as to encourage all CTA teachers to share their strengths-based student-centered efforts. Additionally, the social media outlet will engage administrators, parents, and all community members looking to help students explore their talents and interests in service of the community.

    Approach/Appeals: Predictably and understandably, Think Tank and CTA members anticipate headwinds from administrators, district and state officials, school boards, as well as fellow teachers, because change is often viewed as disconcerting and oftentimes viewed as simply the next trend. That’s why I believe it’s vitally important to frame all communication as building on current best practices. I know we’re cognizant of this importance in focus, hence the “strengths-based” approach, but we must maintain that optimism and mission when communicating with those who are reluctant, doubtful, and even counter-productive. In that light, I see all entities as being served by such a student-centered approach, because student engagement, real-world applicability, and community involvement are when education is most dynamic and meaningful. And to recognize the elephant in the room, Common Core and the textbook/software companies that birthed the latest curricular iteration, must be befriended and brought into the process. Seriously. No one is served by viewing them as counter or contrarian, and expending energy to scuttle that monstrosity may be viewed as shortsighted and even unrealistic. Rather, we should simply pivot and make Common Core standards in service of the strengths-based student-centered approach. And once textbook and software companies see their next opportunity to publish in service of the strengths-based student-centered approach, then they’re rowing with us. Plus, once an authentic strengths-based student-centered approach takes hold, any entities or resources that do not serve the students in their pursuits will either adapt to serve them or simply fall away.

    Action Plan:
    And though these are numbered like steps, all efforts are dynamic and constantly being updated and refreshed.
    1 Recognize the current examples of “strengths-based student-centered” lessons, units, and programs already in progress in our schools, no doubt incorporating the IFT grant recipients early and often.
    2 Provide an open space, Facebook page and other social media outlets, as a means for other Think Tanks and all teachers to share their best practices regarding strengths-based student-centered efforts.
    3 Seriously consider designing appeals to administrators, district officials, school boards, and communities at large, for strengths-based student-centered work extends beyond the four classroom walls.
    4 Provide real examples and/or envisioned classrooms and schools that serve the strengths-based student-centered approach.

    Flip the script! The student is the focus, not the curriculum.

    First Video/PSA
    Old School (in black & white) New School (in color)
    Kids in rows taking notes or taking tests Kids in groups, outside, on job sites
    Teacher lecturing, grading, handing back Teacher leaning in to help
    Parents looking at notebooks and grades Parents talking to kids about project(s)

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Chris Klair Chris Klair.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Chris Klair Chris Klair.
  • #5955 Reply
    Profile photo of Chris Klair
    Chris Klair
    Moderator
    @chrisklair

    BTW, the above is a brainstorm, no more, no less. Just wanting to get something cookin’. And in that vein, maybe a shared Google Doc would be easier to work within due to ease of edit and comment bubbles, and then post more hashed-out, refined product(s) here? Just a thought.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Chris Klair Chris Klair.
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