To kick off our month-long webinar series for the new school year, Heinemann is featuring a ”Classroom Essentials for Right Now” back to school blog series written by Heinemann author Christopher Lehman and his colleagues from The Educator Collaborative. Each blog offers practical, heartfelt advice on how to start the year off right. From being a thoughtful, reflective practitioner to creating a joyful community of learners, honoring student voice and choice. How do I choose the right books? How do I help my students become better writers? What do I do about grades? Join us starting this week as Chris and his colleagues share their “Classroom Essentials for Right Now.” In part three of Chris' series, he shares with us a tool for self-reflection created by The Education Collaborative.
Series: Educator Self-Reflection as a Political Act
Part Three: A Tool from The Educator Collaborative to Rethink Reflection
Written by Christopher Lehman
Critical self-reflection is important to ourselves and our students. It is a political act because it helps to shape, reshape, or deconstruct our beliefs and the ways we enact them. In education today, to be frank, critical self-reflection can also be a political act because it is often counter to the “teacher evaluation system” model of outsiders judging your performance.
This September, we officially released The Educator Collaborative’s “Strong Classrooms Self-Assessment.” It is available for free download at bit.ly/StrongClassrooms.
Our goal with this Self-Assessment is to move beyond “evaluation tools” as top-down, outside driven measures. Instead, we wanted to create a Self-Assessment that gives you a view of your literacy classroom and provides positive and transformative inside-driven pressure. To produce that great feeling you get when you see your work in a new way and think, “I have got to figure this out!”
The Four Areas we describe in the Self-Assessment are research-based indicators that, when present, provide the factors necessary for children to learn at optimal levels.
We have already heard from many educators who said the Self-Assessment has given them a focus of personal inquiry this year. We also provide, in the document and on the website, numerous readings and organizations that you can immediately begin learning from.
To learn more, including seeing a video of me describing the tool and how to use it, please visit: bit.ly/StrongClassrooms.
In the final, Part 4, of this series, we will end on thinking about bravery.
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For more information, and to join Chris and his colleagues form The Educator Collaborative in a live online PD series this month, click here (and check back tomorrow for part three in Chris' blog series):
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Christopher Lehman is the Founding Director of The Educator Collaborative. He is the author of several popular Heinemann titles, including Falling in Love With Close Reading. He is an international speaker, consultant, and New York Times best-selling author. He holds degrees from UW-Madison, NYU and Teachers College, Columbia University. Chris has been a middle-school teacher; a high-school teacher; a literacy coach; and a Senior Staff Developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Now with The Educator Collaborative, he is working to innovate the ways educators learn in-person and online, providing opportunities for teachers, coaches, and administrators to share their expertise so students can hold their brightest futures. Chris can be reached at TheEducatorCollaborative.com or on Twitter at @iChrisLehman.