February 20, 2007

Showing Our True Colors

Monday, Feb. 19, was professional development for Central Montcalm Public School and most of the other districts in our intermediate school district (most of Montcalm County). These days can range from reviewing curriculum we will implement to examining Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) materials to presenters to ... you get the idea. A lot of information is presented to teachers throughout the year.

We incorporate curriculum because it's regularly tweaked by the state of Michigan. Most teachers take part in curriculum teams, then train the rest of the staff. For example, we have a grade level teacher on each team. Currently, mathematics and English Language Arts are in the process of working on curriculum, examining "best practice" teaching, and learning about materials and resources that are available to help the teaching/learning process go smoothly.

Another sector of education that is important is interpersonal relationships. In any profession, the ability to work with others is important, but it is extremely valuable in education because teachers work as part of cross-district curriculum teams, in school grade-level teams, staff development teams, etc. But, above all, teachers work with children -- literally touching the future every single day.

True Colors is an idea. The idea is that everyone has all of the four colors in them, but some are dominant. Gold people are organized, timely. Green people are thinkers, philosophers. Blue people are empathetic, caring. Red people are care-free, risk takers. It's probably easy for you to pick my two dominant colors. It was a great four hours yesterday morning when Sheridan Elementary teachers (as well as some teachers from other buildings) were led by Pat Dignum in the True Colors exercises.

We were able to learn more about ourselves and our colleagues. Moreover, there are applications that can be used directly in the classroom. One teacher was somewhat bothered because she came out "golden" -- and wanted to be more "bluish." It was fun, but educational.

Later, I'll tell you about our Building School Improvement and MEAP work we did in the afternoon! I'm sure you'll be waiting anxiously ...


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