The New Think Tank


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In my post yesterday, I put forth the idea of educational R&D teams and how they could be an affordable, scaled down way to bring research and development into our educational organizations without the cost and scale of an entire R&D department. In that post I suggested there would be merit in dedicating PD resources to developing knowledge and expertise amongst your own talented educators rather than paying people to come in and direct us with their innovations instead of us developing our own.

George Couros, the Division Principal in my division,  offered this in response:

If you only focus on developing and sharing ideas within, you can quickly see that the same things get done over and over again; it is tough to know any better.

He’s absolutely right, and while I was more speaking about replacing certain types of PD, it is important to keep this idea in mind. Just as important as empowering our own educators and building capacity in our organizations, is being open to the power of learning from others all over the globe.

Last night, I tried to imagine setting up an R&D team and trying to pilot this type of innovation and professional learning, so I started with a topic I am personally interested in learning about – Metacognition. When I thought about assembling a team, I realized that many of the people I would love to work with on this project weren’t in my division, or even living in the area. When I thought about connecting with them a new idea emerged – what about creating virtual think tanks, using all the tools we have available for online connecting now?

I immediately went and typed “virtual think tank” and “online think tank” into google hoping someone had already done this and could provide an easy to follow model. While there were a few similar ideas, I did not find one that involved educators. I think the closest idea I have seen would be the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program (SAVMP) that George ran last year. While that was an online mentorship program, I would see this more as eager, passionate educators who have an area of interest they would like to explore and try to bring to their building or division, connecting in some type of facilitating forum that helps bring together educators with a common interest. From there, using Skype, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Voxer, etc. they could find ways to research, share, develop resources, and push practice forward. A site would have to be set up and maintained, and resources could be curated and uploaded, but it wouldn’t have to be too expansive. Even if it started with just providing a message board or a hashtag on twitter, but doing something to bring the educators together to form these think tanks.

In a lot of ways I feel like I have lived some of this already, as I am sure many of you have. I’ve connected on twitter chats, on hangouts, or organized face to face meetings after first developing a dialogue on twitter. I’ve sought out help from others who have experience in areas I do not, by putting together a blog post or appealing to someone on twitter. I have connected with educators in Denver, Vancouver, Chicago, Philadelphia and London. This really is happening already, but because it feels so informal and easy, no one has named it a “think tank” because it probably felt too pretentious.

In my last post, I talked about how the constraint of a time limit would be important to any project, and when it comes to this idea, I believe even more constraints would need to be there to ensure follow through. Deadlines, scope of the projects, specific windows of time that meetings need to occur within etc. These think tanks would more than likely be projects educators would pursue on their own time and of their own volition, with people from multiple divisions from all over the globe, so some boundaries that pointed us in the right direction would be needed. As the community of innovators grew, accountability to the group and to share ideas would motivate people, but until that culture grew, it would have to start with these constraints in place.

Would people have an interest for this? What kind of support would you assume you would have from your administrator or your division? If the site was developed would you see yourself checking it out? What types of topics would like to see for innovations that should be pursued?

I would love your feedback so please leave a comment with any thoughts on this topic, and whether it is something worth working towards.

 

 

My Community of Practice


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(This is part of the work I am doing for my Masters course “Conceptualizing the Learning Sciences” at the University of Calgary as part of my Design Learning program. I am planning on posting my work here, as well as on the site that my course is based on. This may not interest anyone beyond me, but when it comes to reflections, I like to post mine on my blog regardless of whether they are simply for me, for my PLN, or for another purpose like my Masters coursework.)

Reading academic articles is not something I am well practiced in. I find myself feeling very confused and, at times, even distraught over my lack of understanding of what the author(s) is trying to convey. I am trying to use all the tools I have to deal with the difficulties but it has been harder than I expected.

Take for example this quote from Chapter 4 in Illeris’s book Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning Theorists…In Their Own Words written by Yrjo Engestrom entitled Expansive Learning where he presented this about the insensitivity of a version of Activity Theory to cultural diversity:

Michael Cole (1988) was one of the first to clearly point out the deep-seated insensitivity of the second-generation activity theory toward cultural diversity. When activity theory went international, questions of diversity and dialogue between different traditions or perspectives became increasingly serious challenges.

I had trouble with this, because I needed an example. I thought why not provide an example right there in the text? That’s probably not something that often happens in academic writing, maybe because the people reading the journals don’t need the analogy and probably even find it patronizing. One of the tools I believe I learn well with is analogy, and find that an analogy can help me understand the concept being put forth more easily. I was really pleased when I saw an article from the journal Cognitive Science by Joel Chan and Christian Schunn about the impact of analogy on creative concept generation. (of course I found it a lot easier to understand in the article that summed it up on Business Insider.) Here is a quote from the journal article:

In technological innovation, analogies have been associated with innovative outcomes in protocol studies and retrospective studies of expert and prominent inventors and designers , experimental studies of design processes, and computational models of design.

Luckily for me, my classmate, Kate, had wrote an amazing reflection about an experience she had while teaching in Northern Ontario, that worked very well as an analogy for difficulties in understanding that can arise from cultural diversity:

I had just finished my Bachelor of Education and had taken a job teaching grade one in a remote, fly-in reserve community in Northern Ontario. I thought we would start the day off with a read-aloud, so I brought out a classic, Stone Soup. The book’s opening page had an illustration of some soldiers walking through the woods, and the text said something about how the soldiers were very hungry and had no food to eat. A six-year-old in the front row raised her hand timidly.
“There’s a bird right there,” she observed when called upon. “If they have their slingshots, they can eat that.” I tried my best to keep the puzzled look off my face, acknowledged her idea, and started to turn the page. A young man near the back piped up: he pointed out that, though it wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice, there was also a dog in the illustration. If they had to, he told us, they could always eat that. I was flustered and confused. This worldview was completely contradictory to my own, and probably to that of the illustrator of this folk tale. Yet, to my students, it made perfect sense. How could the men be starving if they had sources of food right there in the forest? The punchline of this book (namely, that the three desperate soldiers tricked the townspeople into cooperating and feeding them a hearty meal) was completely lost on these students, who couldn’t understand why the three men – presumably capable hunters – weren’t fending for themselves.

In another instance, I was having difficulty with a reading by Robert Kegan What “form” transforms – Chapter 3 from Illeris’s book, when he talked about the difference between the self-authoring mind and socializing mind, like in this paragraph:

But when the adult education experts tell us they want students to “understand how to separate what they feel from what they should feel, what they value from what they should value, and what they want from what they should want,” do they take seriously enough the possibility that when the socialized mind dominates our meaning-making, what we should feel is what we do feel, what we should value is what we do value, and what we should want is what we do want?

I couldn’t separate this from my thinking of a person maturing or developing, I wasn’t making the connection to learning. Then in discussion today, my classmate Andrea made the connection to how Jarvis talks about the impact of learning on a person, in Illeris’s book as well (Chapter 2):

Fundamentally it is the person who learns and it is the changed person who is the outcome of learning…

This really helped me understand, and her assistance in making this connection was pivotal to my moving past this difficulty in my thinking. In Illeris’s own chapter of his book he talks about how social interaction plays a major role in learning, making up an integral piece of his learning diagram below:

Illeris Learning Triangle

And he describes the role in learning that this interaction dimension plays:

The interaction dimension provides the impulses that initiate the learning process. This may take place as perception, transmission, experience, imitation, activity, participation, etc.. It serves the personal integration in communities and society and thereby also builds up the sociality of the learner.

This really connected to our readings for today’s class when the topic of community of practice was brought up and Engestrom cites:

Recent theories of situated learning (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998) and distributed cognition (Hutchins, 1995) tell us to look for wellbounded communities of practice or functional systems, such as task-oriented teams or work units, to become collaborative subjects of learning.

I think my class is acting as a community of practice, one that is making learning possible for me. I feel like I’m living the analogy for what we are studying and it is the ultimate connection to aid in my understanding. Reflecting on my learning and myself as a learner is really helping me connect more easily with the material, and I need all the help I can get.

Resources:

Illeris, K. (Ed.). (2008). Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning Theorists…In Their Own Words. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.

Chan, J. and Schunn, C. (2014) The Impact of Analogies on Creative Concept Generation: Lessons From an In Vivo Study in Engineering Design. Cognitive Science, 1(1), 1-30.

Metacognition & Feedback – Concerns and Questions


creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by illuminaut

(This is part of the work I am doing for my Masters course “Conceptualizing the Learning Sciences” at the University of Calgary as part of my Design Learning program. I am planning on posting my work here, as well as on the site that my course is based on. This may not interest anyone beyond me, but when it comes to reflections, I like to post mine on my blog regardless of whether they are simply for me, for my PLN, or for another purpose like my Masters coursework.)

The following are excerpts from Chapter 1 of “How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school” by Bransford, Brown and Cocking (2000)   

A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them.

In research with experts who were asked to verbalize their thinking as they worked, it was revealed that they monitored their own understanding carefully, making note of when additional information was required for understanding, whether new information was consistent with what they already knew, and what analogies could be drawn that would advance their understanding.

These meta-cognitive monitoring activities are an important component of what is called adaptive expertise (Hatano and Inagaki, 1986).

Because metacognition often takes the form of an internal conversation, it can easily be assumed that individuals will develop the internal dialogue on their own. Yet many of the strategies we use for thinking reflect cultural norms and methods of inquiry (Hutchins, 1995; Brice-Heath, 1981, 1983; Suina and Smolkin, 1994).

Research has demonstrated that children can be taught these strategies, including the ability to predict outcomes, explain to oneself in order to improve understanding, note failures to comprehend, activate background knowledge, plan ahead, and apportion time and memory.

The model for using the meta-cognitive strategies is provided initially by the teacher, and students practice and discuss the strategies as they learn to use them. Ultimately, students are able to prompt themselves and monitor their own comprehension without teacher support.

The teaching of metacognitive activities must be incorporated into the subject matter that students are learning (White and Frederickson, 1998).

So this collection of excerpts all speak to metacognition and its power, its validity and its importance for our students. This has been an area of interest to me from the first conversation I had with Katherine Mann about student journaling in Math. From there, I read other interesting perspectives including this one from David Coffey about “Metacognitive Memoirs” which was based on a keynote he gave at the MCATA (Mathematics Council of the Alberta Teachers Association) conference in Edmonton in 2011. The session description spoke about metacognition and written reflection:

Metacognition is the awareness of one’s thinking. Memoir is a genre usually referring to a piece of autobiographical writing focusing on some problematic event. Together they represent a powerful tool for helping learners experience what it means to do mathematics by thinking about and communicating their efforts to others. In this session we explore how creative writing supports creative thinking in mathematics – certainly a road less traveled.

So for some time, I have had a great interest in helping our students work on metacognition, but struggled with how to introduce it, how to help teachers feel comfortable with it, and generally feeling ready and confident to push it.

This past spring, our school’s Design Team met after our Ed Planning Session for next school year to decide what our focus and goals would be for 2014-2015. After a great deal of discussion we came to the conclusion that a lot of what we want for our students – peer and self assessment, reflection and metacognition, deeper learning – required us to take a long hard look at our ability to provide meaningful feedback. We felt that if we ever wanted students to be able to provide feedback to their peers, they would first need to be shown what strong feedback speaks to, and sounds like. They needed to know that feedback was not a comment on a finished product (i.e. Great work!), but rather meaningful and corrective language that helped students IMPROVE. Students need to be motivated to return to their unfinished work, and inspired to enhance it using the feedback we provide. Only after we know that we are providing the necessary modelling, can we expect students to know what peer assessment or self reflection might look, feel and sound like.

So my comment about these excerpts and to the topic of metacognition itself is that I believe we should aspire to fostering metacognition in our students because, as stated above, it is powerful and it is worth it. My concerns/questions though are that shouldn’t we consider that to model this for our students we need to put in the time and energy to reflect on the quality of modelling we are actually providing? Should we not consider the quality of the feedback we give students on formative and summative assessments, and in our daily interactions?

Sources:

Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded edition). Washington, DC: National Research Council.

 

Innovation Week #3 – Entrepreneurial Spirit, Day 1 & 2

 

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Our third Innovation Week is underway with the theme of “Entrepreneurial Spirit”. This wasn’t the easiest topic for our students to grasp, so at first we turned to the Alberta Education material on the topic, since it was part of the “Inspiring Education” work that came from them. This quote outlines their idea of Entrepreneurial Spirit:

“Entrepreneurial Spirit: who creates opportunities and achieves goals through hard work, perseverance and discipline; who strives for excellence and earns success; who explores ideas and challenges the status quo; who is competitive, adaptable and resilient; and who has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity.”

– from the “Framework for Student Learning” – Alberta Education

To help further explain the topic to our students we turned to a quote from Yong Zhao:

“a process that results in creativity, innovation and growth. Innovative entrepreneurs come in all shapes and forms; its benefits are not limited to startups, innovative ventures and new jobs. Entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action and is therefore a key competence for all, helping young people to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake.”

– Yong Zhao

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Once we helped our students understand where they could go with the theme, they took off in a way even we didn’t expect. The first two days had a calm feeling that seemed almost eerie. Gone was the chaos and numerous questions and in its place was a feeling of focus and determination. In our third Innovation Week our students seem no longer surprised by the freedom or intimidated by the task, but rather excited, engaged and ready to get to work.

While the benefit to our students has been there throughout all three Innovation Weeks, it seems in this one we have found our groove and now our job turns to maximizing the potential of the experience.

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We are being very purposeful with our collecting of feedback from our students including multiple ways for them to express themselves. We will again conclude the week with an open house showcase of their learning, but to this we have added a “Speakers Corner” where students can go and share their thoughts on some well crafted questions, and we will also have our teachers interview each individual/group taking part on Thursday.

While not all of the 450 students are engaged in earth-shattering projects, they are all engaged. From jumping in to the experience, to finding purposeful themes to drive the learning, we have been trying to find ways to make the experience a valuable one for our students. Now with Innovation Week 3, we are starting to see just how powerful this can be with each improvement we make and each week we bring to our students.

We can’t wait to see how this week unfolds, but as you can see in the pictures, there are a lot of happy faces busy at work on projects they are very excited about. It’s going to be an exciting next few days, stay tuned…

What Should We Change?

Draft Week

At different times over the past three years, I have written posts, or started to write posts, and for some reason I haven’t been able to work some of them out. For one reason or another, the idea wasn’t finished or at least not at the level where I felt it was good enough to publish. I have recently had the desire to go back and finish some of those posts, so this week, I am going to finish 5 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for a while, in some cases, over two years. I picked five that I wanted to finish, maybe not the best, but ones that I needed to work out and take the time to finish because they meant something to me. Today’s post was originally written on April 29th, 2013, at a time I was very interested and excited about the potential for change in education. All week, whatever I had written will be in italics and then I will add to the post to finish it. Kathy Melton is joining me in this week long return to posts we never finished, her blog can be found here.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by hang_in_there

I am in one of those moods. I am in a mood where I choose to believe that all this talk is going to result in action. I am believing that our provincial government’s commitment to education reform is real. I have faith that the time, the opportunity and the key individuals are all where they need to be. So how are we going to do this?

In my school we have been working in a few areas – Inquiry, Project-Based Learning, Innovation/Creativity and Alternative Classroom Design – and we are just one school. My worry is that when we open the flood gates to “change”, people who are excited and passionate about a specific area are going to want to run with their ideas, and at the school, division or provincial level this is going to result in spreading ourselves too thin.

So Change, yes. But what should we change?

 So, I got stuck. I was struggling with how to respond to the question WITHOUT being clouded by what I find to be the priority areas for positive change in education. I wanted this to be a conversation piece where people could share where they believed change should happen and why?

I am no cop-out artist, I won’t avoid the question, although my answer will be a little bit on the vanilla side…

In our province we had something called the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) which was scrapped in the recent budget cuts, before a lot of the action research could be completed and/or reported. It’s too bad, because my answer would be to implement a model where educators could put forth proposals to our Ministry to experiment in an area of change that they believed in and were willing to not only implement, but put in the necessary planning/research before and during their trial.

What are your thoughts? With all this talk of change, what specifically would you want to see changed? What would you want to see be made the priority of change in schools?

Doesn’t Make Sense

Draft Week

At different times over the past three years, I have written posts, or started to write posts, and for some reason I haven’t been able to work some of them out. For one reason or another, the idea wasn’t finished or at least not at the level where I felt it was good enough to publish. I have recently had the desire to go back and finish some of those posts, so this week, I am going to finish 5 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for a while, in some cases, over two years. I picked five that I wanted to finish, maybe not the best, but ones that I needed to work out and take the time to finish because they meant something to me. Today’s post was originally written on January 20th, 2013, and I am very clear on why I didn’t publish this one – I value my job. All week, whatever I had written will be in italics and then I will add to the post to finish it. Kathy Melton is joining me in this week long return to posts we never finished, her blog can be found here.

 


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by CarbonNYC

Its such an exciting time in education. I love the conversations going on about how we can improve our systems and create a better educational experience for our students. Every day on twitter, I see excited and committed professionals discussing personalized learning, educational technology, inclusion, differentiation and so much more. I also see many people discussing assessment.

The biggest theme I see discussed is change, and let’s be honest, we are in the midst of major changes. Many schools are no longer purchasing textbooks, teachers are exploring ways to go without paper, classrooms are often comprised of flexible learning spaces rather than desks and chairs assembled in rows. The hours of a school day and the traditional school calendar itself are being reviewed and changes considered. I can’t honestly think of an area of education that we aren’t looking at changing. And what are we basing these changes on? Research. Plain and simple, we are learning what helps improve our system and we are taking that research into account when we make the decisions about how to run our schools and divisions.

Like I said, what a great time to be involved in education as we take the steps forward to improve. So why then, do we not apply this same type of thinking to our standardized tests. We are beyond teaching students things they can easily google, so recall of knowledge is not really the type of higher order thinking we are aspiring to, yet we continue to assess our students using a measure that only addresses that level of thinking. We talk about how we want our education system to help develop our students for the real world, yet very few people perform these type of tasks anymore. Textbooks, paper, desks are going away, why not these archaic tests.

I wonder how we get rid of standardized tests? Does it take elected officials in our government? I wonder how long we’ll wait for that to happen. Will it be public opinion? I think that would take a lot of work on our part to educate our parents and I’m not sure we have the resources or personnel to make that happen quickly. Does it take brave division leaders to make a stand? That’s probably the most likely, but it would take someone very brave to stand up and be the first to stand up and say no.

It’s a shame that when it comes to this area, change will take longer than it should. It doesn’t make sense to keep this practice going, but sometimes breaking with tradition is difficult. I hope we aren’t waiting too long.

Well it turned out, it did take active professionals, elected officials, and vocal division leaders all working together and because of their work, these tests will be gone in the next few years. At the time I wrote this post, the news of phasing out our province’s Provincial Achievement Tests had not yet been reported. When I was done writing this  post back then I thought no matter how much I tempered my message, and trust me – I did temper it, it could still be said that I was undermining what we were doing in our division. I decided not to post it, and it sat in my drafts until now.

Now I feel it is ok to share how I was feeling. I was frustrated, and I wanted to challenge someone to step up and fight against the tests, someone with more influence than me. I think there are a lot of educators who felt this way and for a long time. A lot of the time, probably 60-70% of the time, I am inspired to write because I am working something out and I need a space to put my challenge in words so that I can better understand what I am struggling with. I publish them to share my journey, to gather valuable feedback from my PLN, and to hopefully bring some guidance to someone who is in a similar place as I am. Writing this post back in January helped me to understand my frustrations, but I made the decision that the sharing side of writing would have to wait on this one until a time it wouldn’t be an issue. A post perfect for this Draft Week project.

 

Ok, What If It Is All About YOU?

Draft Week

At different times over the past three years, I have written posts, or started to write posts, and for some reason I haven’t been able to work some of them out. For one reason or another, the idea wasn’t finished or at least not at the level where I felt it was good enough to publish. I have recently had the desire to go back and finish some of those posts, so this week, I am going to finish 5 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for a while, in some cases, over two years. I picked five that I wanted to finish, maybe not the best, but ones that I needed to work out and take the time to finish because they meant something to me. Today’s post was originally written on June 15th, 2011, when I was wrapping up the final weeks of my first year in administration. All week, whatever I had written will be in italics and then I will add to the post to finish it. Kathy Melton is joining me in this week long return to posts we never finished, her blog can be found here.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by ark

I like the times that our conversations about education are flipped and we play the Devil’s Advocate. When this happen, you end up seeing what the issue is really about. This week, I have been treated like crap by a couple angry students, and I keep repeating my mantra “It’s not about me, It’s not about me”. But, what if it IS about me? What if this student really sees me as the problem? What if this student really does dislike me? What if this student feels I am incompetent? What should this change?

Well, in my opinion, it really should change nothing.

Let’s play this one out… So let’s say I interact with a student, I talk to him or her about a situation, allow them to offer their feedback and then I deal with it as I see fit. Let’s say this kid launches into a tirade of how I am unfair, how I am picking on them, how I am on a power trip and that they would rather see me hit by a bus than show up at the school the next day. What if this student won’t give me a chance when I try to talk to them and wants nothing to do with me. How do I move forward?

Well first of all, I am not paid to be my students’ friend, I am paid to educate them, and while a healthy relationship with that student would be more beneficial, I may have to work, for at least a little while, coping as best I can with our fractured relationship. Second, I teach so that everyone can be successful, not just the students who like me. I have a job to do and I will do it regardless of how the students feel about me. Third, I am a model for my students, a point that is important to remember, and how I handle this situation will show them a great deal.

If I hold a grudge and can’t move past this interaction, I teach my students that when people treat you poorly, its ok to give them the power to control you. I show them that I am unable to wipe the slate clean and start again. I am telling them “If you make a mistake with me, I no longer value you as my student”. If I ignore the student, I teach them that when people hurt you, they aren’t worth your time. I show them that I will react to their poor treatment of me with poor treatment of them. I tell them “If you aren’t respectful, you aren’t worth my time or attention”. If I lash out at them I am teaching them that the way to solve a problem is by fighting and belittling. I am showing them that they don’t have an adult as a teacher, but rather a peer. I am telling them “If you come at me with disrespect, I’ll disrespect you right back”.

If a student is treating you poorly, and it turns out you are the reason, not a crappy night of sleep, a tough interaction with a parent or a social issue with a peer, it doesn’t change who you are and what you are expected to do. It might not be easy, but our job stays the same regardless of how we are treated.

Wow. I wrote this? I am a little surprised. Clearly, it was June and I was dealing with some young people who were not treating me all that well. As you can see, this post was done, and I must have made the decision it was a little too harsh to send out. Let me see if I can put in to words how I feel about this post now, two years later…

Reading over it a few times now I believe my intent was correct. How we interact with our students, especially in times of frustration – theirs or ours – can have a profound impact on the student and our relationship. What I find interesting is I don’t remember these interactions, and I have a pretty good memory. When I look back on that year in administration I remember the last few months being a wonderful experience that reinforced for me that I would want to return to administration when I was done coaching (or earlier as it turned out).

I do try to mend fractured relationships and at least gain the respect of a student when dealing with them on a matter of discipline, so my best guess is that I was frustrated that I couldn’t get through to this student or these students and it was bothering me.

In the past couple years since I wrote this, a couple things have happened. The first being that I changed schools, and in this new school the way that discipline is handled is more open to the interpretation of the professional dealing with the issue. There is a great deal of trust in that, and a lot of flexibility which leads, usually, to better interactions with the students. The second is that I have gained a wealth of experience from working with two amazing administrators in this building, my principal Carolyn and the Assistant Principal Tracy. The two of them have given me so many more tools in dealing with students that I haven’t had any situations like this arise in the two years here.

All that being said, I’ll play Devil’s advocate and say if something like this situation arose again, I believe a lot of what I wrote was correct: In dealing with the student I would want to show them respect and care, show them that this is simply a hiccup and that our relationship will not be broken because of it, and that I want success for all students not just the ones I get along well with. I guess the only real change to this post would be that I believe I have a far more developed ability to avoid getting to this point, and that has everything to do with some learning I have done by working with really great people and following their lead.