After a night or two of listening to our faithful weathermen making sure all their listeners were prepared for the “BIG” storm, it was apparent that the key to survival is being prepared! Several key messages included the following:
Great advice for storms, but being prepared should also carry over to education, to your buildings and classrooms. If you took a photo of any classroom today (2016), would it look any differently than it did 10 years ago? 25 years ago? 50 years ago? For many, neither classrooms nor the instructional methods used look any different, but the world outside has dramatically changed for our students. Are you helping your students be prepared for what the world looks like not only today but also in the next 10 years? 25 years? 50 years into the future? How do educators prepare students for the changing times? All research indicates students need problem-solving skills (project-based learning), and they need to be able to collaborate with a team, using others' strengths to solve challenges. Are your students actively engaged in their own education, or are you the “sage on the stage?”
As you begin to close the year and reflect on your successes and weaknesses, will you be making changes for next year to better prepare your students, or will you take the easy way and do the same lessons you have done in the past? Will you be integrating more technology into your classroom? Will you be presenting challenges/problems for your students to solve based on the knowledge you have taught them? Have you spoken to local businesses or industry to discover what skills they look for in their employees?
Your care and preparation towards meeting these challenges only means your students have a better chance to being prepared for life in a changing world. Remember, we are here to help you address these challenges, so don't hesitate to reach out.
I know June can be crazy as you close out your year, but I hope you’ve found time here and there to relax and get some rest. We’ve got some great things happening here at the OPSRC, and we’re looking forward to working with you this next school year.
The election may not have gone your way. I must admit, I’m cautiously optimistic about the impact of the new administration. There is one thing I know for sure: the president has a lot of work to do to get this economy moving.
Talk of personalized learning in Oklahoma
Now that the session is over, we can finally finish sifting through all the new and changed laws that will affect our schools. I’ve compiled a spreadsheet of bills that passed, with a brief summary of each.