Lemonade Stands and Lotus Notes
By Mary Mitchell on November 28th, 2017
Back in the early days of FLVS, we all used to wear many hats. I was a course developer, teacher, district community liaison, legislative educator. Our IT support consisted of one person!
We did a lot of traveling to educate different organizations, schools, and community groups. We would set up lemonade stands at high school cafeterias to provide students with information about taking online classes. Continue reading
Professional Learning at FLVS in 2017
By Mary Mitchell on April 19th, 2017
At FLVS, our growing and learning continues daily! Learning isn’t just something our students do each and every day – our teachers do too.
Our professional learning team is an incredible group of educators who work tirelessly to help our teachers grow and learn so they can all reach their students effectively.
There are all kinds of exciting initiatives rooted in the Professional Learning team that we’re focused on in 2017.
We have amazing team members who benefit our teachers and staff with their commitment to providing stellar professional learning opportunities across our district.
Here are a few of the exciting learning opportunities we have for our teachers and staff to keep growing and learning: Continue reading
Professional Learning at FLVS in 2015
By Mary Mitchell on February 25th, 2015
At FLVS, professional learning matters.
Learning that is student-centered, collaborative, sustained and data-driven is what drives success.
This is the year that every department and individual at FLVS is going to refocus. For our teachers, being able to identify and articulate professional learning goals directly impacts student learning, mastery, and performance.
This is what student-centered professional learning is all about.
Instructional Coaching the FLVS Way
By Mary Mitchell on April 1st, 2014
How does instructional coaching work in a virtual world? Have you heard about the Vir-structional coaching program at FLVS?
The Vir-structional program is designed to help those using a virtual platform to train, teach, and inform participants. The goal of the Coaching Program is to deliver high quality technology-based education by increasing customer/student learning through engaging and interactive live lessons.
Instructional coaching provides a venue for instructors to share teaching ideas and strategies with each other. The coach is someone who has expertise and knowledge in developing highly effective and engaging lessons that will lead to increased participant learning. The coachee is someone who would benefit from a coaching relationship by being open and receptive to learning new tools, techniques, and strategies to increase participants’ attendance and understanding. Continue reading
Efforts vs. Smarts
By Mary Mitchell on January 10th, 2014
In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck explains the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and how this impacts our success in learning and in life. Dweck argues we aren’t just “born smart” or with certain abilities. We have the incredible capacity to learn and grow every day. We can actually expand our brains and intelligence with our effort.
In fact, Dweck claims that “praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals – personal and professional.”
The underlying basis of the two mindsets, “fixed” and “growth” is illustrated in the chart below. Continue reading
Learning Forward – Part 8: Lesson Study
By Mary Mitchell on October 15th, 2013
The lesson study process is one of the most unique teaching techniques available to 21st century teachers. During a lesson study, instructors present a lesson and uncover what makes it effective or ineffective. Bringing several teachers together and using their combined knowledge to create, teach, and reflect on a lesson is one of the best teaching strategies for instructors. Teachers are life-long learners and are always looking for ways to improve their skills. Lesson study is an ideal format to observe what does and doesn’t work and make improvements. Continue reading
Learning Forward – Part 7: Action Research
By Mary Mitchell on September 4th, 2013
Action Research is a professional’s systematic, intentional study of their own classroom and workplace practices. Teachers who collaborate and reflect have a direct impact on student achievement.
This form of professional development takes teachers beyond their own classroom and into each other’s. Action research definitely makes for a great Professional Learning Community (PLC). Continue reading
Learning Forward – Part 6: Professional Learning Communities
By Mary Mitchell on August 5th, 2013
Continuing my series on the Professional Learning standards, today’s blog post focuses on Professional Learning Communities. A Professional Learning Community (PLC) consists of educators committed to working collaboratively in an ongoing process of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs are intended to improve student learning by providing continuous job-embedded learning opportunities for educators. A PLC utilizes data to identify gaps between learning goals and actual student achievement. Then, through action research, a PLC develops action items to make corrective changes. Continue reading
Learning Forward – Part 5: Outcomes
By Mary Mitchell on June 27th, 2013
Throughout my blog series on Professional Learning standards, we’ve unpacked the core elements of the following standards: Learning Communities; Leadership, Resources, and Data; and Learning Design and Implementation. Now I would like to look at Outcomes and take this standard from paper to practice. Continue reading
Learning Forward – Part 4: Learning Design and Implementation
By Mary Mitchell on May 30th, 2013
In my previous posts, we unpacked the core elements of the first four Standards for Professional Learning released by Learning Forward — Learning Communities, Leadership, Resources, and Data. Now I would like to take a look at the next two standards: Learning Design and Implementation. Continue reading