Newsletter: October 2020

Jaclyn Scotto Siano

Welcome to Inspired Instruction’s monthly newsletter. We share the most relevant articles, blogs, videos, and classroom resources related to all aspects of education.

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For Administrators

The start of this school year has been filled with many “fires” for administrators to put out. But when we discuss racism, we cannot take this approach; to be successful, we must have a vision to build anti-racist schools. Education Week published an article that identifies this as a critical task for school leaders, but suggests that they cannot do it alone. After reading “Principals Need Help Building Anti-Racist Schools”, go to Inspired Instruction’s website to learn more about our professional development workshops that address culture and climate.  Check out a school favorite: Representing All Students in the Curriculum: Approaching Race and Equity in the Classroom.

As schools build new instructional and assessment routines during hybrid learning, we must have the difficult conversation about grades. Educational Leadership has published a discussion between two experts about the pitfalls of our grading systems, especially during a pandemic. 

Where should you start your conversation with staff? Consider focusing on high expectations for all students and rigorous lesson planning. At Inspired Instruction, we’ve created a discussion starter activity focused on rigor for your next staff meeting. Need more? Check out our virtual walkthroughs workshop for your team.

“The activities and discussions from this workshop benefited me professionally by emphasizing the importance of connecting expectation and evidence of professional practices with authentic collaboration between educators and administrators..”                      
            - Vice-Principal, Newark Public Schools

For Teachers

As many of us are still teaching in a virtual or blended model, we know that it is crucial that all students feel like they are a part of a positive classroom community. Wired published a great read on “How Teachers Can Foster Community in Online Classrooms.” Then, check out our questions to help foster communication and connection in the classroom.

The 2020 Presidential Election is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, including our students’. PBS has created the “Election Collection” with a variety of resources you can use to teach about the election, voting, the party system, and other relevant topics. Our editable virtual activities, like the double entry journal, can be paired with many of these readings and videos.

School Spotlight - South Plainfield Public Schools

South Plainfield Public Schools recently partnered with Inspired Instruction to provide administrator training on bias and race. Over the course of two virtual PD sessions, participants engaged in a book talk about Ijeoma Oluo So You Want to Talk About Race, and attended a workshop on The Recognition of Bias and the Self-Reflection Process.

Self reflection exercise

While engaging in meaningful conversations about crucial and sensitive topics, all participants also explored helpful resources, like Teaching Tolerance’s list of common beliefs related to education. One administrator shared, “I gained personal insight to the author's experiences but also those of Dr. Valburn's and my colleagues when dealing with hurtful microaggressions. The pain behind some of the experiences really allowed me to empathize, as I cannot believe people in the world today still conduct themselves in such demeaning ways (intended or otherwise).”

Could your staff benefit from virtual PD? Just email Michele.Regan@inpsiredinstruction.com to get started!

Webinar Recording: The Recognition of Bias and the Self-Reflection Process

Did you miss our webinar?  Check out the recording of this important workshop; we can no longer afford to ignore the racism in our society, as it so profoundly affects those who we are charged to educate and nurture.

 Click here to download the recording.

What’s Next?

We are helping teachers and administrators support rigorous teaching and increase student learning. As a strategic partner, we work with and alongside administrators to help identify areas to maximize impact. Contact us for a free Needs Assessment. Email Jaclyn.Siano@inspiredinstruction.com to schedule yours today!

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