This year, I’m working on several key projects–revamping our district’s teacher evaluation system, bringing more Web 2.0 tools to the classroom for student use, and leading the selection process for math curriculum. Today, a weird synergy among the three occurred, starting with a tweet I read at the breakfast table. Edweek tweeted about a blog post on their site regarding this New York Times Magazine article. Got that? A tweet about a blog post about a print article that was now online.
Once I linked over to the actual article, I made myself late to work by pouring through the nine pages. The wheels kept spinning as I showered and made my way in to work, where I shared the link with the Superintendent’s Cabinet, all our district principals, and the directors of curriculum and professional development. Why the excitement? The Times’ article not only posits something I’ve believed since the day I walked into my first classroom 18 years ago–the teacher is the single most important factor for student achievement–but, even better, a soon-to-be-published book, Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion: The 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College, outlines specifics of effective teaching methods gleaned from teachers with outstanding results in the classroom. The article goes on to discuss keys to success specifically in mathematics instruction.
Like I said, the trifecta of my professional interests–social media brought the article to me; it addresses mathematics instruction; effective teaching should be the outcome of any evaluation system. I can’t wait to explore this further with our teachers and administrators. And, it looks like I won’t have to wait long. After my email, the Director of Professional Development let me know she’d received the link from multiple staff members within a few minutes of my own message. The books will be winging their way toward All-American Public Schools once the April publication date arrives. And from there, who knows where we’ll go?