Another year, another legislative session which means the OSDE and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister are gearing up for another season of new bills and finalized budgets. I sat down with Superintendent Hofmeister to reflect on the past year of her superintendency and look ahead to the coming year. You can find Superintendent Hofmeister on Twitter @joy4ok.
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed recently retired educator, Kevin Lynch. Kevin is a former teacher, university professor, has provided support to teachers through grants across the state, and a former school administrator. I know Kevin because he was one of my teachers at East Central University. From the first day in his class I was amazed at his ability to create a culture of safety and acceptance where students felt comfortable to share their thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams about education. I of course had to visit with him about building culture as an educational leader.
- What does culture look like in your current position? Where does growth or change need to occur?
- What does your school community value? How are those values represented in the culture, mission, and vision of the school?
- What are the subcultures at your school site? How do they impact the entire school?
- How does your school culture impact your students’ success?
- Who are the community stakeholders that are important to developing school culture?
- What steps can you take to cultivate a strong, positive school culture?
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed Melonie Hau, the Superintendent of Newcastle Public Schools. Superintendent Hau has worked with multiple districts and the K20 Center on strategic planning. Through this she has learned and led districts in how to create a strategic plan that drives district decisions and student achievement. You can find Superintendent Hau on Twitter @melhau11 and the K20 Center on their website or on Twitter @k20center
- Does your district currently have a strategic plan?
- How do you implement the strategic plan in your role within the district?
- To update or start strategic planning, who needs to be at the table to move the conversation forward?
- What are your district’s priorities that need to be considered in the strategic planning process?
- What steps does your district need to take to ensure that the current strategic plan is in motion and applicable to the work that the district is doing to improve student achievement?
- What does your leadership team need to be successful at strategic planning?
For this episode of Passing Notes, in the Leadership Series, I visited with retired educator Pam Hibbs on building relationships. Pam Hibbs is the former Director of Early Childhood and my old boss in OKCPS. During her time with OKCPS she developed relationships with community partners, families, and students in order to build opportunities for families.
- How do you build relationships with your students and parents?
- How do you build relationships with partners to provide opportunities for your students?
- How does your school engage the community/parents to participate in instruction?
- What strategies do you use to encourage family participation?
- What impact does engaging partners/families in the classroom have on instruction? Building community?
It’s Public School Week in Oklahoma! I’m a proud recipient of a public school education at Norman Public Schools and a proud public school educator who has served in Putnam City Schools and Oklahoma City Public Schools! Majority of Oklahoma’s students attend public schools – let’s support them and their family’s decision by appropriately funding education!
Amy Curran is the Oklahoma executive director of Generation Citizen. She works across the state to bring the programming of Generation Citizen to school districts and to also advocate for strong civics education in our state. You can find Amy on Twitter @amycurranokc.
Generation Citizen is a national organization that works to empower young people to become engaged and effective citizens. In Oklahoma, Generation Citizen partners with local school districts to provide curriculum and training for teachers that actively involves students in civic engagement. You can find Generation Citizen on their website or on Twitter @gencitizen or @GCFeelingOK.
Below are the questions that I prepared to ask Amy Curran for this episode:
- Introduce yourself and your organization.
- What does Generation Citizen do? What ages/grades does the organization work with? What districts/schools does the organization currently work with?
- What are some of the projects the organization has been involved in within the state?
- Why is Civics Education important?
- Where do teachers start?
- What are some good examples of implementing strong Civics Education practices in the classroom?
- What classroom strategies/content is available? What classroom strategies/content should teachers focus on?
- How do teachers engage in promoting civics engagement/practices in their classroom if they don’t have a strong understanding of the process?
- What positive outcomes occur from civically engaging classroom practices?
- What role does having knowledge of history and current government practices play in being civically engaged?
- What resources/supports are available to teachers?
This episode was recorded at Design Tunnel Studios.