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Table of Contents President’s Letter .......................................Pages 1-2 We Are Future Leaders: Modeling Leadership and Mentorship as Students.................................................Pages 3-5 Growth Mindset: Unlocking Potential...........Pages 6-7 What Ignites Us? Relational Focus Through a Lens of Engagement..................Pages 8-10 5 Ways to Empower Teachers as Leaders Through Instructional Coaching.................Pages 11-13 DVR-PASCD Sponsors ..............................Pages 14-18

To submit articles, information, or feedback, please contact: Monica Conlin Monica.Conlin@ssdcougars.org Editorial Team Monica Conlin & Christy Brennan

President's Letter Season Greetings, As the holiday season is upon us and 2018 is on the horizon, I begin to glance in my rearview mirror. In the past year as an organization we have grown not only in our physical presence of members, but also in our ability to persevere through the current challenges in the landscape of education. Our executive board has become more diverse in nature by adding the perspectives of teachers at every level, as well as, in the area of special education. The board members that have been with the organization for several seasons continue to empower us and keep us mindful of what matters most in education-relationships. Everything we do is about relationships. In the December 14th edition of SmartBrief there was an article written by Julie Winkle Giulioni entitled, Holidays aren't the only time for leadership GIFTs. The GIFTs being an acronym for: * Gratitude * Inspiration * Flexibility * Time Her article struck a chord. As a member of current leadership in my district I wondered if those with whom I interacted during the course of day truly understood how much I valued their presence in my world, their perspective in our conversation, and their devotion to the profession of education. As Giulioni shares in her article, “Expressing appreciation costs literally nothing except some genuine attention to those around you.” She also mentions the need for the “authentic human connection”, not an email, a phone call, or a text message but an actual in person conversation. Giulioni writes , “when a leader is willing to invest this precious commodity, it sends a signal. It communicates, “I value you. You’re significant.”


President's Letter Today’s teachers have an increasing demand upon them to teach differently because we are working with young minds that think differently. The national curriculum shifts happened swiftly and many are still attempting to process the swing of the pendulum. Now more than ever leadership needs to provide GIFTs that will empower our teacher leaders and enable them to hone their craft. Leadership needs to build relationships that will sustain our teachers through their period of productive struggle. As I look forward, it is with a sense of clarity and a focus on providing GIFTs throughout the new year. I hope you will also consider making the same commitment Giulioni asked of her readers. On behalf of the Delaware Valley Executive Board I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season. Peace,

Dorie Dorie A. (Martin)-Pitone, Ed. D Supervisor of Literacy & English Language Arts Federal Programs Coordinator Marple Newtown School District 610-359-4278 Office 610-675-8669 Cell Twitter: @dorie_martin

Julie Winkle Giulioni is the author of “Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want,” with Bev Kaye. Giulioni has spent the past 25 years improving performance through learning. She consults with organizations to develop and deploy innovative instructional designs and training worldwide. You can learn more about her consulting, speaking and blog at JulieWinkleGiulioni.com. The full text of the article referenced above may be viewed at: https://www.smartbrief.com/original/2017/12/holidays-arent-only-time-leadership-gifts


We Are Future Leaders: Modeling Leadership and Mentorship as Students Jeff Kuciapinski DVR-PASCD Board Member Jeffrey Kuciapinski is currently serving on the DVR-PASCD board and an elementary learning support teacher at Culbertson Elementary School. It isn’t often that you come across a Student Council at the elementary school level. The students at Culbertson Elementary School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania are working together to improve their school and local community through their Student Council. They have the opportunity to serve their school as Officers and Classroom Representatives. These groups of individuals team up to be the leaders of the school, while with guidance from a Faculty Advisory Board as well as the Principal. These students strive for good citizenship, academic excellence, and respect everyone within the school. The Student Council involves helping all students work together by sharing ideas to make the school a better place. This gives all the students the opportunity to see democracy in action.

The Student Council operates with the Character Education Program in mind. The Character Education Program has a vision that advances the educational needs and goals of all the students. The program highlights character traits such as trust, integrity, gratitude, empathy, respect and self-esteem. Students with ambition to join the Student Council must not only exhibit these traits through their actions, but explain this to the advisory board in an admissions essay. The character traits are important values for lifelong success as well as vital traits that should be ingrained in a child’s behavior early in life. Pairing this program with the Student Council allows the students to be empowered. The trait of Trust allows the Council to show that they are responsible as well as honest. The officers are reliable and their teachers and peers can count on them. Integrity is characterized by the members showing good principles and that they can be trusted in doing their jobs and making the right decisions.

True leaders don't create followers. They create more leaders. - Tom Peters 3

We Are Future Leaders: Modeling Leadership and Mentorship as Students Jeff Kuciapinski DVR-PASCD Board Member The leaders show their gratitude by doing tasks for one another. They show consideration for others by being polite as well as thoughtful of the other students at Culbertson Elementary. The leaders are always showing empathy by understanding how others feel both inside and outside of the school. Student Council member are the individuals enforcing and reminding the other students of the rules within the school. They are modeling respect by being polite, kind, and following the rules. Finally, selfesteem is built with the success of the Student Council.

Photo via Twitter: @culbertson_mnsd

It starts out as the students believing that they are the right person for the position of Student Council Officer and Homeroom Representative. They understand that they have both the strength and challenges, and choose to do their best. The students work collaboratively once a month by pairing up for “Buddy” activities. This allows the older grade levels to mentor the younger students in the building so they will become better individuals of the school community. The members of Student Council; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Historian and Homeroom Representatives show leadership as well as mentorship by maintaining grades of A’s and B’s, completing homework and classwork on time, and being punctual to school, class, and meetings. These students are not only nominated by their peers, but also by teachers through an election at the end of the school year. Those interested in running for an office must also obtain recommendations from two teachers within the school.


We Are Future Leaders: Modeling Leadership and Mentorship as Students Jeff Kuciapinski DVR-PASCD Board Member

Student Council allows the students to have a sense of belonging and provides an outlet for voicing the student perspective on the school culture. The students take part in monthly meetings planned by the officers and discussed with the homeroom representatives. The Homeroom Representatives then disseminate the information to the rest of the school by being in charge of classroom meetings. This information is also relayed to the Parent Teacher Organization by an attending Student Council Officer at monthly meetings. It is at this time that the member is able to observe the Principal, as well as PTO officers, and participate in a discussion that incorporates the community. The students learn how to work together as a team amongst their school peers. They learn to present ideas, design and implement projects, and develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The Student Council recently concluded a student driven food drive. This drive collected canned foods, boxed foods and monetary donations for three weeks. The food drive collected over 1,900 pieces of canned and boxed food as well as over $1,000. The students came up with ideas such as a classroom competition, teacher

competition, hosted evening hours so that the community can take part in the food drive and prepared baskets so that less fortunate families within the school and district can have a Thanksgiving meal. This demonstrates all of the character traits that were mentioned and models leadership skills. The students are really invested in their school and community. The school culture of Culbertson Elementary has been rejuvenated with the addition of a student council that so proudly works as a “changemaker�. Student council is a great way for young adults to represent their peers and learn what it means to play a role in the leadership of their school.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. -John Quincy Adams


Growth Mindset: Unlocking Potential Monica Conlin DVR-PASCD Board Member Monica Conlin is an Assistant Principal at Springfield High School, DVR-PASCD Board Member and member of the DVR-PASCD Newsletter Editing Team.

Stanford University Psychologist Carol Dweck has completed extensive research on the theory of Growth Mindset and its influence on thinking and learning. Dweck’s work has generated conversation on multiple relevant and impactful topics that have the potential to inspire learners to reach unknown and sometimes untapped potential. A glimpse at Dweck’s theory, offers a closer assessment at not only how the growth mindset supports students in embracing challenge, this lens also unlocks how the theory serves as an intangible mentor to inspire students, teachers and administrators to explore even further the value of effort. According to Dweck, key to launching the belief in any learner that he or she can improve and embrace the challenge is the power of the words –“Not Yet.”

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck provides reasoning and research studies that support the concept of how motivation leads to learning and how ability can be developed. One obstacle to accepting this challenge can be fear of failure and the revealing or the unmasking of areas of self-growth or the acknowledgement of failure. Dweck’s work identifies strategies to move through this and to recognize one’s talent, so that when one is faced with a challenge or a setback, one can recognize these as triggers to a fixed mindset and strategize how to move forward.

At the core of Dweck’s research, she defines and analyzes the theory of growth mindset, the concept that one can develop his or her abilities, and the fixed mindset, the belief that intelligence is a fixed trait that cannot be changed and cultivated.


Growth Mindset: Unlocking Potential Monica Conlin DVR-PASCD Board Member In a Ted Talk titled, The power of believing that you can improve, Dweck explores the influence of praising the process and the power of rewarding for “effort, strategy and process.” Considering this in regard to students, the opportunity to infuse these three factors during instruction, engagement and feedback offers teachers pathways to rethink learning outcomes, instructional strategies, and the value of formative assessment. Assuredly, effort, strategy and process can likewise be key factors in mentoring teachers and future leaders. By providing authentic and ongoing feedback through walk-throughs, formal and informal observations and classroom visits, administrators can offer both the new and experienced teacher opportunities to be the reflective practitioner exploring opportunities to explore new strategies, extended thinking and collegial discourse. In a world too often focused on simply meeting an end goal and earning the highest grade, we as teachers, mentors and leaders, can feel empowered by Dweck’s theory. By inviting the initiative to reward for effort, strategy and process and to believe in the words “Not Yet”, we ignite learning and quell the resistance and trepidation to challenge and self-growth.

Watch Carol Dweck's TED Talk: The Power of Believing That You Can Improve https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_ of_believing_that_you_can_improve


What iGnites Us?

Relational Focus Through a Lens of Engagement Derry Area Middle School: Derry, PA

Joy Rosser, DVR-PASCD Board Member

Through a lens of engagement, Derry Area Middle School is making a difference in every child, every day. Set along the Laurel Mountains ridge of western Pennsylvania, 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, Derry Area was recently honored with a Schools to Watch designation. Middle-grades schools in several states that exemplify strength and growth in the domains of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structures and processes are honored through the Schools to Watch Program; these schools demonstrate a collective commitment to doing what is developmentally appropriate for young adolescents. To date, 465 schools nationwide have been honored; for countless reasons, Derry Area Middle School is among the best.

Students grasp the vision and intentions of the staff through the understanding of The Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley. A well known story with a lesson in making a difference, a young man emphasizes the importance of rescuing one small, seemingly insignificant starfish amidst millions of others quoting, “It made a difference for that one.� Lisa Dubich, principal at Derry Area, emphatically embraces the story as definitive of their school culture sharing that the middle school staff and students live by the story everyday. Tentacles of desirable characteristics help all students gain an understanding of what it truly means to make a difference in a school where generosity and a kindred spirit are boundless.

Everyday lives of children are enhanced at Derry Area through a lens of engagement with an acute focus on making a difference emotionally, socially, cognitively and developmentally.

Zooming in on the pixels of life at Derry Area reveals students who learn through collaboration, meaning centered lessons, and an appreciation for human interactions at all levels. Student potential is maximized through increased engagement and the mindset that every student is equally afforded opportunities to learn and succeed. Specifically, professional development adopted from John Hattie, author of Visible Learning, impacts relationships and instruction at Derry Area.

It made a difference for that one. The Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley


What iGnites Us?

Relational Focus Through a Lens of Engagement Derry Area Middle School: Derry, PA

Joy Rosser, DVR-PASCD Board Member

Throughout the school, teacher actions are making a difference because they are aware of their broad influence, adjusting their approaches and techniques to best meet the needs of each student. Effective instruction is grounded in passionate teachers who monitor impact, teach with clarity and actively seek to improve their own teaching. Students benefit from meaningful relationships with staff - a core value at Derry Area.

Focusing on the care aspect of school is foundational to learning. At Derry Area Middle School, teachers model respect, incorporate social skills into curriculum, create a family-like classroom environment, build homework time into the school day to reduce stress, remediate, target specific learning interventions and provide wraparound support services. None of these are simply daily routines but are embedded practices in the school climate of Derry Area with the most important beneficiaries - students.

Improving student engagement in an effort to simultaneously improve school culture is an embraced mission throughout the middle school.

Did You Know?

Your PASCD Membership includes access to our Gale Virtual Library with 30 eBooks from ASCD.

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What iGnites Us?

Relational Focus Through a Lens of Engagement Derry Area Middle School: Derry, PA

Joy Rosser, DVR-PASCD Board Member

The focus, zoomed in or out, at Derry Area Middle School is engagement with the intention of making a difference. Effectively engaging students socially and emotionally yields academic engagement with a newfound zest for achievement and the ability to inspire others. Making a difference to every child, every day resonates throughout the school but more importantly, resonates within the hearts of the students and staff at Derry Area Middle School.

Joy Rosser is currently serving as secretary on the DVR-PASCD board, teaching sixth grade science at Kennett Middle School, serving on the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch State Evaluation Team and is president of the southeast regional PAMLE board. Joy is expanding her research and writing; discovering ways people are being ignited within educational institutions, among student interactions, and within families affiliated with education.

SAVE THE DATE MARCH 21, 2018 DVR-PASCD @ Cabrini University Join us for a hands-on workshop in collaboration with #makerdads

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5 Ways to Empower Teachers as Leaders Through Instructional Coaching Cindy Kruse DVR-PASCD Board Treasurer Cindy serves as treasurer on the DVR-ASCD Board. As an independent educational consultant, Cindy partners with educational organizations to develop and deliver professional learning through workshops and instructional coaching. Her areas of expertise are: literacy, gifted education, growth mindset, engaging classroom instruction, and effective classroom management.

According to research the biggest transfer from knowledge to practice occurs as teachers are given the opportunity for long-term job embedded learning, which includes coaching as they implement new practices. Instructional coaching provides the opportunity for individualized learning and the support to implement new strategies learned.

Great teaching is an important variable of the learning equation. Researchers may vary on the weight that the quality of teaching holds (as there are so many variables which impact learning), however, all agree that effective teaching is necessary for effective learning. Pre-service training for teachers can provide a solid foundation, however it simply cannot prepare teachers adequately for all of the challenges that they will undoubtedly face as they enter the classroom. Professional development that is ongoing, collaborative, and embedded with opportunities for both application and feedback with follow up, is essential in order to provide the support that educators need in order to be great teachers.

Viewing teachers as leaders has been a welcome change in the educational field. There is a good reason for this shift. Teachers who are empowered to lead within their school settings are more committed, more collaborative, and influence the school culture in more positive ways. Instructional coaching is one meaningful way to empower teachers and identify teacher-leaders. While some schools may be fortunate enough to have instructional coaches on staff, there are other ways to offer instructional coaching. Consider bringing in a consultant for a number of days throughout the year, prepare Reading Specialists and Math Specialists to fill this role, and consider how administrators can fill this role as the instructional leaders in their schools.

One-size-fits-all professional development will not meet the pressing needs of educators. Individualizing professional development by offering choice based on need and most importantly, providing the time for the application of new learning to their specific roles will truly enable educators to grow and empower teachers.

Here are five simple ways to empower your teachers through instructional coaching. (Please note, although the instructional coaching examples below are specifically related to literacy, they can be easily be applied to other content areas as well.)


5 Ways to Empower Teachers as Leaders Through Instructional Coaching Cindy Kruse DVR-PASCD Board Treasurer 1. Provide mini professional learning opportunities – Just as we deliver mini-lessons with students, we can offer small chunks of learning for teachers as well. This can happen during PLCs, staff meetings, or grade level meetings. Gathering teachers together briefly to learn about a specific strategy or topic such as “how to use data from running records to form student goals” can take as little as 20 minutes. Tips: The important thing is to make the focus clear, relevant to their needs, and easily implemented. Following up on the mini PD through continued coaching, walk-throughs and observations with feedback completes the cycle of learning specific strategies. 2. Provide time for collaboration – Pulling teachers together to share their successes as well as their struggles on a specific topic such as guided reading instruction can impact learning within the whole school. Teachers can work together to create solutions to problems that may be experienced within several grade levels. Tips: Start the conversation with “What’s working well” and move the conversation into “What are we struggling with”. Make sure that groups are small and that everyone has a chance to be heard. You might consider beginning with interactive structures such as a “Carousel Walk” or “Four Corners”, and have teachers brainstorm together first. Be sure to offer solutions to the problems that are identified.

3. Listen for their pain points – All educators have “full plates”. There is never enough time in the day to complete all of the things on our to do lists. Often new strategies or initiatives are met with audible groans or a silent tightening of the stomach for these reasons. Tip: Listen and provide easy and simple solutions. Recently, I was supporting elementary teachers through instructional coaching. One of the teachers seemed overwhelmed with the amount of planning for guided reading groups (she had five groups). With all of the other things on her plate, the planning was taking too much of her time. Hearing her pain point, and realizing that perhaps others were feeling the same way, I developed a template and mini PD for planning a guided reading in less than six minutes using four sticky notes. I encouraged teachers to snap a picture of the lesson and using Google Keep, add it to their Google Drive folder so that we were sharing their awesome ideas. The feedback has been wonderful and the focus on implementing guided reading embraced whole-heartedly. 4. Make “Learning Walks” a part of your practice – When teachers have the time to learn from other teachers everyone wins! Teachers have a wealth of knowledge that often goes untapped. Teachers are the best at creating teaching hacks…tricks, short cuts, and ways to increase efficiency in the classroom. Teachers


5 Ways to Empower Teachers as Leaders Through Instructional Coaching Cindy Kruse DVR-PASCD Board Treasurer need to be in each other’s classrooms to see the great learning that is taking place. The purpose of the learning walk should be to “browse, borrow, and build”. Consider structuring a Learning Walk focused on a particular strategy after a round of instructional coaching. Tips: Be sure to set up protocols in advance (limit the number of teachers, brief time allotted, no talking during the observation, etc.), focus on one strategy at a time, facilitate a quick debrief afterwards (be sure to include the teacher who volunteered to have others observe their classroom in the debriefing session).

meetings, add this to a weekly digital staff newsletter, create a “Here’s What’s Happening at XYZ School” board in the faculty room or mail room. Snap pictures of great learning and post them on this board (change up the pictures regularly). Distributing leadership within the school is an effective way to empower teachers. It is impossible for administrators to “do it all”. Consider areas that teachers can take on a leadership role: school wide policies and programs, communication and fostering community relationships, and encourage teachers to lead professional learning opportunities within the building or at local/state/national levels. Tip: Make sure to set up a “safe” environment where risk taking is valued and mistakes are viewed as opportunities to learn.

5. Find opportunities for teachers to lead – Instructional coaching Teachers are the lynchpin to will bring to light the effective learning. By awesome teaching that supporting teachers in their Guided Reading Lesson-level J “Beavers” is happening in a professional growth through building. Set up the culture of sharing in instructional coaching we can empower them to your school so that innovative practices take leadership roles in schools. As teachers are highlighted. Here are some ways to realize their potential, the school community will share the great teaching that is realize their potential as well. happening: make it a regular part of staff It’s a Win-Win!


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