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Table of Contents President’s Letter .......................................Pages 1-2 What Does It Mean To Be a Coach or Mentor? A Lot!.........................................................Pages 3-5 Giving the Gift of ‘Time’ Through Authentic and Purposeful Innovation..........................Pages 6-8 What Ignites Us? Mastery and Growth Orients Student Success.............................Pages 9-10 DVR-PASCD Sponsors ...............................Pages 11-15

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

President's Letter Dear DVR-PASCD Members, First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to the collective and collaborative efforts of our Executive Board. Each member of the board has provided an essential component to our overall success. I am also most thankful to our past presidents who continue to mentor me in my role and provide a constant level of support. Equally important is the support from our sponsors and members. Our organization thrives due to the service mentality that is at the core of all of our endeavors. Every time we have an event we meet more individuals who are willing to devote their time and energy so we can continue to provide teachers and students what is necessary for their personal growth. This type of energy and willingness to help is what makes our organization thrive. One of our goals this year is to provide the frameworks to support and empower teacher leadership. I encourage each of you to think about how we can provide you guidance in this area. Our events are open and friendly networking sessions which lead to new opportunities and sometimes blossom into professional friendships. Your voice matters. Think about sharing your experiences and areas of success this year in your classroom, by contributing an article to our newsletter or being a presenter at our upcoming conferences. October 21st we will gather again-see details about our Fall Event on the next page. We hope to see you there! Please come find me at the DVR membership table. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. With appreciation,

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


Join DVR-PASCD at the Downingtown Educational Technology Conference

OCT 21st

We hope to see you there! Additional Information at: www.cciu.org/detc17

Christy Brennan - President Elect Middle School Librarian Marple Newtown School District christina.m.brennan@gmail.com Twitter: @christybrenn

Matt Friedman - Vice President Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development, Downingtown Area School District mfriedman@dasd.org Twitter: @mfriedmanPGH

Joy Rosser Secretary


What Does It Mean To Be a Coach or Mentor? A Lot! Joel DiBartolomeo DVR-PASCD Board Member "As a leader, learner, or “coach,� take it upon yourself to be a coach or mentor to those around you...Be a lead learner, provide outlets that offer the opportunity of success for others, identify and work in areas of high interest, and most importantly, practice patience and the maintenance of an awareness and behaviors that foster positive relationships."

None of us reached where we are perched today alone. Our interests, passions, selfawareness, and relationships orient us toward our goals, but even the most autodidact learner among us cannot become an expert without the guidance and support of someone who could inspire and enlighten him or her. Michael Phelps did not win his record setting 28 Olympic medals swimming alone in a pool. Whether we are academics, musicians, or swimmers, the overwhelming majority of us risk the onset of mental-inertia without certain conditions in place. Each of us is able to identify that one person or the experiences that somehow nudged us closer to our goals. The person may have been a friend, mentor, coach, teacher, teammate, colleague, boss, or even a stranger, and you may have shared an informal relationship or a prescribed role.

The encounter may have been an episodic event, an accident, or the fulfillment of a longing to pursue some innate curiosity or passion. Situations will vary with each example and with respect to each individual, but there is a collection of traits, skills, and conditions common to each. Being a mentor or coach is an important and exciting opportunity that benefits the well-being and productivity of each individual involved. In a larger group or organizational context, the effects have the potential to cultivate a work environment that adds exponential value to the organization (Taris and Schaufeli, 2015). In formal roles, the coach or mentor must create learning opportunities where he/she is able to impart knowledge and wisdom and in which the mentee can experiment, fail, learn, and develop. These experiences affirm our confidence, strengthen our internal capacity, and foreshadow the achievements that lay beyond our ordinary inclinations and preconceived notions of our own proficiency.


What Does It Mean To Be a Coach or Mentor? A Lot! Joel DiBartolomeo DVR-PASCD Board Member

The role and duties of a coach or mentor share many traits and expectations, and the terms are interchangeable in most practical ways. Many of the shared traits are also evident across assorted humanistic leadership styles today. For example, many of today’s leading management theories promote coaching, being a mentor, and fostering a positive culture through relationships (Duggan and Moyer, 2008). Deci and Ryan3 conclude in their influential work on Motivation Theory that we are motivated when the following conditions are met: 1) efficacy of small wins, 2) a certain amount of autonomy, and 3) work with an expert. The great coach or mentor knows how to push and pull our levers and allow us space for small wins and overcoming failure, and it these failures and small-wins that a coach will leverage into confidence and personalized learning. We will come to welcome our failures and accomplishments like a droplet of sugar-water placed on our tongue. These conditions presuppose the individual posses traits like trust and respect, which we know strengthen a symbiotic relationship (Center for Disease Control, 2005). Anyone who ever been in any kind of relationship

knows they can be an expensive emotional investment, which are strengthened through the ebb and flow of our shared experiences. Trust in relationships develops under the right conditions, and this trust buttresses a respect and belief in each other that allows for the creative exchange of thoughts between individuals. It can give rise to an organizational culture where meaningful discussions are expected to dive deep into the exploration of ideas and to question existing theory and practice. The motivated pupil who feels empowered is one who feels valued. As this motivation draws upon internal forces and connects to our beliefs and the promise of improvement, the pupil will become more productive and contribute to a positive and productive organizational culture (Taris and Schaufeli, 2015). Through the mentor/mentee relationship, and the accumulation of skills and wisdom, the organization will generate value greater than any one of its individual parts would be able to do alone. As a leader, learner, or “coach,” take it upon yourself to be a coach or mentor to those around you in discreet ways, because no one


What Does It Mean To Be a Coach or Mentor? A Lot! Joel DiBartolomeo DVR-PASCD Board Member

likes a know-it-all. Be a lead learner, provide outlets that offer the opportunity of success for others, identify and work in areas of high interest, and most importantly, practice patience and the maintenance of an awareness and behaviors that foster positive relationships. No assignment or duty prevents you from being a mentor in some tacit way for a colleague. Abandon the idea that learning and leadership are zero sum games. Those working in organizations that promote, expect, and indulge in these conditions and expect these traits will be happier with their jobs, have a higher sense of well-being, and be more productive for the organization (Taris and Schaufeli, 2015), and there are few organizations, leaders, coaches, or mentors who would eschew that opportunity or the outcomes they offer.

1. Taris, T.W.; Schaufeli, W.B. (2015) Van Veldhoven, M., Peccei, R. (eds.), Well-being and performance at work: The role of context, pp. 15 – 34. 2. Duggan and Moyer, (2008). Resilient Leadership. Infinity Press. West Conshohocken, PA. 3. Richard M. Ryan, Edward L. Deci (1999). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Direction. World Wide Web: https://doi.org/10.1006/ceps.1999.1020 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2005). Choose respect community action kit: Helping preteens and teens build healthy relationships. Retrieved from http://www.unajauladeoro.com/cd/manuales/ch oose_respect_action_kit.pdf (PDF, 60 pages)

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill 5

Giving the Gift of ‘Time’ Through Authentic and Purposeful Innovation Dr. Marc Bertrando Superintendent, Garnet Valley School District Article written by Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent of Schools for the Garnet Valley School District. This is a selection of a larger guest post on the following blog: https://goo.gl/FncusV Like most districts, we start the school year with a large “kick off” meeting with our administration, faculty, and staff. We first gather in the high school cafeteria where everyone grabs a coffee and a bagel, rekindles old relationships and catches up with friends and colleagues. Everyone is then shepherded into the auditorium for speeches, videos, performances, games, and whatever else the superintendent and/or association presidents created. In their best form, these meetings are informative and inspiring; however, at their worst, they are anywhere from one to three hours of incessant talking, isolated data points, and bored educators. Through the lens of our three district themes– balance, focusing on the end user, and authentic and purposeful innovation–we started to examine opening day in terms of its cost vs. benefit for our end users. Overall, our staff viewed it positively; however, including travel time for everyone to arrive from our five other schools, the ceremonies took up to two and half hours.

After factoring the hours available during our three inservice days prior to the student school year, we found that if we subtracted lunch and the opening day ceremony, our teachers were left with only nineteen and half hours to prepare for the new school year. Keeping our themes of balance and the end user in mind, it was hypocritical to expect our teachers to perform the many responsibilities necessary to prepare for students, actively participate in building and district meetings, and engage in professional learning within a nineteen and half hour period of time. Applying authentic and purposeful innovation, we began creating the content and troubleshooting the possibility of all 900 employees accessing an Opening Day course on Schoology. Starting with the end in mind, our objectives were consistent with our traditional model. Things like building camaraderie, promoting a sense of belonging, and reinforcing our district identity and belief systems remained non negotiables. As did celebrating district accomplishments, welcoming new hires, acknowledging our long standing employees, setting priorities for the new school year, and giving feedback on priorities from the previous year.


Giving the Gift of ‘Time’ Through Authentic and Purposeful Innovation Dr. Marc Bertrando Superintendent, Garnet Valley School District However, through Schoology, we could also give our faculty and staff an opportunity to interface with the system, further the district’s movement toward providing professional learning through a blended approach, and most importantly, provide faculty and staff with flexibility and time. Welcome Back!–The Model Two weeks before the first inservice day, we sent an email to all of employees with the link to Schoology and the course code for opening day. Clearly, our technology department did a great deal of work to ensure that our faculty and staff were uploaded into the learning management system, but we also created a Google shared folder as a failsafe in the event individuals struggled logging in. Even though our educators had two full weeks prior to the first inservice day to complete the course, we still maintained the two hour block of time at the beginning of the first morning traditionally reserved for opening day meetings and activities. To us, this block of time represented authentic flexibility of time and space. Teachers who completed the course prior to the first day, could then arrive at their building to meet their basic professional needs or do whatever else they needed or wanted to do professionally or personally.

For those who decided to complete the course the first inservice day, they could work wherever they wanted as long as the course was completed by 10:00 a.m. Although we provided two hours in the schedule, we wanted the course to total no more than an hour and fifteen minutes in length. This allocation matched what was traditionally scheduled for opening day activities even though it had always been a great deal longer due to travel and content. With this time structure in mind, we created five “mandatory” activities. The course profile is below:


Giving the Gift of ‘Time’ Through Authentic and Purposeful Innovation Dr. Marc Bertrando Superintendent, Garnet Valley School District What’s Next?–Conclusions and Thoughts on Moving Forward We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback we received. Our faculty and staff overwhelmingly saw the new format as a positive change. They loved the “found” time that the course provided and also the flexibility of engaging with the material where they felt comfortable. However, most importantly, they felt respected because the new opening day activities recognized their needs as professionals.

As we do, we are committed to authenticity and purposefulness so that when we utilize these delivery methods, they most meet the personalized needs of our students, faculty, and staff.

From an organizational perspective the structure reinforced the overarching themes of balance and focusing on the end user through authentic and purposeful innovation. Similarly, it gave our educators experience with Schoology, and for those who were not already Tweeting, a brief interaction with Twitter. As district leaders, it also gave us the opportunity to model risk taking and the desire to challenge traditional obstacles and excuses and replace them with enhanced and innovative processes. Moving forward we plan to continue and even expand the use of blended and flipped meetings and professional learning opportunities.

Photos via @GarnetValleySD


What iGnites Us?

Mastery and Growth Orients Student Success Springton Lake Middle School: Media, PA

Joy Rosser, DVR-PASCD Board Member

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. Students begin their journey at Springton Lake Middle School in Media, Pennsylvania with an admirable, unique outlook as young adolescents. RJ Palacio’s summer reading book, Wonder, sets the emotional and social stage for the incoming student body, encouraging students to adopt a caring, empathetic, and embracing attitude towards others. And they do. Additionally, Palacio impresses upon readers, “It’s not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.” Through the halls and classrooms of Springton Lake Middle School, friends are an unlimited entity, creating a warm and inviting environment. With students who value themselves and those around them, it comes as no surprise that they also value the depth of learning. The staff at Springton Lake has embarked upon a masteryoriented adventure where learning is a result of intrinsic motivation with an emphasis on depth and growth.

Cathy Vatterott’s text, Rethinking Grading, provides a schoolwide platform for ongoing professional development in grading reform whereby the focus is on learning; grades are a communication vehicle, not a motivator. She emphasizes, “In our relentless pursuit of the almighty A and the perfect GPA, something got lost – learning” (Vatterott, 2015). In support, the 2017-2018 Springton Lake Middle School Statement of Beliefs recognizes that effective and ongoing assessment is an essential element of the teaching and learning process. Principal, Dr. Bob Salladino, prioritizes the success of all students with a concentration on timing of comprehension. Synchronizing the content with the moment of comprehension is key to learning; reshaping a grade-centric culture into a mastery-learning environment is key to motivation. To accomplish in-depth, genuine learning and intrinsic motivation, parents can expect a consistent, strong commitment from the staff at Springton Lake MS. Grade calculations are a reflection of learning objectives, not of work habits, thereby eliminating participation and effort as contributors to overall grades.


What iGnites Us?

Mastery and Growth Orients Student Success Springton Lake Middle School: Media, PA

Joy Rosser, DVR-PASCD Board Member

The final outcome or product of the learning is valued greater than the steps taken to achievement, diminishing the pressure of homework influencing grade calculations. Teachers provide multiple opportunities for mastery in an effort to prevent student elected zeros or opt-outs. Cohesively, grading practices are unified across the building. Students can expect a middle school experience that generates intrinsic motivational values such as interest, curiosity, pride, autonomy, and personal success. Learning is an outcome resulting from students’ intrinsic desires to accomplish mastery and improve self-esteem.

Did You Know?

The Springton Lake staff knows and believes that young adolescents’ academic successes are established through a love of learning, not simply a desire for elevated letter grades. W.B. Yeats, Irish author of the 19th century, reminds us, Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. Springton Lake Middle School is a place where students are ignited to learn, where they appreciate that mastering new material is not solely to fill their bucket. Mastery learning serves as a catalyst for greater, deeper learning, illuminating a life-long path of achievement.

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