Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reflections from 5301

This course has provided me with a lot of insight that I will be able to use as I go forth in my coursework for my Master’s degree. Action research is something that I thought I had a solid base of knowledge in, but throughout the course I learned that there is much more to action research than I thought. Like many other people my age the internet has always served as my primary tool for research. This course taught me that you have to pull from several resources in order to research a topic effectively. Another lesson that stood out was the fact that you have to fully understand the problem that you are facing before you try to fix it. Often times we can identify a problem, but never fully understand how it’s effecting student achievement or whether or not a change will help. Finally, this class taught me how important it is to constantly be searching ways to improve your action throughout your investigation and once you have implemented some of your findings. Schools often keep the same strategies and procedures in place for years, or even decades without taking in to account the fact that the population of their campus has changed. The same things that were effective five years ago may not hold true for kids today. We must always challenge ourselves to continually search for what is best for our students.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

As I reviewed some of the comments from my Action Research Plan I found that most felt that it was looking good. One mentioned that she would be concerned that finding the data for old tardies and consequences would be an issue. Another issue would most likely come from the teachers themselves who are too busy to add another task to their agenda throughout the school day. A suggestion that I like and will probably move forward with is to pass out the surveys at the end of an already planned teacher's meeting to eliminate the problem of teachers not getting back to me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Action Research Plan

Action Planning Template

Determine how effective our policies, procedures, and consequences are at
motivating our students to get to class on time and receive adequate education.

Action Steps
Needed Resources
Research the average number of tardies we have per day on our campus. Break that information down to each individual grade level as well.
John Thompson
Dianne Schmidt

February 2013-June 2014
Tardy referrals
Determine if the number of
tardies increase
or decrease
during the year.
Determine if there
is a major different
in the class grades
and if there is a
difference in
grade levels.
Research the number of students that continue to arrive late for class after receiving consequences.
John Thompson
John Martin
February 2013- June 2014
Tardy referrals

Determine if the consequences adequately
deter students
from arriving
late to class.
Survey teachers to determine what percentage of commitment there is to assigning consequences to students who arrive late to class
John Thompson
Various teachers
February 2013-June 2014
Survey distributed to various teachers.
Observation of various teachers.
Determine if teachers are consistent in enforcing our
current tardy
Research the effectiveness of “tardy sweeps” Are they working or should we take another avenue.
John Thompson
Dianne Schmidt
Various teachers
February 2013-June 2014
Tardy referrals
Opinion poll distributed to various teachers
Determine if
tardy sweeps minimize class disruptions
caused by
students who
arrive late.
Research tardy policies at other schools to see what steps are effective and what isn't working.
John Thompson

February 2013-June 2014
Tardy policies from other school districts
Compare tardy policies from
other schools to determine if
there are ideas
for incentives or consequences
that we can implement on
our campus.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

5301 Week 2 Reflection

In my week 2 reading from "The Passions That Drive Your Journey"
I learned I will be in charge of my own growth and development as a leader of educators. As a principal I  will also be given the responsibility of facilitating the learning and professional growth of the teachers in my school.
Because of the current pressures on teachers these days with high-stakes testing, local, state, and national mandates, as well as keeping up with individual student needs, teachers are leaving the profession in waves. So it is very important that we as principals keep the growth and careers of our teachers alive and growing. I also learned that prinicipals who keep teachers on their toes and energized keep the learning vibrant and more exciting for the students.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What I Have Learned About Action Research

I have learned that action research is like a scientist using the scientific method. First, what is the problem that needs to be addressed? For educators we would likely ask why is this problem of significant importance?  Second,  scientist would do background research on the topic.  As educators we would do the same by collecting reviews and literature that is relevant to the topic. Third,  Scientists would come up with a hypothesis for the answer. Educators may have an idea of what there answer to the problem may be based on professional knowledge and background. Fourth, Scientists would test the hypothesis with an experiment whereas educators would put implement their research plan into action. Fifth, both scientists and educators would analyze the data and draw a conclusion based on their results. And finally the sixth step is to communicate your results with other people which educators would do in a Professional Learning Committee, educational blogs, etc.
Action research is different than the traditional research in that the word "Action" really means what it says. You actually do something with the research data that you have found instead of just writing about what you learned from the information you researched.
I believe I will be able to find my information from research and then be able to observe students and their behavior towards the credit recovery class and see if the dropout rate for the seniors decreases.

How Educational Leaders Might Use Blogs

A key part of action research, as with any research, is sharing the findings of one’s work. The ever-changing administrative environment, coupled with the time constraints modern principals and administrators find themselves under, creates a need for a flexible, easy-to-use discourse and feedback tool. Blogs (weblogs) ideally fill this need; as many principals already use blogs to communicate school and professional information, and to keep their colleagues informed, this tool is familiar and informal enough to promote frequent use throughout the action research process. Blogs can be used to clarify and accurately express the action research process, and through the feedback provided by discussion postings to the blog, new questions or unanticipated solutions may arise, refining the research while providing the potential for improved solutions addressing the identified needs.
My Potential Action Research Plan

I am seriously thinking of deviating from my internship plan to a topic that I think I will be more engaged in developing a solution for. I want to find out if the drop out rate for high school seniors is reduced due to the credit recovery course that my high school offers. We call this course (ACE) for Accelerated Credit Education. It is specifically designed to help those students who have had a rough time in a normal classroom setting and who may have failed previous classes or even a whole year. I think it is of critical importance for two reasons: 1) the students that want to drop out, as we all know, put themselves at a great disadvantage for gaining a great job and living a successful life. Most of the time they get a minimum or slightly higher paying job and they think that is answer to their money problems and life will be pretty easy. 2) It helps keep money in the district by keeping students in school. I believe doing an action research study on this topic would be beneficial in helping solving the dropout rate for our school and hopefully help another school to decide to implement this course into their curriculum.