Copious fiction and nonfiction reading can make most teachers better teachers, writes principal and former reading specialist and librarian Rita Platt, by modeling the joy and power of reading in our own lives. Rita shares two dozen multi-genre favorites she read this year.
Category: Heart of the School
Rita Platt’s blog
Using homemade surveys can help you become a better teacher and leader. They can boost our understanding of student, parent and staff perspectives on issues that impact teaching and learning. Principal and NBCT Rita Platt shares ways she uses them – with tips and resources.
When Principal Rita Platt tested positive for COVID-19 and isolated at home, her staff put pandemic plans into action while she concentrated on self-care. Writing from Wisconsin, Rita shares her coping strategies and praises her staff’s response to going all-virtual again.
Positive phone calls and texts to students’ families are powerful, writes principal and NBCT Rita Platt. Parents and caregivers enjoy hearing good things and will be more responsive when you get in touch with less happy news. Rita includes several starter scripts and scheduling ideas.
In a school year when frustration, fatigue and uncertainty make teaching and learning an unprecedented challenge, principal Rita Platt is leading her staff to focus on two top priorities: (1) limit instruction to essential standards, and (2) build personal connections with EVERY student.
For a fresh, fun way to quickly assess student progress, try having them “Tap Out!” in person or online. Kids can think about their efforts toward meeting a learning target, and teachers get ongoing formative assessment data, writes NBCT Rita Platt. Lots of tips and tools!
Responding to a survey by Rita Platt, middle graders reveal what worked and what didn’t for them during their spring of virtual learning: more freedom and free time warred with tech glitches, months without friends, and less time with teachers. Rita shares some things we might do better.
Rita Platt peruses lots of professional texts, but the books she reads each year to meet her personal Goodreads goal cross many genres. Some are funny. Some are scary. Some examine America’s urgent problems. Not your typical PD books, but they have plenty to say to educators.
In response to the murder of George Floyd, people have offered lists of actions to take to fight racism. Rita Platt adds another: Get anti-racism books into your community. Read, talk and share. Help people deepen their understanding of white privilege and systemic racism.
After weeks of deciphering digital teaching and supporting students in new ways, educators are reflecting on their changed worlds. Principal Rita Platt reached out to collect some of their thoughts on the challenges, the silver linings, and their concerns about public education’s future.