Category: Heart of the School
Amid all the other challenges of pandemic education, principal Rita Platt has noticed an uptick in communication breakdowns between teachers and parents this year. Platt relates several stories that prompted her to share some parent/teacher do’s and don’ts with staff.
Principal and NBCT Rita Platt shares advice for a paradigm shift away from obsessive coverage of content and toward deep and differentiated learning for students who have lived through the months of pandemic schooling. Three questions help us understand what’s essential.
If you find yourself in a school situation where a parent or community member is unkind, unreasonable, or downright mean, principal and NBCT Rita Platt has tips to move beyond the hurt. Here’s what she does to make sure toxic remarks roll right off her back. Like a duck!
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.
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.