Isn’t it interesting how the school year has a way of just slipping away? We no sooner start school in August and the month of May creeps right up on us with its flurry of activities: graduation, promotion ceremonies, prom, sports tournaments, college and scholarship applications and, of course, end of year exams!
Unless a person has been a classroom teacher or a school administrator, it’s hard to understand the kind of gratification one gets from watching kids finish up another school year able to demonstrate all the new skills and knowledge they’ve acquired. It’s also hard to understand the disappointment and regret in not having reached every child, not having taught every skill or having run out of time to do one more thing for that one child.
During the past year, school leaders and teachers implemented the new evaluation system. We’ve heard from those of you in the field about the value of the training, the value of the calibration activities and the value of the classroom observation and rubrics. We’ve also heard that leaders and teachers now have lots of information about what they’ve observed (or not), but may be unsure of what to do next. How does one help a struggling professional, whether that person is a teacher or a school principal? How does one provide information or techniques or training that will help the person improve their performance? I truly believe that the goal of every person in a school and district is to help each child achieve their maximum potential, but sometimes we, as professionals, need assistance in figuring out just how to do that.
My philosophy is that every person is doing the best they can with the knowledge, skills and resources they have. If we expect people to do something better or different, then we need to figure out what they need and do our best to provide that for them. I hear about that happening across the state, whether it’s Dr. Mel Morgan in Pojoaque creating a guide for implementing the evaluation system and providing training to the teachers and principals in his district or Cindy Martin in Clovis who is assisting her teachers and principals on a variety of methods to implement the Common Core Standards. Leaders throughout the state are changing and improving teaching and learning in their schools—all to benefit their students. As the school year winds down, Mel and Cindy, as well as every teacher, principal, and superintendent are already thinking about the planning and work they will do this summer in preparation for the next school year.
As part of that planning, please remember to register for the NMCEL conference. We have two great keynote speakers and many worthwhile and valuable breakout sessions planned. Some include more training on the evaluation system and on the PARCC assessment. Registration information is on the NMCEL website and elsewhere in this newsletter. I hope to see you on July 24-25, 2014 at the Hotel Albuquerque. Thank you for all the work you’ve done during the school year. Best wishes for a productive summer.
Gloria O. Rendón
NMCEL Executive Director
At our summer conference the NMCEL Board elected a new President, Crit Caton, Superintendent from Artesia. Erik Bose, APS Principal was elected Vice President.
With over half of the school year completed, I hope this letter finds all of you experiencing a wonderful school year. The New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders truly appreciates your dedication to the students of this great state. A big thank you goes out to all who helped promote our Legislative Platform. Four of the five platform areas were addressed by the Legislature this year. I believe the education budget is the best it has been in the past four or five years!
Thank you for your tireless efforts and hope the remainder of your school year is successful. I appreciate you all for truly “Keeping Kids First”.
Crit D. Caton, Ed.D.