Sunday, February 2, 2014

Reflections on Action Research

Well, We made it....Yea!!!!!!

This course was very reassuring.  I was happy to find out that one of the new trends in education, action research, is a process that I am familiar with and use frequently.  I did not use this specific method, but a very similar version.  I teach the scientific method in my Aquatic Science class and they share a lot of the same characteristics.  Teachers are constantly trying to advance in their field through collaboration and staff development. As a principal and leader, you must model these actions yourself.  As Roland Barth said, “The more crucial role of the principal is as head learner.” (Dana, 2009, p. 186)

Action research can take a simple wondering or inquiry and put a plan into action.  This process is a made of actions and reflections.  It can be used in many different ways and applied to many different scenarios.  It is not just a problem solving tool.  It can be used proactively as well.   
While doing my own action research plan, I realized that creating an action research plan on your own is difficult. However, many of my classmates have been very supportive and have offered many ideas that will come in handy.
This plan is built so that you can focus solely on one task and not get bogged down by a lack of focus.  My most valuable asset from this process has to be reflection.  For me, it makes me evaluate every step that I will take during this process.  It helps me evaluate my own educational priorities.  For the school, reflection is how we will not only put this plan into action, but also sustain it instead of abandoning it at the first sight of progress.

So, there are my reflections, hope you liked them and I look forward to your responses. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Well, another week has passed and things have started to heat up, and I don't mean the weather.  I have been working as a CTC for the summer's remediation program and let me tell you, this is not an easy task.  We did however get a break from the 15 tests originally planned for EOC when House Bill 5 was passed.  However, having to do both TAKS and STAAR rosters, cross-references, yada yada yada, has made this an experience I wouldn't want to wish on anyone.  All this while still trying to maintain my classwork and other time consuming projects around the house.  I'm not asking for any sympathy (unless you want to give some..hehe), rather just letting you know how demanding this administrative journey is going to be.  With that being said, let me tell you a little about where I am with this research.
Many of you have given some great insight here and on the BB and I truly appreciate it.  You have given me some ideas that I have already posed to my site supervisor.  Websites that have many ideas and thoughts have been shared and I plan on perusing these quite regularly to help me in this venture.
I started by talking to my principal about getting the discipline committee involved, and to my surprise we did not have a discipline committee.  Yep, now we know why the discipline and lack thereof could be running the climate of our campus.  So, as you guessed it, I am now the new Discipline Committee Chairman!  Yipee (tongue in check) I have been challenged with creating a committee to help alleviate our discipline problems.  Someone mentioned to me in one of my blogs to work with our Attendance Officer.  Luckily, we do have one of those and I was encouraged by my principal to include him on our discipline committee.  Suggestions of some teachers were given and we discussed their involvement, however we were a little in disagreement at first over these potential members.  I know them more than my principal does and in a different manner, mainly because I see how they interact with the students on a daily basis in the hallways.  I did explain my hesitancy at asking them to join, because they are one way for the administration and then completely different when no one is around.  Once we worked through these characteristics he explained that it is sometimes a good idea as a leader to include all these different paths in an effort to see where they are coming from.  He mentioned that we are going to have different ways of handling things, but if we are on the same train we should still be able to reach our goal.  I then saw that point of view as an opportunity to pick their brains and see where they are coming from.  That should be really interesting.
I was able to see our tardy data over the last couple of years and I was more than astounded at how poorly it was managed, and how there was not enough deterrent factor built into the computer program used to monitor these tardies.  We discussed some solutions that I have received here in the blogs and also on BB and he was really receptive.  I will however need some more ideas from my classmates, because in an effort to explain the Saturday work detention, as mentioned by one of my blogging followers, my principal thought it would be a better idea to have them do an after school detention.  I am a little reticent to this idea because it doesn't really make the parents an active or involved solution.  Saturday detention/work duty is more of an inconvenience to the parents which in turn makes the students a little more cautious to their antics during the school day.  Involving the parents in this manner would make them aware and accountable for their student's actions which then empowers the parent to be more in control of the students.
With school approaching quickly, I have a big task ahead of me to produce this start of school package to include the parents, teachers, administrators and students.  Any ideas from you guys will be wonderful.

I will sign off for now, but as you can see it is going to be a JOURNEY!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Good Day Mates! I am including my Action Research Template for this week's assignment.  This is the part from Section 2 that I need you guys to look at and make suggestions on so I can review them and then make the changes to put into Section 3.  Collaboration will be great since we have never done this before.  Thank you so much for your help.

Action Steps
Person(s) Responsible
Timeline:     Start/ End
Needed Resources
Discipline Committee
Summer and During In-Service First of Year
Surveys Manpower to compile data
Collected survey results from the departments committee members
Identify common target areas
Discipline Committee
Summer and During In-Service First of Year
Committee members
Come to a consensus on the identified target area
Discipline Committee Chair
One day
Money for training. Trainer and training information
Did the seminar give us enough information to develop a plan?
Develop plan and procedures
Discipline Committee
3 days   Day of training and 2 days to write procedures
Manpower to develop a plan
Have an initial draft of our procedures
Present the proposed procedures for staff input
Discipline Committee
1 hour during staff development
Presentation materials, Survey sheets
Received input from all departments concerning the procedures
Finalize Procedures
Discipline Committee
2 hours 
Completed survey sheets
Have a final draft of our tardy procedures
Train staff
Discipline Committee
2 hours during staff development
Conflict resolution material, Supervisor Procedures
Have attendance records to ensure all staff members have been trained
Train students
All teachers and staff
First three weeks of school
Manpower to supervise halls
General observations by administrators for the first 3 weeks
Draft a consequence ladder
Discipline Committee
First three weeks of school
Have a feasible, agreed upon plan
Collect data after implementation
Discipline Committee
Span the whole school year.  Compile data every 3 weeks
Manpower, Weekly attendance reports, Surveys
We will collect school data reports
Discipline Committee
Span the whole school year. Reevaluate plan every 3 weeks
Manpower and data sheets
Compare the tardiness rate data reports throughout the year and look for progress
Presentation of data
End of the year faculty meeting
Final data sheets
Final survey from teachers and students

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