In the state of Texas, we have just completed our first week of testing. We are all exhaling, but only for a moment… because there is another round of tests lurking around the corner. In about a month, we’ll be doing this again, but for more grade levels. How do we keep everyone’s focus on learning when spring has sprung?
Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
They key to a successful springtime leading up to May state testing… monitor, monitor, monitor. We all know what is monitored is what gets done. With this in mind, monitor what is priority on the campus. Priority this time of year should be instruction and school culture.
Tips to monitor instruction:
Make sure intervention and acceleration groups are going smoothly. There is still time to help students prepare for the high-stakes test. Take full advantage of the time you have. Schedule your class visits when interventions/acceleration should be taking place. Also, monitor PLC/Planning times. This is the time of year that we can’t slack on teacher collaboration and planning.
Tips to monitor school culture:
Keep expectations high. If your expectation is for students to tuck shirts in, continue enforcing that expectation. If your expectation is for student traffic to flow in a certain direction during passing periods, continue to enforce that expectation. Make sure you and your admin team are visible during high-traffic times (arrival, dismissal, lunch, transition times). Recognize teachers and students for their efforts and smile often! J
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.