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Dianna Whitlock talking with IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson between takes.

Standard For Success meets Public Television

On June 25, Standard for Success participated in filming for a Public Television event to be aired in September.  Below are some reflections from this experience.  Details on air dates and where to watch in your area will follow.

Just a Kid From…

Derek Rose, current NBA player for the Detroit Pistons and long-time hometown hero of the Chicago Bulls, said, “We’re all just a kid from somewhere”.

In Rose’s case, he was a kid from a high-crime neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

In that same vein, I still think of myself as a small-town farm kid from Indiana.  Unlike Rose’s childhood experiences, “isolated” better describes my early years.

As an adult, despite holding various positions in education, I still envision myself as a small-town elementary school teacher.  Maybe that is because that was my first job in the field of education, or maybe because it was the one that gave me the most pride and satisfaction.  The degrees, leadership positions, yes they are all important, and I hope that I have left each of the schools and districts with whom I have worked a little better off than when I began.  But the true passion of working with children in the classroom is tough to beat, and I still defer to calling myself a “teacher at heart”.

Therefore, imagine my excitement this summer to be a part of a Public Television documentary on teacher evaluation and feedback featuring Standard For Success.  Preparation for the interview gave me the opportunity to reflect a little on teacher evaluation and the process of giving constructive feedback to teachers.

Sample Questions

PT:  How can your company (SFS) affect the future of education and society at large?

Me:  Wow!  Just as simple question, right? No pressure here! 

Anytime we help support a teacher, we in turn support many students who are the beneficiaries of that teacher’s instructional practices.  We are helping to prepare this next generation of creative thinkers and problem solvers for the future.

PT:  Explain what a feedback rich culture can do for a school.

Me:  A recent study done by our company found that not only do people want feedback, but those who receive consistent feedback are more likely to stay in their profession.  In light of the teacher shortage facing our nation, this is imperative.  We need to provide targeted feedback so the teachers in our school improve in their instructional strategies and grow as professionals.

The actual day of the video shoot, I found myself surrounded by some of the most respected and articulate educators in our state.  Intimidating?  Somewhat, but instead I chose to focus on how blessed I was, not only to be in their company, but that there are such passionate, intelligent, dedicated educators fighting for our children every day.  I am reassured that all of “our children”, and specifically my own grandchildren, are in excellent hands with these fantastic people in their corner.

Not a bad day for just a kid from small town Indiana, right?

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