Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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For Administrators

We encourage teachers to get hands-on in their classrooms, but often professional development isn’t so interactive. We’ve all sat through Powerpoint presentations and article readings. Let’s shake up professional development and make it truly reflective of what’s happening in classrooms. Get busy tinkering, designing, and modeling the practices of makerspace learning in professional development! Read… Read More

There’s never enough time to get everything done during PD, but team-building and supporting your staff’s social-emotional needs builds a strong school culture and increases teacher efficacy. Here are some quick, fun professional development activities for teachers that will break the ice! Step to the line Have your staff stand in two lines facing each… Read More

Some schools have such a positive school culture that you can see and feel it as soon as you enter the building. It’s evident on the walls, in the students and staff, and in every classroom you visit. How can school leaders foster such a rich and positive school climate? It starts by first understanding… Read More

Like any other business or organization, good communication is key to a school’s success. With so many involved in a school’s community — staff, leaders, parents, students — and a busier-than-ever world, getting creative with communication is not only good practice, but imperative. Here are some use-right-now ideas for school communication that works. Enhance your… Read More

Kudos on your decision to become a building-level administrator! A host of exciting opportunities and challenges lie ahead. In your first year as an administrator, you will help to create a positive school community and culture that seeks to provide top-notch learning experiences for students. It takes a dedicated, committed person to be a genuine… Read More

The school leader’s office door is always open—often for complaints. When the door is wide open to negativity, it can bleed into school culture and weigh everyone down. But it’s possible to start building a positive and resilient school culture starting in those everyday office visits. Through the art of mindful listening, you can transform… Read More

With time in short supply for many teachers and administrators, deleting a few meetings from everyone’s calendars is likely to elicit sighs of relief—understandably! But less meetings doesn’t have to mean a weaker flow of information. In fact, there are plenty of tools that can help your team collaborate throughout the week, keeping everyone informed,… Read More

How to Run a Meeting: Agendas and Protocols That Really Work

By Jennifer Gunn January 22, 2018

We’ve all been there — sitting in a meeting that could have been an email while our other tasks continue to mount in our minds. A glance around the room finds some people drifting, scrolling on their phones, checking the clock while just a few people monopolize the conversation. Time is so precious in schools,… Read More

Teacher Efficacy: Why It Matters and How Administrators Can Help

By The Room 241 Team January 8, 2018

Efficacy—or a teacher’s level of confidence about their ability—can greatly depend on past experiences or on their current school culture. A bad classroom experience or negative work environment, for example, can quickly sour a teacher’s confidence. Conversely, witnessing student growth and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and… Read More

Innovation fatigue is something teachers and administrators know well. Every year there are new programs, standards, and expectations. We are always reinventing the wheel and have to learn a new system, take on a new responsibility, or embrace a new philosophy. However, change that benefits our students is worth doing—and doing well. Here are some best… Read More

In an era of increased standardized testing and a focus on standards and competencies, teachers must use the best methods for measuring student learning. The rote memorization and multiple-choice tests of years past are increasingly incapable of assessing the complex tasks modern students perform. These old testing strategies are too narrow for the high-level benchmarks… Read More

As a teacher, you’ll have a new set of young brains and hearts to work with every year. Eventually they will move on to other grades and teachers, but their memories of you will stay with them. Those memories are your legacy — the day-to-day interactions, the big and small moments wrapped up in lessons,… Read More

Admittedly, competition in principle is a good thing. Going head-to-head with someone else helps to spur action, foster more creativity and ultimately create the best final product. Just look at the quality of the things we use every day. All of them were created in a competitive atmosphere where a company tried to put the… Read More

We need to keep a close, caring eye on our students. Teaching is more than just the subject matter and the classroom environment: It’s about connecting with young people. Helping them through the somewhat rocky waters of growing up is a large part of our teaching responsibilities. While most students pass through our classrooms with… Read More

You are going to make mistakes. Once you realize that, you’re bound to make fewer mistakes and to recover from them faster. Most of your teaching mistakes will be innocuous and easy to recover from: poorly considered lessons that aren’t engaging, grammatical or spelling errors on a test, and even mixed-up communications with students, parents… Read More