Creating Touchstones

Creating Touchstones

 

Speak from the view of a teacher for the past 9 years, in a title one school where 100% of the students are on free lunch. High mobility rate and large population of esol speaking students.

Compose a brief first-person summary that includes your touchstones and what you discovered about yourself, and others, as you created and shared your touchstones with school or district personnel. Discuss the changes you made between the first and final drafts, the role collaboration played in your revision work, and how your touchstones might help your school or district move from good to great instruction. Remember to include the original and the refined versions of your touchstones in your summary. Lastly, include your thinking about how to create touchstones within your work setting, using a collaborative approach from inception.

As you read in this week’s article, “Inspiring Others: The Language of Leadership,” recognize that history is full of touchstones that inspired individuals and groups into action. Examples of this are found in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, FDR’s declaration after Pearl Harbor, the Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” and Nike’s simple phrase “Just Do It”, to name a few. Words can play a vital role in bringing about change at the school and district levels, however, as the Learning Resources suggest, these words must be backed by a vision, a vision so passionate that others are compelled to act.

This week, you will engage in visionary thinking by first recalling a speech or piece of writing that compelled you to act. You might want to use the Inspiring Others article to help you remember the speeches or phrases of inspiring leaders. Second, consider what was it about the words that caused you to act. Lastly, use that knowledge and the information gained from this week’s media segments and touchstone examples in the report, “Smart & Good High Schools,” to create your own touchstones of quality instruction.

As Dr. Robin Fogarty mentioned, working with others is an essential element in your role as a connoisseur of instruction and professional developer. Therefore, once you write your touchstones, share them with colleagues from your school or district. Solicit feedback you can use to enhance your touchstones, making them more passionate, inspiring, and visionary. Then, make the necessary changes as part of this assignment.

Compose a brief first-person summary that includes your touchstones and what you discovered about yourself, and others, as you created and shared your touchstones with school or district personnel. Discuss the changes you made between the first and final drafts, the role collaboration played in your revision work, and how your touchstones might help your school or district move from good to great instruction. Remember to include the original and the refined versions of your touchstones in your summary. Lastly, include your thinking about how to create touchstones within your work setting, using a collaborative approach from inception.

Course Text: Reason, C. (2010). Leading a learning organization: The science of working with others (1st ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Introduction, Chapters 1 and 4
Article: Conger, J. A. (1991). Inspiring others: The language of leadership. The Executive, 5(1), 31.
Use the ABI/INFORM Global Database, and search using the article’s title.
Article: Perkins, D. (1986). Thinking frames. Educational Leadership, 43(8), 4.
Use the Education Research Complete Database, and search using the article’s title.
Note: Although the Perkins article was published in the 1980s, the research is seminal and remains relevant and important for teachers today.

Web Article: Lickona, T., & Davidson, M. (2005). Smart good high schools: Integrating excellence and ethics for success in school, work, and beyond. Cortland, NY: Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect & Responsibility). Washington, DC: Character Education Partnership.
Read pp. 35–37 on Touchstones

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