Got a Minute? Week of February 16, 2015

Got a minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video.

This week:

  • iLead Conferences are taking place across the country this month and next. These low-cost events are designed as professional development for teacher leaders. Learn more on the KDP website.
  • We’re hosting a free webinar on the Next Generation Science Standards on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Register now!
  • Information is now available for chapter awards, and the application portal will be opening soon. Check out the criteria now.

What’s Trending: Most-Read Articles

Kathie-Jo Arnoff is Director of Publications at Kappa Delta Pi and Managing Editor of the KDP Record.

The RecordKappa Delta Pi publishes its two peer-reviewed journals with partner Routledge/Taylor & Francis, which publishes a total of 263 journals just about education. And, yet, among all the articles published last year, one from each of the KDP journals was in the Class of 2015—a list of the most-read journal articles. If you missed reading those popular pieces, you still can. They are available free of charge through the end of the year. Check them out:

If you’re a KDP member, you may be receiving the quarterly KDP Record as part of your membership. (Only undergrads receive the New Teacher Advocate instead during their first year in KDP.) The KDP Record promotes professional growth in the field of education by providing articles on evidence-based teaching strategies, reviews of current policy initiatives, examples of applied theories, and reports of original research in language that is accessible and practical.

The ForumThe Educational Forum is available by subscription. KDP members get a whopping 75% off the normal price, and that includes access to all 79 years of archived articles. The Forum provides thought-provoking, challenging essays, research reports, and featured works designed to stimulate dialogue in education on a worldwide scale.

Both journals are perfect for helping you keep up with the field, as well as for your research projects. Subscribe today and find out what you’ve been missing!

February is Leadership Month

Leadership development is a top priority for many organizations, and that’s why it is a pleasure to highlight February as the first KDP Leadership Month. There are many events planned for Leadership Month to build our members’ potential to be teacher leaders, including regional iLead events, Teach to Lead programs and summits, and travel scholarships with People to People.

In honor of Leadership Month members of the Chapter Services team wanted to share their favorite quotes on leadership to encourage you in your teaching journey.

Katie Heath“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” –Ronald Reagan

Katie Heath, Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator

Rachel Gurley“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.”–Walter Lippmann

Rachel Gurley, Chapter Operations Coordinator

Thom Ulmet“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Thomas Ulmet, Midwest Regional Chapter Coordinator

Laura Perkins“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams

Laura Perkins, Southeast Regional Chapter Coordinator

Chris Beaman“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” –John C. Maxwell

As a teacher, are you in your role because it’s just a great position to have, or is it because influencing the lives of children in your community is your passion?  While it can be both, we know that you are dedicated to teaching because of your passion for others, and that is what makes YOU a great leader of today.  It’s time for the great leaders of the world—our teachers and KDP members—to stand together and continue to positively influence the lives of our children for the sake of humanity.  We cannot thank you enough for the passion you bring to the field and the daily impact that you have.

Chris Beaman, Assistant Director of Chapter Services and Membership

At KDP we believe every member is a leader. Use February as an opportunity to re-focus your chapter’s executive officers or build on your personal skills. How could you better develop your skills during KDP Leadership Month?

One Year Later—How We’re Changing to Better Serve You

Faye Snodgress is executive director of Kappa Delta Pi.

Faye_S_7-1-14Last April, I shared information about the results of a membership needs assessment and stated that I would keep you posted on our progress in moving the Society forward based on what we learned.

Since the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, much of our effort has been focused on providing a more consistent chapter experience for collegiate members by:

  • Providing common expectations for all chapters,
  • Implementing new training for chapter officers, and
  • Increasing the amount of resources and support provided to our chapters by Headquarters staff.

Our efforts seem to be making a positive impact. As of the end of December, the number of initiates has increased 7% and there has been a steady increase in the number of graduate students. As an indication of increased chapter engagement, 14 chapters have volunteered to host regional iLEAD conferences this semester.

Building off the finding that we needed to find ways to better inform members about the benefits, services, and events available to them, we increased our use of social media and targeted mailings. In September, we launched an entirely new website with improved navigation and streamlined information. Member input was used throughout the development of the new site.

To address the challenges of transitioning into the classroom, a New Teacher Community was established in KDP Global, with 14 expert teachers serving as online mentors.

While we are pleased with our progress, our work is not done. We continue to assess what we do and how it aligns with the professional needs of KDP members. As you can see, we take our responsibility for serving and supporting you very seriously. We rely on your input to guide our efforts. If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would love to hear from you! You can contact me at faye@kdp.org.

Got a Minute? Week of January 19, 2015

Got a minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video.

This week:

  • KDP headquarters will be closed Monday, January 19, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • Registration opens this week for iLead Conferences being held in a city near you!
  • The application portal for the People to People travel scholarships opens January 19.
  • Register for our Jan. 20 webinar: Global Education: Best Practices with Neelam Chowdhary.

6 Members, 5 Life-Changing Trips

Laura Stelsel is director of marketing & communications at Kappa Delta Pi.

Travel Program LogoHave you been looking for a life-changing adventure? How about one that will look great on your résumé? And how about one that is completely free?

If this sounds like you, we have great news! Kappa Delta Pi is partnering with People to People Ambassador Programs, one of the world’s most recognized and respected educational travel providers, on a contest exclusively for KDP members.

Beginning Jan. 19, KDP members will have the opportunity to apply for one of six travel scholarships to facilitate leadership training for students in grades 6-12. This training will focus on global citizenship, leadership skills, global confidence, and goal setting in one of People to People’s Leadership Summits or World Leadership Forums.

Travel Program PhotoThe KDP members chosen will help lead summer programs in Washington, DC, (three trips, including one to George Washington University), Boston (Harvard), or Los Angeles (UCLA), with all-expenses paid.

Sound interesting? The submission portal will be open Jan. 19-Feb. 28. Applicants will need to submit a 60-second video (from your phone is fine!) and answer a few essay questions. Winners will be selected by KDP staff and announced the week of March 9.

You can learn more about People to People’s programs on its website.

In the meantime, be thinking of why YOU should be selected for this opportunity, and check the KDP website on Jan. 19 to submit your application!

We are also pleased to announce that KDP and People to People will be partnering on international trips in 2016! Stay tuned for more exciting details.

You’ve deconstructed the Common Core State Standards. Now what?

Dr. Vicky Tusken is a 26-year veteran of the classroom. She is Secondary Curriculum Coordinator for the Dekalb Community Unit School District, in DeKalb, Illinois, and serves as the Professional Representative on Executive Council for Kappa Delta Pi.

Vicky TuskenFor the past two or three years, states and school districts around the country have wrestled with the process of adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  To make the process “simpler,” many have opted to begin with deconstructing or breaking down the standards into smaller pieces in order to develop learning targets and measurable objectives.  However, after that process is completed, many classroom teachers and district administrators are left asking the question, “now what?” The next steps are not always that clear.

From both a classroom teacher and district administrator’s perspective, I have found the following four steps extremely helpful in navigating the course from deconstruction to implementation.

Have a Road Map. This may seem a bit obvious to most, but it would surprise you to know how many teachers and school districts are moving forward with little vision as to how to move forward. In my own district, groups of teachers did a phenomenal job of deconstructing the standards and developing “I can” statements and templates from which future units could be developed. However, once the templates were completed, we had to face the “now what” questions. There were so many different directions we could take, and none of them guaranteed that the instructional practices and instructional shifts, the life blood of the Common Core, would be realized.  So as a district, we hit the pause button and developed a two-four game plan that describes steps towards the big picture vision. We all acknowledge the road map is not written in stone, but at least everyone has the same understanding in terms of direction, with the same big picture in mind.

Provide Teacher Collaboration Time…and Protect IT! It is well-documented how powerful instruction becomes when teachers are given time to collaborate. The rapid growth of professional learning communities (PLCs) and data-driven instruction speak to this fact. In our district, we have committed to seven early-release days throughout the school year for the sole purpose of teacher collaboration. At the beginning, the teacher groups were given structure from the district, however as the year has progressed, the teacher groups have caught the vision, becoming very focused and teacher-driven. From an administrator’s end, we keep the time sacred and do not force building and district initiatives into the mix.

Focus on one shift/practice at a time. So you have your learning targets, measurable objectives, and even materials aligned with the Common Core, but how do you actually change how you teach? As a grade level team or department, begin with committing to one, and only one, instructional shift or practice at a time. What does that look like? When working with the 8th grade English/Language Arts teachers this past fall, I had them identify which reading standard that appeared to be integrated in many of their reading assignments and recent novel unit. They agreed RL1, which focuses on citing and analyzing textual evidence, was pervasive throughout many of their instructional materials. As a group, they committed to utilizing and sharing a variety of strategies to help their students identify and analyze textual evidence, and creating common written responses and common rubrics to track their students’ progress. As they move into second semester, they plan to focus on close reading strategies to enhance reading comprehension.

KDP Global. I realize I should have put this first, but truly, we are each other’s best resource. All of us are struggling to find our way as we attempt to implement the common core with integrity. I especially encourage members to put out there resources that have been beneficial to their practices. We all know the market is flooded with materials, blogs, and webinars, all claiming to be the magic bullets of implementation. To wade through the mountain of offerings, many of which are not helpful, is daunting. I can’t encourage you all enough to post what IS working for you.

The common core here to stay. However with focus and collaboration, the steps from deconstruction to implementation can transform both teacher practice and student learning.