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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Curriculum Management

I have never been a writer nor am I one for journaling…I journal in my head but never slow down enough to write it down on paper. I do journal and track my training activities for the triathlons and road races that I compete in…that journaling consists of short phrases with many numbers.
So, I must feel this is important to take the time to write this down.

I have been a teacher for 7 years and a principal for 9 years…and now I talk with many school districts on a daily basis and find that many of them are in the same boat that I was in…we were not aware the web based systems to help educators.

Robert Marzano is an educational guru and he says that “…having a viable and accessible curriculum is of utmost importance to educators….” When I was a principal our “viable and accessible” district curriculum sat in binders on my credenza and on the district G:// drive.

It was out dated, it was not easy to search or find what we were looking for and quite frankly, it became an unusable tool. So the bottom line is the teachers did not have access to the curriculum or units as they prepared their lessons…think about that for a moment…that is like saying that doctors don’t have access to information on certain conditions and illnesses…that is just CRAZY! How can any professional do their job if they don’t “start with the end in mind” (Covey) or how can they break the task/goal up into achievable parts if they can’t see the big picture?

When I mention a curriculum management system, many districts can not envision what it could do for them and others can only see one segment of it and struggle with opening their minds to greater possibilities.
Here are the reasons that I needed a curriculum management system as a principal:

I needed a tool that allowed the teachers to collaborate, work with and update the curriculum (which is a living and ever changing document.) I needed them to update in meetings and have access to the new updates immediately.

I needed a tool for the teachers to write lesson plans that tied into units and were aligned to the state standards. I needed them to attach all their resources to the unit and/or lesson and share this with other teachers.

I needed a tool that would guide me as a principal as to what they should be teaching during the 2nd week of Oct, during the 1st week of December, during the 4th week of March or on any given day during the school year.

I needed a tool that would help answer accountability questions…we think we are teaching all the state standards, but are we? Which state standards are we missing? Which ones are we over teaching?

I needed a tool that would do all this and more. I needed a tool that would do this easily and was intuitive for the teachers. I needed a tool that would improve our efficiencies. I needed a tool that provided a huge ROI.

I needed a tool… that was all this and so much more...

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