OCM BOCES Summer School

This year the focus of OCM BOCES Regional Summer School (RSS) was on student achievement.  For the first time, teachers of courses that end in a Regents exam, were required to administer pre-assessments to their students.  Pre-assessments demonstrate what students know, understand and are able to do. This newly implemented protocol is an essential component of RSS given the limited instructional time frame.  The practice identifies the students’ strengths and stretches.  Pre-assessments enable the teacher to focus instruction on the content and skills needed by their students; instructional time is not squandered teaching things student already comprehend. Continue reading

What does the word fail mean to you?

Do you perceive it to be a negative or a positive event? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines failing as “a weakness or problem in a person’s character, behavior, or ability.” Wow, this sure seems like a negative connotation! Should it be? Or should we look at unsuccessful attempts as: opportunities, second chances, and important life lessons that are needed to develop perseverance?

Lucky for us that Thomas Edison didn’t believe in failure. When asked about his 10,000 failed attempts to create the light bulb he responded, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Continue reading

Taking a Moment

It’s hard to be excited when your alarm buzzes at 5:30 in the morning, signaling time to rise and shine and lace up my sneakers for my daily run (well almost daily). Lying in bed for another few minutes I convince myself that running is good for me, that I enjoy it and other distorted stories I tell myself to motivate me enough to get out the door. Initially presenting as a lost cast member from the Walking Dead set, my body eventually acquiesces and I slowly transform into a runner, albeit a slow one with lackluster endurance and stamina. Eventually shedding the zombie skin I break into my running stride and I’m off, and so are my thoughts… Continue reading

Using Teacher Leaders to Promote Consistency in a Climate of Change

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
– Rosalynn Carter


The idea of a “Teacher Leader” is one that is gaining quite a bit of traction in the educational field particularly as of late. In a time of constant change and uncertainty, schools need leaders from within buildings to emerge as competent, reliable, compassionate and empowered individuals to help lead the way. Those who can survey the climate and culture of an organization, use data to create action plans to target needs, model effective instructional practices, coach and collaborate with colleagues and deliver professional development to satisfy demands for personal and professional growth are essential in the field of education. Continue reading

How Social Media is Transforming the Educational Landscape

Social Media. It seems to be at the center of so many things these days. With a plethora of options out there including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube and more, it can be confusing to navigate the internet jargon consisting of tweets, posts, likes, shares, etc and know exactly which forum to settle on to meet your needs. Given this, many of those who are new to the social media circuit often throw in the towel early as it can feel overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Even those who have a relatively good grasp on things, can find it taxing to keep pace with ever changing technology and trends. There is a core group of educators however, including principals that are looking to social media to capitalize on increased communication with staff and parents, share educational information with others in the field and attempt to positively impact school culture through connectedness. Continue reading

A Little Reminder… “Tell Me Again Why I Do This Job…”

I can’t tell you how many times I uttered this statement. I also can’t tell you how many times I heard one of my colleagues echo the same sentiments. In this climate where educators are under the microscope and new proposals are frequently being made to “fix” the system, it’s hard to be mindful of why we do the work we do. But for myself and most of my colleagues there is always that reason, or two, and for me her name is Octavia.

After graduation, armed with Continue reading

Tweeting, Posting and Uploading?!? Staying Connected and Educationally Relevant in a Rapidly Changing World

In exploring ideas for this month’s blog post, I couldn’t help but circle back to the topic of technology. It seems to have become essential to assisting (or invading some may say) with all facets of our daily lives.

Take yesterday for example…My IPhone alerted me that it was 5:30 a.m., time to wake up, get dressed and begin my morning workout, courtesy of the Beachbody Video in my “Blue-Ray” player. Upon completing the dreaded morning workout, I logged my activity on a fitness group I belong to on Facebook and checked my Fitbit to ensure my hard work was appropriately logged. Continue reading