Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Education World vs. Business World

I was in Des Moines on Tuesday and I had a very interesting conversation with an individual at a restaurant (Granite City...I highly recommend it next time you are down there). He professed that the educational system of America would be vastly improved if it was actually ran like a business. Some of his points consisted of not understanding why underachieving schools continued to operate, why teachers of non-proficient students still had jobs (because he said if he didn't make his quotas for several months in a row he would be fired), and finally talked about how (in his perspective) there is no accountability. I will be the first to admit that he was very passionate about the subject.

I think he was a little surprised by my answer. I responded by telling him, "the difference is, you are selling a product, we are changing people." He looked at me "what's the difference"? Take for a moment your child or all of your children. Each one of them is significantly different. Each one has a different need. Some are in need of mentors, others tutors, and still others just need an interior motive to achieve. Teachers see hundreds of kids walk in and out of their doors each day. Even the very BEST teachers will truly engage about 80% of all their students in a given lesson. When dealing with people you have a lot of variables that coinside with the instruction that is being implemented.

I went on to say I do agree that as a whole (the educational system in America) needs to improve, but running it like a hardcore business may not be the answer (certain components I do agree with).

So what do you think????

Friday, February 5, 2010

1:1 Laptop Initiative Approved!!!

On behalf of the students, faculty and staff at the Graettinger-Terril Middle School, we would like to send a huge THANK YOU to the board for investing in our students future!!! We are looking forward to the challenge of preparing students with the 21st century skills they will need to complete in a global and digital world!!

3rd Grade Math Jeopardy

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

PD Reflections for 2-3-10

1) What strategies have you used in your classroom?
2) How have these strategies worked for you?
3) When you use the strategy again, what will you do differently?
4) Talk to 2 other teachers, briefly describe their successes with the strategies they have used (you don't have to use names).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ITBS Is Coming!!!

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Next week is a very exciting week at the Graettinger-Terril Middle School! Beginning February 8, 2010 your child will be taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). The ITBS is the statewide assessment that determines how your child is progressing in core academic areas. I can’t stress enough the importance of this assessment. We use this data to determine what area(s) our students need improvement in both individually and as a whole. The ITBS is also an indicator used to compare Graettinger-Terril with other schools in the area and state.

There are several ways you as a parent/guardian can help your child succeed. Next week make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep and a good breakfast. If your child can not have a breakfast at home, we do serve breakfast here at the school. The most important way you can help your child is by giving positive support for the ITBS. It is not just a reflection on the school, but your child as an individual!

Thank you for all the ways you support our school. I’m very proud of our students and faculty, and I know the great academic system we have in place will reflect in our ITBS results. If you have any questions please feel free to call at 712-853-6111x32 or email