Friday, July 1, 2011

C4T 3

Stick People with message bubble

Justin Tarte is Assistant Principal at Poplar Bluff Junior High School in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. When I visited his blog, I was surprised to see that he had recently commented on his PLN. I found this to be interesting because Dr. Strange has had us working on our PLN. I learned a lot from his post. He talked about his Skype conversation that he had with Dwight Carter’s administrative team. Dwight is part of his PLN. It is apparent that Justin is serious about his position as an Assistant Principal and he is looking for insight to better himself. Here are the things that he wanted to make sure to mention…..

- Discipline is not about punishing students; it's about changing behaviors and helping students to learn and grow...

- Using faculty meetings to share and celebrate the great things going on in your school is much more effective and productive than simply disseminating information that can be shared through email...

- It would be a mistake to not recognize the vital and essential contributions of support staff; they ultimately make the school go round...

- Establishing and growing strong relationships with colleagues and students will always be the most important thing you do...

- We all need time away from the job; do yourself and everyone around you a favor by having a healthy non-professional life...

- Getting into the classrooms to see the awesome things going on in your school will pick you up on your down days, and even more importantly, students and teachers love it...

- Whatever you do...have fun and make sure humor is a daily part of your life...take a moment to laugh :)

I could have paraphrased them, but the impact wouldn’t have been as great.

I particularly liked the comment about support staff. Being that I am a paraprofessional, it makes me feel good that administration finds that we are important.

The second post that I visited was What Does this mean…? He carefully laid out the average time that students were in the classroom by presenting some impressive numbers. Here is what he came up with:

365 days per year / 24 hrs per day / 1,440 mins per day

Students spend 13 years in school from age 0-18

Age 0-18 / 365 days * 18 years = 6,570 total days alive

6,570 days * 1,440 minutes per day = 9,460,800 total minutes alive from age 0-18

350 minutes per day in a classroom for 180 days per year (total 13 years in school)

350 minutes per day * 180 days per year = 63,000 minutes in a classroom per year

13 years in school * 63,000 minutes per year = 819,000 total minutes in a classroom

819,000 total classroom minutes / 9,460,000 total minutes alive = 8.7%

So in looking at that, I was just amazed at how much time we actually have with students. That really puts the pressure on us as educators. He presented these numbers in hopes that they will be considered in the matter of education reform. It is apparent that we should utilize the time that we do have with students and take every minute seriously. I think as teachers we should equip our students with what they need to make that time spent away from the classroom productive. We should teach them how to use the internet (safely) so that they can utilize it to continue learning while they are out of our hands. To be successful teachers, we should be able to instill in them the want to learn so that they will use the other percentage of their time wisely.
Beach scen with quote


  1. I also follow Justin Tarte and I think you've made a wise decision in choosing someone to pay attention to and upon whom reflect. I am a principal in Colorado but new to Twitter and he was one of the first people I stumbled upon. I believe he is wise beyond his years and although I've been an administrator for 16 years, I enjoy every post and find myself reflecting constantly on what he says. Although I've only read one of your posts, I feel like you have wonderful potential as a future teacher. You are already thinking about the right things. Just please promise me you won't ever stop reflecting and learning...don't become complacent. I find that's my biggest struggle with several of my staff members. They seem to think they are 'done'. They know how to teach so why do they need to keep learning new stuff?
    I wish you the best...the kids will be lucky to have you!

  2. Tracey,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words!