When the time is taken to get to know students and their families, the likelihood of them supporting teachers and their children in a healthy positive way increases. One of the other standards that is getting a strong focus this year is Standard 4, specifically creating collaboration among staff. As I referenced earlier, our school has a fairly new staff this year with over half of our teachers being new hires. There have been several procedures put in place to help make this transition for all staff members a little easier. One of the first items is a Mentor Teacher and Minute Teacher partnership.

Each new staff member has a teacher that has been in their position and at the school for more than 2 years working with them. I am currently working as a Mentor Teacher, and before we could even start working with our minute we were asked to take a course to help us best serve them. Mentor teachers also have a set schedule that follows an agenda and schedule of pertinent information throughout the year. One final thing that has been asked of us, is that we keep a log of all additional times we are meeting with our partner. This log should specifically prove and show what is being covered, and how we are doing so.

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This program is an enormous support for new staff; I recall being a new teacher and wishing that I had something similar. Our school is also taking the time to demonstrate how co-planning should look with our team members, as there are they are also placing a large focus on building personal and professional relationships. This is not Just for teachers as it has been in the past, but rather building relationships with teachers, administrators, coaches, specialists and paraprofessionals. They have realized the importance of taking the time to build that community, in order to get that cohesiveness and collaboration to the level it needs o be.

Some of this has been as simple as team building activities at the beginning of our professional developments and out of school staff activities. In a short amount of time, I have already noticed a difference in the school and the environment due to this. The deconstructing of the standards was extremely helpful, as it allowed for a much better understanding of what they stated. Standards, more often than not are written in such official language that trying to make sense of what they are trying to say can prove difficult, at least for myself.

Having the opportunity to identify and understand all of the different components that made up each standard was immensely helpful. I feel confident in what the SILLS Standards are stating, as well as the purpose they serve to complete. It is also refreshing to know that I can take this knowledge and my understanding of the SILLS Standards with me into my career regardless of where I end up. They are not Just designed to fit the needs of one specific school, district, or state which I appreciate.

Having this experience of truly knowing what these standards seek to do can, helps to open doors all over the country. Reflection 6 This past weeks work on Standard 6 really honed in on the political and legal aspects of running a school. It was helpful to breakdown the standards this week and rebuild them in my own words as it expanded my understanding of what the standard was actually saying. Mostly because the legal and political side of this career is what I am the most unsure about; so being able to really understand what this standard was saying helped provide a clearer picture.

Handling of the day to day operations, the behavior, understanding data, staff relationships all seems manageable, but when it comes to the legal and political stuff I am extremely unsure about that. This was our last week working together as the yellow group. While it has not been the best experience with one member it has been pretty great with the other two. Our one member missed another conference call this week and failed to let anyone know that he would not be making it again. It has been extremely frustrating to have to work with someone that you cannot rely on at all. On the other hand it has brought the rest of us closer together.