Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rock Stars @web20classroom @tomwhitby; If you don't recognize them you are missing out!

@web20classroom @tomwhitby
If the only person you recognize in this picture is me, then chances are you have never heard of hashtags or PLN's either. Don't worry, flashback just a few weeks ago where I didn't get it either. I heard a great deal of chatter about the use of Twitter and Social Media to enhance professional development for educators. Honestly, I said "yeah ok", and never gave it much thought. After all I was busy with such important things like sitting on the Governor's appointed "Superintendents RAC Advisory Panel", serving as our County Representative for Legislative Matters, Developing a balanced budget of nearly $105 million dollars... I was way too busy trying to run a school district to be bothered with Ashton Kutcher's Twitter, right? Wrong! 

If a salesperson came to you and said I can offer you access to a world-wide professional network that will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days out of a year what would you be willing to pay? I think back to some of the professional groups I joined (annual memberships averaging $1000) in the hope of having just such a network. Nearly every single one fell just short of providing new insights or resources. Most of the time, it was simply because we were all NJ Superintendents dealing with the same issues and using similar paradigms to approach the problems. Twitter offers a free network of endless problem solvers who are willing and able to give you concise input on any issue you are dealing with. Did I mention FREE, WORLDWIDE...this is the Professional Learning Network (PLN)

The two Rock Stars that were kind enough to take the picture above with me are among an elite class forward thinking educators. Rock Stars to the rest of us catching up, but two of the most humble people I have ever met.

On left, @web20classroom's real name is Steven Anderson, he is an educator, blogger and responsible for the creation of hashtags such as #edchat - he was named Twitterer of the Year and quite simply - he is the man. 

He carries an audience of 41,421 followers





On right, @tomwhitby's real name is, well Tom Whitby. He is an educator and guru of all things technology. He also created some of the most widely searched educational hashtags. He too is the man. Tom is willing anytime, anywhere, for anyone open minded enough to listen to share his views on education and social media. There was a lot of wisdom in the brief spontaneous lecture he gave me after Steven's session. I am also a big fan of Hawaiian shirts.

His audience - 17, 612 followers.



If you are not familiar with hash-tagging or Twitter I strongly encourage you to ask someone who is. Feel free to Tweet the question "I need help with hashtags" make sure you put #edchat in the tweet (and if you do you have just used hash tagging). Hashtags simply target a wide audience of people interested in the same things you are. You will be amazed with how many people are willing to help you. I have been absolutely amazed by the quality of information I have been given by fellow educators on Twitter. I have also been so impressed with how willing people like Tom and Steven have been in helping this NJ superintendent gain access to a wider resource bank. In case you are wondering just how influential these guys are in the education, I started the ASCD conference with 80 followers and today I have 138 high quality supporters simply because they mentioned me. 

The advice I was first given and would now like to give anyone just starting out - listen more than you talk...in the beginning you may not even want to send out any tweets just find a hashtag of interest and follow the streams. You will see links to resources and quotes that may inspire you. If you have opinions or something worth sharing with the world? Start tweeting or create a simple blog - trust me if I can do it, anyone can. Lastly, find a teenager who is willing to talk to you for more than five minutes and ask them...what do you think about Twitter? They will tell you what the next "twitter" will be... you know how quickly they get bored of something. Once they figure out the us "old" people Tweet, they will find something else...our job as educators is to simply try to keep up.

Embrace the day! 

Special thank you to @web20classroom and @tomwhitby for nearly mentioning me. A great big thanks to MPS own @drspikecook who continues to inspire those around him to try something different

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Secret Weapon

On Saturday March 24th I was fortunate to present at the National ASCD Conference held in "Sunny Philadelphia". This marked the first time I presented at an ASCD national event. Our session number was 1335 and the title "Transforming Schools Through Powerful and Systematic Walkthroughs". I was a co-presenter along with Dr. Pamela Moore, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Ms. Arlene Jenkins, principal of the Mount Pleasant Elementary School, and Ms. Joanne Colacurcio, supervisor for instructional technology. I must thank them for their dedication to our district. Additionally, our story was made possible because of our students and staff members continued pursuit of excellence.

How do you transform a school district?

According to Kouzes & Posner (2006), collaboration and teamwork are essential to getting extraordinary things done in today's world. Moreover, people must be given the power to be in control of their own lives if they are to accomplish great things. This is at the heart of our success story and transformation as a district. Previously, I blogged about our "Road to Baldrige" (story to be continued...) and shared our approach to influence extraordinary change through the use of "Classroom Instruction that Works (CITW) and McRel PowerWalkthrough". The secret weapon is embedded in the K & P quote "people must be able to control their own lives". While we (administrators) controlled choosing the instructional model (CITW) and tool (McRel) for measurement and applied the system controls to deploy, manage, and monitor this change effort, ultimately the staff members owned the control over our success. At each step, we relied on teachers for input, to be the expert trainers, to provide examples of best practice classroom applications of CITW, how far our district grows is limitless- and teacher controlled.

Early on in our effort to improve the quality of instruction throughout the Millville School District, many referred to it as "the McRel initiative". This made me cringe every time I heard it because when I hear the word initiative I immediately think of "silver bullet programs". As a teacher I feared learning of any new program that promised to fix all of our problems because I knew once implemented, it would likely fail, and we would be introduced to the next one. This is why so many of teachers become completely overwhelmed and fear change. Bryan Goodwin, also presented at ASCD 2012 and used an extremely effective slide to represent how teachers have been bombarded with reform initiatives. Visualize a beautiful, smiling, 4th grader with her hand raised - during an 'ah-ha learning moment' - the image of why all of us got into education in the first place. Now imagine a series of "SPAM Pop Ups" each with a different reform expectation or program designed to fix our school problems until you can no longer see the student in the picture. This visual representation captures why reform efforts fail time and time again. We lose sight of the students, the art & science of instruction, and instead force teachers to comply with the implementation of the next program or initiative. Mostly, all of this is done with the purest of intentions, people want success - administrators look for answers and teachers try their best to keep implementing the next program hoping that maybe this will be the one. Many outside of education question whether we are doing enough to improve our students' achievement levels - while most of us on the inside know that we are actually doing too much (or at least too many things).

What we are doing in Millville is not Rocket Science, and it also is NOT an initiative. Simply, we are building our human resource capital by focusing our efforts on instructional strategies, vetted by years of research, to have the greatest impact on raising student achievement. PERIOD. Where the "rocket-science" is taking place is in the classrooms and in the small professional learning community conversations taking place across our district. We have a common language that includes the CITW strategies, becoming a world-class district, and being very intentional about our efforts. We have limited our focus on applying pressure to the levers that will yield the highest results:

1. Developing systems which yield results - Systems Thinking
2. Create a culture where high expectations are the norm - World Class
3. Provide a full variety of student supports - Comprehensive Student Services
4. Guarantee challenging & intentional instruction - CITW, McRel, RIGOR

The presentation on Saturday concluded with an explanation that we will have to come back next year to continue our story. I am certain that we have made significant progress and our teachers have embraced a commitment to continuous growth and excellence. We are working together as a team around a common language to raise the level of Rigor throughout our district. RIGOR is not a Four Letter Word by Barbara Blackburn continues to be very influential in our work. Our next steps include a full revamping of our student assessments (aligned to the Common Core) so we can capture formative assessment data to better inform teacher planning. We also plan to correlate our students' summative assessment outcomes to our McRel WalkThrough data in order to determine how instructional strategy improvement links to student outcomes. Lastly, along the way, we plan to have fun. If we do not enjoy what we do, those for whom we do it, will not enjoy being with us. We must embrace the students' natural interests and strengths (see "The Switch") as well as the technology around us.

As for my first experience as an ASCD presenter - it was totally awesome. ASCD was extremely organized and supportive of their presenters. We were scheduled to present at 3pm on Saturday. Our room held a maximum capacity of 100 people. By 2:35 pm the room was packed. As a presenter, it was both exciting and frightening to have a full house. Thankfully, our team was prepared - and we all took comfort in there is safety in numbers. We even practiced a fake fainting episode should things go terribly wrong. Fortunately, we did not need to deploy that tactic.

Have a great day!

References:
Kouzes & Posner, A Leader's Legacy
Blackburn, Barbara, Rigor is not a Four Letter Word
Goodwin, Bryan, ASCD Presentation 2012

Gentile, David, The Switch

Friday, March 23, 2012

Journey to Baldrige

Life's a Journey

Are you currently on a journey? Most likely you answered yes and your mind is now racing thinking about your journey... is it a professional journey? or is it a personal journey? or perhaps it is both? I offer that is is most certainly both because it is impossible to separate ourselves into entirely separate people. Try as we may, the person that we are is the person who shows up to the job and to our family dinner table. Sure, we have all attempted to downplay some aspect of our social self at a new job, but eventually, that characteristic emerges. Perhaps you want everyone around the office or in your classroom - since many of you are educators, to think that you are very organized. After all everyone would agree that you would rather be described as organized than unorganized. But the truth may be that you really aren't overly organized. It isn't because you are lazy or absent minded, it is simply that you have better things to do than organize everything into neat little files. If I sound pretty convincing with this one it is because I am sharing a personal struggle that I go through. I once tried very hard to compensate for the way my brain works, but in the end I needed to embrace that I like to work on multiple things at the same time- I do not care if I have a pile of books regarding Brain-based research on one side of my desk and on the other is a stack of purchase orders awaiting my review. I am not overly concerned with every detail especially during the brainstorming phase - I want to see the big picture first. We all have our way of doing things based on many factors including our learning styles, personality types, values, genetics, and yes, even our age.

In the end, I suggest that it is the quality of work rather than the process in which we complete it. For me, I enjoy following my thoughts in whatever direction they take me in order to remain creative. I like to work with people who are similar to me. The truth is, my wife knows all to well what some of my "work family" are dealing with if they are like her. To people similar to her, I may seem all over the place at times, or I may change direction midstream when an idea strikes me as brilliant, I sometimes start another project before I finish the first one. She would also add, I leave my shoes wherever they come off and say things like, "just give me a few more minutes I know I put that gift card in here somewhere so I wouldn't lose it" making us late for our reservations. The truth is, the overly-organized people are not a walk in the park either. With their high sequential brain patterns and need to know the directions before starting something, that's just crazy. I say get started and we can figure it out as we go.

Why is all of this relevant to the topic of this post? You must be one of those sequential people - I'm getting to it. You see the truth is, this is only one piece of what makes each of us unique. Our learning patterns, personality types, our core values all influence our behavior in the work place. Not to mention the generational differences that exist between the "Baby-boomers" and "Gen Y's". All of this defines our norms, expectations, and beliefs in the workplace as well as home. For example, imagine if you will a meeting around a conference room - there are a wide range of employees from various generations - one is constantly checking his 'smart phone', responding to emails, texts, and his Twitter Feed - while the other is copiously taking handwritten notes into a journal. The first is unaware that his/her behavior is completely offensive to the other. While the first can't understand why anyone would even bother using a pen or journal when you can simply use your Ipad 'TodayNotes' AP to capture the entire meeting. Who is right? Before you answer, reflect on the characteristics already mentioned. What generation are you? How do you like to learn? What are your values? The answer is neither person is right or wrong... I revert back to the statement about the quality of outcomes they produce individually and as a team. Who you would side with here depends deeply on your individual characteristics. Regardless, both of these people might need to learn to work together in order to produce an outcome for their boss. Learning to identify each other's qualities and characteristics is the first step in creating a productive team.

The Millville Public School District is on a journey to reach the District Vision "to create a world class district involving all stakeholders where every child can learn". I am on a quest of my own... I am on a personal journey to make a significant difference in the lives of as many students (and people) as I can before my literal journey on Earth ends as well as to continue my journey as a mixed-martial-arts student. I can't separate these awesome adventures because they overlap in countless ways.

I began my tour as the superintendent of the Millville School District in July 2010. Let's use that as the jumping off point to outline the district adventure traveling to our future Baldrige Nomination and Award. If you haven't heard of Baldrige please do not worry, prior to 2009 I had never heard of it either. Additionally, I did not know what Six Sigma was and could not tell you a thing about Systems Thinking or Quality Control as it relates to education. In 2009, however, just at the tale end of my doctoral studies, I was exposed to the PEG people. PEG stands for the Performance Excellence Group and the people are Ken, Joe, and Fred. This is not a big money making consulting firm interested in providing expensive leadership training to as many people as possible but rather the brain child of Ken Biddle and his two assistants Joe and Fred who want to change education in a meaningful way. I can testify that the size of the company is not an indication of the size impact they can have. I signed on for a year long leadership PEG Academy that taught me how to use a Systems Approach as a school leader in order to have a powerful impact on the quality of education our schools produces. Data...data...and more data! Not the kind I was accustomed to using in the QAAR Report, NJASK or HSPA outcomes over a five year trend - but something much different. Concepts like Smart Goals, Feasibility Matrices, Root Cause Analysis, In-Progress Metrics, Affinity Charts, Value Stream Mapping and Process Flow Charting, Pareto Charts... I could keep going but if you are like me before PEG most of these concepts were like a foreign language to me.

In my new leadership position in Millville, I was committed to applying my new knowledge of Systems Thinking to make a real impact for the kids, parents, and staff of my community. I began with the core MVVG or mission, vision, values, and goals of the organization. We set out to define together what the MVVG are for our district. We participated in powerful leadership retreats including the board of education members to ensure we were all vested in becoming a world class school district. Once we established the MVVG we changed the way the leadership team conducted business. We used in-progress metrics to increase accountability toward the district's strategic set of goals and spent our time together 'speaking to the data' and the rest of the time out in the classrooms where we belong. The phrase 'speaking to the data' describes the powerful philosophy embraced by the district leaders. If you don't have data to support your claim - your claim is discarded and you are asked to 'speak to the data'. If you don't like it, go get some data! We strongly support risk taking, creativity, the use of technology in the classroom. My previous post outlines my belief in turning students' "Switches" on. While embracing these classroom practices we are also maintaining our focus on the core MVVG. The team embraces the idea of 'what you expect, you must inspect'.
We defined our vision in a catch phrase 'to be world class', our operational values are summarized by 'CoAcH' or Competence, Accountability, and Honesty, our mission to accomplish the 5 district goals  outlined in the strategic action plan to achieve our vision in - Personnel, Facilities, Technology, Culture, and Rigor (Student Achievement). The district embraced Robert Marzano's Classroom Instruction that Works to shape our classroom instructional model and we are using McRel's Classroom Walkthrough Technology to account for our progress in improving instruction and ultimately the classroom environment. District leaders dating back to the Summer of 2010 were trained in McRel/CITW. Next, we spent a year in the classrooms often establishing inter-rater reliability, consistency from our administrators guaranteeing that each and every instructional staff member receives a minimum of 30 walkthroughs from September to June 1st (McRel's research says 30 is the number that will provide for reliable walkthrough data) and establishing our district baseline.

Next, we created a Summer Teacher-Leader Trek Experience to partner with our greatest resource - the teachers. We learned a significant lesson during that first year which was while we did a good job training our administrators in CITW and McRel, we failed to systematically include the instructional staff in that training. The result left our teachers perplexed and left to guess what the various 'visitors' to their classrooms were actually looking for. I was told that the visits were nicknamed "Drive-by's" by the staff. Across the district each principal did his/her own version of professional development in CITW during that first year.

Going into the second year we were determined to do things differently. In preparing for our Summer Trek Experience we invited 10 teachers from each of our eleven schools to join the district leaders in meaningful professional development on CITW and the use of McRel. The teams from each school agreed that they would be responsible for providing their colleagues with 'Turn-Key Training' at the start of the new school year. September through December 2011 would include the first phase of district training. This meant that each school would spend each month focused on the same instructional strategies in the Professional Learning Communities discussing their instructional practice. The summer trek teachers served as the trainers of the sessions providing examples of best practice application for each of the classroom instructional strategies. Prior to each training session, the participants completed a short pre-assessment and following a post-assessment to assist in determining the effectiveness of the sessions. This data as well as the classroom walkthrough data allowed us to monitor our improvement efforts. All of this was done to help the staff members coach each other to improve their instructional practice. It was never to be uses as evaluative!

Where we are currently: we are on track for every instructional staff member to have 30 walkthroughs by June 1, 2012. The teachers' Professional Learning Communities are simply amazing. The staff is engaged in rich dialogue about their profession. What about the data? All indicators suggest there has been a great deal of improvement in raising classroom rigor (keeping the Switch On) throughout the district. We have collected countless artifacts of our journey as we prepare to share our story with others. Our future plans include submitting our application for a Baldrige site visit. The four other district goals are trending their target and are on track to produce exceptional results thanks to the hard work of all of the various staff members in Millville who believe in our vision to become world class.

For information on Baldrige visit http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/
For information on McRel visit http://www.mcrel.org/
For information on PEG email kbiddle@comcast.net

Reflecting back to the beginning of our journey together in this blog post, I want to strongly encourage you to engage in meaningful discussions with your colleagues in order to identify:

personality types (Golden Personality Inventory), your personal and operational values, your learning styles (Howard Gardner's MII) visit  http://www.howardgardner.com/books/books.html , and generational differences in the workplace

Must have books:
Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook by George, Rowlands, Price & Maxey
The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner 

Enjoy the many journeys you are on, live life to the fullest and read to your children!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Switch

The Switch
by David Gentile

Every child begins their life with a natural curiosity about the world around them. This innate quality results in a learner who is essentially a sponge. Did you know that 90% of a child's brain develops during the first five years of life? I have been fascinated by early childhood brain development and consequently read more on this single topic than is probably healthy. In my own children, my wife and I began reading while they were in utero because a baby's brain begins development in the early embryo when cell division proliferates into millions of neurons in the brain. We continued to embrace their natural interest in virtually everything around them. Although taking the time to explain, show, and reexplain every phenomenon can be overwhelming. You have likely heard a child ask their series of "why" questions. You have also likely experienced, as I have, a "why" question that causes you to be at a loss for the answer. Such as, "why doesn't the sun burn out? or why don't we fall off the Earth since it is spinning?"Most of us would dismiss these questions with answers like "because" or "gravity" but if you have ever been in a debate with a four year old you know that will not do. As such, my wife and I came up with our unique answer, "why don't we research to find out why". This allows us to encourage their curiosity while also buying much needed wikipedia time. My eldest child, David, will turn 7 in October 2012 and my youngest, Grace, will turn 3 in April 2012. David began reading fluently before his 5th birthday and my daughter is well on her way. So far, both of their "Switches" are still on. There appears to be no end to their curiosity and interest in learning. David's Kindergarten teachers have been awesome in feeding his interest in the world around him. Grace's preschool has also fed her curiosity through discovery learning. My wife and I receive fantastic comments from their teachers in support of what a great job we did as parents or your children are so intelligent. We are almost embarrassed and feel compelled to explain that we did nothing extraordinary. We simply kept their "Switch" on and went with their innate need to learn. Every single parent can do what we do. There is nothing exceptional about our children's intelligence.

I want every child to experience the support my children have. I want every child to feel confident that there are no challenges to great nor any concept to difficult to learn. I want all parents to feel empowered by the knowledge they have everything they need to create a super learner despite their economic status or educational background. Frankly, my time pursuing my doctorate was not necessary and everything I have learned about learning came through personal research in a subject that fascinated me. I fed my inner child and followed my natural curiosity about the brain. I wanted to know why do some children succeed in school while others struggle to the point of surrender. I was enraged by the fact that some teachers created amazing learning environments while others turned their students' "Switches" off. The simple metaphor describes perfectly the first stage of any learning experience. Picture a dark room - no light coming in from anywhere in the room. Then imagine what happens when you switch the lights on. The room, regardless of the size, is filled with light immediately. I developed the comparison to learning to illustrate that regardless of how complex the topic may be if a child's "Switch" is turned on there is no limit to their ability to gain deep understanding of the concept. The vast majority of the time teachers or parents do not even need to turn the "Switch" on they must simply avoid turning it off! This picture is one I have seen far to often in my career. His "Switch" is clearly off, at least regarding the topic or concept being covered in this class. Why does this happen? When you ask people this question, you get a variety of responses depending on who you ask. Mostly responses assign blame either to the parent or the school but rarely does this make anything better for anyone - especially the child. If you can get everyone to simply refrain from the blame game and instead just agree that none of us want bored students we can get to keeping the "Switch" on.

"SWITCHON" is my way of explaining the picture to the right. This image was taken in one of my elementary schools, Bacon School, in a first grade classroom. Mr. Hudson is committed to keeping his students engaged in the learning process. The principal of the building, Dr. Cook, is a relatively new administrator but completely understands the importance of supporting students natural curiosity and interest in learning. All students can learn - more importantly all students want to learn. If we can simply use methods, techniques, and tools in the learning process that are in line with what kids are naturally interested in there is no limit. Our students' brains are like a flash drive that never runs out of space. If we foster learning environments that give students choice in their pursuit of learning a new concept we can keep or turn on their "Switch".

Currently the policy makers state that all students must graduate high school College and Career Ready. While I support the general concept of preparing students for the "real world" I get a bit hung up in the details of their quest.  Utah Governor Jon Huntsman once coined the phrase "sound-bite campaigning". He criticized a fellow GOP candidate for delivering "easy sound bites" rather than serious policy analyses in order to "get an applause line." My concern with the educational policy makers is that they too deliver "sound-bites" that on the surface sound extremely sound. If we get beyond the surface however, we discover that defining College and Career Readiness becomes increasingly difficult with each step backward from current high school seniors down to our current class of 4 year old preschool students. Reflecting back to Mr. Hudson's first grade class for a moment, ask yourself what will these students need to know and be able to do in order to be College and Career Ready? If you find yourself with a quick answer - "DANGER WILL ROBINSON" I fear you are lost in "sound-bite" space. It is impossible to know - scratch that - guess- what the world will require from this future class of 2023. Therefore, I chose to focus on the few things that we do know for sure. First, schools need to engage in "Switchon" learning by allowing students to incorporate their natural curiosity into every learning experience in the classroom. This may mean the use of technology, art, music, physical activity... whatever kids are naturally interested in should be used in the pursuit of learning any concept. We must move away from "drill and test" methods that are designed to prepare kids for high stakes testing. Regardless of whether the policy makers ever get around to creating authentic assessments to gauge student learning. The most inexpensive way to "test" students is the current multiple choice or short answer response assessments that currently define our public schools. We must embrace the use of current technology in our schools regardless of whether or not the grown-ups understand the importance. Think back eleven years when the current class of 2012 was in a first grade classroom and if we actually could have looked into the crystal ball and known that Jack Dorsey would unleash Twitter on the world...what would we have asked our students to know and be able to do? The students in Mr. Hudson's class were using clicker technology that allows the teacher to assess their learning on a 1:1 basis. I problem is shown on the smart board and each student works at their own pace to record their answer on the clicker when finished. No fear of calling out the wrong answer, the students do not have to worry if they are slower than their peers, and the teacher can determine in real time whether each student learned the concept. This sounds like we are preparing them for 2012 as the truth is in eleven years Twitter will be as dated as the first "bag phone" we may remember using for emergencies only. For all of those readers who can't remember a world without smart phones the first "cellular phone" came in a big black bag and plugged into the lighter in your car. It sounded terrible, analog, and was extremely expensive - thus why it was only used in an emergency.

So today's first graders face a world that is unknown, but we can keep their "Switches" on by using their natural curiosity and interest in the world. We need to celebrate teachers like Mr. Hudson and leaders like Dr. Cook who encourage risk taking in the classroom. The safest teaching methods, such as lecture, have their place in the classroom - but they can't be the only method if we hope to keep the light on in each of our students!

Switch On! Parents read to your children in utero and continue to support their interests for as long as you can. Although as parents we may not always "get it" we must consider that we may be raising the next Jack Dorsey.

Try something different today...

Recently, we visited New Milford High School. Eric Sheninger is the Principal and he tried something different a few years back. He embraced Twitter as a valid educational tool. Today all educators are trying to catch up with Eric because it is easy now for most of us to see the uses Twitter provides educators - Professional Learning or as a classroom instructional tool. When Eric embraced Twitter, however, it was new - strange - something only Hollywood Stars like Ashton Kutcher used. Most of us dismissed it as a fad, something that would come and go. While it may eventually go, while it is here it has revolutionized education (and the world). It has changed the way we view professional development and has opened countless new exciting doors. I want to thank the New Milford staff, students, administration, and especially Eric for responding to my random Tweet a few months back which read "cld we bring a small team (4) to visit your campus. i promise we will wipe our feet and clean up after ourselves. ur work is inspiring" For those who do not yet Tweet, I know there are typos and misspellings and my sad attempt at humor, cleaning up after ourselves was corny- you only have 140 characters to express your thought and capture the reader's attention. This was my first direct message and at the time I was completely new to Twitter. Eric Sheninger and I did not know each other. He works in Bergen County and lives hours from me. Without Twitter, this opportunity for learning from each other and sharing new ideas in order to keep improving education for our students would not have happened. Everyday, people like Eric and I from all across the world use Twitter in a meaningful way to learn. You can follow your natural curiosity and interests as far around the globe as you want.

Lastly
Remember, it is not the destination but the journey that matters. College and Career Readiness for the Year 2023 is a complete unknown - but along the journey the final destination becomes a bit clearer. Enjoy the journey-

Follow your interests and dreams...