Follow by Email

Monday, August 8, 2016

WELCOME To 21st Century Communication

Hello everyone.  This is not my usual blog because I am using it as an example for a Professional Development Session for Stokes County Schools Educators.

A Blog can be used for just about anything you want, but in education it can be a powerful communication tool with students, parents, and the community.  It can be for announcements, class assignments, class communication, or just general information about anything that's happening in your world.



BLOGGER BEWARE:  An educational blog should not be used for any type of personal agendas or opinions.  If you want to do that, you need to start your own personal blog that is not associated with anyone other than yourself.


Happy Blogging!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2015-16: A Great Year

It has been a great school year at Meadowbrook Academy.  I am so proud of so many people who have made this school year so successful.  Our graduation ceremony was outstanding with a wonderful speech from Kirk Branch (the first student in MBA history to be accepted into a four year University), and 21 graduates.  And, of course, a great song from Mr. Smith.  It was  great day.
Looking back over the year, we saw more success than we have ever had, and people are noticing.  I had the opportunity to present our program at five different conferences across the state.  I spoke with numerous educators about how Digital Learning has taken MBA to great heights, and it worked out very well.  The NC Senior Educational Advisor is recommending that other schools use the same model we are using in order to increase the needed workforce for North Carolina by 2025.  It's all about personalized education.

Now we move on to 2016-17.  Plans are now being made to expand our program to 100 students next year and we are hoping to continue growing as much as we can.... but we will continue to focus on personalized education for each student.

I would like to thank..... let's see..... where to begin.....  how about EVERYONE!  There's too many to mention.  You have made it great year!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I recently had the opportunity to visit Wilmington NC while attending the North Carolina Association of School Administrators Conference.  I had not been to Wilmington since I was a little boy ( a LONG time ago), and I was curious what I would remember when I arrived.  I was a little surprised that I remembered a great deal, and recognized many of the landmarks and other sites.

Later the next day, I had a luncheon in a room that overlooked the Cape Fear River.  It was Beautiful,  As I watched the birds, trees, and tour boats outside the large window, I reflected back to my childhood and that one trip I had made to Wilmington.  While I couldn't recall everything, I could recall the things that made an impression on me.  What I remembered most was the smell of the fresh ocean air and how it made me feel good about everything around me.  "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was ringing through my head.

As I reflected, my thoughts turned to my own education and my experiences in Elementary, Middle , and High School.  I remember the first certificate I got in the first grade for reading my first book.  I also remember getting paddled the very next week for "rough housing" on the playground.  I remembered may other good (and not so good) experiences.  I was surprised that I remembered some of those things because I hadn't thought of them in many years.  It seems I retained more than I thought... as do our our current students.

Many things have changed in education over the years, but students still learn everything they need with good attendance and a positive attitude.  Our goals at Meadowbrook are:
1) Have Good Attendance
2) Have a Good Attitude
3) Have good Academic progress.

When these three goals are followed, the student WILL be successful and have a great experience.  They will remember some of the good things, and they will remember some of the bad things.  But they will always remember what success feels like.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

MBA Staff Learn More "TECH"

I had the opportunity to participate in the Distinquished Leadership In Practice for Digital Learners (DLPDL) professional development program over the past two years.  I completed this professional development this past fall, and have brought many new ideas back to Meadowbrook to share with my Teachers and Students.

As a part of the DLPDL experience, I asked my staff last spring what they wanted to learn about additional technology in the classrooms to enhance their teaching and communication.  They let me know quickly that our classroom technology is more than adequate at MBA, but they wanted to learn more about tools that would help them in the classroom and for themselves.  They were very "fourth coming"!  After gathering the responses from the staff, we started a professional development plan that would address the needs they listed.  Thus far we have learned about Web Page Development, the use of Google Docs in the Classroom, Classroom Surveys using "Kahoot", and Community outreach.  We still have a few sessions left that will be addressing how to effectively use Social Media in the classroom.

Technology has evolved so much and so fast, it's difficult to keep up with the latest trends.  Personally, I am a "Tech Junkie" that is not allowed to visit Best Buy or the Apple Store without adult supervision.  (That adult of course is my wife)  These places are like my candy store, and I want everything.  However, I realize that everyone isn't like that, so I have to be careful of pushing tech to hard and to fast to my staff.  I was very happy with the staff when they were very honest and let me know exactly what they wanted and needed to enhance their classroom and themselves.  It was a little surprising, but I like surprises.

I leave you with this thought... What can your cell phone do?  Did you imagine five years ago that your cell phone would be capable of doing what it does now?  So.... What is that cell phone going to be able to do five years from now?  (IPhone 9,10,11+!!!). I can't wait!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Digital Learning: Impersonal?

Beginning in 2013, Meadowbrook Academy become a fully 100% blended/digital learning.  But there are a lot of "myths" about digital learning.  People think the courses are easier, the teachers aren't teaching, and students who have learning disabilities can't use it.  All of these are wrong, and MBA is proving this everyday.  However, the biggest myth is that teachers who use digital learning can not establish a personal relationship with their students.  Actually, it's the opposite.

Teachers at MBA teach an array of subjects at the same time during one class period.  They are constantly moving around the room, asking the students questions, checking student progress, and answering student questions.  When they are not moving around watching, they are on their computer checking each students achievement level.  They know what the student is doing (or not doing) at all times, and are gathering information that allows them to work with that student one on one when needed.  Students who struggle normally will NEVER ask for help.  Digital learning allows the teacher to gather information that asked questions for those students.  The teacher knows where the student is struggling and the addresses specific problems.  The teacher establishes a relationship with the student the minute the student starts a new class.

Digital Learning has been a huge success at MBA and assisted with improved Attendance, Attitude, and Academics.  Don't believe it?  Come see it for yourself.  You are always welcome.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The "Reset" Botton

Sometimes when you are using computer programs or electronics, you have to do a "reset" in order to restart because things weren't going as planned.  We tried to start our new semester on January 20th, but mother nature had other plans.  We barely got the day started on the 20th when we had to release students because on the incoming winter storm.  Five school days later, we finally got to come back to school.  Thus, we have had to "reset".

Here at MBA, we use the "reset" button quite a bit.  That's what we are all about... giving students a second chance to catch up and graduate as soon as they can.  We are fortunate that Stokes County Schools has a program like this in place.  Not all school districts are able to provide this opportunity.  Although some students wash out, most are successful because they realize this is their shot to graduate and enter society and/or a two year college. 

So... We are "RESET" for a great semester.

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's A Merry Christmas For Me!

Merry Christmas!  As I update this blog, I am beaming with pride because our students and staff are doing whatever it takes for the entire school.  A few weeks ago, our custodian was hurt and has been under a Doctor's care.  In the meantime, the students and staff have stepped up to keep our school clean while continuing to be successful in the classroom.  We have dearly missed our custodian, but the students have learned a valuable lesson... when problems occur, life moves on.   And sometimes we to have to adjust and sacrifice for others in order to keep the world moving forward.

Today, however, was the best.  I sent an email to the staff today (12/18/15) asking them to help as much as possible with the "shut down" of the building for the holidays.  I had planned on spending the afternoon after school dismissal sweeping and mopping the bathrooms.  But when I went into the classroom POD at 1:15pm to see what needed to be done, I walked in on a flurry of work.  The students were sweeping and gathering the trash, and the staff was mopping the bathrooms and classrooms.  Within a matter of minutes, the entire POD was shining and smelling wonderful.

Meadowbrook Academy is an alternative school that has staff and students who care about their education and their school.  Yes... it has already been a Merry Christmas for me!