Always more to learn…..

Monday was a fabulous day.  As a school team, consisting of myself, my assistant principal/facilitator, the school counselor/grade 5 teacher as well as a grade 7 lead teacher, we attending the first session of Kurtis Hewson’s CRM for School Leadership Teams. This first session was on ensuring effective CRM meetings, and we were not disappointed.

I signed the OLA school team up for this series of sessions as I instinctively knew that I wasn’t able to fully articulate exactly what CRM is or the benefits of adopting this process.  How do you effectively ‘tell’ a staff about a process that will transform teaching and learning for both themselves and for their students without getting the eye-rolling, glazed look from staff thinking  “ugh – one- more-thing-to-do”  look?

So I signed them up and took them to the source. We attended, participated, laughed, and enjoyed many ah-ha moments throughout the day. We’ve planned next steps, and are committed to effective CRM meetings and moving slow to go fast.

Despite being a part of CRM for the past 5 years, I thought that I might hear a few new things, or ideas and wanted to attend to support my new staff.  Was I surprised!   I was excited to dig in and get moving with ideas and supports for the staff, as well as fresh ideas on how to support staff and students and run CRM effectively in the school.

Many of Kurtis’ methods beg repeating, but my take-homes include:

  • CRM is a process that fits every school demographic, K-12
  • Don’t forget to keep asking the “what if’s“?  “What would happen if we tried this?”  “What would we see if”?
  • Administrators MUST be part of the process for CRM to work
  • CRM is not RTI ( response to intervention)
  • CRM supports the progress of ALL students and the development of ALL staff

But the best one?

Currently, Collective Teacher Efficacy has the 2nd highest ranking for affecting student learning in the classroom.  According to John Hattie, (who developed a way of ranking various influences in different meta-analyses related to learning and achievement according to their effect sizes), visible learning and teaching occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers.

Now if that isn’t enough for supporting CRM, I don’t know what is……..


Beginning CRM…our first step into the challenge!

Wow – what a day!  Our first day with the CRM model at OLA and the teachers seemed both overwhelmed and excited.  We started our model with 80 minutes for each grade group ( above you will see our grade 7 staff as well as some of our division consultants) as we worked through the topic of Assessment.  Teachers had time to dialogue about what was working in their practice as well as where they will need supports to guide their teaching and student learning.

Thinking back to the process of CRM when it first began in my past school, I recall that one of the main goals of the process was to begin to develop common language and consistent practices throughout the school.  Beginning at OLA, this first step is also the first one that my AP and I wanted to embrace.  Often, with so many initiatives and practices in a school and division, teachers receive PD and some support, however after the PD and collaboration ends, teachers are again left on their own to work in isolation.

Working smarter, not harder, it’s up to the School Leaders to find ways to ensure that staff receive continued support for all the expectations that are placed on them – both professionally and personally.

Some think that embedding time for CRM has to be done prior to scheduling options, gym and library time as well as timetabling recesses, lunches and supervision.  Yes, that would be idea.  However with my moving to a school after all the scheduling had been done, we were still able to create time for all teachers to meet 80 minutes each week, during the school day to collaborate and support students.  It can be done and still run a balanced school budget. How you ask?  Stay tuned for more info.

I am also part of the Edmonton Regional Learning Constortium Community of Practice for CRM with Kurtis Hewson et al.  To sign up for this exciting endeavour and to see the CRM practice in a variety of settings be sure to sign up for the series. Click here for more info.