Sunday, February 17, 2013

Leadership through ACTION!

Leadership through ACTION!
     Modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart, are some of the practices of exemplary leadership.  As stated in the Dana text, leaders will naturally engage in these practices day in and day out.  Although there are many insights that highlight my experience in this course, the one just mentioned has become my focal point when evaluating my skills and performance on tasks.  A new window has been opened in my mind and the possibilities are endless.  I have seen the importance of conducting action research as a form of overcoming some of the many obstacles that leaders in our community often face. 
     These practices… aren’t the private property of the people we studied or of a few select shining stars.  They’re available to anyone, in any organization or situation, who accepts the leadership challenge. (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p.13) As I engaged in the lessons of this course I found solutions and steps to take in order to become an efficient leader.  My own action research on the Latino population in our school and the services offered aligned with their needs is turning out to be a huge stepping stone in the right direction.  Many are becoming involved in the change and are partaking in the challenge of making a difference in our community.
     On one hand, our students are being served in a conscious learning centered environment.  While on the other, teachers are feeling connected to their students as we research ways of helping them improve their school performance.  It is a win-win situation all around.  The quality indicators back up the research in that is transferable and can be applied in other schools to help with their special populations.
     Furthermore, this idea of conducting action research as an ongoing process can really make me a quality leader in my school as I aim to become an Administrator one day.  Using methods such as Delphi mentioned in the book Examining What We Do To Improve Our Schools: 8 Steps from Analysis to Action, will allow me to get others involved in the process and invest their wisdom to bring improvement to our school.   Everyone’s insight on a subject matter, for example the Latino community and how it can be improved, is responsibility of the entire school.  Cultivating a learning environment by taking into account the majority of our school population can be improved with the input of others.
      To sum it all up, being a Leader in this day and age entails ACTION!  Not only is it good enough to know your school, you must be willing to accept the challenge of guiding and researching in order to make your environment the best it can be.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Overcoming Challenges...

As my Action Research on the Latino Population of our school continues, I have encountered several challenges that strongly affect the outcome of this research.  With the suggestions from my peers, as well as my supervisor, I will be conducting a survey focusing on understanding the interests and motivators in order to increase parental involvement.

I will keep you posted on my findings... Have a Great Week!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

School Improvement Action Research Plan

Lorena Hernandez
School Improvement Project
Plan of Action

SCHOOL VISION: Our SISD School is dedicated to offering the best education focusing on student achievement for all students. Hurshel Antwine educators are highly qualified and work to ensure all students, including special populations such as low-income, bilingual, special education and military students, have the best resources and instruction to succeed. Our District has a long tradition of success and continues “Building on Excellence” so that all students are college and career-ready when they graduate from SISD schools.
GOAL: To address several aspects of our ever-growing Latino population in our campus to include: studying habits, preparation for school, and life at home, and how these aspects affect their performance in school.  By addressing their needs, our goal is to create an increase in their performance as well as engaging them (with their families) to become lifelong learners.

Study Habits
Monitor student use of agendas to keep log of study habits.

Agenda sheets provided to students from teachers, where they will monitor their homework assignments and completion of tasks.

Focus Group Classroom Teacher -
Mrs. Serrano

Feb – April 2013
Evaluate the use of time and management of school work and studying habits as they relate to their performance in class.

Preparedness for school
After – school outreach/ tutoring

Intervention activities to assist students who are struggling, and are considered Tier 3.

Lorena Hernandez
Feb – April 2013

STAAR test in April

Family engagement in child’s education
Latino Family Literacy Project
LFLP products already in school/ along with support by volunteers to assist with project as this will take place afterschool.
Lorena Hernandez – Instr. Coach

Bertha Arsola 
-School Librarian

Haydee Duran
 – Instr. Coach
10 week program to begin in Feb 2013
After 10 week period, evaluate student progress in school as correlation to their parent/guardian participation in this literacy program.

Report and Dissemination of SIP/PIP Findings, Implications and Recommendations:
I will be sharing my findings and research through the use of the blog created in this course.  This will enable others to understand the process of the research and the findings that become available as time progresses.  I will be providing background information of how the research came about and what was important as pertaining to our particular campus.  Also, sharing the design of the inquiry will be important as it will be as Dana states, “sharing your system as well as your intentions.”  Another task would be to state the learning and supporting the statements with data.  There is nothing more valuable than to back up your learning with the use of data and how it is being affected by your learning.  Finally, providing concluding thoughts will be as Dana says, “the answers to the initial questions posed by the inquiry study.”  This will entail generating future wonderings that could begin a whole new research in itself.