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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Three times each year at the school I currently serve (Guthrie CSD in Guthrie, Texas), the staff and students hit the pause button and engage in collective and focused learning, together (PreK-grade 12).  For the last couple of years we have focused the learning at those embedded professional development days on the Guthrie Graduate Profile (GGP). 

The GGP is the manifestation of the intention of our community and school to educate the "whole" child.  In effect, we have chosen  to go beyond the teaching of knowledge and skills in academic areas only, and begun to purposely teach our children ways of thinking and ways of behaving

The five dimensions of the GGP are shown below:
  • Learners/Problem Solvers/Critical Thinkers
  • Effective Communicators
  • Persons of Strong Character
  • Productive and Valuable Team Members
  • Compassionate and Responsible Citizens

On November 26, 2013, we engaged in another of those team learning sessions.  The focus of the day was on the dimension of "Compassionate and Responsible Citizens."  The big chunks of learning for the day were centered around three learning prompts:
  1. Discussions around the learning we gleaned from the Lessons from Malaki, which details the challenges of a nine year old boy competing on Britain's Got Talent.
  2. A presentation from guest speaker Woody Gilliland, Chief Executive Officer of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, an organization that exists ONLY to serve fellow humans in need. 
  3. Dialogue generated from viewing the video about Matthew Jeffers and his letter to the Baltimore Ravens. 
Students are put in cross-aged table teams for the cooperative learning (older students are charged with "taking care" of the younger ones in the process).  

A couple of the major takeaways for our "team" during that day of learning:
  • "To whom much is given, much is required."
  • "The only disability in life is a bad attitude." (Matthew Jeffers)
A most excellent day of learning! (And, accomplished without a single multiple choice test).


  1. This is one of the huge benefits of working in a small district! This is exactly what I want f

    1. Indeed, Heather, it seems that we can accomplish much substantive work with/for children in the small school setting. When I worked in the huge schools, so much of our time/effort/energy was spent (literally) on simply "managing" the masses.


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