May 24, 2013

Deepest, Darkest...Wisconsin?

May 23, 2013 Photo of the day:
"View from the Balcony"

I'm in the Wisconsin Dells for two days at the Educator Effectiveness conference. As Wisconsin moves towards a new educator evaluation model, it is important that teachers and administrators understand the goal setting, observation, and assessment processes. I hoped that this conference would provide a clearer picture of where we are headed next year, and of my role as an "Effectiveness Coach," but after day one, I seem to have more questions than I did before. 

It has always seemed a bit strange to me that many of the state conferences are held in the Dells at the Kalahari Resort. I'm not a big fan of this commercialized town. The Dells are beautiful from the water, but the surrounding town has become "The Waterpark Capitol of the World."  I'm sure this appeals more to families with young children. Nevertheless, several educator conferences are held here each year, and I'm starting to think that the Kalahari Resort is perhaps an appropriate metaphor for the Educator Effectiveness process. The resort is meant to simulate the African wilderness with lions, giraffes, and hippos scattered about. The Educator Effectiveness Model is a bit like "The Dark Continent." It's mysterious and somewhat threatening since we don't really know what around the bend. There are a series of twists and turns and plunges into unknown waters. Yet, I'm sure we will eventually resurface, dry off. and get back to work. Now if we can only find a way to have some fun in the process!