T&L Advisor Guest post — Phil Hintz, Director of Technology, Gurnee School District 56: This past year, our superintendent, Dr. John Hutton set a district goal of raising student growth as measured by the NWEA MAP Test by 5%. If we made our goal, the BOE agreed to honor all staff-- from custodians to teachers; to bus drivers to techs-- with a 1% merit pay bonus. We all had to collaborate in order to help students achieve this goal, and when we became a true professional learning community, we not only made the goal, but we surpassed it.
This year, our superintendent set a new goal of raising student growth by 3% more over last year, and the only way we will achieve it is to add value to what we are already doing. To accomplish this new goal, teachers will continue to work as part of a community, integrating technology with great resources like Free Tech 4 Teachers.com and Teachers Pay Teachers.com , as well as collaborating on teaching strategies to create the synergy needed to add value to their curriculums. We would all agree that sprinkling Chlorine and Sodium on food separately would add poison to our food. But when combined together to form table salt, these elements add value to the taste of most foods and bring out the best in what the food has to offer. Collaboration in learning produces similar synergism. May your work during this school year add value to your life and to the lives of your students.