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Bill Tolley
Curitiba, Brazil
Teacher-Traveller
Interests: If embracing the responsibility of the place and the moment is his prescription, a key principle in this creative stewardship is waking up to "wild mind." He clarifies that "wild" in this context does not mean chaotic, excessive or crazy. "It means self-organizing," he says. "It means elegantly self-disciplined, self-regulating, self-maintained. That's what wilderness is. Nobody has to do the management plan for it. So I say to people, "let's trust in the self-disciplined elegance of wild mind". Practically speaking, a life that is vowed to simplicity, appropriate boldness, good humor, gratitude, unstinting work and play, and lots of walking, brings us close to the actually existing world and its wholeness." --Excerpt from an interview with Gary Snyder
Recent Activity
The thesis of my administration action plan holds that in the current educational climate the new breed of mid-tier leaders, teacher-leaders, must regard themselves as political operatives who infiltrate school committees, school boards, and local political bodies in order to ensure that transformational change is effected--from the inside--by those who... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2012 at Cultures of Achievement
Entry #1: Co-Teaching Co-teaching is the perfect vehicle for modeling what we want students to do with 21st Century Skills. By communicating and coordinating with another teacher, we can show students exactly how collaborative projects are developed. Another key benefit of co-teaching is its ability to push forward efforts to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2012 at Cultures of Achievement
Download Curriculum Analysis iBook (PDF)--William Tolley Download Curriculum Analysis iBook--William Tolley Download Curriculum Analysis iBook--William Tolley Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Cultures of Achievement
What are some of the societal forces that influence school curricula today? In Chapter 4 of Curriculum Leadership (2009), Glatthorn provided us with an excellent starting point of six influential forces: Federal Government State Government Professional Organizations The Courts Local Education Leaders The Classroom Teacher He also did a remarkable... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2012 at Cultures of Achievement
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What strengths and/or improvement areas did you notice about the environment and tone of the post-observation? What to look for... We met in my room at the center table. We sat across from each other with the camera facing us from the side. Joyce and I have a sound, cogenial... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
In the secondary school at the International School of Curitiba teachers only use two methods of arrangement: the U or modified U and traditional rows. It seems that teachers make their decisions based on their class size and the amount of students they have in each class rather than any... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
As this is a reflective essay, I am assuming that APA objective writing guidelines are suspended and this piece is written using the personal pronoun. I suppose the most interesting idea that I ran across, expressed in many of our readings, but Dufour, Dufour and Eaker in particular, was the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
Diversity issues are not a critical concern at my school because most of our students exist primarily in the “Third Culture,” whether they are Brazilian or International, ISC and their friends from there have become their cultural community and they exist in a somewhat narrow world (which I call the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
Dear Jim, Thanks for turning the conversation back toward me reflecting on how my character would impact and relate to the faculty I work with. And no worries on my taking your comments as honorable: I was the one to question the premise of the assignment and challenge Marzano's work--it would be bold of me to balk at your defending both. My first reaction is that in terms of "compensation" I would be sure to hire an AP or specialist who can actually make sense of the technical notes on pages 125-175. I myself cannot. Perhaps it is a weakness on my part that I cannot fathom data when presented like this, but I do know that I also do not rate its value highly on principle. My embedding of the Ravitch video was a poorly explained parallel to this: I don't think data collected and analyzed in this way is useful enough to sift through. I accept the science of analysis in other areas (wide-scale sociological studies, for example) but I cannot think that these figures and charts can meaningfully replace a dialogue between staff and administrator. Just as I believe a standards-based narrative report card is more effective for developing students, I think that such forms of feedback are infinitely more useful than the binomials and paths explained by Marzano in his notes. I believe, as Ravitch does about data and student education, that data evaluations will ruin education leadership. I don't remember where I also referred to myself as edgy (I don't think I ever said I would hate to have a certain type of student in a class, I would avoid those exact words, although I might have said something to similar effect) but I believe on both occasions it was a self-conscious realization that my core beliefs may be to dismiss the science if the science (from my point of view) does more harm than good. So you are right: I will have to consider how such a stance will impact my relations with my staff. Some members of the staff, the majority I expect, will appreciate not being evaluated primarily by data, and will likely also prefer the conversational style of feedback on my leadership as well. It is my experience that professionals prefer discussion to a report card, no matter how thorough. On the other hand, some will want more concrete evidence, data, science. Perhaps they will feel the conversation is too loose, too abstract, too flaky. I will have to do several things then: 1. Make sure the conversation includes sessions explaining the method, asking for feedback from each member of the staff on what they would like to add to the conversation to make it more effective. 2. Through the above process, get as many members of the staff as possible to buy in and invest themselves in the method. 3. Work collectively on a viable narrative set of standards that can be formed into a descriptive (rather than quantitative) rubric that is meaningful to both the evaluator and the evaluated. No easy feat, I realize. Thank you for the critical comments, Jim. Your response got me thinking about my stances on several issues and how my incorporation of these stances into my leadership style will impact those who I work with--and how I need to prepare to deal with that certainty, and myself. I hope I can accomplish both in an authentic way.
I actually don't have 21 reasons, only five, but I could not be happier that this week's blog post has less in the way of guidelines than some of our other assignments. Why? Because I am afraid I have to be the edgy kid in class this week and reject... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
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Transformational leadership is a step in the right direction, but no great leap for mankind. I fully support and hope as a leader to create what Burns (1978) refers to as "a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents"... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
Bill Tolley is now following Tom Murphy
Mar 8, 2011
_________ What are your expectations for this program? What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to learn the basics for be a succesful administrator, of course, but I additionally hope to learn this in a way that allows me to keep pace (or keep ahead of) the constantly morphing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2011 at Cultures of Achievement
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Mr. G and I have been on a bit of a hiatus. Since our last posts we have been busy with the more immediate tasks of helping our students finish up their essays and applications, rounding up our first semesters at our new schools and trying to get a little... Continue reading
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Music, 16 October, 2010. Du Könntest Du schwimmen Wie Delphine Delphine es tun Niemand gibt uns eine Chance Doch können wir siegen Für immer und immer Und wir sind dann Helden Für einen Tag Ich Ich bin dann König Und... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2010 at Gaslight, Tall Trees
See? This exactly proves my point that in writing about your experiences at SAMs for us, you inadvertently created another great application essay as well: Mr. G thought it was another app essay submission! So, follow his advice and make the most of your work! --Mr. T
I'm in agreement with Mr. G here. Your first two paragraphs are tight and evocative, but as soon as you step into "who I am and why I think this way" mode, you stray from the engaging content of your opening. If you are using the city and its buildings as a metaphor, let the metaphor do most of the work. When you try to maintain the metaphor, but "tell" the reader what "it all means" at the same time, your essay gets messier. Perhaps you need to split that large paragraph in two, introduce the metaphor in the first paragraph, and then BRIEFLY, tell us "what it all means" in a second paragraph before returning to your more potent imagery in the conclusion. But, I also agree with Mr. G that this is a vastly improved version--nothing but a little fine tuning left now. --Mr. T
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A Jeep And A Gun When the music stopped playing, her cries overwhelmed the silence. It was my father’s birthday, and the patio burst with merengue dancing and shots of vodka. Seconds later, blood seeped into that same floor. My cousin, father and I rushed to our next door neighbor’s... Continue reading
Bill Tolley is now following The Metropolitician
Oct 10, 2010
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Be sure to click this. (Too) Music. 9 October 2010; Anders. Special Attention: Potential converts. Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2010 at Gaslight, Tall Trees
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Music, 6 October 2010--WJT. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2010 at Gaslight, Tall Trees
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I believed the typical professor to be the egotistical attention-hog who would suggest expelling you from their classroom if they caught you with drinking a Starbucks latte. However, my entire perspective of the word college changed once I participated in the Summer Academy Science and Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University.... Continue reading
Bill Tolley added a favorite at Gaslight, Tall Trees
Sep 25, 2010
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Music: Saturday, 25 September 2010 Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2010 at Gaslight, Tall Trees