Monday, May 6, 2013

What does "setting high expectations and standards" mean to you?

Setting high expectations and standards means properly evaluating the current conditions in which I want to improve and developing an action plan which addresses the scenario. I am always developing an action plan to improve current conditions.  I set goals and communicate those openly in my environment. It has been beneficial for me to communicate my expectations and anticipated results to all stakeholders. When I communicate my expectations clearly I can have open and honest conversations on a range of levels which provide a better understanding of the meaning and purpose of larger goals.
When I have set high expectations from the very beginning I have raised the bar of anticipated performance from the very beginning. I have found in education that communicating goals allows students, faculty and staff to feel as though they have been made aware of the agenda of the organization and not only are they a part of the process but are also key contributors in the process. This allows for all to be focused on several key goals and helps develop buy in from others.
Holding others accountable to the standards that I have set has helped provide consistency. When asking others to have accountability it has been important to have clear expectations so the highest standards can be met. It is also important to have accountability for the important benchmarks in the process of setting high expectations and standards. To reach short and long term goals groundwork needs to be established which expresses desired outcomes.  I have always made my benchmarks realistic and scaffolded to match my long range goals.  This has allowed me avoid critical setbacks and better define problematic scenarios before they become larger issues.
Creating realistic benchmarks helped me hold others accountable for the desired standards and outcomes. My creation of realistic benchmarks helped me communicate clear reminders of the consistency necessary to create a quality product. In our modern education system benchmarks and standards provide a way to assess student progress in key content areas. The ability to monitor how learning goals are met is critical to evaluating student learning and teaching effectiveness.
In my experience, when expectations are set high individuals achieve more and work to their potential. This is especially true with technology education as there is usually a lot of work before visible results.  It is critical to set high expectations but also to make others feel as though they can reach them by being supportive and clear about the steps to meet them.  When setting the expectations I try not letting others feel as though they may fail but to create the best result they can produce.
In my experience integrating technology into classrooms the settings of high expectations means already having a solid groundwork of skills I expect that students and the teacher to possess. Technology in the core of the lesson or unit can be represented as software, tools or an interactive experience. When these components are integrated into the core lesson it becomes the mission of the teacher to engage students with the development of fluency using the tools and a product which is a result of the experience or these components. The level in which the learning environment is transformed by the engagement of students and acquisition of skills in purposeful expressive ways represents the range of outcomes and surpassing existing benchmarks and meeting high expectations.
I have always placed a high priority on high level interaction with technology and media. Each student must extract from the experience of using technology a beneficial experience, acquisition of a new tool or increased fluency of technology skills. Each experience must be designed to scaffold learning of known tools and have a meaningful impact on the negotiation of knowledge by the student.

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