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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Action research project steps to success!!!

 Action Research Project
Process overview
All of the following steps correspond to the Harris et al. text, but also addresses aspects of the Dana text as noted.

1.      Examining the work: Setting the Foundation – in other words, identifying needs or topics for action research and this may emerge from the Site Based Decision Making Committee, or from needs like those identified in your intern plan.
My action research inquiry is very important because of the rigors demands the LPAC framework. Last year we had many teachers volunteer to become ESL certified. Many of them are currently now certified but do not know the first thing about the LPAC Manuel or how to use the resources available. They have had no formal training and are not familiar with the LPAC framework at all. Having a yearly refresher course and or an introduction course would be beneficial in many ways:

1. The LPAC committee members need necessary training to carry out responsibilities.
2. The instructional and support programs available to the students.
3. The timelines and meetings and documentation.
4. The decision –making process that needs to be followed at meetings.
5. The need to maintain confidentiality and respect for the student’s language and culture.
2.      Analyzing data – you have had many opportunities to do this, and you  examined at least 9 data gathering strategies from your text in Part 2 of this week’s assignments
Staff development
In what ways can me as a principal help facilitate the professional growth of the teachers within my building through engagement in action research? And How can the process of teacher research become a part of my teacher’ professional development plans?
Staff development is an important area for research in schools since according to Roland Barth (1981): Nothing within a school has more impact upon students in terms of skills development, self-confidence, or classroom behavior than the personal and professional growth of their teachers. When teachers examine questions, reflect on their ideas and develop new practices that lead towards their ideas, students are alive. I truly believe that if teachers stop growing, so do their students.

3.      Developing deeper understanding – these are additional data collection techniques, as well as, examining qualitative data through active listening, focus groups, etc.
My research inquiry stems from the growing number of LEP students in the Texas public school system. ESL certified staff needs to understand the importance of their title and expectations. My district recently has had to implement a bilingual program and uses an ESL pullout system. We are changing in demographics and staff members are not prepared to meet the LPAC framework requirements. It is a lot for a new ESL teacher to learn on his/her own. The manual is extensive and changes yearly. I believe that if I teach them and make them familiar with the manual they will become more comfortable with the LPAC manual. I believe that I am creating foundation for them to begin their journey into what it truly is to be a certified ESL teacher.

4.      Engaging in Self-Reflection – this summarizes much of what you have been doing in this course, and throughout the program, beginning with your many self-assessments of leadership in EDLD 5311
Reflecting back on my self-assessment of leadership in my EDLD 5311 class I have learned the importance of leadership.  A good aspect of a principal is to be a good leader and always find staff developments that will help in any way to teachers in the classroom and keep them happy and motivated which it will help on staff retention. I now see the correlation between myself assessment and the classes that I will be taking throughout my internship. For example, my self assessment I scored high priority on three of the ten duties. Lead Evaluation of Instruction, Perform Staff related Administration Duties, and Perform Budgetary and Other Administrative duties were all high priority for me. I think these duties were a high priority for me because I have very little hands on experience completing them and do not know all the ins and outs. However throughout my internship I will expand my knowledge and be more confident in the principal domains. In addition, According to Dr. Timothy superintendent of Beaumont ISD suggest for administrators and teachers to never stop learning and look for professional developments that interest you. He also states that if you re brown you will died and if you green you will grow.  I also, learned that the following are items to consider when planning on doing inquiry research since we deal with them daily in our schools.
1.      Staff development
2.      Curriculum development
3.      Individual teacher(s)
4.      Individual student(s)
5.      School culture/community
6.      Leadership
7.      Management
8.      School performance
9.      Social justice or equity issues
According to the Danna Text Staff development is crucial on the daily tasks of a principal. Principals need to find ways to motivate and keep teachers and staff alive. Offering Professional developments that engage teachers, finding topics that can easily relate to the daily issues involved in a classroom. I believe that to be an administrator is not an easy task. However, I am looking forward for upcoming challenges in my future administrative career. My research will be focus on Staff Development since I saw many opportunities to train and get my ESL teachers up to date with LPAC procedures (Language Proficiency Assessment Committee.) I truly believe I have the skill to develop this research project.

5.      Exploring Programmatic Patterns – This includes asking the appropriate questions, identifying data patterns and gaps, and learning to address equity issues.
Currently there is no actual in-service dedicated to the LPAC manual guidelines. We also have 11 new certified ESL teachers with very little or no experience with the LPAC manual framework. I presently have volunteered to create and agenda and have an afterschool in-service that is voluntary in nature for those ESL new certified teachers who would like to attend on their own time with no stipend or incentive. This may become a problem because many may feel like they do not wish to spend their own personnel time. The school/district does not have the resources to give the teachers a stipend or monetary incentive. If enough teachers attend the in-service has a great possibility of being very successful. Using the LPAC manual, the past in-services I have attended thru region 5, and 7 years of implementing the LPAC manual framework first hand will allow me to be a knowledge presenter for those that have never been exposed to the LPAC manual and is framework/requirements. If the ESL certified staff attends they will become more familiar and be more comfortable with the LPAC framework as mi inquiry predicts.

6.      Determining direction – Working collaboratively to address action research questions, monitoring progress, and assessing achievement
a.       How can our school help make all the new ESL certified teachers more comfortable with the LPAC Manuel framework?
b.      The skill and resources needed are able to be acquired following state guidelines and the LPAC manual I will be able to accomplish the training to ESL certified staff. Because I am a state certified bilingual teacher and have 7 years of experience and update training over the LPAC framework I have the necessary resources and knowledge to train others.
c.       I will be collaborating with my colleges and site supervisor to motivate ESL teacher to come to the in-service using their own time. Flyers, emails, and possible instructional conversations will take place to insure attendance.
d.      I currently have allowed for a voluntary in-service at the end of the year and a follow up at the begging of next year if needed. This will allow me sufficient time to record my final concluding results.
e.       I have used tool 7.1 from the Harris textbook to organize my thoughts and actions to carry out my in-service. I will be able to evaluate and check off the activities as they are presented and accomplished.
f.        Evaluations will be presented to the ESL teachers who attend. The evaluations will evaluate the amount of knowledge they learned and my skills as a presenter. The ESL certified staff will also be given a short assessment to assess their knowledge they learned.
g.       I may have to complete a follow up in-service to make sure that all ESL staff was comfortable with the information given to them. Other activities or in-services may have to follow due to the LPAC manual changing yearly.

7.      Taking action for school improvement – Using appropriate steps or templates like the SIP or PIP Plan of action to guide the action research
Since our school District is small in my campus we only have two bilingual certify teachers and 11 ESL certified teachers. Our LPAC committee is formed with the following personnel:  site supervisor, assistant principal, a student parent in our program Bilingual Teacher, and me. Our committee will make sure to follow state and District guidelines.
Using the template provided in the Harris text I have created a detailed plan of action that is broken down into steps for my research inquiry question and its success.

8.      Sustaining improvement – Learning to use the tools of action research as an on-going process for professional development and school improvement.
Throughout my research I will be available to answer questions and will hold a training session in the month of March to get the ESL teachers familiar with the LPAC forms and regulations. I will follow training sessions thought the year to provide state and district updates. I truly believe that having and open training session for questions and answers will help and benefit the understanding of the LPAC manual. If I am able to motivate the ESL teachers to attend I will be able to explain to them the importance of continuing their exposure to the LPAC manual framework. Their certified ESL title is an asset in today’s growing LEP student rate.

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