September 2018 

A Good Boss

by Amber Phillips

School Climate Specialist



On July 24, I had the opportunity to meet with secondary teachers in the McDuffie County School District. It was an outstanding group of new and experienced educators who were excited about the coming school year. We spent a little time discussing the qualities of a good boss and how having a boss with these qualities could potentially impact our motivation and performance at work. The qualities of a good boss they listed included being compassionate, positive, kind, patient, flexible, empathetic, engaging, motivating, approachable, open to suggestions, supportive, genuine, and being a good listener. After a brief discussion in small groups, all the qualities listed for a good boss were determined to be applicable descriptions of a good teacher. 

Patrick Lencioni writes about the three causes of job misery in his book, The Truth About Employee Engagement. First, human beings need to be understood and appreciated for their unique qualities by someone in authority. Second, everyone needs to know their job matters to someone (221). Third, people need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution. Motivation will deteriorate if people see themselves as unable to control their fate (222). We asked ourselves, if being known, knowing that our work matters, and being able to measure our progress were important to avoid job misery as an adult, how does this relate to our role as a classroom teacher? The overwhelming response from our group was a belief in the connection between the needs of employees in the workplace and the students in the classroom. 

If we want to build a positive school culture, decrease discipline referrals, and keep students engaged in learning, we need teachers and school leaders who are committed to being good bosses. Zaretta Hammond writes, “Neuroscience tells us the brain feels safest and relaxed when we are connected to others we trust to treat us well” (73). When students feel safe and valued in a well-managed classroom led by a caring adult, they can focus their energy on learning without distraction. In Better than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management, the authors point out, “When students have strong, trusting relationships both with adults in the school and with their peers, and when their lessons are interesting and relevant, it’s harder for them to misbehave” (Smith et al. 2-3). Recognizing student progress and success are important to this process of building trust. Just like adults, students find motivation when their leader believes in them, values their contribution, and recognizes their achievements. With this in mind, let’s make it our goal to create positive work environments in our schools by giving our students the kind of support we all need to be successful.    

Lencioni, Patrick.  The Truth about Employee Engagement: a Fable about 
         Addressing the
Three Root Causes of Job Misery. Jossey-Bass, Wiley, 2016 . 


Hammond, Zaretta, and Yvette Jackson. Culturally Responsive Teaching
          and the  Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and
Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin, a SAGE Company, 2015.


Smith, Dominique, et al. Better than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive  
        Classroom Management
. ASCD, 2015.

Join us in welcoming Connie Ryals to CSRA RESA

I am very excited to join the CSRA RESA team as the Regional Wraparound Service Coordinator for the 2018-2019 school year. The purpose of this position is to provide a regional approach to wraparound services to help eliminate barriers to student learning in school districts with identified schools. These services include Community Resources, Student Behavior and Prevention, Academic Support and Prevention, and College and Career Support.

It is my passion as an educator, to partner with districts, schools and community organizations to help create the support that enables students to learn and succeed, and families to thrive.

Before coming to RESA, I spent the last 31 years as a teacher, assistant principal, district consultant, and principal. Throughout my career one of the most important aspects of success was developing a culture of trust and respect, built on relationships. Relationships with students, staff, and community members create an irresistible environment where interactions are positive, students are successful, and the community is involved.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve the local and school communities and districts within the CSRA RESA and I look forward to an amazing year. Please feel free to contact me at Cryals@csraresa.org.

the Teacher's Voice

Music-Minded Technology 


Danielle Starcher
Starting my fifteenth year of teaching, I can definitely proclaim my teaching styles and strategies have changed and grown over the years. One of the areas where it is most evident is technology use and application. Before we dive into all of the technology goodies on the menu, allow me to introduce myself. 

My name is Danielle Starcher and I am the music specialist at River Ridge Elementary. The students at River Ridge come to music once every six days. At River Ridge, the students are very fortunate to have multiple opportunities to use technology including an iPad cart that is shared between the music and art departments. 

In addition, all students in Columbia County have a student google account. This is imperative for some of the items on the technology menu. As with most things in education, not all items will work in every situation. Like a teacher once told me: “With some things, you have to approach it like you eat fish...eat the meat and take out the bones.” My hope is something on this menu will ignite creativity, inspire motivation, or simply make life a little easier.

Media Specialist PLC
You are invited to join Media Specialists from the CSRA and beyond for a day of discovering, creating, and learning! 

September 26, 2018
8:30 - 3:00
4683 Augusta Highway SE
Dearing, GA 30808

Leigha Burnham, Media and Technology Specialist, will be here with us for a half day of STEM in the Library. The afternoon session will be a time for grade level collaboration and planning. The March 2018 pictures convey how valuable the collaboration time is to those who attend.

Professional Learning Courses

Upcoming Courses at CSRA RESA
    • September 11 - Math PLC for Grades K-2
    • September 18 - Pairing Passages for Fiction and Nonfiction (ELA) and Map and Globe Skills Workshop (SS)
    • September 26 - Media Specialist PLC 
    • October 2 - The Four Ps: Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Puppets, PreK-2nd Grade

    • October 4 - Using Formative Assessment to Inform Instruction 
    • October 11 - Using Vocabulary to Increase Literacy in Science Grades 4-12
    • October 16 - Improving Reading Comprehension by Understanding Text Structure
    • October 23 - Narrative Writing in the Social Studies Classroom at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum
For more information and to register for courses, please  click here.

Math Updates

Math PLCs – at CSRA RESA and Swainsboro High School

This hands-on workshop focuses on increasing rigor in instruction and building conceptual understanding. Participants will closely examine the Georgia Standards of Excellence and the Standards of Mathematical Practices to understand their intent and to effectively utilize them in planning, instruction, and assessment. The participants will investigate effective instructional practices (from NCTM’s Principles to Actions) to help increase rigor and conceptual understanding in their classrooms. Participants are asked to bring a lesson plan to use and modify during the session OR they can create one during the session.

Grades K-2

September 11, 2018 at CSRA RESA

September 12, 2018 at Swainsboro High School


Grades 3-5

October 30, 2018 at CSRA RESA

October 31, 2018 at Swainsboro High School


Grades 6-8

January 22, 2019 at CSRA RESA

January 23, 2019 at Swainsboro High School


Grades 9-12

March 5, 2019 at CSRA RESA

March 6, 2019 at Swainsboro High School

59th Annual GA Mathematics Conference
October 17-19, 2018
Rock Eagle 4-H Center

Click the image below for more information and to register!
Investigate and Examine our
GSE Science Lesson Library

Social Studies
Please take a few minutes to see what CSRA RESA Social Studies is offering in the coming month!

  • Join us September 18th at CSRA RESA!  This session will focus on the Map and Globe Skills found in the Social Studies Matrices. Instructional activities and resources will be shared with participants focusing on resources that can be accessed for FREE on Discovery Education and PBS Learning Media. Participants will leave with resources and lessons aligned with the GSE and the SS Matrices. Lunch will be provided.
  • To receive daily updates, resources, and news important to K-12 Social Studies in our area, please follow me on: 

                 Facebook:  @csrasocialstudies
                 Twitter:  @teachSScsra

submitted by Crystal Parten

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