Jacinda Ardern became the youngest prime minister of New Zealand and then shortly tested as the country’s leader with moments of internal crisis and a global pandemic. Ardern is consistently praised by colleagues and the media for displaying emotional intelligence, especially empathy, and be an effective communicator. Ardern’s leadership development is bolstered by her conscientious … Continue reading Jacinda Ardern: An Authentic and Transformational Leader
My grandmother and mother both used figurative language more than the average person and beyond colloquialism. In this way, they were like characters penned by Mark Twain. As a child, this was humorous for me and seemed a fun way to talk. They would say things like “She is getting long in the tooth,” when … Continue reading “Everybody has two sticks.”
During this time of remote learning for our students, I hope school leaders take to heart these insights and are moved to change our schools for the better. There are gross inequalities in the opportunities for our students and we need to aggressively narrow the gap. Access to the internet is one that needs to … Continue reading What I Hope School Leaders Learn from Remote Learning
The shift to remote learning presents challenges to students, teachers, and parents. Like many teachers, I have learned to use more technology in the classroom even with success of a blended approach. Still, when the time to move the learning entirely online arrived I was left scrambling like many colleagues. Here is the learning project … Continue reading Our best remote learning, and why it worked.
It is odd to hear public education leaders speak about moving focus to learner-centered or student-centered models in our schools. You would think that would have always been the focus, but somewhere we got off track. With policies to “leave no child left behind,” we double-downed on the target of getting all students to the … Continue reading Curriculum: a path of learning
One challenge of leaders is to sort through symptoms and causes to find the real problems an organization faces. The community will struggle to treat the symptoms or employ the wrong solutions until it is correctly identified and remedied. This video looks at a case study from a school district to help sort through the … Continue reading Symptoms, causes, and real problems
I enjoy conferences. Keynote speakers are inspiring, sessions are insightful, and conversations with passionate people share our purpose. Conferences can also get in the way of change. Going to conferences, quoting speakers, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, sharing research can all become ritualized behavior. It can even be like neurotic behaviors, repetitive and overt, alleviating … Continue reading Conferences can also get in the way of change.
Happiness workshops and growth mindset training for teachers are on the rise. These are neurotic behaviors in effort to soothe teachers’ anxiety. We are treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause. Don’t worry about making your teachers happy. Instead, do this: Give teachers a viable salary. Eliminate stressors of paying bills, working multiple jobs, and … Continue reading Don’t Worry About Making Teachers Happy
Years ago Saturday Night Live shared a brilliant commercial parody for robot insurance to protect seniors from the attacks of robots wanting their medicine for fuel. Actor Sam Waterston authoritatively warns, “You need to feel safe, and that is harder and harder to do now-a-days because robots can strike at any time.” There is enough … Continue reading Our students need robot insurance.
There is a good chance they already are using it or something like it. Teacher Pay Teachers has been in business since 2006 and tout around 4 million users. Before that, teacher blogs offered up lesson plans that colleagues outside their district could access. Now there is a growing swell of using Open Edcuational Resources … Continue reading Are your teachers using Teacher Pay Teachers and does it matter?
Many have pointed out how Star Trek predicts or shapes our use of technology. As our standardized test fetishization grew, computers become more accessible, and software became more complex, I worried that schools would become like the Vulcan academy. Students thrust through the standards at different paces and depth levels, while teachers become more like … Continue reading Personalized learning, “You keep using that word…”
This time of year valedictorians take center stage and often make boring speeches. More and more schools are doing away with the honor like this recent Indiana school. “Next year, Noblesville will become the latest district in Hamilton County to ditch the traditional ranking system in an attempt to refocus high-performing students on bettering themselves, not competing … Continue reading Why I don’t want my daughter to be valedictorian