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Aaron Hogan  @aaron_hogan

Aaron Hogan @aaron_hogan

Aaron Hogan is a high school assistant principal in College Station, TX. Prior to serving in this position, he taught high school English. Throughout his teaching career, he enjoyed the rewards and challenges of teaching both struggling and high achieving students. As an assistant principal, he values asking great questions. In addition, Aaron especially enjoys talking through the intricacies of great classroom instruction, the benefits of social and emotional learning, and the value of teaching students to embrace risks in their learning.

Posted by on in Professional Development

socialmedia

There’s a lot of talk these days about how worthwhile it is to be a connected educator. I’m one of those people doing that talking. I’m trying me best to be out there doing what I can to help people get connected. Odds are, you are, too. I might even be a nuisance to some people about it, but there’s good reason for that. Here’s why—There’s nothing that I’ve done that has had a bigger impact on me as a professional than getting connected online.

It’s not hard to find these crusaders for the professional growth online. The “Why get on Twitter?” message is pretty powerful, but the “How to get on Twitter” conversation is often oversimplified (or nearly neglected). Jump on Twitter, find a few educators, and let the magic happen, right?

Well, sometimes it’s not that simple.

The truth is that I jumped on Twitter in 2009 and proceeded to do nothing with it for 5 years.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

callOffice

It's May. While all eyes turn to the end of the year, I think it's time we start counting up some of the end of year conversations we need to have before summer starts and we're not seeing our students each day.

I've written before about my belief that we are wired up so that things outside us tell us who we are (here's the link if you're interested). That's neither good nor bad; for me, it's reality. Without getting into the whole logic behind it and whether or not that sits well with you, I don't think it's a stretch to say there is great value in speaking truth into the lives of our students.

My role as a assistant principal puts me in conversations with many students who have failed to meet expectations. I realized late last week though that a student who I visited with quite frequently last school year had a reasonably good fall and a fantastic spring semester. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was time to call him to the office for a different sort of conversation.

This student is the one who is nearly unrecognizable from himself last year. He's turned it around in terms of behavior, and that's led to him being a totally different academic student. Here's what he'll hear from me:

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Posted by on in Assessment & Grading

GradesChange

A few weeks ago, a teacher shared with me a question his had given to his students. He asked them,

“If you had the choice for your next grade, would you choose an 88 that you really worked hard for and learned something to earn or 95 where you won’t remember anything after the grade and didn’t learn throughout the process?”

I love the question. Both the question itself and the thoughts I have about the implications of either choice are fascinating to me.

Not surprisingly, many students opted for the 95. They are sophomores in high school, and with a few weeks to go until spring break, I can understand the allure of some free points.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

vulnerable

There’s a lot of buzz in education right now about vulnerability. Many are talking about how it impacts leaders and their ability to connect with others, and more are talking about the trust that’s required for school wide risk taking to become a reality.

If you ask me, we’re starting the right conversations.

One of my favorite lines that I’ve come across as I’ve navigated the vulnerability/risk taking conversation is by Brené Brown. From her perspective (and more and more, I’m becoming a believer and adopting this mindset as well), “Vulnerability is not weakness, rather it is our most accurate measurement of courage and the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”

Hers is a pretty bold claim. Think about what’s really at stake in that line. She’s saying that three of those things that seem non-negotiable for student success–innovation, creativity, and change–they’re an impossibility without embracing vulnerability.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

A LESSON FROM 5TH GRADE PE

I can’t remember much from 5th grade PE, but one day is as clear as can be.

On the day that I remember well, our PE teachers had us run and run and run for the first half of class (and I ran more than most as running was my thing). Once we were basically worn flat out, the coaches used the second half of class to drive home a point about the value of taking care of yourself. They gave each student a straw and told us to run until they blew the whistle. So I’m running, running, running and getting pretty tired. Finally the whistle blows and I think I’m going to get some reprieve when they give us our instructions: we are only to catch our breath through the straw we’ve been given.

As it turns out, that’s nearly impossible for a bunch of exhausted 5th graders. I cheated (because there was no way I was going to admit I couldn’t). I could hardly breathe.

My PE teacher went on to connect this to why folks with emphysema experienced exhaustion so quickly. I have no idea how accurate a comparison this is, but for the first time, 11 year old me understood that this was why my grandmother always needed to take breaks while we were playing.

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