EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

  • jump

    Jump Start Growth

    Recently, a mentor I respect greatly said something that deeply resonated with me. It was as if he said it just for me and me alone. He put words to something I often feel, but shrink away from admitting out loud. He declared, “I often feel weighed down by my own disappointment over my past failures to grow.” I thought to myself, “Yes… me too!” So often, I have such grand intentions about committing to growth in the form of stacks of enticing leadership books to read, professional jo ...

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    by Heidi Veal @VealHeidi
    Monday, 08 February 2016
  • LifeLearn

    Great Divide: What does high school prepare kids for?

    High school classrooms offer learning targets and reminders. The room littered with informational facts that inspire and create connections throughout the year. A word wall with prior, current and future learning keeps an eye on where we start and where we are going. How many people have seen a college classroom or job cubicle look like this? Rereading this older post from sometime in 2013, I'm reminded of how I got to the current belief system I have. What a great reminder of each step. Chec ...

    by Starr Sackstein | @MsSackstein
    Sunday, 07 February 2016
  • shareasimage 15

    White Man. Black Boy.

    Can you come with me please? We walk down the hallway and step into my office. I close the door. Have a seat please. And then we sit across from another. White man. Black boy. Oftentimes coming from and living in two completely different worlds. Does this matter? Is it significant? I think the answer to both questions is a resounding Yes. But what choice do we have? I am a 45 year-old white elementary school assistant principal serving predominantly African American children. As is the ...

    by Jon Harper / @Jonharper70bd
    Saturday, 06 February 2016
  • sarcasm

    My Biggest Regret as a Teacher

    In June 2014 I officially left my job as a fourth grade teacher, and the classroom, to become an administrator. Since joining the dark side, I continuously ask myself what I could have and should have done differently for my students. While some of my previous work – such as this post on grading – has focused on how my teaching could have been enhanced, my biggest regret really has nothing to do with actual instruction. My Regret This quote by Todd Whitaker from What Great Principals Do Dif ...

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    by Ross Cooper | @RossCoops31
    Saturday, 06 February 2016
  • Wallpaper

    Wallpaper at Home and at School

    During the 22-inch dropping blizzard of 2016, I was cooking, cleaning, tending to my babies, and even spruce up my 'man cave' in the garage. In the midst of cleaning, I found wallpaper. I could not help but to think of all of the horror stories my mother use to share with me about the horrors of wallpaper. She was adamant about doing all of the home decorating, but anytime wallpaper came into play, I ran for the hills. Wallpaper covers up a lot. It can look pretty to the hanger, ugly to the sp ...

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    by Jay Eitner @iSuperEit
    Friday, 05 February 2016
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Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Professional Development

jump

Recently, a mentor I respect greatly said something that deeply resonated with me. It was as if he said it just for me and me alone. He put words to something I often feel, but shrink away from admitting out loud. He declared, “I often feel weighed down by my own disappointment over my past failures to grow.” I thought to myself, “Yes… me too!” So often, I have such grand intentions about committing to growth in the form of stacks of enticing leadership books to read, professional journals to digest, podcasts to explore, and past professional learning experiences to revisit.

As I thought about my mentor's admission, I was reminded of this truth: Past disappointments don’t determine future outcomes. Anything is possible if I want to change! Andy Stanley wrote about truths associated with change in his book The Principle of the Path. Mr. Stanley explained, “To get from where we don’t want to be to where we do want to be requires two things: time and a change of direction.”  

b2ap3_thumbnail_trailsadventure.com-1.png

As I continued to reflect on these ideas about change, I was inspired to brainstorm a plan to jump start my own growth and came up with the steps below. I hope these steps may help you on your own journey towards continual personal and professional growth!

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Posted by on in School Culture

LifeLearn

High school classrooms offer learning targets and reminders. The room littered with informational facts that inspire and create connections throughout the year. A word wall with prior, current and future learning keeps an eye on where we start and where we are going. How many people have seen a college classroom or job cubicle look like this?
High school classrooms offer learning targets and reminders. The room littered with informational facts that inspire and create connections throughout the year. A word wall with prior, current and future learning keeps an eye on where we start and where we are going. How many people have seen a college classroom or job cubicle look like this?

Rereading this older post from sometime in 2013, I'm reminded of how I got to the current belief system I have. What a great reminder of each step. Check this out and try to see the steps of what got me here. The below post originally ran on April 4, 2013. 

Let the transformation begin.

Last night I diligently lurked on a chat about grading practices. Although I agreed and practice many of the theories espoused, inside an irksome voice lingered.

One brave soul, a person I correspond with on Twitter frequently asked, "where do we draw the line?" Referring to how many opportunities we should give without some kind of negative consequence. I tentatively began to type a response only to be beaten to it by a barrage of aggressive comments about learning and how giving grade reductions or zeros give students the right to not do the work.

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Posted by on in Leadership

sarcasm

In June 2014 I officially left my job as a fourth grade teacher, and the classroom, to become an administrator. Since joining the dark side, I continuously ask myself what I could have and should have done differently for my students.

While some of my previous work – such as this post on grading – has focused on how my teaching could have been enhanced, my biggest regret really has nothing to do with actual instruction.

My Regret

This quote by Todd Whitaker from What Great Principals Do Differently beautifully sums up the one change I wish I had made above all else:

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Posted by on in School Culture

Wallpaper

During the 22-inch dropping blizzard of 2016, I was cooking, cleaning, tending to my babies, and even spruce up my 'man cave' in the garage. In the midst of cleaning, I found wallpaper. I could not help but to think of all of the horror stories my mother use to share with me about the horrors of wallpaper. She was adamant about doing all of the home decorating, but anytime wallpaper came into play, I ran for the hills. Wallpaper covers up a lot. It can look pretty to the hanger, ugly to the spectator, and even come off as crummy for some who live in the house. Eventually, it does start to peel. What normally happens when it beings to peel? We ignore it. We ignore it until it becomes problematic. Then we try to quick fix it. The same can go for a school.

When I started in a new District a few years ago, I was given very specific marching orders by the Board that the past was in the past and we don't look at the past. I saluted. When I spoke to staff, it was the same story on how much they did not care for their leader; most wanted to move onward and forget the past. It was like placing wallpaper up on an old wall. I made a new website, pumped folks up with positivity, and went full throttle. I even made a new website. Wallpaper on the old wall. 

Looking back now, I see a new website, new positivity, and a showing of being "united". Looks great, but truth be told, it's more wallpaper on the old wall. I hope the wallpaper stays, and the new handyman has the ability to patch up holes in the wallpaper when it becomes present. Something very beneficial for the new handyman - the new handyman and the former handymen (plural) talk. A lot. In the meantime, enjoy the new wallpaper. It's very pretty to look at; after a couple weeks, the handyman will start seeing what it was covering up. And then the handyman, with the help of former handymen, will get to work. Stay safe out there.

 

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Posted by on in General

They

In the past couple of weeks, the dorkiest subsegments of the twitterverse, the blogosphere, and various other social interwebs have erupted with news of singular they. In December the Washington Post made their own headlines by adding  singular they to their style guide. Then last week, the folks at the American Dialect Society went a step further, naming singular they their word of the year. The selection was reported by the Washington Post, The New York Times, TIME, NPR, Slate, The Economist, and of course the Kilgore News Herald

If you’re saying to yourself, Wait, I coulda sworn the word of the year was b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2016-02-05-at-8.18.38-AM.png , you're not totally crazy. It seems that a number of organizations have recognized that word of the year announcements have the potential to go viral, resulting in a profusion of words of the year. But it's the ADS WOTY that goes back furthest and carries the most clout, and their selection was singular they. 

The SNOOTs Protest!

Now it might not surprise you that certain subsubsegments or the dorkiest subsegments of the Internet are none too happy with this decision; singular they has peeved language SNOOTs for pretty much ever in sentences like, I don’t know who is responsible, but they will face the consequences.Prescriptively, if you needed a generic third person singular pronoun, he was your andro-normative go-to, as in When each guest arrives, he should sign in. Everyone’s favorite prescriptivists, Strunk and White, put it thusly: “The use of he as pronoun for nouns embracing both genders is a simple, practical convention rooted in the beginnings of the English language.” Other common options were he or she and s/he but these have a certain clunkiness that kept them from catching on. Those among us who wanted to put in a good faith effort would try to mix in a generic she from time to time.

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