EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

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    Sweat The Small Stuff To Find Your Teaching Zen

    Hey, I have a story for you today. It's about what happened in my 6th period Chemistry class today. 6th period is the very last of the day at our school, which is ideal for teaching abstract chemistry concepts. Especially today, because the temps hit 80s and all my shorts-and-T-shirt-clad students really wanted to be there. What could be better on a warm sunny Monday when you are well rested, because the weekend afforded you the opportunity to catch up on all that sleep you missed the week ...

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    by Oskar Cymerman | @focus2achieve
    Friday, 27 May 2016
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    I Slipped, But I'm Back Up

    It really shouldn’t be that big a deal, but it has been for the past three summers. And recently it has taken away too much of my positive energy. You see I am currently a vice principal, and for the past three summers this has been the time of year when I have been anxiously awaiting to hear if I will become a principal. This year I did not even get an interview. It should not have bothered me so much because there weren’t even any openings in the counties to which I applied. And before you ...

    by Jon Harper / @Jonharper70bd
    Thursday, 26 May 2016
  • Retirement Row

    If you couldn't tell, I am pretty passionate about my job and educating kids for today's society. I've made numerous controversial comments about how people should retire if they hate their teaching job because it effects kids. Why is this such a thing for me? A couple reasons: Back when my grandfather was a police officer, he worked in the traffic bureau before he retired. I asked him one day what he does; he said he hangs out on "retirement row". Clueless as to what that meant, I ...

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    by Jay Eitner @iSuperEit
    Wednesday, 25 May 2016
  • What Do I Fix Next

    Every top teacher that I know can tell you what their Worst Thing is. The good-bad teacher model that's constantly being used as a basis for policy proposals-- it's nuts. In that universe, teachers are good or bad. Put a bad teacher in a classroom, and education withers and dies as students fail to thrive. Put a great teacher (or an "effective teacher") in a classroom, and test scores fly upward and a thousand learning moments bloom. If you're a teacher, you're good or bad, and when you step ...

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    by Peter Greene @palan57
    Wednesday, 25 May 2016
  • popplet

    Popplet

    What kind of learner are you? Are you auditory, visual, or kinesthetic? Different learning styles require different teaching and learning strategies in order for students to achieve deep learning. Furthermore, there are times where I need my students to visualize a concept in order to truly grasp it.  I can show them a graphic organizer... But I know it'll go "poof" the next day because they didn't actually construct it.  Or I can have them draw it... But I know that my slow learne ...

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    by Salwa Ghandour
    Tuesday, 24 May 2016
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Posted by on in Early Childhood

make believe

I noticed my 2 1/2 year old walking around the back yard the other day with a small rectangular rock nestled in the palm of his hand.  I watched him excitedly moved it around as he energetically bounded around the lawn, obviously in his own world.  I wondered where his imagination had taken him.  Then I heard the giveaway:  “Boop! Boop!”  He was holding the rock out, extending his arm toward a ride along car in the yard. “My boop-boop!”  He said as he looked up with a huge grin of satisfaction, having clearly just set the alarm on his toy car with his own personal key fob.

I’ll admit that I was pretty excited too.  This type of symbolic play — where an object represents something else — may seem like inconsequential play to some, but it is actually a hallmark of pre-literacy.

Whenever a person reads, they’re scanning across a series of symbols.  Together, those symbols make words, and those words carry ideas.  But what we actually see or hold is very different that what is going on in our minds.  When children play pretend, they are making this same cerebral leap.  A block can be a phone.  A rag can be a baby.  A rock can be a key fob.

And marks on a page can be a story.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

ProblemSolving_20160506-143808_1.jpg

The last parent-teacher conference of the year happened last night and while the event I am about to describe did not happen yesterday, seeing the parents reminded me of a father of a student who struggled through my chemistry class 3 years ago, asking me for a method allowing his daughter to quickly "get" chemistry. Unfortunately, I had to tell him that a hack that allows one to instantly become a chemistry genius just does not exist. And though I happen to be a mainly left-brained (and working on my right-brain consciousness) science and engineering teacher, I will venture out of my zone of expertise here and claim that no such hacks exist for any school subject, or life skill, or professional craft.

The truth is that is takes work to become good at something; even more work to become great at it; and a ton more work to become excellent and maintain excellence at any one thing. Therefore, the right approach is needed and it involves problem solving. But, what is the right approach to solving a problem? I believe that becoming an effective problem solver involves asking 3 key questions: What Can I Do?, What Can I Read?, and Who Can I Ask?, seeking answers to these questions, and taking action once you have your answers. 

To Solve a Problem, Ask Yourself: What Can I Do?

A student came up to my desk recently and told me that he does not understand the material we are working on in class at the moment. When I asked what it is he does not get, I received the standard reply: Everything.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

stencil.twitter post 81

Prologue.

My husband was a great dancer. I had trouble following him. It took awhile. I was a leader for so long and teaching leaders, I forgot how to follow. It takes two to Tango. We need each other for the greater good, serving children. By leading and following each other, a school filled-with leaders, shared leadership, at its finest, we nurture joy, wonder and determine new world educational destiny. 

Organizational insights from researchers with empirical support including Senge, Deming, Garmston and many others point to the critical role of shared decision-making in a high achieving school.

What is a great school, anyway? Yours! Brand and shout it out. Stick with that brand. 

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Posted by on in What If?

stencil.twitter post 66

SIMPLE TRUTH:

The power of a teacher is truly known when we allow a child to be truly known

 

RESEARCH TELLS US:

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

2-benches.jpg

One of my favorite websites is unsplash.com. It is breathtaking. I have perused the collection of photos numerous times and the one above is without a doubt my favorite. I do not have words to explain why. It just is.

Maybe it is because I like to imagine myself sitting on one of the benches. Reading my favorite paperback while sipping on a latte from a local cafe. Comfortable, because I am wearing jeans, a hoodie and some tennis shoes. Relaxed, because I have absolutely nowhere to be and absolutely nothing to do.

And yet I can’t help but wonder if inserting myself in the photo would lessen its beauty. Should I keep my distance? I will make every effort not to disturb or alter. I must. Beauty like that which is seen in the photo above is precious and must be treated as such. I will be careful.

A careful observer might not even notice me if the photo were to be retaken.

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