EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

  • Mt.Everest-DoSomethingBig.jpg

    Have You Ever Wanted To Do Something Big?

    Eight thousand eight hundred and forty eight and it's go time. No time like the present. Rock, ice, wind in your face. Eyes squinting, hands frozen, toes freezing. Can't breathe, oxygen is low. It's called the death zone you know. Will you stay the course, carry on, go for broke? Behold Chomolungma, the Goddess Mother of the World. The grandest peak of them all. The pinnacle. The ultimate goal. Embrace it and you have endured it. Scale it and you have subjugated it. Conquer ...

    by Oskar Cymerman | @focus2achieve
    Thursday, 28 July 2016
  • stretching

    Teach the Whole Child to Reduce Student Stress

    Which has caused more stress among kids: the Great Depression or life today? According to a study cited in Brad Johnson’s book, Learning on Your Feet, five times as many students deal with stress, anxiety, and other mental issues compared to students during the Great Depression. If we really stop to think about that, we realize what an astonishing statement it is. Stress, of course, isn’t conducive to optimal learning or to a positive classroom environment. Brad believes incorporating physica ...

    by Rae Pica | @raepica1
    Thursday, 28 July 2016
  • green dragon

    Rethinking the Learning Space

    Over the years I have read and discussed learning environments with a wide variety of educators. Teachers bringing in flexible seating, balls, couches, and standing tables all to create an atmosphere in which kids can be comfortable and enjoy the learning process. Then something happened ... my Principal, Mr Sears (@JSAPrincipal), went to see Ron Clark and came back talking about his school and how the classrooms are themed ... different ... take on a life of their own.This got me thinkin ...

    by Dennis Dill @DennisDill
    Wednesday, 27 July 2016
  • You Get What You Expect

    You get what you expect in this world. That is a mantra that I live by, both with raising my children and overseeing students in my school. Having high expectations is paramount to student achievement, good behavior, teacher professionalism, and parent engagement. When I was the principal of a rural high school high in the mountains of Colorado I took a radical measure based upon my high expectations for all students. I raised the eligibility policy standards to proclaim that students could n ...

    by Cathy Beck @cathypetreebeck
    Tuesday, 26 July 2016
  • people woman coffee meeting

    Summer Strategies for Teaching Success

    Once the school year starts, there's hardly a moment to breathe. The pace of school life, particularly at the early-childhood and elementary levels, is marked by significant time-on-task with large numbers of children and tremendous responsibility for coaching, leading, and responding to students', families', and system-wide needs, expectations, questions, and requirements. Summer gives you the time to strategize for the year ahead, and as you strategize, it's good to think about the new and ...

    by Maureen Devlin @lookforsun
    Tuesday, 26 July 2016
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Recent blog posts
Posted by on in Leadership

Loving Recklessly

This post was co-written with Todd Nesloney. You can find his blog here.

The Way It May Seem 

It seems these days that you can’t turn on the tv, radio, or surf the web without bearing witness to another atrocity that has happened around the world.  Sometimes those events are far away and easy to disconnect from, yet sometimes they happen right in our backyard.

As more and more of these painful events have taken place, something began to happen in both of our own hearts and minds.  While talking on Voxer one afternoon, we realized how heavy recent events had been weighing on our hearts.  But even more so, the thought of love kept coming to mind.  Loving unconditionally appears reckless to a watching world.

Last modified on
Posted by on in Education Policy


I met Leslie Van Houghten. It's not something I often talk about. Tonight, it has resonance. There comes a time we must reach deeply into our hearts and souls and reflect on common truths.

Recent violent events in our country trouble us all. I know we wake up and wonder what's happening next to test our patience, unsettle us as a nation, try our core values as a collective people. We wonder how to help our children living in poverty, how to level the playing field and bring us together as a village of leaders and learners. Our Vision and Mission for safe, well fed, educated children is more important than ever before.

Before I was a Principal and Curriculum Consultant, for a number of years I worked in penal education. Just happened. Starting as High School English teacher, it was apparent too many kids couldn't read well, or at all. One thing led to another and there I was teaching Reading and getting my Masters in Reading. My thesis was on "delinquency" and the non-reading correlation. Paths go in circuitous routes sometimes.

I worked for Ariz. Corrections, youth and adult, Title I program for inmates under 21, then Calif. Department of Corrections, the real deal. I "walked the line" at Deuel Vocational Institution, taught with cell study teachers at San Quentin, visited all prisons at that time with under 21 year old inmates. Our hope was to catch young people with aspirations for a better life and provide intensive academics, in particular how to read.

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Posted by on in General


“Great leaders make all decisions based on the best people”. -Todd Whitaker

It's an exciting time of year for schools looking to hire the best and educators alike in search of their dream job. And even though we are heading into the final half of the hiring season, quality candidates and exceptional schools are still in interview mode. Having been both in the hot seat as an applicant and as part of numerous hiring committees, we would like to offer practical advice directly from our own experience for those in the hunt for the best job in the world, Teacher.

We want to start by pulling back the curtain and letting you in on an simple, yet important truth about hiring. Every interview represents the committee’s desire to hire only the very best for their students. You might be thinking, duh! But there’s a great deal of depth to this. School leaders understand these wise words by Jim Collins, "People are not your most important asset. The right people are." Administrators and hiring committees know that their numero uno objective is to hire only the very best, no excuses, and let’s face it, getting The Job at The School you want to be at is competitive.We hope these tips help give you an edge over other candidates and set you apart as The. Best. Candidate. Here goes!

Your Experience and Hustle is Your Best Resume

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Posted by on in Leadership

coaching personal

As I continue to share with others about my leadership philosophy and passion, I build on my focus in "Coaching Up Leaders".  I have given numerous presentations on this topic based on my experiences and learning over the years.  I've found that, regardless of the position you hold and vocation you are in, you always have the potential to coach others.



One effective strategy in my coaching model is: Coaching In.  Of the four strategies I talk about, this one gets the most interest and questions.  The art of Coaching In is for a leader to help another person to self reflect in order to arrive at his/her own understanding, idea, answer, or solution through questioning techniques.

Last modified on
Posted by on in Education Leadership


An advocate? Who? Me? I’m not THAT person. I’m not an eloquent public speaker. I’m uncomfortable sharing my thoughts and opinions with others I don’t know. The fear of saying something “wrong” keeps me quiet. The last thing in the world that I’d want to do is be in the media spotlight. I’m not an administrator. I’m not really involved in politics. I’m a classroom teacher. I’m not sure that I have anything valuable to share. And besides, who’d listen to me?

That was me and let’s be honest; it still is me in a few respects. This journey that I’m on is taking me way out of my comfort zone! It’s scary! I feel vulnerable. Why am I blogging and speaking out about the importance of being an advocate? Even more importantly, for the many educators who are like me, why you should break your silence too.

An advocate - a champion, supporter, backer, proponent, spokesperson, a person who publicly recommends or supports a particular cause or policy

I believe that there is not one great educator who isn’t ALREADY an advocate. There is not one great teacher who isn’t ALREADY a leader of their classroom.

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Tagged in: Action