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Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

Are you kidding me? Hard to believe. We saw the photos of the polar vortex. Brrrr.

Gorgeous ice formations, but feh! The havoc wreaked, maybe not over yet. Time will tell what Mother Nature has in store with her fickle surprises lately.

Looked like a disaster movie, maybe the one with Dennis Quaid, Day After Tomorrow, where the kids ended up burning books in the library to stay warm. But they were saved in the end. Happy ending, reunion. I like happy endings. I'm not so sure this story about the hockey game has a happy ending. Let me know what you think about the whole fiasco. Oops, meant to, well, sort of, hold back my opinion. Here goes.

Oh boy, call me crazy! And the best part of this story is, well not gonna' tell you. Just a quick read here to find out!

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Debunked.  It's true. Learning styles theory has been thoroughly debunked. 

Kaput. Put out to pasture. At least for now. Things come and go in education, that pendulum swings mightily, but right now, gone or going fast. And for those teachers and administrators who still believe in styles based pedagogy, common to the core no more.

I just don't get it. Tonight after another crazy busy day, I am writing to you, instead of watching Netflix, almost anything would be ok tonight. This is my second night working on this blog. I thought I would knock it out in a couple hours yesterday. I thought about it for a week. I planned to give you a bunch of thoughts based on my fervent beliefs in the concepts of learning styles and a bit of multiple intelligences theory. That was then.

It's not like you don't know all this, or much of this, or have distinct opinions. It's also not my goal to convince you of anything, simply to add a bit to the discussion. I read, as I did a little 'debunking', 2018 research, that about 90 percent of teachers believe in the idea of learning styles or preferences. That's a lot of believers.

If that is accurate, then, along with the '80's and '90's self-esteem movement, the notion that everybody has a distinct learning style naturally leading to academic success, made sense. Not so easy to correlate preferences and success. Not anymore. Not with brain research more updated due to, among other things, MRI imaging. 

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Just my Opinion, but….

JUST SAY NO to standardized testing. It’s time. Right before elections it’s turning into a political football, local, state and federal. At the national level, the leap to ‘for profit’ schools, slaps us into the face of reality.

Tests. Lower the bar, fix or dump the tests? A conundrum. Is the bar too high? If no kids can reach that bar, what’s next? Same thing, same results, right? Or what? Is this the way to judge schools, teachers and children’s future success in our changing landscape? Does rigor insure academic success? I think not.

Something is more than a little off kilter, the ship is going out to sea in the wrong direction. In fact, we are bailing water out of this boat. New ship needed! Let’s stop being on the Titanic, rearranging deck chairs.

Because I am an optimistic person by nature, and always see the good in things, or nearly, I am confident we can turn the tide here, as a collective voice. Because policy makers usually have not been teachers, or even spent any time in a classroom, the new wave of teacher educators running for political office at all levels is heartening.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

"So there looks like there might be an opportunity for you."

At the time when I heard this, I was literally in the middle of having my best teaching year. My sixth grade blended learning classroom was going better than I could ever have imagined. I was "teaching like a PIRATE," engaging and empowering my students, making learning relevant and meaningful to them, learning along side of my students every day, watching them get that love for learning back, and getting to know my students better than ever. And yet, a career opportunity came up that made me leave all of that. 

Why I Thought Left

When I was told, "So there looks like there might be an opportunity for you," I knew it was to step in as acting elementary principal for another principal in my district who needed to take a leave of absence. I did not know how long it would be, but I knew I had to take it. Opportunities like these do not come along often, and if I wanted to take the next step in my career, it began with this opportunity. While it was an easy decision to make, it was, at the same time, the most difficult career decision I ever had to make. I was leaving behind just an absolute incredible group of students, who were doing incredible things day after day. They wanted to come into my class every day. I wanted to come to school every day. There were no discipline issues. They pushed themselves to learn more than they did the day before. They pushed me to make the next day better for them than the day before. And yet, I left them for an opportunity.   

Why I Really Left

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

Anything is Possible; Everything is Possible!

We're all just a bunch of bosses and cool ones, at that. We take turns leading and following. When we figure it out, we're like reformed Minions, having a bunch of fun together.

Every day is a celebration of learning and life. Culture is the name of the game and our beliefs, our purposes, our shared Vision and Mission are the tools we use as pieces. We are all stakeholders in the greater good. Successful cultural organization starts with getting along and working together in collegial conversation. 

Our leadership matters! Making a difference to those we work with, play with and care for has its challenges, but we overcome every obstacle. Better together, by understanding and influencing others by who we are, what we say and what we do.

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