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Posted by on in General


Educators everywhere immerse themselves into the work of impacting young lives because they love kids! Teaching is no ordinary job, and it takes an extraordinary teacher to overcome the many obstacles that children face. It takes an exceptional school leader to create a culture where children and adults have high expectations and can learn in a positive, safe, environment. I believe, like many others, that teaching and working with kids is a calling. We are called to serve the youngest population, to provide an education where young people are taught to rise above mediocrity and to think for themselves, to collaboratively problem solve and make the world better. We are called upon to teach students how to be leaders, readers, learners for a lifetime and changers of the status quo. The challenge is great, and the responsibility is immense, but educators everywhere accept the challenge and in the words of Marva Collins, “Make the poor student good and the good student great with no excuses in between.” Teaching is not for the faint of heart. It requires hard work, dedication, and unceasingly love.     

It is not uncommon for school administrators and teachers to work long hours, weekends, and holidays preparing their lessons and learning how to improve their practice. It’s not uncommon for teachers to have sleepless nights worrying about students, to purchase granola bars so kids can have something on their stomach, or to spend extra hours away from their own families to attend extracurricular activities. It’s not uncommon because those who enter the teaching field know that “the pay” is knowing they can have a positive impact. Administrators and teachers know the negative public perception of schools, and yet they dig in and serve their students and communities day in and day out. They know that their talents are gifts to be shared with their students. Educators not only believe but know that they can make a difference!     

Great educators refuse to let students fail! They teach children that difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and stepping stones to success. Children learn about having a growth mindset and how to overcome challenges. Teachers give students hope and a belief in themselves. Michelangelo said, “Inside is an angel trying to get out” about a piece of marble. Teachers know that every child has something wonderful and special inside. They know that every child can learn. And they know that they cannot meet every child’s needs alone. The challenge is too great! Great educators know that it takes collaboration and a commitment to action that will ensure that every child succeeds. Their focus is the learning of each student. They roll up their sleeves and delve into the work!     

In those rare moments of disappointment and despair, great educators are inspired to further the work. They know that just one more time, one more attempt might make a connection and difference for a child. First, it’s the work and then the inspiration. Thomas Edison did not give up on his vision. He learned hundreds of ways not to make a lightbulb. It was only after hours of focused work that his team was inspired and found a way. And the “miracle” was light.   

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Posted by on in General

The other night I participated in the weekly evening #edchat about new teachers and how they should be supported and whether or not they should be giving special consideration. I was not able to stay for the entire chat, but the conversations really got me thinking about new teachers and what they face when they enter the classroom. 

There are really three categories of new teachers who will joining our profession. (I am sure we can come up with more, but these are generalized categories.)

New Teachers fresh out of college with a degree in Education

New Teachers fresh out of college without an Education degree

New Teachers who are older and coming from other careers

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Posted by on in General


Hi Friends,

In the spirit of helping everyone who is thinking or already decided to Starbucks their classroom I am sharing the copy/paste of an email I wrote to my school colleagues today to ask for support with the Starbucks My Room Project. I hope you find it helpful! Use, lose, or abuse as my physics teaching colleague Lee Wignall says.

Hi everyone,

I know it's the end of the year and I should just sit down, shut up, and chill, but I can't. And I need your help. I am rearranging my room to create an environment that promotes the 4 Cs. I got the idea from an edutopia article written by Kayla Delzer (a teacher from ND) "Flexible Seating and Student-Centered Classroom Redesign"http://edut.to/1No6TXN . I also blogged about it: http://bit.ly/1YcZP37 and http://bit.ly/22MPJq4. Basically, my classroom will look like a swanky cafe next year.

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Posted by on in General


I want to thank everyone who decided to join the “Starbucks My Classroom” Project and everyone who supports the idea. I am grateful for all the tips, words of encouragement, pictures, retweets, shares, and questions on Twitter and LinkedIn! You Rock!

If this is the first time you’re hearing about this project, check out my 2 previous posts: I’mma Starbucks My Classroom: My 21st Century Manifesto and “Starbucks My Classroom” Project: The Master Plan and join!

In this post, I hope provide encouragement of my own and answer some questions about the project. Some were direct, others posted to #StarbucksMyRoom I’m diving right in.

Q: In our #StarbucksMyRoom quest, is it fine to model our rooms after already made rooms? Until we know more of what works?

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Posted by on in Education Leadership


This is a follow up post to I’mma Starbucks My Classroom: My 21st Century Manifesto blog.

It’s the beginning of school year 2016/17. It is the morning of the first day of the new school year. You’ve done this before, but this time it feels very different.

You woke up before the alarm on your phone went off. Though it was much earlier than the last two months got you used to, you woke up energized. Shower, coffee, breakfast, and everything in between - improbably, you did not drag your feet. You got on the road with time to spare.

Driving, you were deep in thought. You were smiling. Visualizing. Anticipating.

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