Give Toddlers Developmentally Appropriate Programs

In a college student’s observation of toddler child care, a teacher is described as making toddlers sit still on mats. The fifteen-month old little boy in the circle keeps taking his mat out from under his bottom and playing with it. His teacher insists he use his mat appropriately, saying, “No, no, no. We put […]

Validated

2 a.m. Awake…again…anxiety… I have no clue what I am going to do in class today. Yesterday was a disastrous mess. The kids were off the wall. The lesson went right over their heads. Thank God, I wasn’t observed. I toss and turn and sneak a peek at the alarm clock. Only five minutes have […]

Bargaining For Common Good: Chicago Teachers’ Strike

Getting to Yes. That’s what it takes. Saturday, an autumn day of falling leaves, football, Halloween parties and pumpkin patches. Hopefully you have power on, are safe, warm, and enjoying your weekend. However, in Chicago, teachers and city officials are meeting as I write, to possibly close the deal, ending traumatic negotiations, missed classes and […]

Spend More Time Planting Seeds and Less Time Measuring Vines

It’s only natural. We want to know how well we’re doing. If what we are saying or writing or creating is making any sense—if it is resonating with others. We often go about this by counting downloads, likes, retweets, shares, etc. This is okay up to a certain point. But after a while, it can […]

Recharged

There are those days when I leave my classroom thoroughly exhausted. The fatigue is real…and is so much more strongly felt as I age in this profession! All day long, I am “on” – asking questions, answering questions, making decisions, redirecting student behavior, grading, planning – spinning a million plates all at once. As I […]

The Importance of Building Capacity in Schools: Follow Up (One Week Later)

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Last week we learned more about how complex building capacity can be.  To build capacity effectively, change needs to occur in the following processes simultaneously: pedagogical, content, cognitive, affective, behavioral, and organizational processes.  One way to work with your colleagues to build capacity is to ensure that in your school, there is a focus on learning, […]

Leaves

(Ten years ago, I was nearing the end of my school administration career.  This story came from that year…) The first week back from Winter Break had been fairly uneventful.   The kids, still filled with a bit of holiday spirit, had for the most part succeeded in concealing their new DS Lites, iPods and cell […]

Slowing Down: The Soft Skill That Gets Left Behind

We spend our lives planning and hoping for them yet oftentimes the most beautiful moments happen by accident—when we slow down long enough to take in what was right in front of us along. I had to go to another school to pick up work for one of our students. I could have walked. I […]

Laughing About Mental Illness? The Joke Is on You

October has fallen upon us, and schools around the country are in full swing. While most student and parental fears have calmed down, school supplies are taken care of, what has been defined as edible and non-edible on the lunch menu, and students having a decent idea of what their typical day may look like […]

The Importance of Building Capacity in Schools

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There exists little evidence as to the direct effects school leaders have on student achievement (1). The reading expert Kelly Gallagher (2) asserts that the “Teacher is the X factor” in the classroom.  What, then, can school leaders and education researchers do to provide direction for a school improvement collaboration? We look to the context […]

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