Blog

Pit Bulls and Fallen Trees: A Message to Principals

thumb

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving break. As a busy elementary school principal, I spent the previous four days resting, relaxing, and gearing up for the mad dash to winter break. I renewed . . . Read more

Does 'All' Mean 'All?' Labels, Be Gone!

thumb

[Photo courtesy of Kenneth Williams’ Defenders and Disruptors of the Status Quo: Who Will Educators Choose To Be? (2017)] Great teachers who truly want what is best for their students . . . Read more

Comprehension Challenge

thumb

Students who read below grade level do not think below grade level. Again: students who read below grade level do not think below grade level. If we hold that misconception to be true, then . . . Read more

The 10 Deadly Sins of Improvement

thumb

As an educator for more than 27 years in the heart of California, I have learned a great deal about the challenges educators face to improve outcomes for students. I have spent my entire . . . Read more

Leaning on Parents is NOT an 'Intervention'

thumb

The joy of my life is my 10-year-old daughter, Reece. She’s beautiful and funny and smart and curious—and I’d do anything to help her succeed. That’s why her third-grade . . . Read more

Develop a Collective Commitment Calendar to Ensure PLC Success

thumb

Rick DuFour details the litany of expectations thrust on today’s teachers and administrators in his book, In Praise of American Educators. Unfortunately, many educators grapple with punitive . . . Read more

Joyful Noise

thumb

The framework, process, and structure of professional learning communities often consume our thoughts and actions as we strive to increase student achievement by constantly focusing on answering . . . Read more

'Equitable' Means 'All'

thumb

As a fledgling educator in Dallas Independent School District, where the majority of my students were English Language Learners, I quickly realized a few things: much like my family’s . . . Read more

Walking the Walk (Even When You Stumble)

thumb

“I swear we just said goodbye to our students in June just last week!” “It’s probably because the polar vortex added extra days to the end of last year, but this summer . . . Read more

Community and Relationships: Creating Strategic Support Systems

thumb

“Happily ever after isn’t a destination, it’s a daily commitment.” —Karen Finn I am often asked “What is the key to improving schools” or “Why . . . Read more

Staying the Course with a Smart Assessment Plan

thumb

It’s a cool Saturday morning in October. Everybody is gathered at the Tim Nixon Invitational Cross Country meet in Liberty, Missouri. Parents gather on the sideline straining in . . . Read more

'Better' Doesn't Happen All By Itself

My granddaddy used to say, “Tighten up every little chance you get. ‘Better’ doesn’t happen all by itself.” And my granddaddy was always right. (With the exception . . . Read more

Understanding the 'What'

thumb

While I was a school principal, our teams went into the PLC process with the aim of meeting each and every student where they were. Our mission was to collectively support all learners in moving . . . Read more

There is an 'I' in TEAM

thumb

Like many educational terms, we throw them around and often use them loosely. I find we often use the term “team” in this manner. “We are a great team.” “I . . . Read more

The PLC Journey Starts With Community

“What is labeled as ‘fluff’ is more often the stuff of leadership and culture.” —Terrence Deal, Kent Peterson, Shaping School Culture While the word . . . Read more