Blog

PLCs: The Path to Educational Equity

At Alisal, we know that being a Professional Learning Community means focusing on efforts on the four crticial questions. We know that we use data, not feelings, to drive what takes place in our . . . Read more

PLCs and Competency Based Learning: Needed Now More Than Ever!

Alert! Alert! I am about to say something very controversial: One day in the future we are going to reflect back on “COVID times” and say that the global pandemic of 2020 was not . . . Read more

Pandemic Proved Importance of PLCs

At the start of the pandemic, our teachers struggled to know what to teach, how to teach, and most importantly, how to ensure high levels of learning for their students in a remote format, despite . . . Read more

Achieving Equity through Teaching PRIDE

As we set off on our PLC journeys, we are often quick to collaborate for the purpose of Essential Standards, Learning Targets, Common Formative Assessments, and Tier 2 Interventions. In doing so, . . . Read more

Social Media Influencers and Student Assessment Pushback

If you spend time scrolling through social media you have most likely seen a teacher or principal who has become a social media influencer, it is the newest “second job” for educators. . . . Read more

Intervention: The Critical Safety Net

I've got to be honest, when I see people engage in recreational hobbies like free-climbing, I get extremely nervous. Perhaps the biggest reason is due to my severe fear of heights. I tend to . . . Read more

The Life-Changing, Life-Saving Work of PLCs

For fifteen of my twenty-eight years in education, I have been an elementary school principal. I have worked with affluent, middle-class, and poverty clientele. The last ten years have been . . . Read more

The Three Big Ideas That Drive the Work for Lead Learners

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“The most powerful and effective role the principal assumes is that of lead learner, not expert or ‘all knowing one.’” (Kramer & Schuhl, 2017, p.9) Phew...now . . . Read more

Pandemic Provides New Lens for Clear Mission

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Over the past 17 years, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with a wide variety of schools. Some of them were public, others private or charter schools. Some were comprised of students from . . . Read more

PLCs: Super Bowls and Super Systems

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Now that football season is officially over and Tom Brady has permanently secured his place as the greatest quarterback of all time, I cannot help but think of the plethora of parallels that exist . . . Read more

From Theory to Practice: A Jigsaw Approach to an Elementary Master Schedule

Creating a highly collaborative school culture and high performing teams is multifaceted and can take many years to establish. Creating and maintaining a system of excellence is a hard job! Schools do not become great overnight and they certainly do not remain great without constant evaluation of systems and practices. The fundamental purpose of a school is learning, not teaching. Read more

Mrs. Gorman Changed My Life

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Not in an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, hoping-Disney-buys-the-movie-rights type of way. But she was a life-changing teacher nonetheless. She was my English teacher in 1985, during my 7th-grade year at Richardson North Jr. High School in Texas. Read more

Buckle Up and Enjoy the Ride

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If only the school transformation journey was as easy as clicking on an app and entering your final destination! Unfortunately, as many of you may already know,... Read more

Burnout – Social Isolation: How Do We Help Our Staff Through the Covid Challenge

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The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions. Read more

It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.

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The start of the 2020-21 school year has been anything but business as usual. We have found ourselves navigating uncharted territory, tasked with reimagining teaching and learning amidst a global pandemic. Read more