Blog

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

Why a Strategic Implementation Guide is a Must for a PLC

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When I first was introduced to the concept of professional learning communities, it just clicked. This is how we should lead our campuses. 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

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

Keeping Your Fire Stoked

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If you live in Texas like I do, you know that anytime the weather gets below 80, we celebrate with all things fall! Pumpkin spice, boots, and s’mores around the fire pit! Recently, my family and I were enjoying... Read more

Assessing the Remote Learner

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Shifting to remote learning over a weekend and then starting the fall semester remotely has been a challenge for many teachers. Read more

Saving Grace

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I believe it is fair to say that we are going through a significant trial, and some may even say, a crisis. Experiencing a months-long school shutdown was not something I had ever . . . Read more

Four Key Leadership Actions in Developing and Sustaining a PLC

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I was first introduced to the PLC process in 2004, and in the last 16 years as a school leader, I have been in the “arena” at all points of the journey of the PLC process. My . . . Read more

How PLCs Guided Our Work Through the COVID Crisis

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As the dynamics in education across the world changed in March and the months after, so did the thoughts of many educational professionals. Leading a large urban-suburban high school provided . . . Read more

Critical Issues for Guiding Coalitions

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Change is messy. Change is hard. Change is unpredictable. These are the types of phrases I have heard over the past few months as educators around the globe prepared for several changes to the . . . Read more

Key Turning Points

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I had read and memorized these words: “One of the most damaging myths about school leadership is that the change process, if managed well, will proceed smoothly” (DuFour, DuFour, . . . Read more

Growing and Utilizing Your Guiding Coalition

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Change is hard, but inevitable. Schools are complex…I would argue they are extremely complex. Name another industry where you have as many variables (students, parents, teachers, bus . . . Read more

Finding the Opportunity in the COVID-19 Crisis

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The 2019-20 school year will certainly go down in history as unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic turned all aspects of society, including school systems, upside-down. As schools were mandated . . . Read more

What Does Your School’s Success Rest On? The Four Pillars in Action at East Pointe Elementary

Editor’s note: This entry is a joint publication by Jonathan G. Vander Els and Dr. Josh Ray. Testimonials from Dr. Ray, the principal at East Pointe Elementary School, are noted with the . . . Read more