Blog

CFA Data Inquiry Helps Foster Collective Teacher Efficacy

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In a school with strong collective efficacy, all of the faculty feels they have a hand in helping each child excel. Students are valued for the diversity of their learning profiles, and teachers . . . Read more

Finding Your Team's Foundation With Fundamentals

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Fundamentals are never fun. Fundamentals are never exciting. But fundamentals are necessary. NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan summed up the importance of fundamentals when he said, “The . . . Read more

'But They Don't Speak English!'

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When our daughters were 7 and 9 years old, being a military family (my husband was a naval officer), we received orders to move to Bahrain in the Middle East. This would be our next “new . . . Read more

Pit Bulls and Fallen Trees: A Message to Principals

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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!

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[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

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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

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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'

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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

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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

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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'

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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)

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“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

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“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

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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