Imagine this classroom. A teacher sits at a kidney-shaped table with four students. The teacher patiently explains how to solve a long-division problem. Students quietly listen to the teacher’s explanation and do their best to follow along. After the teacher explains the first problem, the teacher directs the students to attempt the next problem on their own. The students struggle, and the teacher steps in to provide scaffolding by walking them through the procedure one more time. This time, the steps are provided a little slower and perhaps a little louder. Does this seem familiar to you? Read more
When we write and share ideas with the world, we hope it will inspire conversations and new questions about how our work will impact professional practices. This is especially true for blog posts, where we can push the envelope a little further and be provocateurs who launch discourse. With social media, sometimes that discourse becomes more limited, as many readers align themselves with folks who agree with their own thinking. That’s not really discourse, though; it doesn’t push thinking or change anyone’s opinion or create actions toward better ways of doing things. Which brings us to the focus of this month’s blog post on affinity spaces. Read more
A few years ago, I had the honor of co-authoring the book Motivating and Inspiring Students: Strategies to Awaken the Learner (Marzano, Scott, Boogren, & Newcomb, 2017). As we researched the strategies and resources associated with creating environments where students can truly shine, I kept getting stuck on this question: How can we ask our teachers to motivate and inspire their students if they don’t feel motivated and inspired themselves? Read more
In my book, Everyday Instructional Coaching, I emphasize the important role instructional coaches play in facilitating effective collaboration. As educators, we continually demand collaboration for our students and consistently schedule team meetings and planning sessions. We have to ask ourselves, “What is the purpose of collaboration?” Is it to check a box for the principal, truly be productive, or meet pre-established goals? We have placed a high value on collaboration, but at what cost?