Timothy D. Kanold

Timothy D. Kanold, PhD, an award-winning educator, author, and consultant, is former superintendent of Adlai E. Stevenson High School District 125, a model professional learning community district in Lincolnshire, Illinois.

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Good Enough, For Now

Categories: Pandemic Response and Educational Practices

This entry is the second in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. The first post, written by Jeremy Adams, can be found here.

Based on HEART! Fully Forming Your Professional Life as a Teacher and Leader

The disruption to our professional and personal lives by the COVID-19 virus is staggering. Close to 51 million preK–12 children in the United States are not attending school, as an abrupt halt to the 2019–20 school year occurred sometime around our normally scheduled spring breaks. 

Somewhere in the midst of this devastating pandemic, the only experience in our lives that became certain was uncertainty. And grief. And fear. And stress. And isolation. March, April, and May 2020 will be forever etched in our memories. 

Where is the hope?, we wonder. 

To understand our hope amid this time of uncertainty is to understand our basic sense of humanity.  Read more

Kindness Amidst the Anger Storm

Kindness Amidst the Anger Storm

Categories: Instruction, School Improvement

Based on HEART! Fully Forming Your Professional Life as a Teacher and Leader

“Anger is not impressive or tough—it’s a mistake. It’s weakness. Depending on what you are doing, it might even be a trap that someone laid for you.” —Ryan Holiday

During the fall of my second year as superintendent at Stevenson HSD 125 (birthplace of the PLC At Work® process), I picked up the phone, only to be verbally assaulted by a very angry parent about an issue regarding her son, who was not receiving the resolution she sought.

I listened for about three minutes and tried to deescalate her anger, but it only got worse. Despite my best intentions to understand her concerns, she mostly just wanted to vent, but her yelling and the cruelty of her words got in the way of her message. Sound familiar? Read more

Rebecca DuFour at work with educators

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The “Now What?” Of Life: Celebrating Rebecca DuFour

Categories: PLC, Solution Tree

It was one of those wonderful mid-fall afternoons as I walked to my car, crossing the quad of the university campus. Tree colors were just starting to appear, and the air had that rare “higher temperatures than normal with crispness” smell.

I took off my suit jacket as I approached the car with this intense feeling I had done this very act of taking off my suit jacket and getting into my car, many times before. I had this awareness too that those moments had always left me feeling a bit empty. It was a feeling similar to the one you sense right after spending hours with friends and family, saying goodbye, going on your way, but feeling a bit homesick for them immediately. Read more

Getting no help, not enough time, falling behind, overwhelmed

Be Mindful of your HEART!

Categories: PLC

Based on HEART! Fully Forming Your Professional Life as a Teacher and Leader

In Atlanta, Georgia on February 4th, 1968, as part of his message, The Drum Major Instinct, Martin Luther King stated:

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve…You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

Last week, I was working in the southwestern section of the state of Washington. I was about one hour into a 3-hour professional development session with a group of K-8 teachers and leaders, and I was not receiving a “heart full of grace” from one of the grade level teacher leaders. Read more

Reaching the peak

Urgent: Reaching For The Summit!

Categories: Mathematics

Three weeks ago, as the school year was starting, I had the opportunity to work in a Midwest high poverty middle school with the mathematics department and team of teachers. There were 16 total teachers grades 6-8 and all were very hardworking and caring professionals.

Only they had one major problem: There was very little evidence of improved student learning over the past 5 years.   Read more