Tom Hierck

Tom Hierck has been an educator since 1983 in a career that has spanned all grade levels. He has been a teacher, an administrator, a district leader, a department of education project leader, and an executive director.
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RTI and Parents

Categories: Authors, RTI

Based on Starting a Movement: Building Culture From the Inside Out in Professional Learning Communities.

Response to intervention, or RTI, is a structured, multitiered approach to help identify and support struggling students. It is one of the most research-based, effective practices that schools can employ to ensure all students learn and at high levels.

In the book Starting a Movement: Building Culture From the Inside Out in Professional Learning Communities, Williams and Hierck (2015) talk about this being an effective tool, a part of the “how” phase of being an effective professional learning community (PLC). It only becomes an effective tool, however, when schools have purpose clarity, the “why” stage of being a PLC. Once schools are clear on their purpose and mission, the tools are used by all members of the school community and known by all members of the school community. An important part of that community is the parent body. Read more

Tom Hierck

Unlocking Learning: It’s 2017—Do You Know Where Your Keys Are?

Categories: Instruction

I was recently leading a group of colleagues in a discussion on the following prompt:

Do you watch students enter your school and believe that collectively, we hold the keys to unlock their learning?

It was fascinating to track the responses as folks talked about who might be implied by the “collective” or “we,” the role of students in holding some of the keys, and how we might have to facilitate the proper use of some of the keys. Then a mid-career teacher offered this insight: “I can’t remember where I left some of my keys.” Read more

Closing the gap

Closing the Gap

Categories: School Improvement

I had the pleasure of working with colleagues from various Caribbean nations recently thanks to an invitation from the Commonwealth of Learning, and a friend who is a Principal (David Manuel, @7manuels) in Chilliwack, BC. David was heavily involved with distance learning and a proponent of open schools prior to his recent transition to a more traditional high school. He also is deeply committed to improving the education of all students regardless of where they live in the world. You can see why it was an easy option to say, “Yes” when David asked if I would present at the inaugural event.

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