In my upcoming book, Managing Unstoppable Learning, I focus on what all educators need to do to ensure learning for all students in a positive environment. In my work with schools over the last year, I have zeroed in on the notion of welcoming students to “Our House.” Read more
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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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
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.
Traveling across the country and across countries has revealed a common component of successful schools, or those seeking unprecedented levels of success. Creating a collective commitment is the key component to move the agenda forward. In our newly released book Starting A Movement: Building Culture From the Inside Out in Professional Learning Communities, Ken Williams and I talk about the process of authentic alignment as the vehicle to ensure collective commitment. It all begins with establishing your WHY.
As I write this I’m aboard a plane heading to a conference where I’ll be both a presenter and an attendee. Yes, it is July, that time of the year where many folks think educators are in the midst of their glorious summer break. I think it’s time to dispel the myth of the “ten-week break” and have the new narrative reflect the reality for most educators – it’s more summer than break.