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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How Can I Prevent Cyberbullying Among My Students?

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Authors

Based on Pyramid of Behavior Interventions: 7 Keys to a Positive Learning Environment

Perhaps the single most rapidly growing behavioral issue facing schools today is cyberbullying.

Most teenagers today have grown up never knowing a world without smartphones. The Pew Research Center reports that 95 percent of all teens currently have access to or own a smartphone, and 45 percent indicate they are online almost constantly. That leaves educators with the nearly impossible challenge of teaching those whose attentions are divided, with their thoughts wandering to their devices. Read more

books, pencil, students, sitting

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