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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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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Why are you doing the work?

Let’s Start a Movement!

Categories: PLC, School Improvement

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.

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Too much on your desk?

More Summer Than Break

Categories: Assessment

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.

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In Praise allows educators to reflect on accomplishments while also seeing through to the future

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A Mirror and A Window

Categories: PLC

This post is part of a series on In Praise of American Educators (And How They Can Become Even Better).

In my thirty-two years as an educator I have experienced many unique opportunities and realize how fortunate I have been. One of these happened recently when I was provided with an advance copy of Dr. Richard DuFour’s latest book, In Praise of American Educators: And How They Can Become Even Better and asked to review it. Not satisfied with only providing a review (I can’t begin to do justice to how much I was moved by the book, and thoroughly enjoyed it, in 100 words or less), I wanted to shape a blog post around an aspect that really resonated with me.

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