Ambitious Instruction, my new book, has a relatively straightforward (phew) definition of rigor: there is academic rigor, which is simply the completion of a task or work at a quality level commensurate with the expectations articulated in the standard(s) said task addresses or is aligned to; and instructional rigor, the curricular and pedagogical practices that position and enable students to realize the cognitive demands of those learning targets. Read more
Asking questions—good questions—is, arguably, the basis for a curious, passionate classroom. There is no way to explain that feeling when a classroom is erupting in enthusiastic discussion. It is magical, both for the teacher and for the students.
“Ambitious Instruction,” the title of my newest book, is not a buzzword. The education world does not need another buzzword; we have plenty as is.
I’ll confess, though, that “ambitious instruction” certainly sounds like a buzzword. I’ll also confess that the term was derived in the jargony annals of academia; it also has the sort of vagary and specificity that sounds like yet another (gulp) buzzword. (You have my complete forgiveness if you’re raising an eyebrow right now.) Read more
“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
Based on Leading with Intention
It is that time of the year again. School is in session (or soon will be), and the journey begins.
Educators are preparing for the school year, which includes thinking about professional learning and what is needed in order to improve so that all students master grade-level expectations—or higher. Read more