School Improvement

How do you want to tackle trauma

How Do You Want to Tackle Trauma? Are You Focused on the Short Term or Aiming for Long-Term Solutions?

Categories: Authors, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, School Improvement

Schools and districts are planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars next year so that 2021-2022 will be a better year for all our students and schools will be safe for students and staff. Thanks to Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, it almost feels like schools have won some lottery.

Yet, we need to ask ourselves, what could really make a difference? Is it the SEL program you purchase? Will it be a new air conditioning system? Or perhaps a new distance learning program? Right now, there are many commercial interests vying for our attention as school and district budgets are being formed with such rapidity that it is almost as if we are concerned that within a blink of an eye the monies will disappear. Which, in a way, is true. This is a time-limited deal. Buy now or lose out. So, what options do schools have? Read more

Acing Your Observation

Acing Your Observation

Categories: Instruction, School Improvement

Based on Kindergarten From A to Z

Many of my colleagues are eagerly awaiting the day when we can return to our physical classrooms full time to resume teaching as we have always known it to be.

However, there is one part of that process we are not looking forward to—the return of the dreaded observation. To some, the observer may be likened to the mother-in-law character from those 1950s sitcoms who comes into the house with white gloves, looking to find fault with everything. Read more

Strong Leadership in Uncertain Times: 5 Tips for Running the Leadership Roads Ahead

Categories: Leadership, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, School Improvement

This entry is the sixth in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Based on Messaging Matters.

One recent morning, I was running a three-mile track around my neighborhood. As I passed the houses and occasional drivers, I felt a sudden kinship to my neighbors that I’m not sure I’ve felt before.  Read more

Building Your Building When You’re Not in the Building: Strategies For Hiring Great Teachers During Social Distancing

Categories: Leadership, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, PLC at Work, School Improvement

This entry is the fifth in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Based on Building Your Building: How to Hire and Keep Great Teachers.

Surreal. Unbelievable. No words. None of us can quite put into words what we’re going through right now during this global pandemic. Read more

Kindness Amidst the Anger Storm

Kindness Amidst the Anger Storm

Categories: Instruction, School Improvement

Based on HEART! Fully Forming Your Professional Life as a Teacher and Leader

“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