Solution Tree

Physical and Psychological Environments for Every Body

Physical and Psychological Environments for Every Body

Categories: Authors, Instruction, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Solution Tree, Student Engagement

I like to think of myself as pretty aware of ableism. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder back in the 1990s and while I’ve learned to live with both thanks to having worked with great therapists (and, not for nothing, being married to one), my mental illnesses continue to be a trip hazard on my professional path.

Also, my husband and coauthor Jonathan Weinstein and I have a son who is autistic and goes to a school for students with special needs. From the moment I arrived at his campus, I noticed how his school environment is built for students with needs like—and unlike—his. Read more

Inside the Treehouse Bonus Episode 1 Recap

Bonus Episode 1 – A Conversation with Mike Mattos and Anthony Muhammad: Revisiting PLC at Work®

Categories: Authors, Solution Tree

For both Mike Mattos and Anthony Muhammad, discovering the PLC at Work® process completely changed how they view education. Now, years later, they’re not just believers in its transformative power—they’re proud advocates whose new book, Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work®, 2nd Edition, is an essential read for any educator who is serious about PLCs.

Read on to learn more about Mike and Anthony’s experience with PLC at Work®, how it differs from general PLCs, and more. Read more

Episode 14

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Episode 14–A Conversation with Timothy D. Kanold: Early Life Struggles, Filling Big Shoes, and Finding Successes

Categories: Authors, Solution Tree

Award-winning educator, celebrated author, and sought-after consultant Timothy D. Kanold is a national thought leader in mathematics. But it wasn’t always a smooth, easy road to success.

Read on to discover how Tim overcame the challenges of his past and to learn more about the key mentors who helped shape him into the writer and leader he is today. Read more

Episode 10 – A Conversation with Shannon Ritz: From Pom-Poms to PD

Categories: Authors, Solution Tree

Our Vice President of Professional Development Shannon Ritz has been around the block a time or two. With 20 years of experience at Solution Tree, her tenure rivals that of CEO Jeff Jones. As one of the six original employees, Shannon has ridden the ups and downs, seen the company evolve, and has personally grown our PD from the ground up.

Read on to discover her story and a little bit about professional development at the Tree! Read more

Thoughtful Engagement Leads to Essential Empowerment

Categories: Authors, Instruction, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, Solution Tree, Student Engagement

As we reflect on the trials faced during this COVID-19 state of being, we long for a chance to navigate away from struggles and toward new beginnings. During this new phase of learning designed by the pandemic, I find myself in the role of guest teacher in order to keep the education of students continuing when symptoms or close contact removes the regular teacher for a brief period. I must admit that I absolutely love being back in a classroom setting and interacting with students. Having an opportunity to provide instruction on a variety of topics fills me with both excitement and anxiety. As a principal the stakes are certainly high; you make sure to meet the same expectations you have set for your staff when you take the reins, and one of the key pieces is student engagement. Engagement is paramount while we focus on bridging learning gaps caused by the recent upheaval.

All parties grapple with building connections and maintaining engagement during this socially isolated time. The struggle is real. It is real for the teaching staff, students, support staff, administration, parents, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and the list goes on. We have all been searching for an answer on how to engage safely with each other, on the level we desire and know to be essential for growth in an education setting. Critical are the relationships built during the course of a school year. The personal bonds that teachers have with their students reinforce basic needs of belonging, which is the antithesis of what many of us are currently feeling. Social isolation, specifically in a school setting, has created a disconnect. The pandemic has often left us with somewhat superficial attachments rather than the deeper camaraderie facilitated through daily face-to-face sessions. Targeted work to show compassion and caring through our extended or virtual classrooms has been a goal for educators of all disciplines. Integrating social-emotional learning strategies has provided help in this work of regaining and maintaining connections as we shift our focus from engagement to empowerment. Read more