Showing posts from June, 2016

The Key to Revolutionizing Education

As I was reading the first few chapters of Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work I found this statement about how policymakers view education and the role teachers have in improving our schools. Conservatives may contend that educators won't improve their schools, while liberals argue that educators can't improve their schools; but both groups seem increasingly resigned to the fact that efforts to reform schools are doomed to fail. (p. 51) The data the authors cite is positive, but it is largely based on test scores and graduation rates. Something is missing. Of course, the authors go on to use statistics to argue that there is evidence of widespread school improvement, despite the hopeless outlook many policymakers have. While these statistics are upbeat and fun to read, they are based on assessments: test scores, graduation rates, and how they measure up to socioeconomic data. There is something missing here: the human element. The biggest

The 5 Secrets to Personalized Summer PD

Summer is an opportunity for educators to recharge both their mental and emotional energy and their enthusiasm for their profession. Indulge in a few hours in the sun, a dip or two in the pool, and an icy beverage. Then consider how you can use what is left of summer to prime you for the rebirth that next school year offers. Here are my 5 approaches to summer professional growth. 1. Read Educators should read books that were written for educators, but should also read books that were not written with education in mind specifically. Education books, whether they are written by researchers or practitioners, can have a direct impact on day-to-day practice and can provide the inspiration you might need to inject the next school year with some new energy. Books that were written to inspire entrepreneurs or innovators can also apply to classrooms and schools. How can teachers and administrators think creatively about budgets, schedules, and spaces to bring more to their learners eve

Response: Educators Have Many Roles

Over this past weekend a handful of educators posted on their blogs about "pretend leaders," "mystics," and "EduCelebs." The posts seemed to target people who work in the field of education – as researchers, consultants, authors, and speakers – but are no longer working in a school or classroom daily. It is important to note: Each blogger acknowledged that these folks did work in schools earlier in their careers. There were two common themes across all posts: A person who claims to have experience or expertise but doesn’t is not a reliable resource in their profession. A person must presently work as a practitioner in a school or classroom in order to have any credibility in the education space. I agree with the first point. I disagree with the second. While it is acceptable, and even encouraged, to disagree with a book author’s premise or a keynote speaker’s thesis, it is not helpful to disagree with that same person simpl