Traditionally, curriculum has been organized in a linear path that promotes a one size fits all approach to success. When teachers are expected to follow directives, or implement programs without taking the context and unique individuals in their room into consideration, it often creates frustration because they see their students need something else, something different,… Read More Empowering Teachers as Designers to #GoOpen
Establishing a shared vision amongst diverse stakeholders is critical when trying to implement wide-scale change. Cultivating a shared vision requires “practices aimed at identifying new opportunities for the school, and developing, articulating, and inspiring others with a vision of the future” (Ng, 2008, p. 5). When systems struggle to meet desired goals, it is often a result of… Read More 6 Questions to Align Your Vision, Policies, and Practices
It took me a while to recognize this dangerous cycle that existed in my school but it became so clear one day when I walked through all 8 of our language arts classrooms– every single teacher was playing a book on tape or reading aloud to students. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good read… Read More Breaking the Cycle
I’ll never forget listening to a room full of high school teachers after interviewing their students. They were genuinely surprised and saddened as many came to a blatant realization: A significant percentage of their students are disconnected from their own academic experience and the reality of their not so distant futures. Many of these teachers had… Read More Are You Trying To Solve the Wrong Problem?
Recently I had an opportunity to give a TEDx talk: Teachers Create What They Experience where I shared what I have learned in partnership with some innovative leaders. I have seen some major shifts on how students are learning in schools and I have found 3 critical factors that help create a culture of learning… Read More Teachers Create What They Experience
It’s been 15 year since I opened the doors to my first group of 7th graders and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I moved across the pacific ocean from San Diego to Oahu, Hawaii to teach 7th graders. Many thought I was crazy and maybe I was. To this day I will never… Read More Why We Must Invest in Relationships First
It’s not uncommon to have teachers who teach next to one another for years yet have never seen each other teach. When this happens, many assumptions about what is working and what is not working get made. This culture can not only maintain some ineffective practices but prevents great practices from spreading and impacting the… Read More 5 Practices that Promote Sharing and Open Classroom Doors
If you have have been wanting to read or reread The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros, now is the time! I will be helping to facilitate this MOOC with George beginning in September. It is a great opportunity to engage with people both locally and globally to learn, share, reflect and most importantly make an… Read More The #InnovatorsMindsetMOOC (September 2016)
If you haven’t seen Google’s video, Rubik’s Cube: A question, waiting to be answered, take a minute and watch it. One of my favorite lines, “…when the right person finds the right question, it can set them on a journey to change the world.” Yet, typically in schools, most of the questions that are asked have… Read More Are We Asking the Right Type of Questions?
A few weeks ago our team led a leadership meeting with a partner district and we were discussing our most significant learning experiences. I noticed how passionate these leaders were as they reflected and shared about their experiences. No matter how often we do this activity, or how diverse the crowd, the themes of significant learning… Read More Learning is a Process, Not an Event