Unlock Agency

I was with some experienced principals recently and we were talking about professional learning that actually shifts practice. I shared examples of action research, looking at student work, peer observations and coaching that I have experienced in my own professional career and have seen time and time again the impact these experiences have on both […]

Leadership at Every Level

The USS Santa Fe moved from last to first in morale, performance, and retention by creating leadership at every level. In his book, Turn this Ship Around, Captain David Marquet details his experience turning a ship crew from the worst performing to the best.  He says that he was trained to lead so that others […]

Rethinking the Lesson Plan

When I was in my teacher preparation program, I remember being taught to complete extensive lesson plans to ensure I was prepared to engage students in learning the specified content.  I was expected to know how to differentiate for diverse needs of students.  I thoughtfully planned modifications for students with special needs and English language […]

Breaking the Cycle

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 […]

Are We Asking the Right Type of Questions?

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 […]

Moving Beyond the Digital vs. Print Reading Debate

In a recent blog, Larry Ferlazzo’s posed a question, Which is better for students — reading paper or reading digitally?  There are a variety of responses that are both insightful and backed by research to support both sides of the debate.  I encourage you to check them out if you haven’t already. As I was reading the various posts, […]

Teachers as Designers

In a M.Ed course that I taught recently, one of the assignments was to design a learning experience for their own unique context.  The teachers were asked to integrate the research, strategies and/ or examples that we had been exploring throughout the semester into their practice. Anyone who has taken or taught an education class knows this is not necessarily an […]

Embracing Open Learning

Throughout my career, teaching kids and adults in diverse districts and courses, I have lived in between higher ed and K-12.  In higher ed there is a mantra to publish or perish, and throughout grad school, I had adopted this philosophy. I thought I had to publish in traditional journals to accomplish anything. Following in the foot steps of […]

Create Your Own Adventure (Professional Learning That Shifts Practice Part 5)

Teachers (like all learners) thrive when they have a clear understanding of the vision and know where they are going, yet have the autonomy to get there in a way that meets the needs of the learners in their classrooms.  A teacher’s preparation and previous experiences influence how they teach.  If you think about it, the opportunities and […]

Meaningful Problem Solving (Professional Learning that Shifts Practice Part 2)

As our society evolves and schools work to meet the needs of learners, educators need to develop new skills, knowledge, and mindsets.  Working with teachers across diverse has given me insight into how they want to learn and what they want out of their professional learning opportunities. This series will feature a more in depth look […]