How do you know if it’s not just new, but better? #IMMOOC

After week 1 of the Innovator’s Mindset MOOC and reading many blogs, compiling the highlights and rereading the Introduction, I am really digging into this notion of innovation and these two questions are key: Is it new?  and Is it better? One blog post this week from Terry Whitmell really got me thinking about how we […]

Are You Trying To Solve the Wrong Problem?

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 […]

Why We Must Invest in Relationships First

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 […]

Learning is a Process, Not an Event

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 […]

Who’s Leading the Leaders?

This week I spent a great deal of time with various leaders trying to understand their roles. I was taken back by these leaders who are so passionate about their work and have a great deal of experience and expertise, yet they shared feelings of inadequacy in meeting the needs of those they serve. These leaders, […]

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 […]

Pedagogy Trumps Curriculum

I was thinking about what can hold us back from doing what we know is right for kids, despite our great desire to do so. I ran through the usual culprits of time, too much to cover, too many programs to fit in, new curriculum etc. These are all very real and good reasons that need to […]

When Teachers Become the Learners

As our world rapidly changes, the tools and resources we have access to dramatically impacts our opportunities for learning.  However, for educators to truly embrace the power of technology and create powerful learning experiences for their students, they have to experience this for themselves. In an effort to support this in a recent class that […]

Small Tweaks, Big Impact

While I was working with a leadership team  we were discussing the challenges of shifting from teacher led to student-centered learning.  The team overwhelmingly agreed that for students to develop the skills and mindsets to be successful in the world we live in today, and in their future, teachers have to abandon over-scaffolded lessons.  Too much control […]

When Is The Last Time You Observed One of Your Peers?

I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of teacher leaders recently. As we were sharing our beliefs about learning, reading about some examples and discussing what it could and should look like everyone was excited and you could feel the passion in the room.  Then, I asked the question that I knew would […]