I Wonder Why…..

I wonder why… … as educators we are so eager to abandon “tried and true” practices, that have been proven over decades to be important to student learning? It took a pandemic to do some housekeeping of a floor-to-ceiling bookcase of 40+ years of educational materials, that led to a moment of discovery. It was grandma’s old schoolbook. She taught … Read More

Embracing SEL for Success

Sometimes as school leaders we are so focused on making progress—improving student academics, streamlining workflow, and engaging professional development, etc.—that we neglect to pause and ask ourselves if we are charging up the right hill. Sure, schools have always been about academics, but the world is changing and we need to reexamine how our teaching impacts our students’ well-being and … Read More

Teacher Retention: Are We Asking The Right Questions?

We are in the midst of a national teacher shortage and our New Hampshire schools are no exception.  There are numerous assumptions one could make about why teachers are leaving; however, I believe this question is best answered by focusing on why Granite State Teachers stay.  In order to effectively address teacher retention and attrition in New Hampshire, understanding why … Read More

Decluttering the Teacher-Centric Classroom

Classroom spaces should tell us about our students, who they are, and what they value. The building was bursting with energy: Empty boxes and welcome banners filled the halls. Teachers were creating and mounting bulletin boards, unpacking boxes and assembling learning materials, and decorating their classroom doors. I still remember how each year our faculty worked late into the night … Read More

On Courageous Leadership and the Humans We Support

We’re just over halfway to the February break–how are you holding up?  Leadership in these times is no joke.  A recent EdWeek.org story was titled, Awake at 2am; Agonizing Over Life-and-Death Decisions: A Superintendent’s Story.  When the stress of it all gets to be too much – and it does – we all know it impacts our leadership, whether we … Read More

Self Care: Beyond the Pedicure

After almost a quarter of a century in education, including 15 years of teaching middle school language arts, I have been thinking about what self-care means for a long time.  To me, it is more than just an event or an activity – though the pedicures and massages certainly serve their purposes – self care needs to be a way … Read More

A Return to Team: Building Trust, Anew

“The stars we are given.  The constellations we create.”  ~Rebecca Solnit In her recent Spotlight  Podcast conversation with NHASCD’s Tom Crumrine and myself, Jennifer Abrams offered these three questions to bring to our colleagues, and, more specifically, to the teams of teachers and leaders we both support and are a part of:  “How are you?  Who are you?  Who do … Read More

Leaving a Fixed Mindset for a Growth Mindset Takes Vulnerability

Create growth-oriented relationships with your students. This is key to letting them know they are valued members of your learning community. Each student knows you, their teacher, believes in their ability to achieve. Students won’t believe in themselves if they don’t think their teachers have faith in them. A growth mindset requires students to believe they can and will get … Read More

Instilling Growth Mindset In Your Students

Research shows that when you get students to buy into the idea that the brain is a muscle and it has the capacity to strengthen and grow, the result is better motivation, stronger resolve to succeed, and higher academic achievement. But growth mindset needs to be practiced in connection with strong pedagogy and robust curriculum. It is important that kids … Read More