January 2010 Archives

A few years back, I heard Dr. Robert Brooks speak about motivating the unmotivated student. I enjoyed listening to him and took some notes to help me remember later. Of course, life happened and I moved away and started a new job and forgot about his lecture. While cleaning out some folders recently, I came across those notes and decided to talk about this topic to my staff during a recent inservice day. I am the Director of an alternative school and also the Director of Special Education for several districts. Encountering unmotivated students is not uncommon in my work. ...


Depending on what draft of the NCLB you are looking at, in either 2013 or 2014, all public schools are supposed to have reached 100% proficiency in the areas of Math and English. In 2001, that deadline seemed so far away. Now that it is around the corner, what will happen to the US education system because of it? What are other cultures saying about us going so "test crazy"? It is not uncommon to hear teachers gripe about how they are limited in what they can teach because they have to "teach to the test." Teachers feel cramped by ...


Photo Credit In Tim Irwin's excellent book De-Railed, he investigates six modern CEO's who have experienced major failures of their organizations and their leadership. His purpose is to demonstrate that we can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid their errors. David McCullough unearthed another failed leader in his outstanding biography of Harry Truman. No, not Truman himself, but Thomas Dewey, who ran for President in 1944 and 1948, seemed to embody several of the attributes that Mr. Irwin warned could lead to catastrophe. Irwin mentioned that faltering leaders usually fail on one or more of the following areas: ...


Oh. So now it's a race? I like races. I am a sprinter so I am used to running races. I have been in a lot of them and the more races you have been in the more victories (and the more losses) you earn. The more strategies you can leverage. "The mulberry stump, a hundred yards ahead in the clearing. First one that touches it is the winner. On your mark... get set..." I don't wait for "go". (That's the secret to winning short sprints. You time it just right. You jump the gun-- but you don't get caught!) ...GO!"...


Every year, when the temperature hovers around 10 below zero, we gather all of our marketing resources so that we can enter tourist season with a vengeance. We rehearse our talking points on what sets us apart from the 49 other elementary schools in the district, design fancy brochures, have pencils printed with the school name, and even line up the boots in the hallways. While Minnesota is not really a tourist destination at this time of year, schools are. Every year, on the first Saturday in January following the first full week back to school, we don our school ...


Cross posted on Creative Tension. Five years ago I used Michael Watkins' book, The First 90 Days to help me prepare for my transition into a new principalship and I plan to do the same with my next job. In August, I'll become the High School Principal at the Escola Graduada de São Paulo, or as those of us in the international circuit refer to it, "Graded". Graded is an American international school in Sao Paulo serving the children of host nationals and expatriates. I feel strongly that this book was a main reason that I was able to ...


" What's a great piece of advice YOU have received that has helped you in your personal and professional lives?"


One of my favorite speakers and authors is Daniel Pink. He's a trend-spotter. He's a lifelong learner and dedicated researcher. His book, Free Agent Nation was easily five years ahead of its time -- and it's only seven years old. A Whole New Mind is still opening up brains stuck on yesterday's way. Johnny Bunko, the anime career guide, is ground-breaking work. And now, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. This video could be one I show more than any other this year: Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo. What motivates us --...


Should High School Students Take College Courses? The short answer to this question is "probably," but the programs that support high school students taking college courses generally have features that support student success. If those features are in place, students benefit.


" For public education to benefit from the rapidly evolving development of information and communication technology, leaders at every level-school, district, and state-must not only supervise, but provide informed, creative, and ultimately transformative leadership for systemic change." -From the National Educational Technology Plan There are several elements involved in transformative and systemic change. First, there is the content of the change message; second, is the condition of the audience who will be receiving the message; and third, is the the condition of the person who will be delivering the message and leading the change. For the purpose of today's post, let's ...


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