When the twelfth of the month rolls around I always find myself wondering what is on the mind of other administrators right now. Does my little corner of the world reflect their reality? I have always found May and June to be one of the most difficult times of year from an administrative perspective. That is because I have my feet firmly planted in two realities. First is the immediate reality including final staff evaluations, graduation, final exams and all of the paper work that the end of each year brings. The other is a future but no less immediate ...


It is that time of the year - graduation season - a time of celebration; a time of endings and of new beginnings. This past week, I have had the opportunity to be part of two graduation ceremonies - one for an Executive Ed D program where I attended in support of members of my cohort; the second for Journalism majors where I watched my daughter receive her Masters degree. These experiences have made me start thinking - what are we telling our graduates as they move on to the next phase of their lives, their education, or their career? ...


Who will ignite the desire to learn in the adults today so they will ignite the desire to learn in our children tomorrow? On April 27, 2009 President Obama spoke at the 146th Annual Meeting of National Academy of Sciences. I recommend the entire speech for its historic importance, a turning point for science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) that could some day be viewed as the equivalent of President John F. Kennedy's 'Decision to Go to the Moon' speech almost fifty years ago on May 25, 1961, and for the context it provides Mr. Obama’s comments on STEM ...


Each of us has a professional identity. You may think you are looked upon as a hard working educational leader; but your identity, what others think of you, may be very different. For example, I know a few dedicated folks who feel they are going ‘over and above’ to do their jobs and that people recognize their effort. In fact, their identity among their professional colleagues is that they are folks who can’t be relied on. Why do people feel that way about them? They don’t return phone calls or e-mails consistently. This inconsistency leaves people hanging, and ...


Remember the bumper sticker that read, "IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER."? Well, these days the bumper sticker should say, "If you can read this, and tie your shoes, tell time, get along with others, solve problems, understand others' points of view, respect yourself, respect others, perform math calculations, make change for a dollar, write a five paragraph persuasive essay, compare and contrast, synthesize, hypothesize, and spell 'hypothesize' correctly, then you should THANK A TEACHER!" Teaching is harder and more complicated than ever, and the pressure on today's teachers is huge. Teachers are expected to teach, assess, model, ...


Earlier this week, I posted this on Education Futures: "Let your mind wonder for just a moment. As yourself this question: If I could redesign an entire teacher education program, what would it look like? Here is my vision of a teacher education program. I imagine a teacher preparation program that: -Challenges the individual. No one in this program would say "But I thought getting an education degree was suppose to be easy!" -Is rigorous enough to attract intellectual, innovative, thought-leaders -Robustly develops a student's ability to solve problem, become a critical thinker, and work collaboratively. -Is packed with upper ...


My office was literally covered in post-it notes as I sat staring in frustration over a challenge posed to me by a colleague, mentor, and inspirational leader: what is your top ten list of tools for teachers? For nearly a month, I wrestled with this question with NOTHING to show for it but a bunch of post-it notes with fragmented tools that meant little in terms of teaching and learning when shown in isolation. Then I realized why I was struggling; it went against everything I believed about instructional technology and education. So, I shifted the question and that is ...


“Not me! Absolutely not me!” stammered Randy, my friend and colleague. The discussion at the superintendent’s meeting had turned to blogging. “I get enough criticism as it is. I don’t need another whacko taking pot shots at me from left field on the internet,” he added. He winced as he said it. “Why should I provide an easy forum for another critic?” he added. “Randy, don’t you think the rational folks in your school district recognize a whacko when they hear one?” I responded. “Yeah, most of them probably do but I still don’t want to ...


We’ve been discussing teacher quality for decades. Everyone is rightfully concerned about making sure that good teachers are in front of students. Thus the teacher quality provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, the calls for performance or merit pay, the concerns about alternative licensure, the quests for better teacher evaluation systems, the gnashing of teeth over ‘obstructionist unions that get in the way of firing bad teachers,’ and so on… For the purposes of discussion, here’s a modest proposal: Do our damnedest to create a positive working climate for teachers: ongoing administrative and...


I use Twitter. I prefer to be called a Tweeple not a Twit. I tweet on a regular basis and I have a network of tweeple in the Twitterverse. Confused? Twitter - the microblogging platform that's taking the world by storm has become embedded in mainstream culture thanks to the exposure it has received by high profile users like Ellen Degeneres, Oprah and Ashton Kucher. You've got 140 characters to state your message. Short, sweet and to the point. People share the important things that are taking place in their lives or the mundane. So why write about it in ...


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