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August 04, 2010

21st Century Excellence

For five years I have been espousing the importance of embedding the use of technology, and more importantly, 21st century skills into my teachers' lesson planning and instruction. I have incorporated the use of such web 2.0 tools as blogs, wikis, digital storytelling, and Google Docs into my own p...

April 05, 2010

Jaime Escalante 1930 - 2010

Jaime Escalante died this past Tuesday at the age of 79. In case you are not familiar with him, Escalante was a math teacher, who, against huge odds, successfully taught Calculus to students with very limited math experiences and instruction. Over the years, Escalante's students scored incredibly ...

March 08, 2010

Making Better Teachers

I have had friends ask me what I think of our neighborhood school, and my answer is quite simple. I tell them, "The school is only as good as the teacher your child has that year." I have believed this for a very long time. This stems from my belief that good teaching trumps everything when it co...

December 05, 2009

What is Holding Educators Back From Blogging?

I recently taught a Web 2.0 workshop to a group of 25 principals who were relatively new to the use of the Read/Write web in their professional lives. I helped them understand the need for school leaders to model the use of tools such as blogs, wikis, Skype, delicious, etc. My objectives were to t...

October 05, 2009

Hey, That's My Picture On Your Blog!

It seems as if we all do it. We embed pictures, illustrations, charts, graphs, videos, text, and other stuff from the internet into our blog posts. I see it every day, and I do it myself. I have always tried to give credit to the creator, author, photographer, or illustrator by listing his or ...

September 05, 2009

Re-Humanize Yourself

It happens every year at the beginning of school. A parent will bring his child over to meet me or say hi to me, and he will make the inevitable comment, "Now Billy, I don't ever want you to go to Mr. Sherman's office." Like it's the place where a child will catch leprosy (or worse, swine flu). T...

August 05, 2009

How To Succeed in Teaching By Really Trying.

School Administrators: As I am sure you are aware, hiring the best and brightest teachers for our schools is one of the most important responsibilities we have. But, hiring good people is really just the beginning. For our new, and often inexperienced teachers to be successful, we need to devote ...

May 05, 2009

Thank A Teacher

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, perfor...

April 05, 2009

The Exponential Growth of Information: Can We Keep Up?

I am writing this post from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) conference in New Orleans. I am here at this conference with a close friend who is a principal in a district about 10 miles from my school. Andy (Yes, that is his real name; no need to protect the innocent...

March 05, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Testing-Crazed Principal

Tuesday was the first day of the ISATs for all 3rd through 8th grade students in the State of Illinois. This is a big deal for Illinois schools because the results of these mandated, high stakes tests will determine if our students attend “Meets” or “Does Not Meets” schools. Each school's...

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