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September 03, 2011

Impressive Empathy: An Interview with Michael Fullan

"One of the biggest barriers to improvement in school systems is the presence of punitive accountability. If you fail you will be put on a watch list. We have already seen that punishment (and even its opposite, reward) can never lead to intrinsic motivation to put in effort to solve a problem and...

August 31, 2011

Conflict Resolution for Adults and Students

"When it comes to deep divisions, resolution and empathy must be combined if change is to occur (Fullan, 2011, p.50)." Recently, I had a conversation with internationally known educational leadership expert Dr. Michael Fullan. Dr. Fullan has a new book entitled Change Leader, and our conversation f...

August 30, 2011

A Picture Walk Through Gender Differences

When I taught first grade, I introduced a new book to my students during calendar time. The book was entitled First Snow by Caldecott Award Winner Emily Arnold McCully. It's a wordless picture book that I had never used before but I loved the illustrations. Pauline, the school librarian suggested I ...

August 28, 2011

Building a Creative Classroom Environment

"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin As our new school year approaches, I inspect the building to make sure everything looks fresh and clean for our students and teachers. My custodians, Maggie, Mary and Garry, work hard during the ...

August 26, 2011

The Good Ole' Days

"When I was young, the snow was deeper and all the hills seemed so much steeper. The crusty ice I walked upon Would never once give in, And every sled race that I ran Would surely be a win. Its' good to see the snow again From a child's point of view, Because what you see is different When you're a ...

August 25, 2011

Modern Family

"The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it" (Masse, 2007). A few weeks ago a reader told me to stay away from diversity because schools use it as a catch phrase and should avoid it because it is not our business. So in an effort to go where I do not belong, I wanted to wr...

August 24, 2011

Verbal Communication

Note: Erik Palmer, an author from Denver, Colorado is a guest blogger today. Haphazard. That word best describes our approach to teaching speaking. Yes, every teacher at every grade level in every subject has oral language activities: discussions, book reports, research presentations, Socratic ...

August 21, 2011

Drop Outs Don't Drive

Once a month I do parenting segments with Subrina Dhammi and education segments with Elaine Houston on WNYT which is the NBC affiliate in Albany, NY. Subrina approached me a few weeks ago about new legislation being introduced in New York State and wanted to do a news segment on it. It was entitled ...

August 18, 2011

The Accidental Teacher: An Interview With Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson

"The high stakes test culture runs almost totally counter to what we know about how people learn. It causes us to engage in professional malpractice on a regular basis." Carol Ann Tomlinson There is nothing better than watching high-quality instruction. Seeing students engaged with their teacher, ...

August 17, 2011

Helping Students Deal with the Loss of a Parent

"Approximately 1 in 20 children experience the loss of a parent before they reach the age of 18" (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990). We have many students who are confronted with the loss of a parent, whether it's through drugs, alcohol, accidents, suicide, disease or war. Although it is a sad subje...

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The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt's Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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