What Do You Say? Tackling Tough Conversations

Dawn McCotter, Van Andel Institute for Education Are you someone who tackles difficult conversations like a band-aid (just want to rip it off and be done with it) or like a pothole (try to avoid at all costs)? Or do you consider these types of interactions as a work hazard (just part of the job)?Continue reading “What Do You Say? Tackling Tough Conversations”

Toxic Positivity is Hurting Education

One of the most interesting and polarizing concepts in education that has popped up in recent years is the notion of “toxic positivity”. Healthline.com reports that with toxic positivity, negative emotions are seen as inherently bad. Instead, positivity and happiness are compulsively pushed, and authentic human emotional experiences are denied, minimized, or invalidated. Toxic positivityContinue reading “Toxic Positivity is Hurting Education”

Filling in the Gaps: Collecting and Analyzing the Right Student Data 

We were all hoping to wake up one morning and things would be back to normal. Normal work, normal play, normal school, normal lives.  We need to face the facts. We just aren’t there yet.  As we look at the 2021-22 school year, we must do so with honesty, realism, and eyes wide open. ManyContinue reading “Filling in the Gaps: Collecting and Analyzing the Right Student Data “

SEL for All: 7 Ways to Prioritize the Social and Emotional Needs of Your Staff

Everyone agrees that social and emotional learning is critical for our students. But who is looking out for the well-being of school staff? Schools have worked tirelessly this school year identifying and supporting the physical, social, and emotional needs of their students. But what about the needs of our teachers? What about your needs? HowContinue reading “SEL for All: 7 Ways to Prioritize the Social and Emotional Needs of Your Staff”

Out with COVID, In with Big Ideas: Going Beyond Learning Loss

By Dawn McCotter, Van Andel Education Institute Learning Loss, Instructional Loss, Unfinished Learning…whatever you call it, the 2020-21 school year has left its mark on the learning process. Rather than focus on the negative, use this as an opportunity for schools to reimagine their instructional practices by leveraging the lessons learned from pandemic teaching andContinue reading “Out with COVID, In with Big Ideas: Going Beyond Learning Loss”

5 Ways Schools Should Change After COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. In the days that followed, schools shut their doors to in-person learning, forcing educators around the world to rethink how to deliver meaningful and engaging instruction remotely. Many educational organizations were not prepared for such a shift as teachers and students were leftContinue reading “5 Ways Schools Should Change After COVID-19”

5 Educational Concepts to Eliminate in 2021

2020 was a rough year on everyone in education. Schools across the country were closed to in-person learning due to fear of virus spreading throughout communities. Instead of classrooms, students learned from their teachers from their bedrooms, kitchens, dens, and day care facilities open for essential workers. Teachers were forced to pivot quickly from in-personContinue reading “5 Educational Concepts to Eliminate in 2021”

5 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers and Students During COVID19

The 2020-2021 school year has been a roller coaster to say the least. Schools across the country are having to adhere to special guidelines and safety protocols in order to stay open for in-person learning. NPR reports the following statistics on schools offering in-person instruction versus remote learning as of the beginning of November: 37.8%Continue reading “5 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers and Students During COVID19”

5 Educational Concepts We Need to Eliminate in 2020 (Distance Learning Edition)

As the 2020-21 school year opens, schools and classrooms across the country are eerily quiet. Millions of students are beginning the school year remote learning from home. Teachers have spent weeks and months preparing for this change as COVID-19 failed to dissipate over the summer. Instead of back-to-school shopping, parents frantically worked to figure outContinue reading “5 Educational Concepts We Need to Eliminate in 2020 (Distance Learning Edition)”

5 Things New Principals (and principals that are new to their school) Should Do Their First Year On The Job

Each year, thousands of new principals begin their journey in school administration. The first year for a new principal can be challenging, exhausting, and frustrating, but also extremely rewarding at the same time. Education Week reports that nearly half of new principals leave their school after three years, and nearly 20 percent leave every year.