5 Ways to Attract Highly Qualified Teachers

A school is only as good as the teachers that work at it. In order for students to reach their highest potential, they must be taught by knowledgeable, caring, and thoughtful teachers. Ensuring that every student has a highly qualified teacher needs to be a top priority for all school and districts. Continue reading “5 Ways to Attract Highly Qualified Teachers”

5 Educational Concepts We Need To Eliminate In 2019

For the past two years, I have written a culminating post on education practices and ideas that need to be retired. I am pleased to report that the 2017 and 2018 articles have been read and shared over 50,000 times by educators around the world. So, without further ado, here are five educational practices and ideas we need to retire in 2019.Continue reading “5 Educational Concepts We Need To Eliminate In 2019”

5 Ways to Strengthen the Teacher Evaluation Process

Teacher evaluation systems differ from district to district, and from state to state. There are differences in the amount of observations, timelines, yearly goals, and rubrics. However, the purpose of teacher evaluations should remain constant: to provide teachers the valuable feedback they need in order to continue to improve their craft. Sadly, according to research, many teachers feel that the evaluation process is simply a mandated checklist and a hoop to jump through every year or two without any real meaning or benefit to themselves.Continue reading “5 Ways to Strengthen the Teacher Evaluation Process”

5 Ways Principals Can Brighten a Teacher’s Day

The job of a school principal is complex, broad, and challenging. We often focus on the notion that students need to be at the center of everything we do. While I am not disputing this, I do believe that principals need to focus a lot of their energy on the teachers at their sites. Happy teachers make great teachers. Great teachers can have an enormous impact on student achievement. The reverse is also true. Unhappy teachers are unable to make the impact they need to in the classroom in order to best serve students.Continue reading “5 Ways Principals Can Brighten a Teacher’s Day”

5 Ideas for Literacy Centers

Empirical research informs us that students retain more information when performing hands-on tasks and getting actively involved in the learning process. Active learning increased student engagement, student learning outcomes, and helps students develop teamwork and collaboration skills. Creating and utilizing literacy centers is a great way to engage young students in active learning. Center work allows students to be more autonomous, problem-solve, and to self-direct all under the watchful eye of the teacher in the classroom.Continue reading “5 Ideas for Literacy Centers”

5 Things New Principals (and principals that are new to their school) Should Never Do Their First Year On The Job

Becoming a principal for the first time, or moving to a new school, is an exciting venture for any educator. Principals must do everything in their power to set themselves up for success. According to the 2012-13 principal staffing survey from the US Department of Education, over 20 percent of principals left their schools and over 70 percent of principals have less than five years at their current schools. In 2014, a School Leaders Network  report found half of new principals leave by their third year. In 2012, RAND researchers found that when principals leave, the school underperforms the next year.Continue reading “5 Things New Principals (and principals that are new to their school) Should Never Do Their First Year On The Job”

The 5 Elephants of Education

Education has many 800 pound gorillas, elephants in the room, and barrels full of monkeys. One can say that it is a regular zoo.

1. Teacher Pay

I believe that the biggest elephant in the room is the lack of adequate pay for our nation’s teachers. Continue reading “The 5 Elephants of Education”

5 Ways to Finish Out The School Year Strong

The end of the school year can be an emotional time for teachers, students, and administrators. All parties are tired, but hopefully satisfied with the progress made during the past nine months. While it would be easy to coast through the last few weeks of instruction, it is best for all to push through and to finish out strong. Every day counts. Every day is another opportunity to to engage, connect, and inspire. Continue reading “5 Ways to Finish Out The School Year Strong”

5 Ways to Create an Enriched Learning Environment for ALL Students

It is imperative that building principals create a school environment that is inviting, engaging, and conducive to learning for ALL students.  One fundamental belief based upon the work of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences is that ALL students are gifted and talented in some (many) area(s) beyond the findings of any formalized assessment measure. Sadly, with all the demands of local, state, and federal mandates, an enriched learning environment for ALL students can get lost in the noise of bureaucracy and a false sense of accountability.Continue reading “5 Ways to Create an Enriched Learning Environment for ALL Students”

How A School Administrator Can Deal With Unexpected Hiccups

Principals plan for every possible situation that can happen during a regular school day. By doing so, they can prepare to pivot on a dime to meet the current needs of staff, students, parents, and the school at large. Principals worth their salt can quickly organize recess on a rainy day, serve lunch when the cafeteria staff is down a worker, and teach a 7th grade History lesson when the substitute teacher doesn’t show up, all on a moments notice. Continue reading “How A School Administrator Can Deal With Unexpected Hiccups”