How to Reject the “Achievement Gap” and Boost Our Belief in Every Student

by Otis Kitchen  |  8.15.22

We’ve been looking at the so-called “achievement gap” for decades and too often misreading it as a sign that some students innately do better, perform better or are just somehow better than others. Depending on your environment, that’s not something you might say out loud or take seriously as an idea. But it could still […]

Look, Listen & Learn: Reflections from my first year as a new Principal

by Audrey Fields  |  8.5.22

For 19 years, I worked in the same school district. I started as a teacher, then various Instructional and Climate Support positions, and then transitioned to the role of Assistant Principal. Then last year, I started a new role as Principal in a new building and a new district. It was important to me to […]

Leader tip: Creating a student spotlight, step by step

by Kathryn Fishman-Weaver  |  7.29.22

One day during a staff meeting, our team was discussing school culture and strategies to focus on student strengths and family wisdom. A teacher spoke about the importance of centering student voice in all of our communications – and that inspired us to create a “student voice feature” for our school newsletter, highlighting one student […]

4 instructional coaching strategies for math teams

by Diana Ceja  |  7.15.22

As a math coach and education administrator at the county level, I collaborate with leaders and teachers to support mathematics instruction across 23 districts. Every school has its own unique culture, students and staff, and when the collaboration with a school leader begins, I build their instructional leadership priorities into our plans (such as supporting […]

It’s time to mathematize our schools

by Margie Pearse  |  7.15.22

As a math curriculum specialist working with teachers and school leaders, I find that principals are sometimes a bit apprehensive when it comes to math. Feeling hesitant in a subject that you are not comfortable with is natural. It is what we do with that uneasiness that makes all the difference. School leaders like you […]

3 keys to humanity-first instructional leadership in math

by Tim Livingston  |  7.14.22

I grew up not understanding mathematics. I didn’t know why at the time; I just didn’t connect with it. When I became an adult, I joined the military and began to retake classes as I worked toward my associate’s degree. I was astounded to find that I liked math. Something that hadn’t made sense to […]

Here’s What I did When Student Stress and Conflict Rose

by VaShawn Smith  |  4.6.22

As a middle school principal, I’ve seen that sustaining behavioral expectations for my students is harder this year, and I’ve heard the same thing from fellow leaders. When my school started experiencing multiple behavioral conflicts every day, that was new territory, and I have to admit, I didn’t see the path forward right away. I […]

Here’s How I Look for True Learning in the Classroom

by Jason Kennedy  |  3.16.22

When I reflect on my first 10 years of teaching, I know it would have been a completely different classroom if I’d known what we know now about student learning. I came into teaching well versed in my content area, having taken literature classes and secondary English and writing classes, but I didn’t step into […]

Catching Kids Before the Waterfall: The Case for More Proactive SEL

by Keeth Matheny  |  3.8.22

As many of you know, the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared a mental health emergency for children. And as heartbreaking as this is, between the societal challenges and mental health issues already present in our prior “normal” conditions, as well as everything the pandemic has exacerbated, it’s hard to say that it’s surprising. Increasingly, […]

5 SEL Systems That Can Transform School Culture

by Stephanie Holmes  |  3.7.22

The school I help lead was designed for students who have experienced some interruption in their high school education, either because of academic issues, life disruptions or both. Our program helps support them along the path to graduation and connects them with resources. Because of this, social emotional learning (SEL) has long been our priority. […]

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