A Culture of Inquiry Vs. A Culture of Learning

We were discussing data at an EC-12 meeting this week when one of my colleagues posed a question I had never really considered before: Would you rather have a culture of learning or a culture of inquiry in your building? He had recently gone to a training for a grant he was a part of

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Teaching Students to Respectfully Disagree

I observed a teacher this week who was doing a lesson on creating theories and finding evidence to support one’s thinking.  She used a text from our curriculum called, The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery by Jane Yolen.  It’s a great text for a variety of reasons, but one of the best things about the book is

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Putting a Stop to the Right Way of Education

I recently saw this tweet by Dr. Brad Johnson:  I liked this post for several reasons, but mostly because it goes against what is frequently heard in education, that there is only one right way to teach children.  I’m guessing this has stemmed from the No Child Left Behind era that we are all still

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Slowing Down

“Why are you so mad at that driver mama?” asked my daughter Alexandra on the way home from the grocery store last Saturday.  I wanted to say in my most indignant voice, “Because he is driving slower than molasses and deserves to be yelled at,” but something about the way she asked the question snapped

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Who’s Doing the Thinking?

It’s no secret.  Education is a “mile-wide, inch-deep” endeavor with new ideas about what’s best cropping up in district initiatives all over the nation.  Some people attribute this to caring deeply about students and wanting what’s best for kids.  Others say the world is changing quickly and it is our responsibility to keep up.  Whatever

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Putting an End to the Meaningless Agenda

We’ve all been there. Sitting at a meeting or a grad school class where the agenda is ten miles long, broken up into either short little choppy increments or hour-long blocks without a break in sight. Half of the items on the list seem to come from out of nowhere or could easily have been

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Wildly Important Goals: Calm in the Chaos

This past Thursday I attended a training on evaluating administrators.  As much as I enjoyed talking with my peers and listening to the presenter, the part that was most meaningful was learning about a concept called, “Wildly Important Goals” from the book, The Four Disciplines of Execution by Covey, McChesney, & Huling. The beginning of the

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Unlimited Growth & Connection: Creating a Common Vision

“It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.” – A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Now maybe I’m being a bit dramatic using the opening line of a book about the dichotomy of people’s lives during the French revolution to describe my inner turmoil as I drove to work on the

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Overcoming Worries About the Beginning of the Year

This post is mostly a reminder to myself, but if you are an educator like me you might appreciate this message as well. It’s that time of summer when “Back to School” ads seem to start popping up almost everywhere.  When I was a teacher this signaled the time when I started thinking more heavily

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Sometimes Small Wins add up to Big Losses

Just got done with my almost four year old having an epic tantrum at gymnastics class. The cause? I made her put on her shoes and socks when she came out of class before she did anything else. I know.  I’m the worst. That’s not what actually caused the epic tantrum.  That was more of

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