Category: Elementary Education

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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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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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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Making the Last Days of School Meaningful

Busy. Busy. Busy. That one word has permeated my vocabulary since I took over as interim principal a few months ago at Emerson Elementary School.  I’m not just talking about myself.  With state and district testing, about a million end of the year activities as well as normal teaching responsibilities I’ve watched my staff and

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Multiplying the Talents of Students

Every morning I have about a thirty-minute commute to work from my home in Wheaton.  Most mornings my routine is pretty similar.  After giving Alexandra a big hug and a kiss (sometimes 4 or 5 depending on what mood she’s in), I hop in my car, order my morning coffee and listen to whatever music

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Making the Positives So Loud

I’ll admit it. George Couros is one of my favourite (spelling intended) people in education.  Not only is he skilled at telling a captivating story that can cause both tears and inexplicable laughter, but his ideas about education are thought-provoking and real, grounded in his own experience or ideas he has recently read about or

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