Category: Strength-Focused

What Is My Principal Really Looking for in my Summative?

It’s that time of year where many educators (myself included) are preparing to meet with their administrator for the glorious summative meeting.  Throughout my career, I’ve experienced a wide variety of these that have been anything from a short five-minute conversation to an hour-long meeting where I was required to bring a binder of evidence

Continue reading

Compassion Fatigue

If you’re in education you’ve probably either heard of or experienced ” teacher burn-out,” a condition that results from being over-worked or under-valued or the experience of a disconnect between the work you required to do with the truths you know to be true about teaching.  This Wednesday my social worker gave a presentation to

Continue reading

Tapping Into the Strengths of Your Staff

So I used to think that there was some magical formula or a needed in-depth plan to building capacity and strengths of others as a leader, but the longer I am a principal (I know a whopping 6 months) the more I realize this isn’t necessarily true.  This week my reading specialist came to me

Continue reading

What are Your Blind Spots?

I had the privilege of attending an amazing workshop on Monday with author and researcher Jane Kise.  It was a part of our Elmhurst D205 Professional Learning Strand initiative where teachers get to pick one topic and delve deeply into it throughout the year.  Her presentation was part of the Teacher Leadership cohort, but could

Continue reading

Am I Doing It Right?

During my five years as a coach in Naperville, we implemented at least 15 new initiatives, maybe more.  So it makes sense that I was frequently asked, “What’s the right way to do this?” or similarly, “Am I doing it right?” Questions of this variety reflect our desire as educators to do our best.  Many

Continue reading

Predictions for the Next Decade of Education

I recently read this article from the Atlantic titled, Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong.  It’s an interesting read for a variety of reasons, but what stood out to me was the plethora of evidence that confirms what many of us have known for decades: the standardized testing movement simply doesn’t work.  Despite our efforts to

Continue reading

Do We Need Grade Level Standards Any More?

I’m writing this post as a question, not a statement for a reason.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I’m honestly not sure.  Writing this post is an effort to organize my thoughts. This struggle is mostly connected to the conviction I have that students are all individuals who have a variety

Continue reading

The Phrase in Education That Needs to Go

Teach with Fidelity. If you want to get me riled up, tell me I need to do anything with this as the standard. I remember when I first started teaching almost 20 years ago, I was told by a colleague that the first year we implemented a new curriculum we had to, “teach it with

Continue reading

The Evolution of Parent Communication

I’ve been reflecting this week a lot about some conversations I’ve had recently with staff about parent communication.  In Elmhurst, we have something called, “Acceleration Block.”  It is a time when we group students based on a specific learning standard or need and plan learning experiences to accelerate their growth in that area.  In previous

Continue reading

Goals Groupies: Synergizing the Passions of Staff

Last year, I read this post by John Spencer about the importance of being in a “Mastermind Group” with other educators.   It’s basically a group of teachers that meet regularly to explore and share ideas and also give one another feedback.  Because the members get to know each other well they can push one another

Continue reading