Finding your Anchor: Creating a Vision for the Work We Do

My hope for us is that we can thrive in our work, that we can be focused and purposeful and deliberate in our pursuit of our students’ well-being. That we can model dependability, trustworthiness, and integrity in our roles.  And that we would do these things with great joy, anchored by a vision of what could be when our best selves come to work everyday to do our best work for the good of those we serve

In Search of True Collaboration

Good, we think to ourselves, having just assigned a task we spent hours putting together. A collaborative activity with a check for understanding planned for when they’re finished.
No sooner does this thought pass through our heads than we realize one of two things: 1. It’s very quiet in here; they’re not working together at all. OR 2. There’s tons of conversation, but hardly anyone is on task.

What happened? Well, despite our good intentions and perhaps even our high level activity, there are several issues here that have sabotaged our efforts.

Four Threats to your Personal and Professional Growth

As we begin the second half of the school year, let’s commit ourselves again to the importance of continual growth. Let’s resolve to fight against those forces that might hinder our progress and keep us from being as effective as possible for our students.

To do this well, we need to acknowledge the barriers that most impact us and work vigilantly to root them out. If you feel stuck in a rut, or are working hard to ensure you don’t get trapped in one, look out for these four pitfalls.

9 Tips for a Memorable and Meaningful Holiday Break

Congrats! You’ve made it to Winter Break and have survived what I’m sure was a crazy home stretch this week. Now, what to do with all the time you’ll have?

Let’s fight the pull toward either end of the spectrum. On one side is completely vegging and disconnecting. On the other is running frantically between parties, last minute shopping sprees, and family obligations. What’s the middle ground? What will help you go back to work in January feeling rested, recharged, and eager to enter the New Year?

Ready, Set…December! Framing Our Messages in a Season of Excitement & Anxiety

The December push has begun!

In the midst of all the joy and excitement, do you find this time of year a little extra challenging? With the energy levels (positive and negative) increasing a few ticks each day, things can sometimes come off the rails in terms of classroom policies, student behavior, and our patience levels. Caution: This is a perfect recipe for an, “I wish I hadn’t said/done that” situation.

Framing our Messages Effectively: Helping Students Hear & Not Just Listen

At the heart of being a teacher is being a messenger. Our days are filled with communication—-verbal, written, and electronic—and this brings countless opportunities to share our hearts and minds with students and families. Unfortunately, it also carries with it plenty of chances to make mistakes.

How can we frame our communication in a way that helps students not only understand what we say but also receive our messages in a way that increases buy-in and decreases resistance?