Showing posts from October, 2015

Look Closer

Throughout the course of any given day, I have a number of interactions with students, teachers, parents, support staff members, administrators, and community stakeholders about achievement, performance, instructional techniques, strategies to serve students who struggle, events taking place in their lives, among many other topics.  I love these conversations, as I am able to learn about great things taking place in our schools, struggles or areas where I can support, and often times thoughts or plans are generated about how we can become better.  Some of these conversations are exciting, as teachers share how much their students are producing with the Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop model of instruction.  Other times the conversations are full of frustration, as people are struggling to meet a variety of needs and don't know what to do moving forward.  Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out where the person is coming from within these interactions which forces me to look cl…

What Great Educators Do Differently

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural What Great Educators Do Differently Conference in Chicago.  There were so many fantastic educators at this event willing to share their expertise related to teaching, learning, leadership, technology, and making connections.  After attending various sessions facilitated by Paul SolarzDwight CarterAmber TeamannAngela Maiers, and having conversations with other participants, I have developed a list of what I feel great educators do differently.  The list and descriptions will not seem mind-boggling in any way; however, I believe that truly great educators do these things consistently within their daily practices.

Great educators know their strengths and where they can grow:
I have faced a hard truth over the past four years serving in my role as elementary principal of two schools: I cannot be everything to everybody.  That is a tough pill for me to swallow because I am a helper by nature.  I know that I am surro…