Professional Development

The One Thing Innovative School Leaders Must Do Before School Ends

For better or worse, another school year is winding down. For school leaders who have been hoping to kick off a new, student-centered approach to teaching, that means you have to act fast. The whole idea of student-centered, personalized learning may seem like a long and daunting task—and perhaps it is—but there is one small step that can lay the groundwork for a culture of generativity.

As Expectations of Teachers Change, Administrators Rethink Their Observation Practices

Have you ever been in a classroom when a principal walks in? Planned or random, evaluative or not, the atmosphere changes.The entrance of an administrator can create tension where there was none, or it can relieve stress—but that depends on the relationship between the administrator and teacher as well as the culture and purpose of observations in a school. In the best case, the teacher knows that the observer is there to support and welcomes the observation, but in my experience that scenario is the exception, not the rule.

How One Educator Found Work-Life Balance By Teaching Online—From Her Living Room

World maps, colorful letter charts and a felt animal poster line the walls of LaShundra Wigfall’s classroom. Toy cars, her puppet (BaBa the sheep) and other teaching props lay waiting for her to bring them to life with her jovial voice and infectious energy. But Wigfall’s classroom isn’t in a school; it’s smack dab in the middle of her living room. Instead of 20 or more students, she teaches just one student at a time. And some days...she wears her pajama bottoms to class.

Why Teacher-Driven Coaching Looks Different for Every Learner

Recently, my school district—like many across the country—has begun to explore ways to increase students’ technology use in thoughtful ways, especially at the middle and high school level. Taking the idea from theory to practice is something that takes a lot of work, and classroom teachers can sometimes benefit from extra support to make this successful transition. James, a secondary teacher in his third year, was one of many teachers considering what this might look like for the students in his classroom.

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