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Showing posts from September, 2017

What is the Secret Sauce of School Change?

"There's an assumption that schools are for students' learning. Well, why aren't they just as much for teachers' learning?" - Seymour Sarason"I'm not asking you to change, I'm asking you to learn."
Missy Emler, Change School v3
Last Monday night and Cohort Three of Change.School was discussing change leadership and learning when Missy Emler dropped this gem on us from fifty thousand feet. Her follow-up comment was, "When people learn, people, systems, and organizations change." This simple, yet insightful comment has been rattling around in my head for the past few days.

While mowing the front yard the following evening, I begin thinking about famous individuals who went through some form of transformation, historical figures, sports heroes, celebrities in pop culture. What preceded their conversion? All of the situations I could think of supported Missy's assertion, there was some kind of challenge, a period of reflection, possib…

Two More Cs Please

We are nearly twenty percent into the 21st century, and unless you've been trapped under an enormous rock, you've likely come across information about the Four Cs. Designed as a guide to better prepare learners for a modern world, the Four Cs provide a concise framework for pushing modern learning opportunities into the classroom. This publication from the National Education Association speaks to the Four Cs in precise detail.


"An Educator's Guide to the Four Cs"
Taking a page from the ISTE standards for students, what if we shifted the focus of these descriptors from actions to learner dispositions? We would be fostering the development of skills students will need to be valued members of a global community. These learner dispositions include:
Critical ThinkerCommunicatorCollaboratorCreator
While I heartily endorse the spirit of the Four Cs, I contend two dispositions are missing from this framework.
ContributorCultivatorAs someone who is reluctantly neck-deep in my …

Change.School; Because Who Wants to Struggle Alone? (3.0)

Change, as I have learned, can be a struggle. I've written previously about my fifty years of learning and teaching in schools, thinking this bought me some measure of credibility and expertise. However, I've come to discover my deepest, most impactful learning has not taken place in formal settings, but recently through social networks and communities of practice. Formal education needs to change to meet the needs of modern learners in a modern world. 

Struggle, my revelation that five decades of school-based experience means I have more to unlearn in my quest to help transform schools into centers of relevant, personal learning.Transformation is also a struggle, it's the unraveling and scrutinizing of years of doing what I believed was the right thing. Since my preference is to not struggle alone, I 've joined the third cohort of Change.School.



Not really a course, Change.School is a community of practice, a group of educators and thought-change leaders who are interes…

Engaging Students’ Parents in a Collaborative Digital Place

When parents support positive learning environments at home and are engaged in their child’s academic endeavors, students experience higher achievement and better educational outcomes. (1)


Open House, I am making my rounds, making sure all of our tech is working. After passing several empty classrooms, I catch a couple of my colleagues in mid-conversation.

“The crowd looks a bit thin this year.” said a social studies teacher holding a stack of blank, self-sticking name badges with “Hello, my name is…” printed in red letters across the top.

His associate from the Mathematics department said, “There are several empty classrooms in this hallway. I wonder where everyone could be?”

Has the traditional concept of parents’ night, or open house, become an exercise whose best, well-intentioned days, passed us by? As school personnel, are we not communicating, informing, and welcoming enough for today’s families? Maybe we have been inviting parental involvement when we should be fostering parental…