Category Archives: Educational Focus
We cannot control the weather, but there are so many things that educators do control.
It’s about intentionality. Everything we do as educators should be done with intention, not because that’s the way were were taught, not because it’s what “feels” right, or what’s easy for us; we must always act in ways that create safe conditions for learning to take place and to build the resilience of our kids.
Actions follow our beliefs. If there is one piece of advice that all middle school teachers must follow it is this, “Middle school kids are different, don’t expect to succeed with the same strategies that might work with elementary or high school kids.” Continue reading
Remembering Dates I share a birthday with Ludwig van Beethoven, December 16. That’s probably why, when I want to play classical music on my Amazon Echo I normally ask, “Alexa, play my Pandora Beethoven station.” Of course Beethoven is awesome, … Continue reading
You’ve all been to conferences. You sign in. Get a name badge that was printed for you in advance. Everyone has a neatly prepared badge — with their name — title — school district — all proudly displayed on their badge, neatly protected in a plastic case — hanging — from a lanyard.
And there’s Sharpy-Boy over there with his sloppy sticky label Continue reading
We guide students to use “mentor texts” in their development as writers. Ralph Fletcher explains that mentor texts are, “…any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.” Continue reading
Here’s a confession, I’ve been responsible for some pretty horrible professional development (PD). When I think about the faculty meetings I ran when I was a new principal, I am embarrassed. Often, my faculty meetings were the Don Gately Show. … Continue reading
Our most enduring memories are forged during our middle school years. I was very saddened by the passing this year of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. I feel like I grew up with Ali. I was ten when The Fight … Continue reading
Last spring I had the opportunity to attend the world premiere of a film by a young and astounding filmmaker. Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion is a documentary about the history of the 1964 World’s Fair and especially the New York Pavilion. The filmmaker is a teacher from our school, Matt Silva. Continue reading
This was only a brief snapshot of a terrific learning moment but I promised myself I would share what I observed because, at our school, we are all LEARNERS! Thanks Bess! Continue reading