Category Archives: Teaching/Learning

My COVID-19 Diary: What she says – A teen’s view of “remote school”

All educators miss the face-to-face contact we have with students every day in the school building.  It’s about the learning but it’s also the constant feedback loop between kids and adults that tells us how we’re doing and also, how … Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Culture outlasts quarantine

Somehow, given the magnitude of our current crisis, getting around to following up on a kid who took fries off another kids’ tray without asking, leading to some minor pushing, seems inconsequential. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Principal in the Coal Mine #2

Don’t try to “win the quarantine”. Compelled to remain at home, the restless school leader conjures a host of what seem like reasonable ideas to make an impact during this unusual time. Be suspicious of this instinct.  Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Goldilocks Tasks

In layman’s terms, this is often referred to as the Goldilocks Principle, not too hard, not too soft.  Your nine-year-old is clearly not excited about cleaning that nasty area behind the toilet in your basement, a burden you’ve been putting off for months, and with good reason. The task should have a finite goal and be sufficiently challenging to take at minimum one hour and ideally an entire day, yes 24 hours! Continue reading

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My COVID Diary: Friday un-Focused

78 returned emails, a bike ride to the grocery store, an Andrew Cuomo press conference, dinner and it’s time for bed. And I’ve never been so exhausted in my life.   Repeat again tomorrow. Continue reading

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Middle-leaders Collaborative: How do you handle “lame-duck” days?

The holidays are approaching.  Working with middle school kids on the days preceding a vacation can be particularly challenging.  How do you make it work? This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the … Continue reading

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Middle-Level Leaders Collaborative: Who’s your “go-to” person?

This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the country.  Periodically, these passionate and dedicated middle school principals share their thoughts on issues of relevance for those “in the middle”.   Working at the middle-level … Continue reading

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Middle School Principals’ Collaborative: Beginning of the Year Essentials

This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the country.  Periodically, these passionate and dedicated middle school principals share their thoughts on issues of relevance for those “in the middle”. Topic: The 2019-20 school … Continue reading

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About our legacy: What details will be remembered

Whenever you ask young adolescents about the adults in their lives, their teachers, administrators, their bus driver, the lunch ladies, they always focus on some quirky detail that is the part that becomes the whole. Continue reading

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Stories: About a boy

Amazing educators, when you ask them, “What do you teach?”, they reply, “I teach kids!”  Great teachers love kids. They love the students in front of them and they understand the sacred nature of their professional responsibility to nurture the academic and personal development of kids.  Great teachers know that relationships are the most important thing; not homework, not tests, not awesome lesson plans, but relationships. Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Best Practice, edcamp, Educational Focus, Inside the Middle School, Personal Best, Teaching/Learning