Blogs on Teacher Leadership

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Get support and guidance from change makers who are organizing and implementing real improvements to our educational system.

Elena AguilarJanuary 21, 2014

Since my last Edutopia blog post, How Slowing Down Can Lead to Great Change was published, I've received dozens of messages asking for suggestions for how to slow things down in schools. The premise behind the following suggestions is that if we slow down, we'll have more opportunities for reflection -- to think about what we've done and how it went, to consider next steps, and also to listen to each other and therefore, strengthen our connections. Here are some steps that anyone working in schools can take to slow down:

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Joe HirschJanuary 16, 2014

I recently began to use a certain four-letter word in my classroom. The kind of word that most teachers wouldn't dare say, not unless they wanted to raise eyebrows among colleagues, supervisors and parents. But I use it freely. And loudly. Now my students say it, too -- when they struggle with a worksheet, strike out on the ball field, fumble with the final strokes of an art project. Some of them have even taught the four-letter word to younger siblings at home.

"Grit." A four-letter word that every teacher and student should know and use.

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Rebecca AlberJanuary 16, 2014

Every Monday, my seventh grade English teacher would have us copy a list of 25 words she'd written on the board. We'd then look up the dictionary definitions and copy those down. For homework, we'd re-write each word seven times.

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Matt DavisJanuary 13, 2014

When tragic events happen, it can be difficult for educators, administrators, and parents to know how to help children understand and cope. How adults manage their own reactions, as well as how they help students deal with their questions and feelings, are important factors in providing children with the support and guidance they will need. Below are some useful, informative, and thoughtful resources for adults to help children through traumatic situations.

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Bob LenzJanuary 9, 2014

From where will the next generation of outstanding school leaders emerge? According to Building Pathways, a new report by Chris Bierly and Eileen Shay, school systems need to move from leaving great leadership to chance to strategically building an internal pipeline of new leaders.

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Rachel LynetteJanuary 7, 2014

As a teacher, you probably create resources for students all the time. Perhaps you need a differentiated activity, an interactive game or CCSS-aligned lesson that isn't available commercially. Most likely, your stunning creations are only used in your classroom and shared with a few teammates.

What if teachers around the world could benefit from them, too? And how amazing would it be to get paid beyond your regular salary for what you create? This is the idea behind Teachers pay Teachers (TpT), an open marketplace for teacher resources.

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Elena AguilarJanuary 2, 2014

In order to work for change in our schools, we must visualize the changes we want to see. In 2014, the change I'd like to see is in how we talk and listen to each other, how all of us -- teachers, administrators, students, parents, staff -- talk and listen to each other. This single change, I do believe, would be transformational.

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Vicki Davis @coolcatteacherDecember 30, 2013

While 45 percent of people make New Year's resolutions, only 8 percent of that group report achieving their resolutions. Why do so many fail? What can we do to increase our odds of accomplishing these all-important goals? In this blog, I'll share some of the tricks and apps that have helped me accomplish my resolutions for the past four years.

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Elena AguilarDecember 11, 2013

Sometimes, in order to gain perspective on a situation, I imagine myself zooming into outer space and looking down on whatever is going on. From a distance of thousands of feet above whatever craziness is happening I can see more clearly and determine the actions that are available for me to take.

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Mark PhillipsDecember 9, 2013

That's the title of a lecture I attended as a graduate student, given by Ken Blanchard, the noted author of The One Minute Manager. I wish I'd taken it a little more to heart -- or brain -- at the time. Two years later, in my new position as a first-year faculty member at UC Santa Barbara, I wrote a letter to the editor of the school paper chastising the chancellor for his sexist opposition to the formation of a women's center. I was right. I was also stupid. A first-year, untenured faculty member publicly criticizing the chancellor is stupid. The next day, I was called on the carpet by my dean, who said, "How the hell could you do that?!" I learned -- the hard way.

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