Blogs on School Leadership

Blogs on School LeadershipRSS
Tom WhitbyApril 10, 2014

I believe that most states require teachers to have a certain amount of professional development (PD) each year. I also believe that most states do not directly pay for this to happen, leaving the funding of any PD up to individual districts. At that point it comes down to budgetary priorities. Some schools have the means, but many others do not. Nevertheless, every school must check off a box on some form somewhere indicating that some degree of PD has been delivered. And so was born the idea of the full-day workshop at least once a year. The impact on the budget is minimal, all of the teachers receive a day of PD to carry them through the rest of the year, and most importantly, the box on the form can be checked. Does this sound familiar?

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Maurice EliasMarch 24, 2014

Take a walk through your building or workplace and attend to the feelings you have. No, not an actual walk -- a symbolic one. By so doing, you will learn a lot about the culture and climate of your school and some areas where action may be needed.

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Elena AguilarMarch 18, 2014

During the month of March, in many educational settings, women's history is addressed. Images of famous female leaders are pulled out to decorate walls; special assemblies are held; picture books are read; girl power is acknowledged and celebrated. This is all good, but there are some next steps that educators (both men and women) need to take if we're going to truly empower girls and set them up for leadership roles. We need to offer expanded definitions of leadership, take on the "Lean In" vs. "Recline" debate, and walk the talk.

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Mark PhillipsFebruary 25, 2014

I love movies and have always envied Academy Award voters. So here's my chance! I am giving out my own Edutopia version of the 2014 Academy Awards for Educational Documentaries.

And since this is the first time I'm doing this, I'm taking the liberty of extending eligibility to 2012 films as well. It seems unfair to bypass recent excellent films still playing in 2014.

Following are my Educational Documentary Academy Awards for 2014. I've watched over a dozen this year, a comment itself on the proliferation of educational documentaries. These are my favorites.

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Dr. Joe MazzaFebruary 14, 2014

You might recall the events last year when the University of Pennsylvania's Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (@MCDPEL) traveled to Finland to study the schools through the lenses of students, teachers, parents and leaders. The team's use of social media during that trip (including Edutopia's live Global Penn-Finn Edu Conversation) has made its way back to campus.

Since September, the innovative school leadership program has hosted a global conversation around various leadership topics using the #pennedchat hashtag. This weekend, the program at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (@PennGSE) will partner with the largest ongoing weekend education conversation in existence -- #Satchat.

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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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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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Dr. Kimberlee RatliffNovember 20, 2013

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, President Obama called for increased mental health support in school settings. Counselors are qualified to work with students in individual counseling, small group counseling and large group support. Besides being leaders, advocates, collaborators and systemic change agents, counselors have training in crisis intervention and are often called upon to assist in small- and large-scale crisis situations. However, if school counselors are engaged in too many non-counseling duties, then their effectiveness is reduced.

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Ben JohnsonOctober 28, 2013

Being back in the classroom has given me a refreshed perspective. Below, I would like to share with administrators some helpful observations and suggestions that may improve your relationship with the teachers you serve.

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Mark PhillipsSeptember 30, 2013

I love movies, especially good movies about kids and about education. I'm also often disappointed in these films. I've become tired of documentaries extoling or attacking charter schools. I've also seen too many films focusing on at-risk kids in struggling schools that somehow manage to be clichéd, repetitive and boring.

So when I discover films like the two that I want to share with you, films that are truly great in both their substance and the quality of the filmmaking, I feel uplifted and hopeful. They renew my faith in both public education and great documentary filmmaking. The two films are The New Public and The Graduates. I plan to review the latter film just before its wide release in late October. But The New Public airs nationally on PBS on October 1, so let's start with that one.

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