Elena Aguilar

Blog Posts

Tags Student Engagement
February 19, 2013

In my last post I described 10 ways to cultivate a love of reading in kids. I want to expand on that theme by suggesting 10 alternatives to the book report. I'm not a fan of book reports; I don't think they are an effective way for a student to demonstrate understanding of a book and I don't...

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Tags Student Engagement
February 13, 2013

As a teacher, I was obsessed with cultivating a love of reading in my students. I love to read, loved it as a kid too. I'm equally compelled to ensure that my own child loves reading -- and he does. I well aware that I'm on a mission -- but I also know it's a worthy one!

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Tags Teacher Leadership
January 28, 2013

Many of the deeper learning blogs in this series have addressed what teachers can do within the classroom in order to guide their students into rigorous, meaningful, deep learning experiences. Teacher practice is a core area to focus on, but without naming and valuing the structural conditions...

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Tags Student Engagement
January 21, 2013

Teachers: How often do you think something like, When I was a kid, I always did what my teachers told me to do and never questioned their authority, or I hated silent reading, or I loved learning about ancient Greece/making dioramas/participating in science fair? And do...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
January 15, 2013

Last month I reflected on team development and how we can work more effectively together in schools. It's impossible to explore these ideas without considering conflict -- an inevitable part of working together. Conflict can be challenging and destructive, or it can lead to deeper...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
December 13, 2012

My last two posts have been reflections on what I've learned this fall about the role that teams can play in transforming schools. The final installment in this series is not original -- I didn't come up with these ideas -- but just in case you haven't come across "Lessons We Learn from Geese,"...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
December 11, 2012

I gestured to the stack of books next to my bed and said to my nine-year-old son, "Those are the books I'm going to read this winter break!"

"All of them!?" he exclaimed. "I don't think you can read all of those."

He might be right. I've gathered nine books, over 3500 pages of...

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Tags Administrators
December 5, 2012

In my last post I reflected on what makes an effective team of teachers. This is something I've been contemplating a great deal as this year I'm leading a team of instructional coaches. We work with a number of middle schools that are "transforming" and a central element in our theory of action...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
November 28, 2012

This fall I've been thinking a lot about what makes a good team in a school context. I'll share some of these thoughts, but I really want to hear your ideas on this subject.

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Tags New-Teacher Support
November 7, 2012

Last week I spent an afternoon coaching teachers on preparing for parent conferences. That same day, after work, I attended my son's fall parent-teacher conference. Given these different perspectives on this tradition, I figured I could share some thoughts for making these conferences...

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Equity, transformation, social justice, leadership, coaching, listening, mindfulness.