In a time of great uncertainty and ambiguity school leaders are often left to grapple with the impact of decisions made elsewhere and to support teachers and staff in every circumstance. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer strategies to maximize those efforts.
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Michelle Russell’s math students depend on her to be cheerful and happy in these difficult times. That can be a challenge, she admits, “but having some new (or not so new) activities to try gets me excited and energized to come to work. I figure that’s good for everybody!”
If there’s ever been a year for reflection and pampering during winter break, then 2020 is that year. A.P. DeAnna Miller intends to set aside time to write and reflect on what worked and what needs changing. And she will “really and truly” revive and embrace the self-care routines she loves.
Cutting-edge teachers never answer the question “why do we need to learn this” with vague references about an unlikely future, writes curriculum coordinator Alex Valencic. Instead, they provide “instant relevancy” and respond with immediate examples from our lives today.
The 2016 Gallup Poll of Students asked nearly a million tweens and teens in grades 5-12 about engagement in learning. The results were not encouraging, writes author Patti Drapeau. Teachers need to move beyond the “what” of engagement to focus on the “why.”
Students need to explore critical questions about topics relevant to their lives, writes Kasey Short. In the past she’s organized debates, but hybrid teaching prompted her to try ‘elevator pitches.’ Kids enjoyed researching issues, doing bias checks and creating short videos.
In The Elementary School Grammar Toolkit Sean Ruday shows how to use mentor texts as a tool to help kids connect with engaging material as they learn proper writing conventions. Teacher Kathie Palmieri says the book will enrich writing in the intermediate grades and beyond.
This fall Katie Durkin’s middle schoolers developed a voluntary reading plan using a design thinking process. After modeling her own reading goals, she had students generate and pursue ‘prototype’ goals that helped them expand choice and voice in their reading practices.
Principals are the creators of school culture. Through their words, actions, and policies they can assure ELLs’ success. The work teachers need to do with language learners can’t be done without principal support. Tan Huynh offers 4 principles for school leaders to adopt.
Rigor in the Remote Learning Classroom is a valuable guide that will help teachers and schools reframe the conversation about remote teaching. The book’s tips and strategies can make a remote approach both robust and rigorous, writes middle school head Michael McLaughlin.