High School

Adopting tools in a transformative rather than additive way

Years ago I was doing a presentation to high school educators and things didn’t go as planned: Other times the technology is new, and different, and not intuitively transformative. That doesn’t mean the tool can’t be transformative, it just means it’s hard to see the benefit or the value. This afternoon a good friend and…

Reading for Pleasure

When I was working, I primarily read professional articles, blogs, magazines, or books related to my profession as an educator. This is why I looked forward to the breaks when I’d binge-read books for pleasure. There’s nothing quite like being completely immersed in a good book! Since my retirement, I’ve found distinct pleasure in reading…

Assessing the Value of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB’s)

Long gone are the days where the overhead projector reigned supreme in the classroom. I still vividly remember venturing to the local office supply store to get my transparencies made for my lessons. After all, who would even think about direct instruction with the assistance of notes displayed on a screen instead of writing them…

“Mirrors and Windows”

Recently, I read an article that Ezra Jack Keats’ book, The Snowy Day, is the book that has been checked out more times – 485, 583 – than any other book in the New York Public Library system. I can understand why this book is so popular. I remember reading this book with my preschoolers every year.…

Bookend Pedagogy

As I work with more and more schools in a coaching role, I am beginning to see specific trends emerge. Now, before I go any further, it goes without saying that I see fantastic examples of sound pedagogical practice and innovative strategies that are leading to improved learning outcomes.  However, my role, as the schools…

Learning from Failure

Today, I was a recalling an incident that happened many years ago when our son was taking karate. He had been taking lessons for a couple of years and had made good progress. It was the day when all the students would take their test to be promoted to the next color belt. Justin was…

They Touched My Heart with Their Stories

My heart is full; my cup is filled. This has been an uplifting week for me. I’ve been sharing about my book, Leading with Aloha: From the Pineapple Fields to the Principal’s Office, and one of my goals when I speak with educators is to encourage them to tell their mo`olelo, their unique stories. I…

Personalized Learning in Action

Over the past year, I have been blessed to support the Davis School District in Utah with their personalized learning initiative across the district. It has been exciting and challenging work as I have been mentoring principals, facilitating workshops, and providing teachers feedback where schools are all at different places as they work to create…

Needing Positive Vibes

I’m a pretty positive person. I believe that things have a way of working out, that we can find common ground even if we disagree. That is probably the reason why I loved being an educator for 45 years. We know that what we do or say to students today and how we make them…