Middle School

What Are Some “Essentials” for Middle School Educators, Teachers or Leaders, at the Beginning of the School Year?

This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the country.  Periodically, these passionate and dedicated middle school principals share their thoughts on issues of relevance for those “in the middle”.   ******************************************************************************************* The 2019-20 school year started over the past month across the country.  What are some “essentials” for middle…

Non Negotiables in Middle School

In the spring, our staff worked collaboratively to identify a climate and culture goal for the 2019-20 School Improvement Plan. As part of the process, we did a compare/contrast on Pearl Cohn High School in Nashville. This school was featured in Edutopia’s School Climate section. We spent a considerable time reflecting on where we were…

Standing Tall with @StandTallSteve

Recently, our school hosted Stand Tall Steve for a motivational assembly and it had such an impact on our school I had to blog about it. Maybe your school could benefit from his enthusiasm and message. Stand Tall Steve is focused on inspiring students and educators to “Stand up” as leaders, innovators and learners. Throughout…

Using Google Classroom to combat information overload for staff

Teachers have an unbelievably long list (that grows each year) of information, deadlines and requirements. How can administrators (who have a growing list themselves) create a platform to streamline all this information? I have been using Google Classroom the past two years to try to combat this information overload. Here are 4 things I’ve learned…

Top 5 Posts from 2018

Each year I take some time to reflect on the blog posts on this site. It is a very cathartic process as I re-read the posts from the year, and it also inspires me to keep blogging. At it’s core, this blog serves as a digital footprint of my year as a learner! Here are…

Pause: My #OneWord2019

“Dad, look how beautiful the sunrise is…” “Look up, Dad! Look at the stars!” These are the words of our daughter, that reverberate in my thoughts at the start and end of each day. Celebrating her 18th birthday at the end of next month reminds me that time moves fast – too fast. In the…

You can’t pour out of an empty cup

This is a busy time of the year for educators. On top of al the professional responsibilities such as teaching students, dealing with the demands of lesson plans, assessments, Professional Learning Communities, Student Growth Objectives, Observation and the list goes on and on, it is the holiday season, winter, daylight savings time etc. Wow is…

Gratitude changes your world

For the past few years I have had the blessing of learning the power of Gratitude. I’ve written a lot about it on this blog and my school blog. I truly believe it can change your world. Last year our school began identifying students that the teachers were grateful to have in their class. Of…

5 Ways to Increase Higher Order Thinking Skills

Our school is going through the revalidation process to continue being an AVID National Demonstration School. Based on the feedback from a prior visits, the staff have been working on increasing Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Starting this year, the AVID site team began providing weekly instructional practices, developed a Google Form to collect best…