A Principal's Reflections

Taking Learners Deeper with Reflection

A Principal's Reflections

“ We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey The quote above from Dewey has always resonated with me, especially when I am outside doing yardwork in Texas. In the past, I used to often get stung by bees and wasps.

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Humble Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

Suppose you were to research or Google the qualities of effective leaders. In that case, all you would come up with are the typical characteristics such as good communication, ability to make difficult decisions, having a vision, models, and listening intently, to name a few.

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Rethinking Normal

A Principal's Reflections

It always amazes me that we possess such vivid memories of some experiences yet tend to forget others. As the years' pass, I am always trying to retain as many as possible from my childhood. One that sticks out goes way back to my pre-school years.

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3 Ways to Create a Culture of Belonging

A Principal's Reflections

Everyone wants to feel that they belong where they work. A culture of acceptance and respect can reap the rewards for all stakeholders. Hence, we have seen an increased emphasis on workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

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Building the Foundation for a Modern K-12 Classroom

K-12 looks different these days. But one thing remains the same: you need a reliable learning platform that serves as the foundation for teaching and learning––for all students, in a variety of learning experiences.

Boost Morale with These Simple Strategies

A Principal's Reflections

Morale can best be defined as the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time. Thriving cultures that produce results make every effort to keep this on the positive side. However, this is easier said than done.

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The Everlasting Influence of a Great Teacher

A Principal's Reflections

Over the years, I have made the point of highlighting some of the many teachers who not only had a positive impact on me as a student but also have a tremendous amount of influence on me today.

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Moving Beyond SAMR with the Rigor Relevance Framework

A Principal's Reflections

While there are many different frameworks to choose from when it comes to the effective integration of technology, SAMR is typically the one that most people and schools leverage.

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Get Students into the Learning Pit

A Principal's Reflections

In life, I would wager that the majority of us prefer the path of least resistance. After all, this is human nature. While we avoid challenges for many reasons, our mindset often keeps us from pushing ourselves if we are comfortable where we are at or we see a more straightforward path forward.

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Addressing SEL and Behavior Challenges with Relationships

A Principal's Reflections

One question that is posed to me often by districts and schools is how their staff can be proactive when it comes to student behavior and addressing their social-emotional needs.

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Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

3 Strategies for Impactful Communication

A Principal's Reflections

“T he single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw It is hard to deny how important communication is for any leader, no matter their profession. In many cases, it will make or break their success.

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Leading When You Don't Have the Answers

A Principal's Reflections

There is no shortage of advice on how to lead effectively. The simple fact, though, is that the process is rarely easy. Decisions must always be made, and sometimes delegation and consensus—both powerful elements in building a positive culture—are not suitable courses of action.

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Leading Through Windows and Mirrors

A Principal's Reflections

There is no shortage of ways to reflect on how we lead in an effort to initiate and sustain change. Culture is everything. Establishing and maintaining relationships is paramount, which Is why I detailed research-based ways to improve morale in a previous post and in Digital Leadership.

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Identifying the Best Supports for Personalization

A Principal's Reflections

We know for a fact that everyone learns differently. While a one-size-fits-all approach served its purpose for some of us, it doesn’t meet the diverse needs of kids today.

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Unlock the Power of Formative Assessment

Learn how a thoughtful formative assessment approach can help teachers understand where students are in their learning, inform instruction, and in turn, positively impact student learning outcomes. Get the guide today!

Leading Difficult Personalities

A Principal's Reflections

While there are many challenging aspects when it comes to leadership, one that typically rises to the top is dealing with difficult personalities. As the saying goes, it’s typically the 1% that gives you 99% of the problems. Some people might take offense to the previous statement.

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Embracing an Evolved Thought Process

A Principal's Reflections

It is quite hard to keep up with all the exponential changes we are experiencing. Take technology for example. We get used to a device or app and before we know it there has been a huge update that alters the experience or it’s gone and replaced by something else.

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Transitioning to a Transformational Mindset

A Principal's Reflections

The concept of how one’s mindset plays a crucial role in growth and change is nothing new. However, there are different ways to look beyond just fixed vs. growth.

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Supporting and Rewarding Teachers with Time

A Principal's Reflections

If it’s true that life is a test, then the COVID-19 pandemic represents the most challenging one education and everyone in the field has ever faced. The impacts are far and wide. Not a single person is unaffected, and everyone needs help in some form or another.

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6 Tips for EdTech Evaluation by Adult Learning Institutions

Many continuing adult education institutions have turned to technology used by higher ed with the following benefits: elevates teaching and learning, scales to address changes in staffing, enrollment and budget, and protects student and institutional data.

Don’t Use a Lot Where a Little Will Do

A Principal's Reflections

The title of this post is a well-known proverb that carries a great deal of weight during times of adversity, struggle, or uncertainty. I don’t know of a single person who really wants to take on more work, especially during a pandemic.

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Learner Paths are Rarely the Same

A Principal's Reflections

At times I find myself claiming that I am a visual learner. Hence, I try to have an original image to go along with most blog posts I write. While text adds needed details and depth, the accompanying visuals provide more context.

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Shifting Our Practice

A Principal's Reflections

In my previous post , I dove into the concept of shifting our focus from “what” to “who” in order to set the stage for personalization. The premise is as simple as it is powerful, with the goal being to provide all learners with what they need, when and where they need it, to become life ready.

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The 6 Dimensions of Disruptive Thinkers

A Principal's Reflections

What is really needed for success in the world today? I think this might be the million-dollar question. Even though it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict the future, we can examine current trends and societal forces to determine the competencies that learners need to thrive.

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6 Strategies for Using Actionable Data to Impact Student Success

Educators need effective tools to drive student success. The trend to use actionable, comprehensive data—like attendance, assessments, grades, and more—is an effective way to give teachers the visibility they need to make a difference. Videri gives teachers and administrators access to comprehensive, integrated data so they can easily filter, drill down, and analyze data—to get the information that they really need, when they need it, and improve student outcomes. Download the eBook today!

The Role of a Leader in Building Capacity

A Principal's Reflections

When it comes to leadership, there is no one right way or quick fix. Just like with learning, it's a process, not an event. Another given is that no matter where your practice lies, or that of your staff, there are always areas to improve.

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4 Question Types for Deeper Learning

A Principal's Reflections

There are many strategies out there that an educator can use to empower learners. Possibly one of the most powerful is questioning techniques. They comprise the core of any meaningful learning experience and are at the heart of virtually every type of pedagogical approach.

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No Act of Kindness is a Wasted Effort

A Principal's Reflections

I fly a lot. Even during the heart of the pandemic, I was on the road coaching in numerous school districts as part of long-term projects. Now things are absolutely crazy but in a good way.

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Change Begins with You

A Principal's Reflections

When we do things a certain way, we often become comfortable, especially if we are satisfied with the result. While this might seem perfectly fine on the surface, the truth is that progress can become stagnant.

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Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

Leading With a Swiss Army Knife Approach

A Principal's Reflections

How would one define great leadership? What are the characteristics of influential leaders? Each of these questions leads to various responses.

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Sparking Inquiry in the Classroom

A Principal's Reflections

As a kid, I loved nature. Growing up in a rural part of New Jersey and spending summers at the beach probably played a significant role in developing this interest. My parents would buy me and my brother all sorts of field guides to help support our curiosity and genuine interest in living creatures.

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RTI and Personalization: A Dynamic Duo

A Principal's Reflections

Recently I was working with the leadership team at Moanalua Middle School (MMS) in Hawaii. One of the coaching topics that came up was how to improve the Response to Intervention (RTI) process as a means to support learners.

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Blending with the Station Rotation Model

A Principal's Reflections

Blended learning is something that is near and dear to my heart. For me, the journey began back in 2011 when we first introduced the flipped approach at New Milford High School, where I was principal, with resounding success.

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The Best Ways to Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, How to Best Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School, hear the real-world experience of Steven Palomo, IT Director at Beverly Public Schools, regarding how he successfully managed his entire tech stack.

The Change Leader

A Principal's Reflections

Everyone seems to want change. While this, in essence, is a good thing, the reality is that many people don't want to actually go through the complex process. If this wasn't challenging enough, the individuals needed to lead it is even less.

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Pedagogical Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

Leadership is leadership. The same essential qualities and characteristics that exemplify what great leaders do have pretty much stayed the same. What has changed are the tools, research, and societal shifts that impact the work.

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The Significance of Small Wins

A Principal's Reflections

Is there such a thing as a “small” win? I think we can challenge this notion as the overall impact is in the eye of the beholder. Jude King shared the following: Small wins can be as important or even more important than the big ones. And there are two main reasons why.

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Upgrading the KWL Chart

A Principal's Reflections

There are many strategies at the disposal of a teacher to help students learn. The anticipatory set functions as a hook at the beginning of the lesson for motivation, while closure ties everything together.

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White Paper: Enabling digital creativity with Augmented Reality in K12 education

We have conducted 2 research projects on teaching with AR. This research has been conducted with the UiO and the UiS. The resulting white paper is an in-depth look at the state of creative learning through the use of 3D modeling and exploration in AR.