As she retires from her leadership role, Cathy Gassenheimer recounts highlights from ABPC’s first two decades of professional learning and network building and shares her four most important lessons learned. “I am eternally grateful for all those who have made this journey so rewarding,” she writes. “The list is long, and I hope I have the opportunity to thank many of you in person as we all continue to travel on the carousel of time.”
Latest From Cathy Gassenheimer
This small group strategy shared by high school teacher Cheyanne Freitas gives secondary students explicit feedback on group interactions and helps promote participation and effective collaboration. Cathy Gassenheimer offers a summary and points readers to an Edutopia article where they can find all the details. Included: Links to tips for middle and elementary small grouping.
Creating lessons accessible to readers who resist novels and other long texts can enhance the learning experience for everyone – including those who read the whole book. Cathy Gassenheimer shares ideas from high school interdisciplinary teacher Ileana Sherry on designing literacy instruction with the “extreme user” in center focus. Extra resources included!
Learning to think upstream can help leaders “prevent problems before they happen or systematically reduce the harm caused by those problems,” explains Dan Heath in his bestselling leadership book Upstream. To introduce Alabama educators to the concepts of upstream thinking, ABPC created an online book study using Heath’s 2020 book as the guiding text. Find out how it’s going!
Despite an endorsement by favorite author Adam Grant, ABPC’s Cathy Gassenheimer admits she didn’t love reading The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning . Even so, she writes, “it got me thinking about Covid-19, the suffering we didn’t choose, and the opportunities our collective ordeal might represent for reimagining education.”
“I like Susan David’s practical approach to mindfulness in our work and lives,” writes Cathy Gassenheimer. The Harvard psychologist and author of Emotional Agility suggests four ways educators can find “a measure of peace and clarity in what’s already been one of the most stressful years ever,” Cathy says. Included: Susan David’s viral TED Talk and links to other resources.
Many teachers, especially in the elementary grades, say that writing is the subject they find most challenging to teach. Some cite their own perceived weakness as writers; others cite a lack of enthusiasm among students. Cathy Gassenheimer highlights a third problem – teaching writing as a stand-alone process – and offers a variety of resources that can strengthen writing instruction.
Educators are living in an unprecedented situation where they are very likely to feel powerless at times. Cathy Gassenheimer found organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich’s insightful suggestion – that we deliberately recall instances of great personal resilience and so reaffirm our true power – to be restorative. Included: Links to six recent leadership articles you might find helpful.
When Cathy Gassenheimer began using Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom as a daily reflection tool in early 2021, we were hopeful that the world might soon return to normal. “Alas, the wild ride has continued,” she writes. What better time to recommend the habit of daily devotional reading? Cathy includes some education-friendly choices to consider.
Dr. Dilip Jeste, author of “Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good” says we are mistaken if we think that by simply growing older we become wiser. Instead, the path to wisdom begins when we realize how much we do not know and become active seekers and listeners. Cathy Gassenheimer shares five ideas from the book we can practice in the year ahead.