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The ABPC Blog

It’s Here! The Companion Guide to Leaders of Their Own Learning

Ron Berger’s comprehensive companion guide to his landmark 2014 book Leaders of Their Own Learning has been eagerly anticipated by educators in ABPC’s Powerful Conversations Networks. Cathy Gassenheimer highlights the impact of LOTOL on student-engaged assessment in Alabama and her own role in writing the Foreword to the just-released Leaders of Their Own Learning Companion.

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10 Takeaways from Our Hard Conversations Institute with Jennifer Abrams

In a time when the teacher workforce is rapidly evolving and schools are under great pressure to strengthen their systems for professional learning and collaboration, what better topics for a learning “retreat” than cross-generation communication and “hard conversations” about professional growth. Cathy Gassenheimer reports on ABPC’s two-day Hard Conversations Institute with expert Jennifer Abrams.

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Why Do We Need the Alabama Best Practices Center?

Over the summer, Cathy Gassenheimer had the chance to ask Greg Edge, principal of Attalla Elementary School, why he continues to be involved in ABPC’s professional learning opportunities. “I told him about the questions we often hear from potential funders, who want to know how ABPC programs differ from what Alabama educators might otherwise experience.” Here’s what Greg (and some other KLN participants) told us.

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How Can We Be Sure We’re Reaching Our “Quiet Kids”?

With half our population thought to be introverted to some degree, it’s important for educators to pay attention and adjust our lesson plans and teaching styles to better support our “quiet” kids, writes professed introvert and assistant principal DeAnna Miller. “Learning to help both extroverted and introverted students understand more about themselves and each other will only enhance our learning environments.”

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“Stunningly Powerful” School Improvement Begins by Sharpening Our Focus

In 4th grade Cathy Gassenheimer was excited to draw her map of Norway and color it with bright pencils she cajoled her mom into buying. She drew and colored “until my illustrated map shifted from a work of beauty to a cluttered mess.” It was her first lesson in “less is more” — the key message she shares from Mike Schmoker’s book Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning.

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KLN East Helps ABPC Launch a New Year of Professional Learning!

Without a doubt, this was our best “first meeting” with new Key Leaders Network members ever, writes ABPC leader Cathy Gassenheimer. These educators were really open to our process and they engaged deeply throughout the day, with support from our more “veteran” participants. School and system leaders are hungry to talk about their challenges and dreams with colleagues who “really get it.”

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Thinking about Reading at the Eclectic City Library

Reading is really about accessing knowledge and expanding our understanding. Whether it’s to gather facts and information – or insights into the human condition and our relationship with the world – reading continues to be the most important skill of all. Cathy Gassenheimer shares some thoughts about why and how we can read more!

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