There are always growing pains at the beginning of school, writes Harlan Elementary assistant principal Jill Edwards, “as teachers and admins tweak plans based on real world needs.” Here Edwards takes a moment to “look back on those first 30 days to consider what we as administrators are doing to support our mission on a daily basis.”
The ABPC Blog
School improvement and innovation should begin inside the school, writes author and McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin in this ABPC guest article. When a school changes because the people inside “genuinely want the change and have a true say in how they’ll create it, there are no limits to what they can achieve.” First step: build an inclusive leadership team.
Cathy Gassenheimer interviews Jennifer Abrams about communicating, collaborating, and creating community in today’s hyperconnected world. Cathy and Jennifer use the bestseller “New Power” (Heimans & Timms) to spring into a fascinating conversation about what it means to teach and lead in a society being shaped by social media.
Guntersville City Schools has “great raw materials,” says Chief Academic Officer Paige Raney, “smart teachers, dedicated administrators, involved families, hardworking students, and incredible community support.” GCS is now honing in on three top priorities – culture, data and instruction – as everyone works to build collective efficacy through initiatives like Cafe 1.57 (can you guess?).
In her reflection on the prime importance of positive school culture, Cathy Gassenheimer shares perspectives from a half-dozen education thought leaders, including Michael Fullan, “who reminds us that we can work all day to create structures for learning, but if we don’t work on our culture, it could all be for naught.”
The way our children are learning is changing, write this trio of educators in the Pike Road Schools system, but our job as educators will always be the same. It’s “to empower every student to become the best version of themselves: proud, passionate, and prepared.” They believe student-driven digital portfolios are the path to that empowerment.
The growth of the Instructional Partner “movement” in Alabama is truly remarkable. This school year we’ll feature some individual stories to highlight the impact and ripple effect of this explosion in professional learning. Here’s our first, from former IP Jill Edwards, now assistant principal at Harlan Elementary in Florence City Schools.
ABPC blog editor John Norton points readers to an EdWeek column on the contrasting stories Americans tell about public education – and their consequences. Long-time reform leader Marc Tucker shares his belief that “The two major narratives around schools divide us from seeing the truth and making the change that is really needed.”
As we rely more and more on the internet and on crowd-sourcing, there is an opportunity to bring people together for good by taking advantage of a new power growing out of our hyperconnectivity. Cathy Gassenheimer highlights an important recent book by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms.
After reading Regie Routman’s Literacy Essentials, “I became even more convinced that literacy instruction is central to every class, subject, and student,” writes Cathy Gassenheimer. “It’s a comprehensive guide to strengthening students’ reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills across the curriculum.”