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A New Administrator’s Journey

Back-to-school supplies are starting to line the shelves. Administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers have goals swimming around in their heads, even while they’re still enjoying their summer breaks. Educators new to positions have many questions as well. How will I build relationships with new staff and students? How will I monitor my impact? How will […]
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Is Cursive Necessary?

As an educational consultant I get all types of questions from teachers. Many questions are reflections as they ponder the ever changing field of education. Recently a teacher asked if other teachers were still teaching cursive handwriting. As we talked about the pros and cons of the topic it was clear she was rethinking her day-to-day schedule. […]
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Let’s Work Smarter, Not Harder

Instructional leaders, both administrators and coaches, work hard to be effective. Their to-do lists are often never ending. They wear many, many hats. And sometimes they feel less than effective as the grind of paperwork and the wide variety of tasks take hold. To manage their time, many instructional leaders develop their own tools to […]
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I Teach, What’s Your Super Power

Imagine you are a fourth grade student. You live in poverty. You don’t know where your next meal will come. You witness things that no 10 year old should ever have to see. You are lost and afraid – but for 6+ hours a day you are safe. You are cared for. Your needs are […]
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Greetings from ASCD15

The 70th Annual ASCD Conference and Exhibit Show opened today. The theme is Challenging Convention: Leading Disruptive Innovations. There is something here for everyone! The 183 page program booklet can be daunting at times. There is so much to take in and so little time. Today’s post is just a brief reflection on each session […]
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Spring Brings Happiness

Spring is in the air. A perfect day to Celebrate International Day of Happiness! The photo above was taken during a beautiful spring time walk in Houston as I attend the ASCD Conference. Last year, during the Slice of Life Challenge, I wrote Quotes about Writing –  Pick One – Go. I described a favorite opening activity […]
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If You Build It, They Will Come

One of Iowa’s “Claims to Fame” is the movie Field of Dreams. The primary movie location was Dubuque County, Iowa on a farm near Dyersville. My mother’s family is from around Dyersville, so the setting was extra special. Several years ago we took a trip of the area. A famous line in the movie comes from the voices Ray Kinsella, […]
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The Long and Short of Data Analysis

Data analysis is an integral part of the school improvement process. Data helps us see where we are going and whether we are getting closer to our desired results. The key is to collect purposeful data and monitor it often. Recently I attended a Solution Tree Workshop where our facilitator, Maria Nielsen, used the terms long-cycle and […]
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Greetings from my Treadmill

This post is coming to you straight from my treadmill (with some editing, hyperlinking, and picture insertion at a later time). Yes, as I write/draft this post I am walking on my treadmill. Walking at a slower pace, but walking nonetheless. Every step counts! Earlier posts this month titled A Work in Progress and Lessons Learned from […]
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The State of Iowa will be DANCING!

The teams have been chosen The brackets are being filled out One thing is for certain The STATE of IOWA will be DANCIN’ We may be known for our FIELDS Corn FIELDS Soybean FIELDS The FIELD of DREAMS And now 3 out of the FIELD of 68 – not bad! The seeds are been planted Iowa State […]