Monday Must-Reads – April 17, 2017

As a means to try to get myself writing in this space a bit more, I am starting each week by sharing three posts that I came across during the previous week that struck a chord with me. While my intentions are mainly self-serving, I am also hoping that a few folks might catch a post that they missed. 

Let’s see how many weeks I can keep this up…Three weeks and counting…


1. Climb Aboard: School Buses Reimagined – Emelina Minero

In this post from Edutopia, Emelina Minero looks at some school districts that have found a creative way to solve their space problems. By repurposing old school buses, the districts have created mobile learning spaces that can be moved around within a district so that all students have access. 

By repurposing available space and capitalizing on mobility, these traveling art studios, cafeterias, and science labs are reducing barriers to access and meeting students where they are.”


2. On Assigned Summer Reading – Pernille Ripp

As we hit the homestretch in the school year, Pernille Ripp gives her perspective on mandatory summer reading. 

“…we forget that not all children have time to read over the summer?  That not all children will be able to read the book assigned?  That not all children have access to a safe place where they can work on homework during their time away from us.”

Ripp goes on with some practical ways that we can deal with this dilemma and still encourage students to read over the summer.  


3. The one question school leaders and parents aren’t talking about… –  Randy Ziegenfuss

This post from Randy Ziegenfuss looks at the elephant in the room for educational leaders. Are we really doing things in our schools and classrooms that will prepare our students for the rapidly changing world that they will be entering? In the post Ziegenfuss references background reading on this topic ( Nancy Duarte’s Illuminate and Alec Ross’s The Industries of the Future).  I agree with Ziegenfuss’s on the fact that we should be continually asking the following:

What other resources can school leaders and parents access to learn more about tomorrow’s economy? What do our learners need now to compete, succeed and thrive in the future?

Monday Must-Reads – April 10, 2017

As a means to try to get myself writing in this space a bit more, I am starting each week by sharing three posts that I came across during the previous week that struck a chord with me. While my intentions are mainly self-serving, I am also hoping that a few folks might catch a post that they missed. 

Let’s see how many weeks I can keep this up…Two weeks and counting…


1. Getting Past the Attention-Span Myth (Thoughts on Creative Focus) – John Spencer

In this post, John Spencer touches upon the misconception that it is impossible to get the attention of students today due to the negative impacts of screen-time:

“The issue isn’t attention span. It’s engagement. No, it’s not just engagement. It’s empowerment — the kind of empowerment that happens when you are fully immersed in creative play.”

Spencer shares six strategies to help get students in a focused state. 

2. Neurodiversity: The Future of Special Education? – Thomas Armstrong


In this article from ASCD’s Educational Leadership, Armstrong shares a new model for Special Education that gets away from looking at student deficits and instead focuses on strengths:

“At some point, the field of special education needs to rid itself of its negative baggage and embrace a more progressive way of educating students who learn differently. The concept of neurodiversity provides thecatalyst for such a change.”

3. THE FUTURE IS NOW: METRICS OF INNOVATION IN SCHOOLS – Grant Lichtman

This post by Grant Lichtman focuses on the need for schools to look at how they measure their level of innovation as an organization. While this can be a difficult task for many schools, Lichtman notes that it is a necessity to ensure relevance:

“Real change over a five-year window represents light speed for many schools. Schools that have started to adopt some of this language and thinking, if not formal metrics like these, are pulling away from schools for which this thinking continues to be alien or absent. Standing pat, or even slow movement, is the same as moving backward.”

Monday Must-Reads – April 3, 2017 (Volume 1)

As a means to try to get myself writing in this space a bit more, I am going to start each week by sharing three posts that I came across during the previous week that struck a chord with me. While my intentions are mainly self-serving, I am also hoping that a few folks might catch a post that they missed. 

Let’s see how many weeks I can keep this up. Ready…set…go


1. What We Ask of Our Students and What We Do – George Couros

In this thought-provoking posts, George Couros calls upon educators to reflect upon whether they are walking the walk or just talking the talk when it comes to setting the stage for innovation in their schools and classrooms:

“We can’t continue to ask for creativity, innovation, and collaborative cultures with deep, independent thinking, while not acknowledging that compliance driven environments prevent these from happening.”

Be sure to check out the post for the great scale that is included to help educators answer the question of whether their students are compliant, engaged, or empowered.  


2. Leadership…The Biggest Issue in Education?‘ – Jimmy Casas

Iowa Principal Jimmy Casas calls upon educators to avoid the long list of hurdles available to them when it comes to education’s shortcomings and to look to the one source where they can guarantee improvement…themselves. 

“You see, everyone here has the capacity to lead and everyone here is responsible for the culture and climate of your organization. No one person is responsible for determining your success or failure as a teacher but you and no one is responsible for your morale but you.”

For some reason, I have Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror echoing in my head now. 

3. Feedback is a GIFT – Matthew Arend

With Summative Evaluation season on the horizon, this post from Texas Principal Matthew Arend was quite timely. There were a few things in Matt’s post that I continue to reflect upon, but the most important one for me was the following obe about ensuring that we have someone who is providing feedback to us that will push us:

“…if you are giving feedback, you should have someone providing feedback to you also. Feedback is by no means a one way street. We all need someone to “push us to come up with better and brighter ideas.”