SUBJECT: Leadership and Administration

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  • What Teachers Need to Keep in Mind Before Moving into an Administrative Job

    Posted April 10, 2017 in Featured Stories

    Classroom teaching brings fresh challenges each year. But after a time, some teachers want to step out of the classroom and shoulder broader responsibilities. Taking a job in administration is a common path for those who want to stay in education but extend their reach beyond one classroom. “A lot of times, teachers decide they…

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  • What I’ve Learned from the Great School Leaders I’ve Met

    Posted March 31, 2016 in From the Principal's Office

    I have incredible colleagues. Not just the ones I have the honor of working with in my district, but school leaders whose work I’m seeing in neighboring districts. I can’t help but admire their steady, consistent leadership, forward-thinking ideas and knack for managing complex situations. Here’s what makes them so great: They hack away at the…

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  • Colorado Voters Recall School Board Members, Oust Incumbents in Midterm Elections

    Posted November 11, 2015 in Featured Stories

    Election Day, as I often tell my students, is like the Super Bowl for me. The commercials aren’t as exciting, but watching the returns is an interesting process, particularly when local elections have consequences that matter to us. Last Tuesday’s results, including several Colorado school board races, were no exception. Two Colorado school boards served…

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  • Why District Office Leaders Benefit From Seeking Principal Input

    Posted May 12, 2015 in Leaders' Link

    I feel fortunate to have spent different phases of my administrative career at both the site and district levels. Without the district-level perspective, it is easy for principals to wonder, “What on earth are they thinking?” when a new decision is handed down by district leaders. The next thought may often be, “Have they forgotten…

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  • Why Some Schools are Rethinking Grading and Evaluation

    Posted February 3, 2015 in Curriculum & Instruction

    Most schools follow standard grading systems, with a letter scale of A through F, and a corresponding numerical value used to calculate students’ grade point averages. Although this system helps us to understand and track student performance on a universal scale, there are some drawbacks to the method. Some critics argue that assigning numerical or…

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  • 2015 New Year’s Resolutions: Concordia Education Students Declare Their Resolutions

    Posted December 23, 2014 in Teaching Strategies

    Do you have any resolutions for the New Year? Have you written them down? Research by clinical psychologist Gail Matthews shows when you write down your goals, you are more likely to be successful. If this theory holds true, the Concordia Portland Educator’s Facebook communities are well on their way to success in the New…

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  • How Should Teachers and Parents Deal With a Rogue School Board Member?

    Posted December 10, 2014 in Featured Stories

    In comic books, Rogue was a superhero, but on a school board, rogue members tend toward villainy. As the liaison among a superintendent, school sites and the district’s general populace, school boards navigate difficult space, often making tough decisions about revenue and budgets, teacher pay, and other district policies. School boards vs. citizens: cases in the…

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  • Breaking Board: Why School Board Elections Matter

    Posted October 29, 2014 in Featured Stories

    Last November, I attended an Election Night campaign party with a local school board candidate. Throughout the evening, we checked voting statistics and watched the counts come in. My county has over 300,000 registered voters, and in this election 140,438 participated. While our school district was just a fraction of that population, each school board…

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  • What is Differentiated Instruction? Examples of How to Differentiate Instruction in the Classroom

    Posted October 1, 2014 in Teaching Strategies Updated February 15, 2017

    Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each student has an individual style of learning. Not all students in a classroom learn a subject in the same way or share the same level of ability. Differentiated instruction is a method of designing and delivering instruction to best reach each student. Carol Ann Tomlinson is a…

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  • Developing an Effective Work Ethic in Your Students

    Posted August 21, 2014 in From the Principal's Office

    Why do people work hard? If you’re reading my blog on your own time when you could be doing other things, you probably have a strong and effective work ethic, which has one side effect: Your work ethic is so deeply ingrained that it’s impossible to consider the question objectively. The question that we should…

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  • The Value of a Master’s Degree for Teachers: Better Student Outcomes

    Posted March 5, 2014 in Featured Stories Updated March 2, 2017

    Intuitively, it makes sense for teachers to continue their education beyond their bachelor’s degree and earn a master’s degree or higher. But does it add up logically? We looked at the latest research on the subject and found a master’s degree benefits not only a teacher’s paycheck and job prospects, but it also improves their…

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  • Ending the Homework Debate: Expert Advice on What Works

    Posted November 28, 2013 in Featured Stories

    After exploring the case against homework as well as the ways homework benefits students, it’s clear that both sides have valid arguments. After examining the evidence, we’ve come up with recommendations for both teachers and parents for homework that contributes to students’ academic growth. What kind of homework is beneficial? While some research points to…

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  • The Homework Debate: How Homework Benefits Students

    Posted November 21, 2013 in Featured Stories Updated January 6, 2016

    Last week’s piece, The Case Against Homework, articulated several points of view against homework as standard practice for teachers. However, a variety of lessons, content-related and beyond, can be taught or reinforced through homework and are worth exploring. Four ways homework aids students’ academic achievement Homework provides an opportunity for parents to interact with and…

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  • Teacher HACKS: Fast Teaching Tips and Strategies

    Posted November 20, 2013 in Teaching Strategies

    Teachers these days have a tough job (was it ever easy??). So we reached out to dozens of teachers and asked them for their favorite “hacks” that help make their lives easier and their jobs more manageable. So what’s a hack? A hack is an actionable tip or suggestion that doesn’t fit the norm for…

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  • The Homework Debate: The Case Against Homework

    Posted November 14, 2013 in Featured Stories Updated January 7, 2016

    Students, parents, and teachers all seem to hate it. Why, then, is homework an inescapable part of the student experience? Worksheets, busywork and reading assignments continue to be a mainstay of students’ evenings. Whether from habit or comparison with out-of-class work time in other nations, our students are getting homework and, according to some of…

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  • A Leader’s Voice for Bringing Technology into Classrooms

    Posted September 10, 2013 in Educational Leadership

    Bringing technology into the classroom is a no-brainer for Daniel Frazier, superintendent at the Litchfield Independent School District in Minnesota. “I’ve always felt that it is important we stay on the leading edge of technology and education,” Frazier said. “The future of our kids requires they know how to use this technology.” And he’s done…

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  • Anger Management: Five Tips for Keeping Playground Peace

    Posted August 20, 2013 in Reference Material

    When it comes to anger management, playground personnel need highly developed skills to keep the kids under their supervision safe and happy. If you regularly supervise a rowdy bunch of children all running off their built-up steam, read on to find some tips for educators that will help you make recess the best possible experience…

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  • Helping Teachers Use Data to Plan Instruction, Part Three: On-the-Fly Assessment

    Posted May 16, 2013 in Featured Stories

    In parts one and two of this series, we examined protocols for helping teams of teachers increase their effective use of data to plan instruction. As mentioned, it is key to remember that data can come from a variety of sources. We commonly think of assessment data being used to plan instruction, with “assessments” being…

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  • Four Ways to Incorporate Technology into Common Core Standards

    Posted May 14, 2013 in Reference Material

    For countless educators and school districts, incorporating the technology utilized in the classroom into the Common Core State Standards is proving to be a challenging task. New technologies continue to play an ever-broadening role in enhancing reading, writing, listening, speaking and language use among students and, as technology changes, students must be capable of adapting…

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  • 5 Ways Online Teachers Can Create Engaged Class Discussions

    Posted May 13, 2013 in Online Learning

    One of the most challenging tasks that online teachers face today is creating an engaging environment that encourages student participation. An effective lesson plan incorporates online class discussions that complement the course objectives and targets skill development. Designing pedagogy for engagement An ideal discussion assignment includes a thought-provoking problem or issue, sufficient time for students…

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