Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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District Leaders

A principal visiting a school classroom

The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission recently approved a fully redesigned system of preparing and licensing school and district administrators in the state of Oregon at the Commission meeting on February 7, 2019, in Salem. To learn more about this new system, we checked in with our Chair of Administrator Licensure Programs, Gerald W. Gabbard,… Read More

As educators, we have a professional and ethical responsibility to provide students with safe, equitable, and inclusive academic experiences. Traditional discipline procedures, such as zero-tolerance policies, school suspensions, and punishment-reward practices are often ineffective in correcting misbehaviors and disproportionately impact students of color. For these reasons, the paradigm is shifting from zero-tolerance policies in schools… Read More

What Matters Most in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn February 19, 2019

In the ever-changing landscape of education, teachers and leaders often find themselves searching for clarity in a sea of standards, curriculum resources, and competing priorities. Think about your learning community: Are both teachers and students clear about what must be learned, why students are learning it, and how they can be successful? Are students able… Read More

Creating a School Dream Team for Change

By The Room 241 Team February 13, 2019

Schools need great individual changemakers capable of identifying problems and creating bold, scalable solutions. But they also need Dream Teams — groups of talented administrators, teachers, staff, students, and community members who work together and are passionate about making things better for kids. Schools need teams who believe that school-based change is worth the effort… Read More

A farm kid from Wisconsin, for the past two decades Diana Laufenberg has taught seventh-12th grade Social Studies in several states, most recently at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. It’s here where I first met Laufenberg, at the yearly conference Educon, where she was swarmed… Read More

The Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… Read More

The Benefits of Community Engagement in Education

By Annie W. Scott February 5, 2019

Much like the soil we build our schools upon, people need solid footing and an appreciation for the environment. When looking at community schools as a construct, one must consider all the nuances that make a community significant. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory is useful in unpacking the multiple layers and perspectives that make a community… Read More

As the principal of Clear Creek Middle School in Oregon, David Atherton, EdD, understands the importance of recruiting, hiring, and supporting administrators who are strong instructional leaders. While earning his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland, Atherton decided to examine this process for his dissertation, “Human Resource Management Practices for Public School Principals: Recruitment, Selection, and Development.”… Read More

It’s unfortunate but true: every school deals with cases of bullying. Cyberbullying is also a widespread issue, and many learning communities struggle with both forms of mistreatment. But some schools are testing out more innovative methods, yielding positive results here in the U.S. and abroad. Let’s look at a few examples to see what’s working… Read More

The Impact of a Thoughtfully Designed Learning Space

By Kara Wyman, MEd December 18, 2018

A school’s design can greatly impact students’ ability to learn. The layout alone can either make it confusing for students and their families or it can create a welcoming environment where staff, students, and resources are connected and accessible. The design can promote an inclusive school culture, hands-on learning, and community engagement. Many schools today… Read More

Creating a Culture of Wellness at Your School

By Tara Saucier, PhD, RN December 14, 2018

Wellness is often emphasized in educational settings, but there’s more to it than promoting good health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are healthy are better learners, and academic achievement creates a lifetime of benefits. Recognizing the benefits of wellness According to Action for Healthy Kids, children who attend schools… Read More

Elementary and secondary education in the United States provides a rich multicultural experience for those lucky enough to experience it – and understand it. For those who come into the system not yet knowing English, however, it can go either way. On the one hand, many students benefit hugely from an English-speaking milieu and quickly… Read More

Many states are coping with teacher shortages, particularly in low-income districts with students of color. The coping mechanism has largely involved hiring under-qualified teachers to fill vacancies, leaving our neediest students receiving lower quality teaching. Meanwhile, teacher education programs have seen a large decline in enrollment, which translates to less certified and qualified teachers for… Read More

The Impact of Income on Student Success and What We Can Do About It

By Mary Jane Pearson, PhD October 30, 2018

The American Dream depends upon the belief that, regardless of your background, if you work hard enough you can achieve your goals. But extensive research has shown that income does impact student success. As educators, what can we do about this national issue? Read on to find out how one Portland school addressed the challenge. Research on… Read More

Emerging Technologies in Higher Education: A Case for Putting Learning First

By Patrick Garrett York, MFA October 25, 2018

There are few things that evoke a sense of wonder — the type abundant in childhood and precious to adults — like pulling plastic wrap off a glimmering new phone. With the push of a single button, the screen to comes to life, glowing with possibility. How many hours in my day will I win back… Read More