District Leaders

An online student using technology on a computer

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

Post-Crisis Challenges Associated with School Shootings

By Gail Kirby, EdD October 20, 2018

We never want to think about our worst fears but, when it comes to our school’s crisis preparedness, we need to make sure we have the proper protocol in place. Research indicates that schools are the least prepared to handle crises such as school shootings. Scant evidence-based data exist to help understand the challenges that school districts… Read More

Serving over 1.1 million students in more than 1,800 public schools, the New York City Department of Education is the largest school district in the nation! With nearly 93,000 educators serving the city’s youth, and a constant flow of new teachers entering the district, New York City has built an impressive mentoring program that ensures that… Read More

Transformational Leadership in Schools

By Jennifer Gunn September 6, 2018

A new school year is a fresh opportunity to revisit, reconnect, and reimagine your school’s mission and vision. It’s the perfect time to open up your leadership practice and share the work with your team to truly and sustainably make a change. Hear from the leading experts on school leadership to learn how to become… Read More

Professional Development vs. Piloting New Initiatives

By Nicole Mace, MEd August 17, 2018

Professional development (PD) is usually welcomed by educators who are looking to hone their craft, but the implementation of professional development trainings can get a bad reputation in education. After hours of learning about a new strategy or teaching method, educators are expected to return to their classrooms and implement their new knowledge. But many… Read More

School and Community Partnerships: Concordia Course Spotlight

By The Room 241 Team July 27, 2018

If you’re interested in Concordia University-Portland’s MEd in Educational Leadership, here’s a closer look at one of the courses from this program: EDGR 620 – School and Community Partnerships. We spoke with adjunct instructor Jeanne Smith, EdD, and discovered more about the course and how it can help educational leaders advance their practice. What’s the goal… Read More

There’s never enough time to get everything done during PD, but team-building and supporting your staff’s social-emotional needs builds a strong school culture and increases teacher efficacy. Here are some quick, fun professional development activities for teachers that will break the ice! Step to the line Have your staff stand in two lines facing each… Read More

Top Five Takeaways: Trauma-Informed Transformations in Education

By Madeline Turnock December 4, 2017

Schools and classrooms are the heartbeat of our communities — at the intersection of learning and of life’s challenges. These challenges and high levels of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a daily reality; and how schools and educators adapt and respond with a trauma-informed approach is critical to learning outcomes. To acknowledge and address these… Read More

3toPhD®: Concordia’s Revolutionary Education Model

By Kara Wyman, MEd August 10, 2017

It all started in 2008 with a knock on the window. It was LaShawn Lee’s first day as principal of Faubion School in Portland, Oregon. She had just been told that there was next to nothing with regards to funding for her students, 80% of whom were part of the free and reduced lunch program…. Read More

As a district-level leader, what can you do to help a principal who appears to be intimidated by his or her teachers? The most obvious tip-off is a principal who avoids convening the staff. Effective principals use meetings to boost professional learning Although in past posts I have advocated ditching status meetings, such as standing… Read More

District Level Leaders: The Search for Meaning

By Terry Wilhelm April 5, 2016

In past posts, I’ve discussed how to move from traditional evaluations — even those that include setting goals and objectives — to a system that considers and honors the personal aspirations of the employee. This kind of system is not typical in most bureaucracies, including school districts, but it does engender a higher degree of ownership… Read More

District Level Leaders: What’s in a Name?

By Terry Wilhelm March 8, 2016

In my last post in this series, I discussed the positive impact of identifying employees’ personal goals and supporting their achievement, even if it means losing the employee in his or her current position. Starbucks offers a good example. Its website states, “Our culture values and respects diversity and inclusion, and our goal is to… Read More

PD for Principals: What if a Principal is Not a Team Player?

By Terry Wilhelm February 16, 2016

I once worked with an elementary principal I’ll call Joseph. The district was rolling out a new approach to language arts instruction, which was a major departure from past practices of round-robin-reading and ability grouping. Many of the veteran teachers were grumbling as they attended the professional learning sessions. Principals attended their own sessions to… Read More

As you survey your own department or the district as a whole, how invested are your employees? Are the majority of them whatever-it-takes players, highly committed to the district’s mission and vision for students? Or is it just a job for most? If it’s the latter, how do you build ownership in the mission and… Read More

Sociologists and social psychologists agree that most of our communication is nonverbal. Body language, tone of voice, and eye contact are believed to comprise a much greater percentage of our communication than the actual words we speak (which make issues around over-relying on email for communication, especially problem solving, quite significant. But that is a… Read More