Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
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Leadership and Administration

A school staff meeting

When Your School Staff’s Morale Drops

By Jennifer Gunn May 9, 2019

The spring stretch is the final push of the year where tensions can run high and patience can wear thin in schools. Students and teachers are tired, testing season is upon us, and the school year’s issues may hit their peak. Here are some leadership ideas to help boost your school’s morale when things get… Read More

Bullies have always been a constant presence in school environments. Until recently, bullies were simply an expected “character” in schools — along with the “teacher’s pet” or “class clown.”  Students who were bullied were expected to “toughen up,” ignore the behavior, or “fight back.” Today, bullying behavior is no longer expected or accepted in most… Read More

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 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

Educators and policymakers often struggle with the widespread problem of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism has been attributed to long-term detrimental effects within the student population, including reduced levels of scholastic readiness and lower graduation rates. James Brookins, EdD, earned his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland and chose to analyze this issue in his dissertation,… 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

Instructional Inquiry for School Leaders

By The Room 241 Team November 21, 2018

The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) developed an instructional leadership inquiry cycle tool that helps principal supervisors and principals collaboratively engage in a continuous process of instructional improvement and analysis. The inquiry tool directly correlates to CEL’s 5D instructional framework and rubric, making the process of instructional development easy and cohesive. Instructional… Read More

Administrators, especially new ones, need support in order to thrive as educational leaders. While working as a novice charter school principal, Monique Woodley, EdD, wanted to explore this topic further. She was earning her Doctorate of Education in Educational Administration from Concordia University-Portland and decided to focus on novice principals for her dissertation, “Principal Socialization: A… Read More

School Leaders: Setting Realistic Goals with Your Teachers

By The Room 241 Team November 13, 2018

Goal setting is a powerful practice to help build self-confidence, motivation, and success. When school leaders work with their teachers to build schoolwide, classroom-level, and personal goals, they become guides in a powerful process of transformation, allowing teachers to elevate their practice, encourage the advancement of their work, and better manage their professional lives. Improvement… Read More

Today’s emphasis on inclusive education shows great promise for the success of tomorrow’s youth. As Open Society Foundations explains, “Inclusive education means different and diverse students learning side-by-side in the same classroom.” In this model, special needs students spend most of their learning time side-by-side with a diverse mix of students and this results in… Read More