Room 241: A Blog by
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Leadership and Administration

How To Innovate Against the Tide

By Concordia Faculty March 27, 2018

As teachers, we often have amazing ideas for the classroom, but often lack the freedom to truly pursue innovative projects in their school. Frequently, it comes down to the old refrains: “My principal won’t let me” or “People don’t want to change.” But creativity and experimentation are still possible, even against the tide. Here are… Read More

Music teachers can bring so much joy to students’ lives, but to effectively teach it, one must be passionate, dedicated, and highly skilled. Enter Andrew Holtz—a 6th-12th grade instrumental and 9th-12th grade vocal teacher from Saugatuck, Michigan, and the latest alum in our Featured Cavalier series; Andrew earned his MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Leadership… Read More

Teacher Efficacy: Why It Matters and How Administrators Can Help

By Concordia Faculty January 8, 2018

Efficacy—or a teacher’s level of confidence about their ability—can greatly depend on past experiences or on their current school culture. A bad classroom experience or negative work environment, for example, can quickly sour a teacher’s confidence. Conversely, witnessing student growth and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and… Read More

10 Important Trends in Education to Expect in 2018

By Dr. Alisa J. Bates January 2, 2018

Educators, administrators, and those in higher education who are committed to ensuring quality experiences for students across the ages (and for new growth opportunities for themselves too) should be excited for the year ahead. There’s no question that 2018 will bring light to a variety of topics and issues that could monumentally affect the way… Read More

Although every prospective Doctorate of Education candidate has their own personal and professional reasons for advancing their career, and while they hail from a variety of different workplace settings—schools, hospitals, nonprofits—for the most part, it’s safe to say that most share something very special in common: they’re eager to lead. Is it your turn now to… Read More

How to Celebrate American Education Week in Your School Community

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn November 13, 2017

With dedicated teachers, administrators, and other school staff, public schools are there every day for every student, preparing tomorrow’s leaders. That’s why, during November, we celebrate public schools during American Education Week. Take part in this national event with a few celebration ideas below, and share online using the hashtag #PublicSchoolsForAll and #AEW2017. Monday, Nov…. Read More

Overcoming Innovation Fatigue: How to Make New Initiatives Stick

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn November 2, 2017

Innovation fatigue is something teachers and administrators know well. Every year there are new programs, standards, and expectations. We are always reinventing the wheel and have to learn a new system, take on a new responsibility, or embrace a new philosophy. However, change that benefits our students is worth doing—and doing well. Here are some best… Read More

7 Reactions to ’13 Reasons Why’

By The Concordia University-Portland Enrollment Team June 28, 2017

Earlier this year, Netflix released a new series based on a bestselling 2007 YA novel by Jay Asher—and it’s got people talking, a lot. From start to finish, 13 Reasons Why tells the story of Hannah Baker, a high school student who deals with everything from bullying to assault, and ultimately decides (we learn in episode one)… Read More

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… Read More

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

By Brian P. Gatens March 31, 2016

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… Read More

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… Read More

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… Read More

Why Some Schools are Rethinking Grading and Evaluation

By Room 241 Team February 3, 2015

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… Read More

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… Read More

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… Read More