Friday, February 25, 2011

The Power of Language

There has always been a part of me that really enjoys the power of words and language. This video was a great way to thinking about the power of the leadership that comes from direct and indirect language.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Five for Friday- Links and Ideas

I have a ton of great things to share, but they are still packed in my portion of the brain that is tied to the METC conference. I'm sure that they will appear next week. For now, here are four great ones.

Incredible set of Digital Storytelling Resources

Why Brain Breaks are So Important for All Subjects

Great resource from our friends in England

Running, Healing, Energy for the Soul

I spent some time last week with @jorech at the METC. He is a guru of digital storytelling, and I learned a lot to bring back to the staff. In the process of learning, we wrote our own story. It is always fun relearning iMovie, and the conference came the day after my two half marathon weekend. Many people ask why I run, and this piece helps to explain. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Memories of METC

Mimi did an excellent job of capturing the vibe at METC. Awesome work.

Rethinking Health in Schools

It has been great to watch our physical education and health teachers really search for the best programming in the country to bring to our school in the years to come. They are really drilling down into the philosophy of physical education, and they are being ultra-precise with the unit development for our new curriculum. Learning and active lifestyle are interconnected, and we as a school have a responsibility to recognize how we can be excellent in this area also.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Guide to Becoming a School of the Future

A Guide to Becoming a School of the Future by National Association of Independent Schools has many highlights, but I really enjoyed the eight commonalities that exist among schools that are successfully delivering a 21st century education.

The schools are academically demanding.

Project-based learning, as an integral part of the school’s program, is woven throughout all grade levels and disciplines.

Classrooms extend beyond the school walls, actively engaging students in the world around them.

Digital technologies and a global perspective infuse all aspects of the curriculum.

Vibrant arts programs help promote creativity, self-expression, self-discipline, and flexibility.

The adults are actively engaged with one another and with the students in a process of continuous learning.

A culture of engagement and support invites participation, innovation, and a“growth mindset” on the part of teachers and students.

Transformational leadership challenges the status quo, draws out the issues, navigates through conflict, and mobilizes people and resources to do the adaptive work necessary to create and sustain effective change.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dying to be Fat

I continue to believe that our obese students deserve a very individualized program that can save their life. We can't shy away from difficult conversation with parents and families about health education. The infographic below details the outcome of our silence.

The Cost of ObesityVia: Medical Coding

Valentine's Day-poem

wine, check
chocolate, check
card, check

Valentine's only starts the love for the year.

Friday, February 11, 2011

And Still They Achieve-Adie

And Still They Achieve is a series of posts outlining the extraordinary lives of the students that learn all around me. Each character is a blend of stories and lives that have crossed my paths throughout the years.

Adie spends a lot of her days acting older than her biological age of 13. She had a boyfriend that was 17, one that was 15, and a couple last semester that were 16. She has lost interest in middle school life. It is clear that the experiences of life had passed her by like a Japanese bullet train. The faint smell of cigarettes is a natural part of her. She wants to smell sweet or sexy or both, but the reality is that the blend of smells brings the nausea of disappointment to my nose. No one will really know if the origin of the smell is her home, her boyfriend's car or her bad habit, but it is clear that she can no longer smell this odor of a life hardening. Adie doesn't have moments that girls have. There were no moments to be silly, laugh, or play in her imagination. Life was too real and so hard to juggle that no second exists to be a kid. In the social studies, something has her attention. She is working on a writing assignment. She is focused, and writing with fervor. There are tons of moments like this in her classes. She is clearly a student that can mentally spar with the tough issues, express herself in writing, and scramble to keep up in class. Her test scores remain in a solid place that keeps the spotlight off of her, but life doesn't treat Adie as well. She told me in the fall that she was sexually assaulted by a boy. She actually let it slip only to recant the story over and over to adult after adult. She is walking that last thin wire that 13 year olds like Adie walk. At best, she balances it all the way to college, a trick that could change her life forever, but in reality, it is a matter of time before we aren't there to support her, and she falls hard to a place from which it takes a long time to recover. For now though, even with all of this, she still achieves.

Lebanon without the Hezbollah

I have arrived for the new challenge in Lebanon, TN. Tomorrow is the first leg of my two half marathon weekend. It should be a beautiful run through Cedars of Lebanon State Park. On the ride down, I randomly heard from Dick and Rick Hoyt, who have always been an inspiration, and I also listened to a TED talk about the tribe in Mexico that runs and runs and runs. The speaker was talking about bringing the beauty back to running, so tomorrow and this weekend is about bringing the beauty back to the running.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Standards Based Grading

We placed our toes in the water the past few weeks on best practices in grading. The water wasn't cold, but we are still afraid of the sharks out there. Rick Wormeli has been helping to shape our philosophical need for change.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Random Piece of Poetry

Spring is easy to love
the winter
in the depth of it all
is where the nuisance of life is found
the part of life that shines only for a few
but desired by most.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Five for Friday- Links and Ideas

Lots of thinking about change over the school snows, but I came back to these words that I read on a fellow principal's blog. He said sometimes it isn't about change, it's about "doing what we do, better."

Interesting shift in language...Can we agree that we have many school dependent students that require us to really take the lead in bringing them to success.

This is a great selection of resources on best practices in grading.

Hard to pass up this title...
100 Videos that Make you a Better Teacher

This is an incredible link for our art and art integration about color.

Interesting about the brain of teens