Blog

Paraeducator Institute

This interactive, engaging one-day institute for paraeducators was designed at the request of paraeducators and administrators to address the paraeducator's ever-changing role in schools. Each participant will have the opportunity to attend four 90-minute breakout sessions and a 3-hour overview on Responding to Challenging Behavior. Sessions may be assigned based on the services provided by the paraeducator. Session topics were selected with a focus on knowledge and skills useful to support instruction. Fill out the Contact Us form on our website for a personalized quote!            Sample Schedule Time Topic 7:30 – 8:00 Breakfast and Registration 8:00Continue Reading

A Missing Link

In my career as a special education teacher, curriculum supervisor, and then principal, Inclusion was a priority focus; however, there always seemed to be a missing link in the process of including students with disabilities—especially more severe conditions—into the general population of students. I had an early spring meeting with a fellow principal whose elementary campus was going to be welcoming back several students with disabilities who had previously been served in a centralized program.  The principal was concerned about how these students would be received.  We talked about a few ideas, one of which was to utilize part ofContinue Reading

Instructional Leadership

From the Desk of Kristi Henderson As a former school administrator, the words I heard most to describe my job function was “instructional leader.” This phrase was number one on the job description, used throughout the interview, and the focus of many training topics I attended, yet, if the truth be told, most of what consumed my days as an administrator had little to do with instruction. My mornings were consumed with supervising 1,200 eager teenage bus riders as they entered the campus, greeting 50 bike riders, directing parent traffic during student drop off, insuring that those students needing breakfastContinue Reading

Developing and Nurturing a Positive Culture and Climate in your School

From the Desk of Kristi Henderson As a consultant I have had the opportunity to visit schools all across the nation.  What strikes me most is how positive and student-centered the campuses I visit are. Teachers are in the hallways not only supervising students, but are creating a more welcoming experience by talking and sharing smiles with them as they walk through the door. I love to see positive affirmations posted throughout campus hallways and classrooms. The names of colleges are prominently displayed so that every child knows that great expectations are in place for their future. What really placesContinue Reading

Key to Effective Instruction

From the Desk of John Walsh If you agree that classroom walk-throughs should provide you with the necessary data to help you assist your teachers in improving their classroom practices but you find yourself short on data, here are some tools to help. You should observe these key activities on a daily basis in your classrooms. Five Keys to Effective Instruction Clear and written objectives Flexible Grouping with purposeful tasks Teacher serving as facilitator Frequent assessment Ticket out the door   Clear and Written Objectives The students’ expectations should be written in student friendly language in a designated location withinContinue Reading

Time for Success

From the Desk of John Walsh As a consultant, everywhere I travel I find administrators in search of the “Silver Bullet.” What unique master schedule will maximize instructional time in order to make the biggest difference? Various changes in schedules are probably the most common solutions attempted. With many assortments of time manipulations from forty-five minute classes to ninety minute time periods and the number of days a class meets as seen in an A/B schedule being tried. I must admit that I have attempted many of these variations myself during my career as a building principal trying to identifyContinue Reading

Teaching Strategies up your Alley

From the Desk of Lynn Hill While bowling with my senior bowling team today, I observed a husband and wife team that epitomized the importance of good teaching strategies.  As the wife stepped up to bowl, the husband patiently observed her stance and delivery of the ball.  He then modeled for her a couple of techniques that might improve her delivery.  Each time, she approached the lane, he quietly observed from behind.  After each release, he asked her what she felt she did well or needed to adjust based on what he had modeled for her.  I was surprised toContinue Reading

Winning Leadership

From the Desk of Stephanie Clark I recently had the opportunity to work with a central office staff in a large school district.  They had lots of questions and concerns about how they could influence campuses when they do not have direct supervisory authority over the teachers or principals.   I can remember working in that kind of position, and how challenging it was– but there are things that can be done to increase overall effectiveness. First, central office leaders need to build trust at the campus level.  Some of the words and phrases that our group used to describe peopleContinue Reading

The Skinny on Leadership

From the Desk of Stephanie Clark I recently read Motion Leadership: The Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy by Michael Fullan.  Communication without action is almost meaningless is one of the key concepts discussed in Fullan’s book.  This really stopped me in my tracks and started me thinking about how many times as school leaders we talk and talk, but nothing happens.  Maybe it’s because we focus all of our energy on communicating a message, but we run out of steam when it is actually time to take action.  Or maybe our message was so confusing that our staff couldn’t identifyContinue Reading