AP Expert of the Week

Helping Students Overcome Behavioral Issues: The RISE Intervention Program

Guest post by David Caruso

Though many students successfully navigate their middle school years, some students lose focus, have tremendous difficulty developing positive relationships, often avoid work, and engage in extremely disruptive behavior—all of which impede academic and social progress. As administrators, we know well that these are the students whose problematic behaviors, if not corrected, will result in frequent visits to the office for discipline.  (more…)

How State Level Education Policies Hold Us Back, and How We Can Improve Them

Guest post by Denver J. Fowler

As an education leader in Mississippi, I am frustrated that our state consistently places last in national education rankings. Education Week gives Mississippi a D- and ranks it 50th (out of 50 states and the District of Columbia). Even more troubling to me is that my fellow Mississippians seem to have gotten used to this situation, and detailed plans on how to fix the problem is lacking. Year after year, it appears Mississippi is not getting the job done when it comes to educating our children. I am left wondering why and asking myself what can we do in order to address this issue?  (more…)

Generation Wite-Out vs. Generation Ctrl+Z

Guest post by Paul Hermes

My mom asked me if I could help her answer some questions about her new iPhone. We arranged that I would come over to help her. When I arrived, my mom took out a spiral notebook with a page full of questions. I have had an iPhone for several years, so many of the “issues” were easily answered. However, there were some that I wasn’t sure about, so I Googled a few of them to find the answer. For others, I just started trying stuff to see if I could figure it out. I asked her several times if she tried various solutions, to which she replied every time, “No, I was afraid that I would wreck it.” A little frustrated, I said, “Mom, there is nothing on this phone or what we are doing that is doing to ‘wreck it,’ and if what we try doesn’t work, we can just change it back.” Through this process of trial and error, we were able to solve all of her questions. (more…)

Fostering a Supportive School Community for Muslim Student Voices

Guest post by Holly Ripley

As school leaders, we are often expected to provide answers and guidance in times of uncertainty and transition. But what happens when we do not know the answers? I learned recently that sometimes the best response is to ask your students and encourage the community to share knowledge. Our job is not to have all of the answers but to help facilitate a collective search for greater understanding and help students leverage their own voices. (more…)

21st-Century Learning Conferences: Innovating Authentic Learning

What if you turned off the bells in your school and threw away the traditional schedule for the day? What would you do for an entire day with students? How would students want to spend their time learning? (more…)

STEM: Developing Students’ Skills for Future Success

Guest post by Mary Anne Moran

Do you ever stop and wonder what the traditional high school experience is preparing our students for? Are we preparing students for life beyond the high school or college classroom? Do the hours in the classroom have a direct correlation to future success? It is time we begin to reconsider the programming that we are offering in schools to ensure that our students are prepared for their futures rather than the next classroom.

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Roundabouts—The Direction for Learning

Guest post by Paul Hermes 

 

In the early morning hours of a Wednesday in October while on my way to work, I exited off the interstate. As I reached the bottom of the off ramp, I breezed through a series of roundabout intersections that I go through on this particular route to work without having to wait or even slow down much. As I got closer to school, I came across my first traditional traffic-light-controlled intersection. I hit a red light and sat there waiting even though no other cars used the green light coming from the other direction. I became impatient and frustrated and felt like I was waiting there forever until I finally got the green light to go.

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Blanket Forts and The Future of Learning

Guest post by Paul Hermes

The value of unique knowledge and expertise is declining significantly due to the proliferation of accessible digital technology. This phenomenon has happened in history before; however, it has not happened at this pace and not to this scale. Access to information, knowledge, and each other is historically unprecedented. (more…)

When Tragedy Strikes: Tips for Coping with Student Deaths

Guest post by Paula Callan

It’s the crisis response plan we as school administrators pray we never have to implement: The sudden loss of a student. But when tragedy strikes, it’s up to school administrators to provide leadership to the entire school community and implement protocols to support the immediate family, students, and staff most affected.  (more…)

Safe Schools: Are You Ready?

Guest post by Jeff Simon

Many are concerned about the growing reports of school safety incidents. According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, U.S. schools experienced 745 bomb threats in the 2015–16 academic year. And since 2013, there have been 210 school shootings, as reported by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. This escalation of school threats and violence is generating fear and anxiety in students, parents, and educators and wasting precious learning time.

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