Professional Development

Edcamp Leadership: A Rich Professional Development Experience

Guest post by Larry Rother

If you haven’t attended an Edcamp or even heard of an Edcamp, you’re not alone. These “unconferences” bring together K–12 educators for a day of collaboration and learning with no preset agenda. NASSP was the first organization to include an EdCamp in their national conference at Ignite ’15, and supported the Edcamp Leadership event this past summer.

On July 13, 2015, this Edcamp Leadership event was hosted in 17 cities across the nation and was attended by 1,500+ school leaders comprised of principals, assistant principals, lead teachers, department chairs, and more. And for most of us, it was our first time attending an Edcamp.

Yes, if you caught that last part, I said “our first time” because prior to Edcamp Leadership Phoenix, I hadn’t attended a full Edcamp. Despite my inexperience, I actually hosted the Edcamp Leadership event in Phoenix with my good friend and colleague Dan Kelley, Principal of Smithfield High School in Rhode Island.  (more…)

Rallying Support for #PD4Principals

We know that the principalship is important, but only in recent years have we been able to quantify just how important. More than a decade of rigorous research by the Wallace Foundation has confirmed that the quality of leadership is second only to the quality of instruction in school-based factors that affect student learning. But do not let that “second” label lead you to believe schools can do without effective leadership. The Wallace Foundation was unable to identify a single instance of a school turning around to become high achieving without a strong, skillful leader. To further quantify the principal’s impact, a research project led by Robert Marzano calculated that a full 25 percent of schoolwide achievement can be attributed to how the principal chooses to dedicate time, what the principal emphasizes, and the culture the principal fosters. (more…)