(Episode 6): Reframing Admin Accountability as Transparency & Trust: Looking to our Past to Help Inform our Future

No season on accountability could possibly be complete without a conversation on what the word means for administrators.  If admin are often at the top of the organizational hierarchy, who holds them accountable?  What does all of our talk about reframing accountability mean in relation to the work of leading the school? And while weContinue reading “(Episode 6): Reframing Admin Accountability as Transparency & Trust: Looking to our Past to Help Inform our Future”

Ep. 5: Reframing Faculty Accountability as Clarity of Expectations

Are we sick of the word “accountability” yet? Once you get into this fresh conversation facilitated by Buck Cooper and joined by Meriwether Truckner, Margaret Mains, and Blake Ware, you won’t be. They explore a gamut of tensions raised by the notion of faculty accountability, but they keep circling back to the most central ofContinue reading “Ep. 5: Reframing Faculty Accountability as Clarity of Expectations”

(Episode 4!) Reframing the Role of Parents in Accountability: Fostering a Healthy Child-Home-School Connection

This week we get into what is arguably the most fierce-love-laced aspect of this accountability puzzle . . . the role of parents.   I’m not going to lie: before I became a parent and was a barely-in-my-twenties fresh-faced English teacher,parents terrified me.  They could be incredibly supportive, generous, the best of partners.  They could alsoContinue reading “(Episode 4!) Reframing the Role of Parents in Accountability: Fostering a Healthy Child-Home-School Connection”

(Episode 3 Drop!)Accountability as Honor: Lessons Learned from Honor Council

We are back and we just couldn’t get enough of last week’s theme of student accountability! So in this second round, we fix our gaze on the history and heart behind Honor Council, a beautiful manifestation of our commitment to that age-old honor code (“I will neither lie, nor cheat, nor steal”) and a concreteContinue reading “(Episode 3 Drop!)Accountability as Honor: Lessons Learned from Honor Council”

On Hamster Wheels & Hamster Shortages

This post was contributed by Michelle Portera. Are you aware we are in the midst of a hamster shortage? The news media may not want you to know, but according to several area pet stores, it’s one more part of the economy experiencing supply chain issues. I know, because during the first week of school,Continue reading “On Hamster Wheels & Hamster Shortages”

Less is More, and Other Lessons I Have a Really Hard Time Learning

Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive To paint a little thing like that, you smeared Carelessly passing with your robes afloat- Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says, (I know his name, no matter) – so much less! Well, less is more, Lucrezia.” Robert Browning, “Andrea Del Sartolead” (1855) LastContinue reading “Less is More, and Other Lessons I Have a Really Hard Time Learning”

The Hamster Wheel of Redos, Come See Me During X Time, and Reassessments

This post was authored by Hollie Marjanovic Overheard from English teacher—“Correct this assignment because no capitalization has been used, I won’t grade until this has been done!” Overheard from Math teacher –“Come see me after school because we need to review this homework before your test.” Overheard from another Math teacher – “Come see meContinue reading “The Hamster Wheel of Redos, Come See Me During X Time, and Reassessments”

My Weekend with Mashmallow, or Behavioral Psychology in relation to Hamster Wheels

Sometimes the stars align.  Sometimes, the very same week you decide on a theme of “Hamster Wheel” for the October blog blast, you receive an invite from you daughter’s (the pet crazy one, ok they are all pet crazy) third grade teacher to sign up for a slot on a google doc to watch theContinue reading “My Weekend with Mashmallow, or Behavioral Psychology in relation to Hamster Wheels”

Hamster Wheels: Through the Eyes of a Child

This post was contributed by Kim Sewell When Julie announced there was an overwhelming connection for the next blog topic ‘hamster wheel’ among my colleagues, I immediately felt anxious. Just the term ‘hamster wheel’ had me imagining moving as fast as I can, but not really getting anywhere. Kind of like the nightmare where youContinue reading “Hamster Wheels: Through the Eyes of a Child”

Wheels, Circles, Cycles, and Songs about all of These

This post was contributed by Buck Cooper. Asked to think about the connection between teachers’ work and hamster wheels, my mind went to tangential things–wheels and circles and cycles and songs about all of these. Thus, for this month I give you my attempt to maximize the blog post as medium with my top 5Continue reading “Wheels, Circles, Cycles, and Songs about all of These”

Oh to be Four Again: The Antidote to Hamster Wheel-er-itus

Ever wish you could shed the heavy-weighted baggage of adulthood and go back to being four?  Well several weeks ago, I had the privilege of doing just that.  Well sort of.  I was still 40.  But I did get to fix my gaze on PK4 students and feel the flow of their morning. And itContinue reading “Oh to be Four Again: The Antidote to Hamster Wheel-er-itus”

Episode 2 Podcast Drop: Reframing STUDENT Accountability

Whether you’ve taught for two days or twenty years, you’ve hit the same conundrum.  How do we help youth foster a sense of personal responsibility? How do we inspire intrinsic, not just extrinsic motivation? In other words, how do you help young people care about things that we think matter and be accountable for theirContinue reading “Episode 2 Podcast Drop: Reframing STUDENT Accountability”

A Day in the Life of Instructional Assistants

Special thanks to the Instructional Assistants that shared their daily realities to make this post. In the Hamster Wheel of our school ecology, there is perhaps no population more integral to the wellbeing of our students, no oil more diligent to the squeaks that inevitably ensue on that well- trodden wheel of teaching and learning,Continue reading “A Day in the Life of Instructional Assistants”

Launching Season 5 of the Podcast: Reframing Accountability

Believe it or not, this episode marks the start of the fifth season of Inspire & Innovate: A Podcast for Educators.  This little podcast has seen a lot: from the start of the pandemic when we used video chat to connect us with thought leaders across the country; to a summer set of with storiesContinue reading “Launching Season 5 of the Podcast: Reframing Accountability”

Lesson Planning/Lesson Coaching as Best Intentions

This is a story of us.  This is a story of caring teachers planning the stuff students do to show their learning.  This is a story of well-meaning administrators giving advice.  This is a (yet another) story of best intentions. Interestingly, the same very sentence (via a quick convo on the sidewalk, an email, aContinue reading “Lesson Planning/Lesson Coaching as Best Intentions”

The One-Size-Fits-All Spelling List

Shea and I had the distinct joy this past weekend of analyzing first grader’s spelling tests.  These weren’t, though, just any spelling tests.  They were inventories designed to give educators pointed cues regarding each student’s distinct spelling developmental stage.  I’m not going to lie.  It was FASCINATING to see the range of ways that studentsContinue reading “The One-Size-Fits-All Spelling List”

Reframing Student Work as Best Intentions: Reflection as a Pedagogical Tool

Paul Smith, our fabulous new Senior Level English Teacher, is the kind of new community member that so easily and quickly became a part of the fabric of our school that it feels like he’s been here forever. So it didn’t come as a surprise when he shared a fabulous teaching strategy the other day,Continue reading “Reframing Student Work as Best Intentions: Reflection as a Pedagogical Tool”