The Fallacy of Failure: Getting Growth Mindset Right (ASCD guest article)

Using the word “failure” sends the wrong message to students about what true growth mindset entails. It is time to STOP telling kids to embrace failure and to instead help them persevere through everyday struggles, stumbles, and setbacks while on the way to eventual success. Failure is all the rage in education circles these days—but … Continue reading The Fallacy of Failure: Getting Growth Mindset Right (ASCD guest article)

It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Four of a Four-Part Series)

Let's dispel a major misconception about motivating and managing kids: Proper, proportional adult leadership is always less about control or compliance and so much more about cultivating willing cooperation and courtesy in children. That said, "compliance" and "control" are not dirty words, and they certainly should not be dirty little secrets when used with adult … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Four of a Four-Part Series)

Teaching the Whole Child: The Four Indispensable Aspects of Education

What if the key to narrowing the achievement gap was to focus on closing any serious gaps in student motivation? It is entirely possible for teachers to markedly inspire, influence, and embolden every student, but only when they do so in a manner that honors and embraces the four elemental needs of all children. Imagine … Continue reading Teaching the Whole Child: The Four Indispensable Aspects of Education

The 12 Cs of Student Engagement (Edutopia article and featured by the U.S. Department of Education)

Meaning is magnetic! Creativity is captivating! Passion is powerful! Emotion is engaging! Charisma is contagious! Discover compelling ways to draw your students in and invite them to dream and innovate. Transform your curriculum into exploration and adventure. Entice even your reluctant learners and hold them transfixed. There is a marked distinction, however, between teachers who … Continue reading The 12 Cs of Student Engagement (Edutopia article and featured by the U.S. Department of Education)

Nurturing Responsible Global Citizens

Every parent naturally strives to raise children who are respectful and responsible—as much for their child’s sake as for their own peace of mind. Yet in this interconnected global village in which we all now live, character traits like courtesy and cooperation are only a first step. To truly be a world citizen, confidence and … Continue reading Nurturing Responsible Global Citizens

Helping Students Develop Self-Control: Education Week guest article by Robert Ward

Educators are waking up to the fact that academic learning is intertwined with social, emotional, and soulful learning. Although balance is imperative in helping all students become successful and satisfied, both in the present and future, we still too often approach problems in a one-sided way, neglecting the big picture of the four fundamental needs … Continue reading Helping Students Develop Self-Control: Education Week guest article by Robert Ward

It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Three of a Four-Part Series)

Admittedly, firm leadership runs the occasional risk of the adult authority figure being perceived by some children as unpopular or as the “bad guy.” Yet if one of your greatest fears as a parent or a teacher is falling into disfavor, no matter how temporarily,  with the very children you are endeavoring to raise right … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Three of a Four-Part Series)

How to Stop the Culture of Complaining in Schools: Guest Post by Owen M. Griffith

Wherever we look in our schools, we can find complaining: in classrooms, hallways, offices, and teachers’ lounges. Participating in such talk is easy because there is a lot “wrong” in our schools, but this kind of dialogue is destructive and often spreads quickly. Why do people complain so much in the first place? An honest … Continue reading How to Stop the Culture of Complaining in Schools: Guest Post by Owen M. Griffith

It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Two of a Four-Part Series)

Parents and teachers alike need to stop thinking that cultivating warm and fuzzy relationships with kids is all that is needed to produce successful, secure children. I can understand people’s good intentions, but I am sick of constantly hearing that the fruitful rearing and educating of children is “all about” relationships. Just because you sincerely … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Two of a Four-Part Series)

It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part One of a Four-Part Series)

During my twenty-four years teaching a wide variety of more than 3,500 students, I have witnessed a worrisome decline in strong, intentional adult leadership. Too many teachers and parents today are inadvertently shortchanging the kids they care about. By failing to properly develop in those children the common courtesy, cheerful cooperation, and consistent conscientiousness that … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part One of a Four-Part Series)