With so much talk today about the importance of mindsets in education, one of the best ways to prepare for a successful parent/teacher conference is for the teacher to enter into those meetings with a positive attitude about how much responsibility each parent bears for the actions and accomplishments of their child. Through decades of … Continue reading Why Teachers Should Think Twice Before Blaming Parents (EdWeek featured article)
A natural question parents tend to ask themselves is: Because I want the best for my kids, what more do my children need from me besides meeting their four essential needs of leadership, love, laughter, and learning on a consistent, comprehensive basis? Oh, your children themselves can come up with a laundry list of “more” … Continue reading Parental Pressure: Competitive Advantage or Overwhelmed Children?
Shouldn’t every parent be a teacher’s greatest asset and ally in nurturing and educating all students? Shouldn’t every teacher actively include and empathetically engage with all parents, especially those who seem the most clueless, careless, or cantankerous? Robert Ward's latest book, Talented Teachers, Empowered Parents, Successful Students, provides educators with a wealth of creative strategies, practical solutions, … Continue reading Classroom Strategies for Including All Families as Allies in Education
The term "school-to-prison pipeline is an unfair way to describe what's happening because the schools just don't have the resources to be the intervention against poverty that they need to be." Anna Deavere Smith, actor and author of Notes From the Field. The next time you're inclined to seek scapegoats, stupid slogans, and simplistic "solutions" for complex … Continue reading The Myth of the School-to-Prison Pipeline
We educators may be tempted to believe that once students develop growth mindset, they are adequately prepared to face life’s challenges and changes. While in one key respect this is true, outlook and affect are not nearly enough to thoroughly outfit any person with all it takes to attain one’s full potential. Possessing a positive … Continue reading Growth Mindset Is Not Enough: Edutopia featured article
If we truly believe that parents and teachers must be allies in education and partners in the nurturing of the whole child, then we must consistently explore ways to not only engage parents with the school community but to actively involve them in the process of meeting the essential needs of every student. If we think of … Continue reading Parents Deserve Professional Development, Too!
Intention is everything, especially when educating and nurturing children. Words matter, and specificity with vocabulary determines whether or not adult interactions with kids have the desired impact. One misguided message many teachers instill in their students is that risk-taking is good. On the surface, this may seem like a worthwhile component of social-emotional learning. Yet … Continue reading Four Ways to Reduce Classroom Risk and Reach the Whole Child – ASCD guest article
On Sunday, May 21, 2017, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lamont Patterson and Dr. Matthew Anderson on their excellent World Movement Enterprises radio show. The subject was my book, A Teacher's Inside Advice to Parents: How Children Thrive with Leadership, Love, Laughter, and Learning. As the American Library Association's Booklist said in their review … Continue reading A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents: radio interview
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)
A parent’s involvement with their child’s education is imperative, but staying informed does not always necessitate visiting the school site. Besides phone calls, emails, social media, and all manner of new apps, there is another crucial way parents can remain actively engaged and intimately apprised about what is going on at school—all without leaving their … Continue reading 4 Questions Every Parent Should be Asking about School