Episode 11: Ken O’Conner, The Grade Doctor: Former Teacher and Department Lead, Independent Consultant, Staff Development and Facilitator on Grading, Assessment, and Learning

Episode 11: Ken O’Conner, The Grade Doctor: Former Teacher and Department Lead, Independent Consultant, Staff Development and Facilitator on Grading, Assessment, and Learning

Our guest for episode 11 is Ken O’Conner.

Ken has been an independent consultant from 1996 to the present. He has been a staff development presenter and facilitator on assessment, grading and reporting in 47 states and 9 Canadian provinces and one territory and 25 countries outside North America.  His twenty-three year teaching career included experience as a geography teacher and department head at L’Amoreaux C.I. and Maplewood High School in Scarborough, Ontario (1976-90) and teaching at four other schools in Toronto and Melbourne, Australia (Grade 7-12) starting in 1967.  Ken was a Curriculum Coordinator responsible for Student Assessment and Evaluation and Geography for the Scarborough Board of Education (and then the Toronto District School Board) from March 1990 to June 1999.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Discussion on traditional vs standard grading
  • What are the issues or concerns with traditional grading
  • 3 Reasons for Assessment – Diagnostic, Summative, and Formative
  • Keys to a Successful Implementation of Standards Based Grading
  • Why traditional grading has lasted SO long
  • “Only in schools if do we penalize students for not knowing then what they know now” – Tom Schimmer

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Episode 10: Jimmy Casas: Award Winning Author, Top Notch Leader, Professor, Former Principal, and Role Model for Leadership in Education

Episode 10: Jimmy Casas: Award Winning Author, Top Notch Leader, Professor, Former Principal, and Role Model for Leadership in Education

Our guest for episode 10 is Jimmy Casas.

Jimmy served for 22 years as a school leader where he was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and a finalist for the 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. Since then Jimmy has continued his impact on education as the CEO and Founder of ConnectEDD, senior fellow for the International Center for Leadership in Education, and still gets to teach as he is an adjunct professor at Drake University where he discusses Educational Leadership!

In this episode we discuss:

  • His journey into education
  • His new book, Culturize. Get it here!
  • Leadership in Education – it is the biggest issue in education today
  • EVERY person in your organization has the ability to lead
  • How to address awfulizers, whether they are your peers or even your leader those that suck the life out of culture
  • His Perspective on Education

Interested in other books that Jimmy was involved in?

  • Start. Right. Now. – get it here!
  • What Connected Educators Do Differently – get it here!

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Episode 8, Part 2: William Parker: Former Teacher, Award Winning Principal, Author, and Host of the Principal Matters Podcast!

Episode 8: William Parker: Former Teacher, Award Winning Principal, Author, and Host of the Principal Matters Podcast!

Our guest for our 2 part mini series of episode 8 is William Parker.

William has been working in education for 25 years: 12 years as a teacher and 13 as an administrator.  He is the 2012 Oklahoma Vice Principal of the year and is currently the Principal at high school in Oklahoma.  He also is currently the Executive Director of OASSP/OMLEA.

He is the author Principal Matters (Updated & Expanded): The Motivation, Action, Courage and Teamwork Needed for School Leaders and recently published his second book: Messaging Matters: How School Leaders Can Inspire Teachers, Motivate Students, and Reach Communities. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Messaging Matters: How School Leaders Can Inspire Teachers, Motivate Students, and Reach Communities
    • Newsletters
    • Chief Communicators
    • Strengthening School/Community Relationships
  • Communication in districts and why it is so important

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Episode 9: Tyler Tarver: Creator of Tarver Academy, youtube connoisseur, keynote speaker and former teacher turned district administrator. Currently the Director of Ouachita Baptist University at New Life Church!

Episode 9: Tyler Tarver: Creator of Tarver Academy, youtube connoisseur, keynote speaker and former teacher turned district administrator. Currently the Director of Ouachita Baptist University at New Life Church!

Our guest for episode is Tyler Tarver.

Tyler has worn almost every hat possible in the district and recently no has taken his skills to the collegiate level!  He is a pioneer in educating students through video and has created a huge list (over 700 videos) of content that can be found on http://www.tarveracademy.com or on his youtube channel, Tarver Academy where he has over 24,000 subscribers!

In this episode we discuss:

  • His journey into education
  • Why video in the classroom is so awesome!
  • Highlight his Do’s and Don’ts with Video
  • Discuss the popularity and success of Tarver Academy
  • A NEW book that he is currently working on
  • His Perspective on Education

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Episode 8: William Parker: Former Teacher, Award Winning Principal, Author, and Host of the Principal Matters Podcast!

Episode 8: William Parker: Former Teacher, Award Winning Principal, Author, and Host of the Principal Matters Podcast!

Our guest for our 2 part mini series of episode 8 is William Parker.

William has been working in education for 25 years: 12 years as a teacher and 13 as an administrator.  He is the 2012 Oklahoma Vice Principal of the year and is currently the Principal at high school in Oklahoma.  He also is currently the Executive Director of OASSP/OMLEA.

He is the author Principal Matters (Updated & Expanded): The Motivation, Action, Courage and Teamwork Needed for School Leaders and recently published his second book: Messaging Matters: How School Leaders Can Inspire Teachers, Motivate Students, and Reach Communities. 

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The Principal Matters Podcast
    • Specifically and episode highlighting the United States and where it ranks in education
  • Education in the United States:  Discussing both sides of the coin, Public and Private Schools
  • Communication in districts and why it is so important

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Episode 7 Part 2: Shanna Peeples: 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Doctoral Candidate at Harvard, and Author

Episode 7 Part 2: Shanna Peeples: 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Doctoral Candidate at Harvard, and Author

Our guest for our 2 part mini series of episode 7 is Shanna Peeples.

Here is a link to episode 1 if you missed it!!

Shanna the 2015 National Teacher of the Year and is a former Secondary English teacher, department chair, and instructional coach at Amarillo ISD in Amarillo, Texas.  Currently she is a doctoral candidate for Education Leadership at Harvard!

She is the co-author of The Best Lesson Series: Literature: 15 Master Teachers Share What Works.  

Here newest book comes out early in 2018 called: Think Like Socrates: Inviting Curiosity and Critical Thinking Into The Classroom

Coming in January of 2018, she will be publishing her first book: Think Like Socrates: Inviting Curiosity and Critical Thinking Into The Classroom.

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us” – Aristotle

In this episode we discuss:

  • 2015 National Teacher of the Year
    • What is it like to win
    • What was the process like
    • Learning experiences
  • Her new book – Think Like Socrates: Inviting Curiosity and Critical Thinking Into The Classroom
  • Her Perspective on Education

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Episode 7 Part 1: Shanna Peeples: 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Doctoral Candidate at Harvard, and Author

Episode 7 Part 1: Shanna Peeples: 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Doctoral Candidate at Harvard, and Author

Our guest for our 2 part mini series of episode 7 is Shanna Peeples.

Shanna the 2015 National Teacher of the Year and is a former Secondary English teacher, department chair, and instructional coach at Amarillo ISD in Amarillo, Texas.  Currently she is a doctoral candidate for Education Leadership at Harvard!

She is the co-author of The Best Lesson Series: Literature: 15 Master Teachers Share What Works.

Coming in January of 2018, she will be publishing her first book: Think Like Socrates: Inviting Curiosity and Critical Thinking Into The Classroom.

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us” – Aristotle

In this episode we discuss:

  • Her journey into education
  • Why she became a teacher
  • Why it is important to connect on a personal level with your students
  • What is was like to teach English to ESL students – challenges and how she over came them!

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

 

Episode 6 Part 3: Mike Lubelfeld and Nick Poylak: Superintendents, #suptchat hosts, and authors.

Episode 6 Part 3: Superintendents, #suptchat hosts, and authors.

Our guests for our 3 part mini series of episode 6 are Mike Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak.

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109). He is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.

Nick Polyak, Ed.D. is the proud superintendent of the award-winning Leyden Community High School District 212. He is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.

Both are co-authors of a book called The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s School Today

In this episode we discuss:

  • Characteristics of good leaders
  • How to unlearn things of the past
  • Preparing students for college, workforce, and how to be good citizens
  • Their Perspectives on Education

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

 

Episode 6 Part 2: Mike Lubelfeld and Nick Poylak: Superintendents, #suptchat hosts, and authors.

Episode 6 Part 2: Superintendents, #suptchat hosts, and authors.

Our guests for our 3 part mini series of episode 6 are Mike Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak.

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109). He is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.

Nick Polyak, Ed.D. is the proud superintendent of the award-winning Leyden Community High School District 212. He is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.

Both are co-authors of a book called The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s School Today

In this episode we discuss:

  • The definition of an Unlearning Leader
  • Modeling – have to practice what you preach!
  • Ways to connect school to your community
  • College ready, career ready, and life ready
  • SUPT
    • Stop
    • Understand
    • Plan
    • Think

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

The Handshake: One Crucial Step in Social and Emotional Learning

 

When I was a teacher I was a big believer in relationships and life skills.  I take pride in being respectful, polite, and mannerly so I always encouraged my students to do so.  For me there is just something about holding a door for someone, walking a litter faster to grab the door for my wife, or a solid handshake that brings a sense of self pride.

Try this experiment: pick a random day during school and stand at your doorway and shake each students hand as they come in.  You could do this on the first day OR wait several weeks until you have a good pulse on your students.  Provide ZERO training on what a good/bad handshake is performed.

  • If you do it the first day make sure you have some sort of bell ringer/activity for the kids to come in a do right away because you will now have one too!  You need to quickly jot down how each student performed on this “quiz”.
  • If you wait and do it later in the year – see if their handshake matches what you perceive to be their self confidence, pride, or efficacy level.

Do they match?  Odds are that the results will be highly consistent!  Your believers will have a solid/great handshake and so on to those students who just are not self aware or confident who give you maybe the worst handshake ever.  This is a chance for you to make an impact and teach a life skill, do not miss it!

Are you a believer in Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?  The handshake is an example of something that can have a huge impact on your students.  Whether you are or not you are a big believer in the impact of SEL, you have to read, “The Psychological Approach to Educating Kids” written by Victoria Clayton via The Atlantic,  is a top notch article with tons of fabulous resources that highlight SEL and the amazing effects that it is having on students and schools.  If you do not see the value in SEL, I am thinking this article and its resources will change that!

Here is an excerpt form the post made me smile and chuckle to myself…

“‘I won the handshake competition, and there’s an art to it,’ one student said. ‘You have to do webbing to webbing, that’s the trick.’ Shake firmly, but not too hard, look the person in the eye, smile. The student demonstrated and, indeed, his handshake was a winner.”

I definitely find myself playing this game in my head, do you?

I remember in high school one of my favorite teachers and I would do this head nod as we passed each other.  Way to say hi but also sign of respect.  When we first started I used to “nod” by moving my head up as I walked passed.  One day he asked me if my gesture was conveying anything to others that I maybe did not think about.  You see, while I moved my head up, Mr. Garry always nodded by moving his down.  I never thought anything about it until he asked me.  After thinking about it for a second, I felt that it was arrogant or cocky so from that day forward I would nod by dropping out head vs. raising it.  To this day I still do the same as I pass people that I know but am not able to talk for whatever reason and I still think of Mr. Garry.  This might sound insignificant to some but it is something that SO many young people in this world do not often think about.  How do my actions create represent who I really am as a person and do my actions match my heart.

Small deal but that becomes even bigger when it comes to something like a handshake.  The handshake is something that is a tell of how you perceive yourself.  I play the handshake game ALL the time still do this day in my head!  As adults we know the value of the handshake but think about those kids that have a mediocre to weak handshake.  This is a HUGE teaching moment that you cannot miss.    Taking a few minutes to explain and demonstrate the importance of the handshake might be something that they remember for the rest of their lives.