Don’t forget…relationships should include parents too! What do parents want from a principal?

I recently participated in #IMMOOC (Innovators Mindset Massive Online Book Course with hundreds of ed enthusiasts.  Today my featured post comes from one of the educators that I had to privilege to encounter.   Her name is Amber Teaman and she is principal of Whitt Elementary in Wylie ISD in Wylie, Texas.

Her post is fantastic and one of my all-time favorites!

In it she discusses what she would want her parents to know about her, her passion for education, and her passion to help their students be successful.  Before she releases these 5 heartfelt ideas she has one of her parents highlight the parent perspective.  What a parent would want from their principal.   Before I give away the details-take 10 minutes and read it now.  You will not be disappointed!


Should high school be more like the real world? These innovators think so

The USA Today recently shared a great post called “Should high school be more like the real world? These innovators think so“.  It highlights the work of Powderhouse Studios.

Here is part of the introduction:

“The high school, set to open in a repurposed former school building in Somerville, Mass., next year, won’t have grade levels or traditional classes. Instead, students will be immersed in interdisciplinary projects that tap into their interests and ambitions. They’ll divide their days between seminars and project-based work, meeting with faculty for guidance regularly. And students will go to school year-round from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., taking vacations based on their families’ schedules. Classrooms, lectures and lesson plans – the things traditional schools are built on – won’t be a big part of daily life at Powderhouse.

In short, Powderhouse will look more like a workplace than a high school.”

This piece is so powerful that it is a MUST READ.  These educators are taking innovation to the next step and taking a HUGE risk.   They are taking #placebaseded and #makerspaces to the next level.  I can’t wait to read about and see how successful this school is.  I believe they are on an amazing track for success.

Helping Struggling Students Build a Growth Mindset

The growth mindset is one of my favorite topics to read about because to me, under the hood of the lies love, empathy, and relationships.  I originally read and sharing this post on twitter and it got lots on interest so I wanted to make sure if was part of our library!

Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers write a great post called “Helping Struggling Students Build a Growth Mindset” that was shared on Edutopia.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

“Now we turn to the benefits of helping students who find school difficult maintain a positive mindset as they persist in the sometimes hard work required for learning. When failures mount, it’s easy to give up. A positive mindset focuses on the gains that are possible when students persevere through learning challenges. Here are five strategies to help struggling students develop a growth mindset.”

For me this reminds me of a previous post where I talked about Dr. Robert Brooks. He is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and an established author.   He discusses the mindset needed to deal effectively with students.

Enjoy and remember – its always about the kids and providing them a positive environment where they feel loved, supported, and cared for is the LEAST that we could do as educators.

The featured image is borrowed from the article on Edutopia.


TEDx Talk – I’m 17

“A world of creative collaboration between adults and students” – Kate Simonds

Have you ever sat down with a student and they express some very powerful feelings and you respond with, “Your only _____ (a kid, 17, a child, in high school, middle school, etc.) , you don’t understand”

I know I have and the funny thing is I remember being told that when I was young and I did not take to it nicely, yet still, I did it to my students.  “Treat others as you wish to be treated” applies to not just current, real world scenarios but also to experiences that we have already gone through.

Take 13 minutes and 38 seconds to watch Kate Simonds provide a TEDx talk in Boise, Idaho and it might change your perspective.  She blew me away.  You can feel her passion, the anxiety of being a teenager on such a big stage, and she absolutely kills it!!

Hats off to you Kate!  I hope to get you on my podcast, Perspectives in Education soon because your perspective is important and needs to be recycled through the ed world!

Featured image is borrowed from Idaho News

The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time

In honor of the great Dr. Seuss and his birthday, I wanted to share with you Time Magazine’s list of The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time.

Top 5:

  1. Where the Wild Things Are
  2. The Snowy Day
  3. Goodnight Moon
  4. Blueberries For Sal
  5. Little Bear

As a parent to 3 young girls I know the value of reading to them and still find myself struggling to make time.  Some days it is easy but most are HARD!  I was really good at it with my first daughter but have gotten worse over time.  How many of you experience this?

Well today is our day to change.  Today, I am making a pledge to be better and try harder to make sure that I set time aside each day to read to my children.  Who’s with me!?



How to Develop Mindsets for Compassion and Caring in Students

Katrina Schwartz’s article discusses talks about the importance of developing mindsets for compassion and caring in students.

The article discusses the experiences of Dr. Robert Brooks.  He is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and an established author.  Dr. Brooks started his career as a principal at a school with severely disturbed and troubled students.  Within a few months he was worn down and did not look forward to going to work each day.  He discusses the mindset needed to deal effectively with students.  Here are a few quotes highlighted from the article, check it out for more details!

“We have to start with the assumption that everything you do in the classroom can have a major impact on a child’s life.”

“Once you say a kid is unmotivated or doesn’t care, you’re already reflecting a mindset in which you’re blaming the child, whether you mean to or not.”

The Best Day of My Post Teaching Career

Do you have a job, profession, or a career?

I was a teacher for the better part of decade.  I worked countless hours while always hearing from my friends “You’re a teacher, you get summers off, you have it made!”

Well they were right.  I did have it made.  I got to impact young adults lives on a daily basis.  On the other hand, they cannot comprehend for 1 second the hectic, crazy life of working in a school!  You have to be on your game 100% of the time and the majority of that time, your efforts will go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Many people have a hard time understanding the life of a teacher, aide, principal, or other administrator because unless they have “made it” they might not experience the same hectic lifestyle.  I have since left the teaching world to work in ed software and today, finally, almost 2 and a half years later, I had the best day of my post teaching career.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have had great days over the past 2 1/2 years in sales and I love what I do BUT today, I had the chance to do a podcast recording with Jon Bergmann and interview Tyler Tarver for an upcoming podcast in the same day!

Most of you have probably heard of Jon Bergmann or Flipped Learning before so it is obvious what an accomplishment it is to connect with him and I learned today that he is much more than just the man who helped coin “Flipped Learning”.  He has dedicated his career to making it a “thing” by putting together an amazing team that researches, supports, and developing their vision and they are making a global impact.  It is his CAREER and not his job.

Tyler Tarver on the other hand, is an inspiration to me because we both took similar paths into education.  We went to college to study history, became teachers, but found our niche in mathematics.  Tyler has since moved on to create Tarver Academy.  It is an amazing resource for ALL teachers looking to engage their students in learning that is driven by video content.  Tyler wears so many hats at his district that he should have a part time job at Lids but still finds time to fulfill his career by developing content for Tarver Academy and write a book.

So back to my original question: Do you have a job, profession, or career?

I am quickly learning what it means to have a career vs a job or profession.  It is NOT what it is made to be in high school – your future path in college and beyond – it is LOVING what you do and finding yourself willing to work overtime for FUN.  Careers are a once in a life time opportunity to make a difference and fulfill your dreams.  I have been experiencing those feelings, dream come true feelings, for about a year now.  I am blessed to have a manager that supports and motivates me while also mentoring me through the ups and downs of having a job.

Today I got to create a podcast episode with Jon, then interview Tyler, but most importantly, I got to connect them so that they can engage and learn from each other.  That one thing is what made this the best day of my post ed career.  Talking with them today was simply a privilege but I found great satisfaction in introducing them to one another and praying that they find a way to strengthen both of their impacts in education.  They both have taken their job/profession and transformed it into their career.  They work countless hours on their craft, building their brand, and establishing their footprint on education.

Isn’t that what so much of education is about in the end?  Strengthening your relationship with others in education, learning from those experiences, but then paying it forward by implementing those findings or connecting people that have the same vision?

I got to experience BOTH of those today.  I love my job/profession and with days like this, recently getting published on Edsurge, and collaborating with others… I am achieving my dream.  I finally have a CAREER and not just a JOB.

Growth Mindset, Building Significant Relationships , and Achieving Your Dreams

Episode 1: Student Perspective

Our first guest for our podcast was Miashanti Smith.  She was a student of mine who had an amazingly positive attitude on life.  Miashanti dreamed of playing professional football and I remember laughing, in my head of course, because she was a young woman.  Little did I know that their was a professional football league and now, she is a significant role player for the Pittsburgh Passion.  Outside of her dream she also faced a variety of other hurdles to tackle: oldest of 12 siblings, living in a dangerous neighborhood, being identified as having special needs, and just being a teenager trying to fit in.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The power of LISTENING
  • Growth Mindset
  • Dealing with Adversity
  • Urgency in Education – How that influences the learning process
  • The POWER of Building Significant Relationships

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


We may have less than 5 years to change how we learn, earn and care


In one work the post is brilliant.  It was written by Saadia Zahidi and comes from the World Economic Forum.

“Globalization and technology are accelerating both job creation and destruction. Some estimates have put the risk of automation as high as half of current jobs, while others forecast a considerably lower value of 9%. Still, all occupations will go through change: we found that on average one-third of the skillsets required to perform today’s jobs will be wholly new by 2020.”

Here are the highlights of the Common Vision.

1. Transform education ecosystems. .

2. Facilitate the transition to a new world of work.

3. Advance the care economy.


Read the article for the details!  You will not be disappointed.