The Whole Child Blog

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Homework in a Flipped Classroom

ASCD author Aaron Sams explains how flipped classrooms use class time to practice and apply skills learned during prerecorded lectures. Homework becomes classwork, and lectures and other content traditionally presented during class time are viewed outside of class, at home, on a personal device, or in a school-based resource room.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Leading and Learning as a Principal

Post written by Ashley Allen, a master's student in communication management with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor's degree from San Jose State University last spring and hopes to use her writing skills to make a difference.

Short on Time - ASCD AriasTeacher and principal job satisfaction is down, but Bill Sterrett, an education leadership professor, started off his 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session with some great ways to focus on the positives and bring satisfaction up. In his session and ASCD Arias publication of the same name, Short on Time: How do I make time to lead and learn as a principal?, he emphasized that although there will always be challenges in education, it is vital that educators and administrators bring attention to dedicated teachers, hardworking students, and the success of the school. Doing so can help create an uplifting and thriving environment. Some of Sterrett's quick tips include:

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Ashanti Foster

A Letter to My New Principal

Welcome to our school. I have been here for a few years so I wanted to be the first to officially greet you. I am excited to learn more about you and your leadership style. I can imagine that you'd like for me to be to work on time, have prepared lessons and execute them in a personalized manner for my students. I know you expect me to have my attendance done accurately daily and to respond to parent and student concerns in a timely manner. I pledge to do all of those things, so will you do a few things for me?

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Survival Tips for New Principals

Post written by Ashley Allen, a master's student in communication management with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor's degree from San Jose State University last spring and hopes to use her writing skills to make a difference.

Susan Kessler, April Snodgrass, and Andrew Davis of Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools discussed the struggles of being a new principal and shared valuable insight for surviving the first year during their 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session "When Do You Sleep: Surviving the First Year as a Principal." The dynamic trio each shared tips that have played an integral part in their own success.

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Dru Tomlin

Making a Difference through Student Advocacy Programs

The students needed me to make a difference, and they couldn't wait another year for me to figure it out. The disciplinary referrals were piling up in the manila folder on my desk. Their pink, yellow, and white triplicate forms were complete and signed by parents and guardians and entered into the school system's data management system. Even though I had already dealt with these behavior documents and events, they still troubled me.

As the assistant principal for 8th grade, they bothered me because the same students' names populated the forms day after day. They had become "frequent flyers" in my office. And even though I was doing my job as it was assigned, I knew I needed to do something different to serve these students. Turning students' lives into ink and paper was simple, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't making a real difference in their daily lives at school and beyond.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: Should Cellphones Be Allowed at School?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers if they believe students should be allowed to bring and use their cellphones at school.

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

ICYMI: Principals Share Advice on Whole Child Podcast

Principals are the key players in developing the climate, culture, and processes in their schools. They are critical to implementing meaningful and lasting school change and in the ongoing school-improvement process. There is also no doubt that the role—or roles—of a principal has changed dramatically in recent years and will likely change even more in upcoming decades.

In a 2013 episode of the Whole Child Podcast, ASCD's Sean Slade and Donna Snyder are joined by Kevin Enerson, principal of Le Sueur-Henderson High School in Minnesota (an ASCD Whole Child Network school), and Jessica Bohn, principal of Gibsonville Elementary School in North Carolina and an ASCD Emerging Leader, to discuss the qualities principals in today's (and tomorrow's) schools need to fulfill their roles as visionary, instructional, influential, and learning leaders.

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Dawn Imada Chan

What Happens When You Believe

I was recently asked if I remember teachers or educators that made a difference in my life and learning and how they inspired me. Yes, for a while I was that "middle" kid. I was your student who came diligently every day to class, completes their work, and if given the choice, would have been perfectly happy blending into the background. I was eager about the world's possibilities (which you wouldn't have known unless you asked), but had little belief in myself that I would be a part of making a difference in it. I was the kid who had mastered the art of not being noticed, but not well enough to fool the untrained eyes of some of my teachers.

You, too, likely have had one of these teachers. The teachers who are passionate about their work and believe in the potential of each child, love their content area, but believe in the importance of making real connections with their students even more. They are the ones that make the most indelible impressions on your heart and their belief in you is what made you think differently about yourself so you could soar.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

History for Its Own Sake, and For All of Our Sakes

Post written by Kerry Dunne and Christopher Martell

Recent national media attention on attempts by school districts to fold history and social studies into broader humanities programs has brought attention to the role of history education in today schools.

This begs the question: Is the study of history and the social studies a critical part of a 21st century education? In the age of a Common Core State Standards curriculum dominated by literacy and numeracy, will it survive as a core school subject? We argue that high-quality teaching and learning in history, geography, economics, and civics matter more than ever for today's American students and for the future of the country.

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Jeffrey Benson

Four Frames for Principals, New and Experienced

I was working with an elementary principal. One of the school's 3rd grade classes had given him a list of responsibilities they assumed formed his job. He showed me the list and chuckled, until he got to an item that he said made him shudder far more than smile: "You fix everything."

That overwhelming mandate contains a big piece of the truth: almost everything that happens in the school is ultimately the responsibility of the principal. What is equally valid is the reality that one person cannot know everything, be everywhere, prevent all problems, and fix everything.

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