Summer for educators is often a time to look back on the past year—and look forward to the coming one. What worked, what didn't, and what will you change? Educating the whole child and planning for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement requires us to be "whole educators" who take the time to recharge, reflect, and reinvigorate.
As the key players in developing the climate, culture, and processes in their schools, principals are critical to implementing meaningful and lasting change in the ongoing school-improvement process. Those who have a clear vision; inspire and engage others in embracing change for improvement; drive, facilitate, and monitor the teaching and learning process; and foster a cohesive culture of learning lead our schools in ensuring that each student—and school staff member—is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
From July 21 through August 1, we'll be sharing advice for new principal leaders—those who are new to the role or new to a school. What advice do you have for new principals? Are you (or have you been) a principal and have a story or experience to share?
Although most states plan to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during the 2014–15 school year, many questions remain about what the standards are, how they were created, and how they will influence students' and teachers' daily work. The current issue of ASCD Policy Points (PDF) outlines basic facts about the standards that you can use not only for your own background knowledge, but also to inform your discussions with your colleagues, community members (including parents), and local policymakers.
Teachers work every day for the benefit of their students. Learn how other educators make a difference in students' lives and learning in a special summer issue of Educational Leadership and get inspired. This digital issue gives you instant access to stories about individuals, teams, schools, and even a U.S. state that are passionate about teaching and learning.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer reminds us to remember why we do what we do. She writes,
With so much energy devoted all year long to tackling problems, summer can be a good time to recall why you went into education in the first place, reflect on your many accomplishments, and think about the good you have done and will do in your life as an educator. It's not about self-congratulation, but about looking inside yourself for the rejuvenation and answers only you can find.
Join respected educator and ASCD author Regie Routman for an exciting, free webinar to learn how to increase reading and writing achievement, engagement, and enjoyment for all students, including English language learners and students who struggle.
Ask educators why they went into teaching, and the majority will respond that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. That initial idealism, however, is often challenged by the realities of heavy workloads, classroom discipline problems, and bureaucratic demands. How are you (and your teams) working to ensure that each child in your school and community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?
Join us throughout the summer as we look at why we teach and what inspires us. From building meaningful relationships or designing innovative programs that help students overcome challenges to raising academic achievement, supporting students' emotional and physical health and safety, building partnerships with parents, and advocating for education reform, we are taking steps to focus on the whole child project-by-project, classroom-by-classroom, and school-by-school.