Tagged “Leadership”

Klea Scharberg

Throughout February and March: Building School Morale

Educators working in a positive school culture experience collegiality, trust, and tangible support as leaders and peers, creating an environment where there are high expectations, involvement in decision making, and open communication. Students entering a positive school culture feel safe, engaged, and connected and see school as a place where they can learn and contribute to the world around them. A positive school culture—morale—is the cornerstone of a good school and the foundation for school improvement.

School cultures should support, reinforce, and reflect the well-being of everyone in it, ensuring that students and adults feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn, lead, and teach. Join us throughout February and March as we discuss how to build school morale so that administrators, teachers, students, and parents are energized and positive about learning. What practices build morale; empower leaders; and promote trust, mutual respect, and celebration? How can the demands of accountability and high expectations be realized without affecting a positive culture?

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Klea Scharberg

Insights on Building School Morale

Building School Morale - ASCD Educational LeadershipFebruary 2014 issue of Educational Leadership explores why schools must become happier places for educators and how they can make it happen. Articles in this issue discuss both the reality that educators feel underappreciated and the small—or radical—changes everyone connected to schools can make to give educators reasons for optimism.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that it's easy to list problems that contribute to low morale, but what is it that builds high morale? How do we rise above the anger and apathy engendered by simultaneously being treated as objects of distrust and being expected to change the world?

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Jeffrey Benson

I Love To Watch Tucker When He Is Learning

I love to watch Tucker when he is learning. His eyes widen, his face lights up, and he cannot contain himself, shouting out answers—no, not answers but ideas and concepts and "ah has"—and he often gets in trouble for being insensitive to his peers who are still struggling to do their work, for being self-centered, and there are times he is frustrated by the trouble he gets into, and other times he seems to accept it as the price he is paying for his education. He grimaces for a moment and then reinvests his energies into his school work. He is eleven years old.

One of my first mentors believed, and so have I, that education is healing.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Is Most Important in Building School Morale?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers asked readers what they feel is most important in building educator morale at a school.

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Melanie Olmstead

Connecting the Classroom to the Capitol

Educators throughout the United States convened in Washington, D.C., last week to attend ASCD's legislative conference. Attendees gathered to tell their elected officials that it is time to shift from a narrow reliance on high-stakes testing in determining student and educator proficiency to a broader, more meaningful vision of success that supports each student from early childhood through graduation.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: Will a Longer School Day and Year Better Prepare Students for Success?

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 instituting a longer school day and year will better prepare students for success in college and the workforce.

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Sean Slade

Improving Schools: The Prerequisites for Personalizing Learning

Personalizing learning* will not truly take place in our schools unless we understand and act on three key things. Until then we will continue to tinker, adjust, and tweak a fundamentally non-personalized system to suit each person. We will continue to mean well but ultimately underserve most of our students.

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Adrian Bertolini

Starting the Year with Great Habits

A little over two years ago I sat down with two primary (elementary) school teachers to have a conversation with them to discover what had them be so successful with developing their students to learn. It was one of those conversations that connected certain "dots" for me about what I had been reading about the findings of neuroscience and setting up powerful learning environments.

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Hannah Gbenro

Optimizing Learning for the Long Run

People say that life is like a marathon, not a sprint. I believe a students' pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education is similar—it's a marathon, not a sprint. As students evolve during their educational careers, they are taught to leverage strengths, use specific strategies that often lead to success, and internalize their learning.

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Jennifer Davis Bowman

How to Lose a Diverse Student in 8 Days

A couple of years ago my daughter tried out for the cheerleading team. As part of the process, the girls were required to wear their hair in a long ponytail with spiral curls plus a bow. Although there is nothing surprising about these expectations, it caused me to pause. My daughter is African American with very thick hair (think The Lion King). In order to style her hair in a ponytail, there is a lot involved. There is hair washing, drying, and straightening. In addition, there is holding gel, curling tools—and this is just the beginning! Although with time, sweat, and effort, we could accomplish this ponytail ideal, I began to think about the other African American students that did not have the natural hair length needed in order to create a long ponytail with spiral curls. Wow. I could not believe that something as simple as a hairstyle could serve to separate students from one another. More importantly, it seemed that something as simple as a hairstyle could separate the opportunities afforded to particular students.

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