Tagged “Making A Difference”

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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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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Kevin Scott

It’s the End of the Year as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

My oldest son is ending his elementary school career this week and I've been taking some time to reflect on his life and on my experiences as a teacher and educator. The end of year celebrations are a huge time drain and struggle as a teacher, but as a parent, it's one of the few times we are able to peek into the world own kids live in on a daily basis.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Why Did You Become a Teacher?

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. In this video, ASCD authors and leaders Robyn Jackson, Baruti Kafele, Doug Fisher, Jeffrey Benson, Michael Ford, Myron Dueck, and Eric Sheninger explain why they became educators.

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Klea Scharberg

Insights on Making a Difference

Making a Difference - ASCD Educational LeadershipTeachers 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.

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Believing in Students So They Believe In Themselves

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You Make a Difference - ASCD Educational LeadershipAsk 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?

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, our guests will share what led them to teaching, what inspires them, and how they make a difference in their students' lives and learning. From building meaningful relationships or designing innovative programs that help students overcome challenges to raising academic achievement, we are taking steps to focus on the whole child project-by-project, classroom-by-classroom, and school-by-school. You'll hear from

  • Mark Barnes is a veteran teacher, adjunct professor, international education presenter, and leading authority on student-centered learning and technology integration. He is the creator of the Results Only Learning Environment (ROLE), a progressive, student-centered classroom that eliminates all traditional teaching methods, including grades. While transforming his classroom into a ROLE, Barnes has also revolutionized K–12 web-based instruction by bringing private student websites into his classroom—an extension of school into cyberspace. He is the author of the ASCD book Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom and ASCD Arias publication The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom? Connect with Barnes on Twitter @markbarnes19.
  • Kevin Parr is a 4th grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Wenatchee, Washington, with degrees in environmental science and elementary education. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, he realized his passion for teaching and working with children. A 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader, he is also a regular guest blogger for the Whole Child Blog and Inservice. Connect with Parr on Twitter @mrkevinparr.
  • Allison Rodman is a 2013 ASCD Emerging Leader, instructional coach, and professional development facilitator who is committed to connecting teachers and administrators to the resources necessary to improve student achievement for all learners. A former social studies and alternative education teacher, she is currently the director of teaching and learning for Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School, a K–12 Title I school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Connect with Rodman on Twitter @thelearningloop.
  • Joan Young is a teacher and therapeutic coach with 10 years of teaching experience in elementary classrooms and 25 years of experience tutoring students of all ages. She specializes in working with students who need extra support in self-regulation and executive functioning skills. Her principle interests include the application of positive psychology to education, how resilience can help children who have experienced trauma and loss, mindfulness in schools, and teaching through multiple modalities. She is the author of the new ASCD Arias publication Encouragement in the Classroom: How do I help students stay positive and focused? and the blog Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish. Connect with Young on Twitter @flourishingkids.

Learn how other educators make a difference in students' lives and learning with the summer 2014 issue of Educational Leadership magazine, available beginning June 16. 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 a series of videos, you'll hear from Robyn Jackson, Baruti Kafele, Doug Fisher, Jeffrey Benson, Michael Ford, Marilee Sprenger, Myron Dueck, Mike Fisher, and Eric Sheninger on becoming a teacher and how they make a difference.

Access these articles and videos—and many others—to inspire you over the summer. Download the free Educational Leadership app in iTunes, Google Play, or the Amazon Appstore. If you do not currently receive Educational Leadership magazine, subscribe now to stay informed about new ideas and best practices for educators.

How do you know when you’ve made a difference in a student's life?

Laura Varlas

Daniel Pink: Perfecting Your Power to Move Others

Daniel Pink - 2014 ASCD Annual ConferenceEducators teach, lead, and are learners, themselves. But there's a big piece of every profession that often gets overlooked. In his 2014 ASCD Annual Conference opening general session, author Daniel Pink argued that, in a significant way, educators are also persuaders.

"A big part of what you do is try to move people," said Pink.

Pink surveyed 7,000 full-time, adult workers and found that American professionals spend 41 percent of the work day, or 24 minutes of every hour, persuading people to give up something they value for something you can offer.

As educators, this may mean trying to make a convincing appeal for certain state or district policies, persuasively leading your teachers to adopt a new curriculum or instructional approach, or motivating your students to practice close reading.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout Summer: Making a Difference

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.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Honoring Maya Angelou’s Call To Be Somebody’s Rainbow

Maya AngelouIn March 2013, Maya Angelou greeted 10,000 ASCD Annual Conference attendees in Chicago, Ill., with a song of hope and gratitude:

"When it looked like the sun wouldn’t shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the cloud."

It's not just that we have rainbows in the sky, but in the clouds themselves, she explained. So that even when it seems like the rain won't let up, we have something there to encourage us.

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