Tagged “School Staff Wellness”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Bring Yourself to Work Every Day to Build Trust, Morale, and Culture

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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. In this episode, we take a look at how we build school morale so that administrators, teachers, students, and parents are energized and positive about learning. You'll hear from

  • Dave Burgess, award-winning U.S. history teacher at West Hills High School in San Diego, California; semi-professional magician; highly sought-after professional development speaker; and author of Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator;
  • David Culberhouse, former teacher and principal of a California Distinguished School, currently senior director of elementary education for the Rialto Unified School District in southern California and co-moderator of the West Coast #satchat, weekly Twitter discussions about education and leadership held Saturday mornings;
  • Joe Mazza, former teacher, principal, and technology integration coach, currently project manager for Connected Teaching, Learning, and Leadership in the North Penn School District in Lansdale, Pennsylvania; innovation coach at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education; and producer of #ptchat, another weekly Twitter chat—this one for transparent and collaborative dialogue between parents, family engagement practitioners, and teachers—held Wednesday nights; and
  • Angela Hamilton, assistant principal, and Eric Russo, special education co-teacher who specializes in reading and language arts, at Drew Freeman Middle School of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Drew Freeman is a member of ASCD's Whole Child Network of Schools and is in its second year of a three-year, comprehensive school improvement process using the tenets of the Whole Child Initiative—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—as a sustainable whole child approach to educating their students.

Connect with us @WholeChildASCD and our guests Dave Burgess @burgessdave, David Culberhouse @DCulberhouse, Joe Mazza @Joe_Mazza, Angela Hamilton @Ahamilton1994, and Eric Russo @erusso78 on Twitter.

What is the link between school morale and learning?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Building a Better School Community: Using PLCs to Support Student Success

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Ensuring that all children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged is fundamental for students to become college-, career-, and citizenship-ready. Our policies and practices need to be realigned to support the whole child, and that means a change in how the adults work together. Professional learning communities (PLCs) have emerged as perhaps the best, most agreed-on means of continual improvement in instruction and student performance.

Whether it be in a single school or online, in study groups, action research teams, communities of practice, or conversation circles, educators working together with a shared focus on learning and accountability help all students learn at high levels.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at collaborative and collegial learning environments where staff members feel safe to express themselves, discuss, and take an active part in the school improvement process and the student success process. You'll hear from

  • C. Robert Maxfield, associate professor and teacher leadership coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership at Oakland University in Michigan and cohost of the podcast series “Podcasts for Leaderful Schools,” a program that focuses on the importance of creating effective professional learning communities centered on student success. Maxfield's research interests include teacher leadership and reforming school organizational structures.
  • Steven Weber, who has been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and state department of education consultant in Arkansas and North Carolina and is currently the director of Secondary Instruction for Orange County Schools in Hillsborough, N.C. He is a member of the Triangle High Five, a regional collaborative that offers professional development on the topic of PLCs. Weber also consults with school systems in aligning their curriculum and in unpacking curriculum standards.
  • Sunndip Panesar, a grades 6–12 online/distributed learning teacher in Vancouver, Canada. As a consultant for Generation: Outreach, Panesar helps teachers and education leaders overcome the challenges of PLCs and understand how they can be used to effectively affect student achievement, and she provides workshops on new teacher survival skills, classroom management, 21st century learning, effective assessment practices, integrating best teaching in the classroom and online, and more.

Who is in your professional learning community and how do you collaborate to improve student learning?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Whole Child Needs a Whole Teacher

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With August just around the corner, educators, students, and parents are all beginning to gear up for the year ahead. Just as students return to school with a range of emotions, so too do educators. Some may be looking forward to returning to school; others may be a little bit apprehensive about how they'll meet so many challenges throughout the year.

Educators who start off the year with energy and enthusiasm often find that it fades gradually or dramatically. Teaching is one of the more stressful professions, and it can be one of the most rewarding when educators are able to strike a balance and schools create the conditions that allow them to thrive.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn how educators and schools can work to create the conditions that allow teachers, and subsequently students, to thrive. You'll hear from

Educators, are you struggling to manage stress, meet your basic needs, and find time for your own learning and development? What strategies have helped you to maintain your enthusiasm and balance between work and life?

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