6 important topics for learning in 2015

Windshields are larger than rearview mirrors so that we may focus on the road ahead while occasionally looking behind for perspective and course corrections. My resolution for 2015 is to learn more about six topics that will help us make sense of the continuously shifting educational landscape so that we can focus on next steps for student success.

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The Principal Pipeline Initiative – Unpacking the Effects

The results are in, and they are exciting. Last week I shared Learning Forward’s anticipation about the release of the RAND study of the Wallace Foundation-supported Principal Pipeline Initiative. (See that post here.) On April 8, I represented Learning Forward at the New York unveiling of Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for…

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Breaking the school-improvement ritual

As a consultant and coach, I do a lot of my best thinking in the car or on the plane. I found myself doing just that a week ago, when I tuned into National Public Radio’s morning show. The moderator mentioned that playwrights often use a technique to hook their audiences. Simply put, they draw people into their plays by breaking a ritual or custom and letting the characters wrestle with the conflict that it produces. In the world of theater, this creates the “edge” that forms memories from the play or musical. Thus, in the theater, breaking the ritual is a good thing and it produces the intended result . . . drama and memories.

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Spread effective teaching from room to room

When I was a local school board member, parents frequently asked for my advice on how to ensure their child got a particular teacher in a school. I knew how the game would be played after I reminded them this wasn’t the role of the school board: They would write the principal with their requests for the next year. The principal would respond to assure the parents that no matter which classroom their child was assigned, he or she would have a great year.

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Resilient Leadership

For education leaders, stress and challenges are part of the job – but resilience can be, too.
This issue highlights how professional learning enables leaders to manage stress, navigate competing priorities, and maintain focus on instructional leadership. Building resilient leadership helps everyone in schools thrive.

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Are you learning forward or backward?

Followers of the Learning Forward blog know that we changed our name several years ago from the National Staff Development Council to Learning Forward. Later this year, we’ll reach the five-year anniversary of the new name. As I reflect on those years, I think about some of the learning I’ve seen in schools and districts that leads me to ask, “Are you learning forward or backward?”

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