Education Elements

9 Ways to Recognize and Appreciate Teachers

Education Elements

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Although we at Education Elements believe that teachers should be celebrated on any day that ends in a “y”, we also are excited to join in the Nationwide celebrations next week.

3 Ways to Deliver Feedback that Drives Change

Education Elements

"Feedback is a gift." Most of us have heard this common phrase as educators, coaches, and professionals. But if feedback is a gift, why does receiving it sometimes trigger uneasiness, anxiety, and stress? Teachers District Leadership School Leadership

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4 Ways to Weave Teacher Appreciation Throughout the Year

Education Elements

We all know that teachers should feel appreciated every day. As a former high school science teacher, I was filled up by the positive notes from students, small gifts, and verbal affirmations received during teacher appreciation week.

Solving Curricular Challenges: Driving Change through a Clear Vision

Education Elements

In our work with districts across the country, we frequently hear questions about instructional materials–from how to select high quality programs that match their needs, to building processes that are inclusive of key stakeholders, to developing sustainable processes for regularly reviewing and refining curriculum, just to name a few.

Grading for Equity: One School’s Approach to Increasing Student Ownership and Success

Education Elements

This school year, Portland Public Schools (PPS) launched a multi-year strategic plan for educational equity, inclusion, and excellence with the core belief that the student experience needs to be reimagined.

Top 10 Teacher Superpowers that Put the Marvel Superheroes to Shame

Education Elements

If you’ve ever watched a superhero movie, you’ve probably wondered which superpower you would like to embody. Super strength or super flexibility? Invisibility or the power to fly? It may surprise you to learn that superheroes live among us and go about their lives, often unnoticed.

Leveraging Students’ Strengths to Develop Student Leaders

Education Elements

Kate Sanders, Teacher: How do I empower more student leaders? This question had been circling my brain for months.

5 Major Predictions for 2022

Education Elements

In 2021 we navigated a lot of change and ambiguity. Life felt at times, hectic and unpredictable, but there was also a slowing down. There were shortages; so we waited longer for everything from household supplies to PCR tests.

How Student Choice Helped Me Grow Out of My Perfectionism

Education Elements

I am a recovering perfectionist. As a kid, I always colored within the lines of my coloring book; not because I wanted to follow the rules, but because I enjoyed precision. As a teacher, I bought a laser level tool so that my posters would all be hung at the exact same height.

Habits that Drive Great Teams

Education Elements

Early in my career, when I was a middle school science teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina, I didn’t think that the ritual of shaking my students’ hands, fist bumping, or hugging my students as they entered our classroom meant anything. But now, I realize it’s the opposite.

Facing the Great Resignation? Support Instructional Coaches

Education Elements

A recent Forbes article said, “If the big challenge of 2021 was to get children back into the classroom, the challenge for 2022 is to keep teachers there.”

Prioritizing Teacher Voice to Recruit and Retain High-Quality Teachers

Education Elements

The staffing crisis in K-12 education continues to zap time, energy, and resources for districts that are already stretched thin, exhausted, and steadfast in their commitment to ensuring students receive high-quality learning experiences.

Thank You Nintendo: Lessons learned that can help your strategic planning initiatives stick

Education Elements

As a product of the 90s I spent my late elementary school years like many of my contemporaries: playing Super Nintendo. I grew up with a large group of cousins and whenever we got together we approached video games as a group project.

Team Habits with a Big Impact

Education Elements

We’ve all been there. The room, half empty. Little to no conversation happening between the seated rows. Most eyes fixed on laptop screens, phone screens, projector screen, likely checking email or “checking email.”

Four Types of Learning Walks for Every School Leader

Education Elements

Everyone's first year at a new school comes with growing pains -- no matter if it’s their first role as a new Principal, or their 25th year opening a new, or newly redesigned school. One approach is particularly useful at helping to alleviate the growing pains - a “secret sauce” of sorts.

Personalizing Learning: Getting it Right

Education Elements

I can’t remember how many times I have been asked “Am I doing it right?” I’ve heard this question so many times in my support of over 150 schools as they implement personalized learning that I no longer count. Teachers and leaders want to know, am I “doing” personalized learning right.

A New Word for the New Year

Education Elements

I live in the Midwest, and if you could see my garden now, well…let’s just say, there is nothing but brown stalks, and wet muddy leaves beneath the snow.

How to Prioritize Relationships to Retain Educators For Equity

Education Elements

Hiring is often perceived as a heavy lift; and retaining and engaging great educators is proving to be a challenge. And, while administrators are focused on how to handle the needs and matters for all students, there is a tendency to forget and even overlook the needs of the staff.

Slow Pivots — What’s Driving the Change to Reimagine School Schedules?

Education Elements

School schedules and use of time are one of the few remaining relics of the industrialized learning model. Even when most schools moved to virtual learning in March 2020, many organizations replicated the existing bell schedule and instructed teachers to move their onsite instruction online.

Personalizing within the Curriculum: High Quality Instructional Materials as a Lever for Student-Centered Learning

Education Elements

Over the last 10 years, we have seen a significant shift in how educators access and leverage instructional materials to guide instruction.

Three Strategies to Support Our Teacher Workforce in 2022

Education Elements

This past December, I found myself at home watching Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve on ABC. Across the variety of hosts, musical performances, and crowd interviews - one theme emerged through the night: everyone is hoping that 2022 will be better than 2021.

Using Local History to Increase Student Engagement

Education Elements

Erin Conklin’s eyes light up when she talks about the primary and secondary source student book she created for Duval County Public School’s African American Studies elective. Personalized Learning Curriculum Strategy & Adoption

The Importance of the DEI Survey

Education Elements

In late May of 2020, as our country battled the coronavirus, the murder of George Floyd sent shockwaves through many communities, across the United States.

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It’s Elementary: Targeted K12 Leadership Development for Tackling Big Problems

Education Elements

As we write this, we are thinking back to the last “normal” month in 2020 before COVID-19 arrived in full force.

The Importance of Involving Stakeholders Throughout the Strategic Planning Process

Education Elements

To see students and community members in action - that is the stuff we, as educators, dream about. Most recently in a suburban school district outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Halftime for your Strategic Plan

Education Elements

This upcoming Sunday, many Americans will extend the yearly tradition of watching the last two NFL teams compete for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. As a loyal Philadelphia Eagles fan myself, I am not too interested in the game this year, since it features the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Virtual Schooling Is Here to Stay: Reimagining Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning in Public Schools

Education Elements

From North Carolina to California to Alaska, public schools around the United States are planning to preserve a virtual school option for students after the pandemic is over.

5 Tips for Leaders Starting Strategic Plans

Education Elements

These past three years have been very difficult for students, teachers, and school leaders. It seems that as life is getting “back to normal” there is something that comes in and disrupts the progress being made.

Relevant content makes personalizing learning easier

Education Elements

When I was a teacher in Washington, D.C. I taught a class on local history. Students got to learn about places they had visited and people they had heard about. I’ve never taught a class where students were more deeply engaged in the actual content of the class.

Developing Yourself as an Instructional Coach

Education Elements

I became an instructional coach because I wanted to share my expertise with my colleagues, so that more of our students were reaching higher, and achieving greater. I spent six years in the classroom, perfecting my craft as an early elementary educator.

How Bias Affects Our Perceptions of Data: 3 ways to guard against unconscious bias

Education Elements

It’s that time of year again - we’re shopping for school supplies, teachers are returning to their classrooms, and students (as well as their parents) are eagerly awaiting the news as to who their teachers will be.

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On Self-Care and Leadership

Education Elements

With summer break already in progress for most school districts, leaders can finally plan a week or two to step away from the daily grind and have a chance just to be. But if you are like me, this is not as easy as it sounds.

Shifts in Professional Learning: more microlearning and virtual courses

Education Elements

School district leaders face the enormous challenge of understanding and responding to how professional learning has been impacted by the global pandemic.

12 Things Equity Focused Teachers Can Say To Students In The New School Year

Education Elements

As school returns, we know this year presents unique challenges and changes to both educators and students. With such change, it may be especially difficult to communicate with students. While your intentions may be good, sometimes the impact of what we say can have unintended consequences.

Why I Joined the Ed Elements Team

Education Elements

In my 22 years in the K-12 education profession, I have worked for, and led organizations that run the gamut - from those that are very process and compliance driven, to those that multiply and engage creativity.

Education Predictions for an Unpredictable 2021

Education Elements

I got started with this tradition of predictions in 2010 after reading Disrupting Class, a book by Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn. In their book, they predicted that by 2019, 50% of all high school courses will be online in some blended learning model.

4 Practices to Immediately Improve the Teacher Experience in Your School

Education Elements

There are 88 million opportunities in the human genome for trait variations to make us unique, but when it comes to what we seek in the workplace, neuroscience suggests most humans crave the same three things – safety, belonging, and a sense of mattering.

Personalized Learning: Reflection and Goal-Setting

Education Elements

Reflection and goal-setting is the simplest way to begin personalizing learning because it mirrors a practice we engage in every day of our lives. Sometimes this shows up in small ways, like aiming to show gratitude more often, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or reading more.

Why We Need Elements of Leadership

Education Elements

This past September, Education Elements conducted a Leadership Pulse Check Survey of school leaders throughout the country.

5 User-Centered Strategies: Connect with your community and build a better strategic plan

Education Elements

Your favorite apps that seem to make managing life easier, social media sites that connect you to stories that resonate, shopping at your favorite store, your go-to streaming service when you need to de-stress - sometimes it feels like these things were built in a way that just ‘gets you.’.

The Six Competencies that Every Leader Should Model Through COVID-19

Education Elements

There is something about this crisis that has brought out the baker in many. Even the two of us, people who have tried elimination protocols to reduce our gluten intake, have made a few attempts at biscuit and sourdough making. And it’s not just us!

The Gold Medalist’s Guide for Incorporating Reflection in your Strategic Plan

Education Elements

“The twisties”. Growing up in the competitive cheerleading circuit, I was familiar with the term (and even had a former coach experience them once and never attempt certain gymnastics passes again), but I had never heard the term outside of that space.until this year’s Summer Olympics.

Tips For Setting Up An At-Home Learning Environment For Young Students

Education Elements

Here we are, looking down the barrel of another stretch of at-home learning. We always knew that it was likely not “if” but “when” we’d be back here, but the fact that many districts are announcing remote learning from day one has caught us all by surprise.