Jun 21

Are You a Boss, Leader, or Builder?

Teaching

Every time someone says that they are doing something “like a boss,” I cringe. Being a boss is the most ineffective form of leadership. It focuses on exercising power and control to get those underneath you to do what you ask them to do. As a boss, you’re constantly pushing folks forward towards your goals. […]

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Building Master Teachers
Jun 14

My New Word

Teaching

In my last post, I talked about how important it is to understand what your word is. Your word is your purpose distilled down to a single word that defines why you do what you do. It’s your own personal why.In years past, my word has been Options and Mastery. But as my role has […]

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Jun 07

What’s your word?

Teaching

Can I be honest about something? I hate most core values exercises. It’s not that they are inherently bad. It’s that they usually render the core values we wish we had or the core values we think we should have. They rarely help us see the core values we actually have.A simpler and ultimately more […]

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May 31

Why We Do What We Do

Teaching

It’s graduation season and every year during this time, I think about Fran. Fran was a student in my junior English class many years ago. She was bright and funny and chatty and sweet, but she was also failing. It wasn’t that she wasn’t working hard. She worked really hard to do well in my […]

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May 17

Do You

Teaching

When I first started teaching, I wanted to be a combination of all the movie and television teachers I’d seen over the years. I wanted to be noble and inspirational like Sidney Poitier in To Sir With Love. I wanted the steely determination of Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver. I wanted the combined toughness […]

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May 10

What Students Want

Teaching

At Mindsteps, we often conduct student focus groups with the schools we serve. We conduct these focus groups to find out if the work we are doing with teachers and administrators is really making a difference where it counts – with the students. Over the years, I’ve noticed an interesting trend in what students tell […]

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May 03

Why We Love Educators

Teaching

It’s teacher appreciation week and we couldn’t resist sharing our own A-Z Guide for why we love educators so much!A – is for your attentiveness. You pay attention to your students and get to know each one personally.B – is for your best self. We love how you manage to give your students your best […]

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Apr 26

The Difference Between Discipline And Punishment

Teaching

There is a difference between discipline and punishment. Punishment is about eliminating misbehavior. It’s often meted out in frustration and focuses more on gaining (or regaining) control over the student. Discipline on the other hand, is about teaching students the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior and helping students make better choices in the future. […]

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Apr 19

20 Signs YOU Might Be a Discipline Problem

Teaching

One of my favorite definitions of a discipline problem is “whenever a behavior interferes with the teaching act, interferes with the rights of others to learn, is psychologically or physically unsafe, or destroys property” (Levin and Nolan, 1996).That means, not only can students be discipline problems, but we can sometimes be inadvertent discipline problems as […]

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