Month: July 2015

Finish Your Final Assessment Now: A Professional Thank You to Grant Wiggins

As an educator, I love the summers not only for the vacation time and opportunity to go to baseball games, but more so for the opportunity to reflect on the past year and prepare for the upcoming year. There are not many professions that afford such opportunities for significant reflection, revision, and development, but too …

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What is the Purpose of Education?

As you enjoy reading this summer, I would like to recommend the book, Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith (2009), Baker Publishing: Grand Rapids, MI. I would venture a guess that every philosophy of education class, at one point during the semester, asks the question, “What is the purpose of education?” The answer to …

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Teaching Towards Shalom

As you enjoy reading this summer, I’d like to recommend a relatively recently published book, Teaching to Justice, Citizenship, and Virtue: The Character of a High School Through the Eyes of Faith by veteran Christian educators, Julia and Gloria Stronks, a mother-daughter team. The authors use a fictional cast of characters at Midland Christian High …

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Praying for God’s Timing

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:20-22) One of the most interesting-troubling-confusing aspects …

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Three Steps for Recruiting Talent

In my prior blog, “School Buses, Lord of the Flies, and The Right People”, I received comments and questions about my own experience riding school buses, how to develop exciting non-bus orientated analogies, and what dispositions I look for in candidates; however, the most significant interest and conversation revolved around the following comment: Recruit Talent: …

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How Do Schools Get Better? (Part 5)

**Doing the right thing…knowing the right thing to do. This is a question that we ask ourselves everyday as school leaders. Richard Elmore, professor of Educational Leadership at Harvard University, published a paper with this title through the NGA Center for Best Practices (can be found here). He offers suggestions and practical advice on how …

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Marketing Research, Part 3 : Message Testing

Do you know what’s important to your current and potential school families? It’s different from what you may call key distinctives or core values (why we do what we do and the words that best describe our deliverable). Key distinctives and core values may be important ways of talking and thinking about your school, but …

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Student-Teacher Relationships

Are student-teacher relationships a significant component to growth?  My answer is this: the single most significantly damaging element to student growth is arguably a student-teacher relationship predicated on the need of the teacher for any kind of personal significance within that relationship.  Christian schools might be better served when dialogue begins with this question: are …

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Effective Christian Leadership: Facing Obstacles and Opposition

In the summer right after I graduated from high school, I had the privilege of working for one of my uncles, who was a general contractor and owned a construction company.   During this particular summer, he was building an apartment complex, and I was there to do whatever manual labor he assigned me to do.  …

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