Your Board’s a Bad Board, and It’s Probably Your Fault: Conversation with Chuck Evans

  Introduction and Podcast with Chuck Evans: I had the opportunity to have another conversation with Chuck Evans of Better Schools about his work with school boards, heads of schools, and his recent stint as an interim head of school. I’ve written many times about the lack of stability in leadership and the consternation that …

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Transform Learning: Let Students Do the Planning

A courageous principal can have an amazing impact. Darren Spyksma, SCSBC Director of Learning, uses this TEDx presentation to share how one decision by his principal significantly increased the quality of learning in an intermediate classroom. While navigating risks and errors, Darren shares how learning focused on personalization, inquiry, and engagement, can lead to deep, …

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Going Deeper into Rooftop Perspectives

In my preceding blog post I wrote a review of Eric Reender’s compelling book, Rooftop Perspectives. In this post, Eric responds to several questions related to the book. What prompted you to write the book? Moving to China and teaching in a Christian school there was a big change. I was an experienced teacher but my …

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Education and the Good Life: Conversation with Dave and Doug Sikkema

I recently had a conversation with Dave and Doug Sikkema, twin brothers, who are not only fun to talk with, but both of which have an abiding love for learning. I was intrigued at the combination of classical learning and digital innovation in their writing, work, and lives. Dave quotes, Hicks in his article “Playful …

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Lessons from the Playground: School Climate and Structures

As defined by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASDC) School climate refers to the school’s effects on students, including teaching practices; diversity; and the relationships among administrators, teachers, parents, and students. My personal definition of school climate is the temperature of the school, “controlled” (think thermostat) by the structures that are in place, the …

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School Safety & Building Culture with Mark Hamstra

School safety and security have been at the forefront of our minds because of the recent tragedy in Parkland, FL. It seems as if the conversation around safety and security have taken a different tone, and this is why I was glad to read the Chicago Sun-Times Op-Ed by my friend Mark Hamstra, Dedicated teachers …

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Women’s Leadership and Mentoring in Christian Schools

A tweet from Jen Schwanke in Education Week Teacher that keeps popping up in my feed says: “The biggest challenge I face as a leader is carrying the burdens, worries, frustrations, and challenges of so many other people.” This hasn’t popped up just once, but I seem to see it weekly. As Christian educators, we …

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Women’s Leadership: Making Room at the Table

I grew up in an idyllic small town in Minnesota as the youngest of four kids. I had more people to look up to then anyone could ever ask for, and my siblings and parents helped me understand my place in the world by the expectations they set for me. As an admittedly exasperating little …

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Identity Crisis: Women in Leadership

“This is the most sexist, racist place on the planet and I am underpaid, understaffed, overworked, and summarily ignored.” Where have you heard that before? Perhaps one of the descriptors resonates with you. If we are honest, maybe more than one of those sentiments has been in our heart (if not on our lips), and …

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We’ve Got to Talk the Walk: Intentionally Supporting Women in Christian School Leadership

I was stunned. There she sat—an intelligent, energetic, Christ­centered young faculty member—and her question to me, the (also female) assistant headmaster at her Christian school, was whether or not our leadership team values and supports women in leadership. We were having an in-depth conversation about our institution’s mission and vision, and she honestly wasn’t sure. …

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