Bringing out the Best in Students

As an early student, I experienced a variety of educational settings. I learned firsthand what conditions create supportive, emotionally stable environments for students to learn in, and which environments stifle their creativity. It’s all about paying attention to the learner, helping them connect to their surroundings, and encouraging them to define themselves by what they ARE instead of what they’re …

Social Emotional Support of Students

It’s February.  I call it Love-with-a-Cherry-on-Top month.  We celebrate both Valentine’s Day and George Washington not lying about chopping down his father’s favorite cherry tree! For educators, it’s a good month to consider how we can help students “feel the love” even when they come to us with major trauma and dysfunction happening in their lives.  (Think hunger, abuse, financial …

Breaking the Barrier of Educational Apartheid

In writing our book, Simon and I interviewed 22 award-winning principals who had moved their schools from low performing to high achieving.  All of these schools were in areas of high poverty in their communities.  Most people did not expect these students to do well.  In fact, often the biggest challenge for the principals was to get the adults to …