An Empowering Reality

We have the opportunity to do some pretty special things as educators. We can build lasting relationships, empower our students, and practice possibility-thinking. We also have the option of sharing some of the important work our teams are doing with our communities. As if that wasn't enough, we can even join students for recess. (How cool is that?!) Recently, our school created a short Virtual Reality (VR) video combining several of these things. To view the short VR video clip, simply grab your Google Cardboard and open the YouTube link on a cell phone. Then click the VR glasses icon to experience the video from the middle of our recess 4-Square game. (It's pretty amazing!) For me, the tru

Food for Thought on Meaningful Change

We have got to move beyond the familiar if we want to create meaningful change for our students. But how?!? To truly think differently about core processes of teaching and learning we have got to stop playing it safe. I was driving home from one of our school’s movie nights and my daughter and I were chatting about her upcoming birthday. Our family has a tradition where the birthday person gets to select where we’ll go out to eat as a family, and what dessert will be. (The anticipation and dialogue leading up to the actual birthday dinner is half the fun.) As my daughter was reflecting on what her dessert options were, I encouraged her to think bigger than the traditional dessert staples lik

Introducing a New Crop of #LiteracyOLanterns

This weekend I was surrounded by some of my favorite children's books and the scent of Sharpie markers. And of course....pumpkins! The annual pumpkin painting for our school's media center has become a family tradition. My own kids are always happy to recommend titles for me to paint, and they don't hold back when they notice details I miss from the books they love. We also secured some additional book recommendations from friends on social media. Without further ado, here is this year's crop of #LiteracyOLanterns: 1. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. This is a classic that features a young boy who creates his own world using a purple crayon. Several additional books have bee

Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 


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