Am I Making This a Bigger Deal Than It Is?

Something happened at school this past Spring that has stuck with me. I initially thought my feelings would fade, but this small-moment story is still stirring things in me that I'm trying to discern. I was walking across our playground during recess time and a teacher who was playing football with students invited me to join their game. Some of the students encouraged me to play quarterback and I was happy to accommodate. Meanwhile, the teacher was playing defense while chatting with students. My first pass attempt didn't go so well, but after my arm loosened up a little I managed to connect with a student who caught a short pass near the middle of the field. After making the catch he casua

The Heart and Soul of Reading

Have you ever been around a person who shares their passion for a topic in such an authentic way that you can't help getting excited? My 3rd grade son is not known for being a conversationalist, but when he starts explaining the finer points of Minecraft his eyes light up. And so do mine! There is something about hearing another person's heart that creates a special connection. The same is true for books. That's why I encourage educators to talk about what they're reading with students (and each other). It's such a powerful practice...and less complicated than you might think. In fact, talking about the books we're reading can be as basic as discussing our favorite foods and movies. This is

My Do-Over, Marzano’s Tweet, and More

When was the last time you were part of a conversation and you found yourself wanting a “do over” or another shot? I recently had one of these moments while recording an episode of the unearthED Podcast with Dr. Robert Marzano. I’ll drop a link to the show at the bottom of this post, but wanted to share where I think I went wrong (along with a quick backstory) first. Here’s the backstory: There’s been quite a bit of commentary on social media connected to a tweet shared by Dr. Marzano. In a nutshell, Dr. Marzano’s original tweet felt like an indictment against classroom teachers from somebody who is not a classroom teacher. The tweet has since been removed and an apology was issued. However,

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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