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8 ways to make teachers feel valued

Successful schools have faculty who are respected, fulfilled, satisfied and proud to be teaching where they are. That is one of my conclusions having recently completed a comprehensive study of teachers’ attitudes and impressions about the schools at which they work. Teachers want to feel pleased to be employed by their school, like their jobs, and feel well supported in …

8 Tips and 2 Tests to stay out of social media trouble

There continue to be so many well publicized cases of people getting into terrible trouble for emails they sent or comments posted on social media. It’s remarkable that many teachers and public figures seem to have not yet learned to protect themselves. One can never be too careful. Whatever is posted, is there forever. It can never be withdrawn. Regardless …

The medium of the message in parent communication

When I was a school administrator, the most frequent complaints I received were around communications. “Why wasn’t I told earlier?” asked a dad unhappy with his child’s report card. Then, less frequently, a mom would complain that a teacher communicates too much. “I don’t want to hear about every bump in the road”, she might say after the umpteenth family …

6 Paths to PD Success

How many workshops have your teachers been required to attend that they thought were an absolutely frustrating waste of time? When they are so busy, setting up a new year, or preparing units and lessons, or coaching athletics teams, their time is precious, and they have no tolerance for it being wasted by pointless “Professional Development”. I would guess that …

Procrastination: The Thief of More than Time!

“Procrastination is the Thief of Time”, goes the well-known saying. When one procrastinates, puts off doing what should be done, one ends up spending more time than if one had done it right away. However, often one loses much more than time through procrastination. Here are some of the costs of delay: •Inefficiency: that mounting pile of papers that slows …

Should teachers give homework?

Homework is often controversial, dividing both parents and teachers. Those in favour, believe that homework teaches responsibility, organization skills, and strengthens learning. Those against, say it places strain on families, and takes away from time that students should have for other things. Students, they argue, spend enough time in school, and homework should be unnecessary. I think that the value …

Opportunity For New Beginnings

Contributed by Michael O’Hara, Principal, Keheewin School, Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Every school head and teacher knows the nervous apprehension and excitement in anticipating a new school year. It is the opportunity to do what was not done last year, or to do what was attempted differently, for a better outcome. Leaders sometimes forget that doing what one has always done …