Sketch Notes From Thrive Book Club Meetings

February 22, 2020

Never underestimate the power of a group of people with vision, passion, and energy!  Those are the terms I would use to describe the growing group of edu-leaders from Hamilton Southeastern Schools near Indianapolis who focused a book group read and discussions around my book, Thrive.  (Short video and free intro download on my website.)…

Great Design Process Wins: Senior School of Kingsway College, Toronto

February 3, 2020

When great design works, it is a beautiful thing.  Most of us think about design as sketches that lead to a product. Designers know that it is really a process of identifying the best solution for an important challenge, which is exactly, in my humble opinion, why the newly announced Senior School of Kingsway College…

Sketch Noting THRIVE!

January 27, 2020

I was thrilled that a group of about 40 educators, organized by the Early Learning Alliance Network got together for the first of three book club discussions based on my book Thrive!  Just think about it: 40 educators, with many different titles, from multiple schools, getting together to just share ideas, language, and experiences around…

The Time We Spend in School

January 9, 2020

A year or so ago, my good friend and wonderful high school English teacher Chris Harrington started collecting short blog posts from past graduates, reflecting on key lessons from their school days that they wish they could share with their former selves.  It turned into a unique and powerful stream of thinking and writing, and…

A GREAT Example of a School’s North Star

January 6, 2020

Creating a shared “North Star” vision of where you want to go is one of the first and most critical steps of changing your school. Each school with which I have worked has fashioned their own unique North Star, and I discuss these steps at length in Thrive.  These North Stars have taken varied forms…

Make 2020 a Change Year!

December 30, 2019

Here is a very simple way to start your school’s new year and decade. Jean Case, in her book Be Fearless, distills five common elements of people and organizations that are effective change makers.  There is really nothing new here; we have been shouting this for well over the last decade in K-12 education. But…

Three Key Tipping Points to School Change

December 19, 2019

Why do some schools change and others do not?  Why do some schools change quickly, while others take decades?  Having visited and worked with more than 200 schools and districts in the last seven years, I am convinced it is not a function of demographics, school type, geography, or socio-economics. The key, I have found,…

Busting Myths That Inhibit Change

December 13, 2019

Schools are full of myths; we create and perpetuate them all the time, which adds to the inertia that resists needed change.  I have been fighting against the “small class sizes are always better” myth, and the “we can’t ged rid of our AP’s” myths for many years.  Multiple studies have busted myths about the…

Go Outside and “Blow Stuff Up”!

December 11, 2019

Several weeks ago I was visiting and working with an independent high school in New England that is fortunate to be blessed with wonderful new classrooms, some wooded acreage, and small class sizes.  As I wandered on my traditional observational tour, I noticed that students seemed to be spending most of their time at their…

More Exemplars of “Learning In and With the Community”

December 3, 2019

Do you see real-world learning as a disruptive challenge at your school or district? You want to provide those potentially life-changing, highly relevant experiences that break the artificial boundary between “school” and “world”, but just can’t see how to re-imagine time, space, and required subject patterns?  The great news is that you don’t have to…

The Evolving Face of “High School”

November 17, 2019

I met a young woman this weekend.  Her neighborhood high school is considered quite good. It is in a largely white, middle and upper-middle class section of southern California.  Largely on her own, with the support of her parents, she has “hacked together” a completely personalized high school learning experience. She takes online courses at…

A Cabin We All Need to Find

November 6, 2019

I have visited a LOT of schools in the last decade. It takes something special to shorten my breath, to stop me dead in my tracks, so full of wonder and questions that I just want to sit down, boil a pot of tea, and shut up and listen for a few hours or a…

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