We may have less than 5 years to change how we learn, earn and care


In one work the post is brilliant.  It was written by Saadia Zahidi and comes from the World Economic Forum.

“Globalization and technology are accelerating both job creation and destruction. Some estimates have put the risk of automation as high as half of current jobs, while others forecast a considerably lower value of 9%. Still, all occupations will go through change: we found that on average one-third of the skillsets required to perform today’s jobs will be wholly new by 2020.”

Here are the highlights of the Common Vision.

1. Transform education ecosystems. .

2. Facilitate the transition to a new world of work.

3. Advance the care economy.


Read the article for the details!  You will not be disappointed.


Carol Dweck Explains The ‘False’ Growth Mindset That Worries Her

“Carol Dweck Explains The ‘False’ Growth Mindset That Worries Her” is written by MindShift. (It is a MUST follow blog in my opinion)

In it they highlight Carol Dweck’s concerns over the ‘False’ Growth Mindset.  I love this post because again she shows her honesty and transparency about the Growth Mindset.  I have read several articles from “haters” who suffer from a fixed mindset who attack the growth mindset for not solving all of educations issues.  Well here again she shows that it is not supposed to!

Here is a great quote from the interview that inspired the post:

“Nobody has a growth mindset in everything all the time. Everyone is a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets.”

10 Big Ideas We Are Learning Through Our High School Internships

Internships is something that I was never lucky enough to experience in high school but have worked at 2 high schools that offered them and they are GREAT!  I would love to see more schools go to this model because it teaches our children so many things.

This post comes from Getting Smart and is highlighted by two 9th grade students who share 10 things they are learning through their internships.

iris and kim.jpg

Image borrowed from Getting Smart

Here are their 10 but you know the drill… you have to check the article for the details!

  1.  Focus on Curiosity and Interests
  2. Be Yourself
  3. Celebrate Uniqueness
  4. Follow Dress Code and Language Code
  5. Use Connections
  6. Conduct Interviews, Follow-ups, & Job Shadows
  7. Do Your Paperwork
  8. Be a Good Communicator
  9. Keep in Touch
  10. Trust Each Other: “Once you’re at Big Picture you never really leave”

Are We Thinking About Growth Mindset Too Narrowly?

This is a guest blog on Finding Common Ground by Jack McDermott.  Jack works for Panorama Education and they complied a survey of over 23,000 middle and high school students.

Here is the question they asked.  Whether a person does well or poorly in school may depend on a lot of different things.  You may feel that some of these things are easier for you to change than others.  In school, how possible is it for you to change:

  • Being talented
  • Liking the subject
  • Your level of intelligence
  • Putting forth a lot of effort
  • Behaving well in class
  • How easily you give up

The answers may or may not surprise you but it opens up the conversation on how big of a challenge this can be.  How many of you are teachers or former teachers like myself?  I can distinctly remember how many different mindsets I dealt with on a daily basis and the challenge of getting students to believe.

Check out the rest of the article to see the statistics!

6 Principles of Genius Hour in the Classroom

What is Genius Hour?  It is an approach to learning that is build around discovery, curiosity, and self-directed learning.

Terry Heick and Teach Thought bring you the “6 Principles of Genior Hour in the Classroom”.

Here are the 6:

  • Sense of purpose
  • 80/20 rule
  • Socialization
  • Creating
  • Inquiry
  • Design

New Apple Program ‘Everyone Can Code’

This article comes via EdSurge and is written by Mary Jo Madda.  Coding is becoming more and more popular and Apple has decided to jump in!

“CEO Tim Cook announced on September 7 that 114 ConnectED schools will start programming this fall. According to Cook, Apple has also provided a Mac and an iPad to 4,500 teachers, while also putting an Apple TV in every ConnectED classroom and distributing 50,000 iPads for students.”

For more information you can check out the “Everyone Can Code” initiative and follow how they are working with ConnectED.

Also check out an older article that I cited for additional information on Coding.  I love the coding initiatives!!  It exposes children to technology but also teaching them the fundamentals of problem solving and patience while learning valuable informaiton.

Growth Mindset May Counter Effects of Poverty on Achievement

Back to one of my favorite topics over the past several months…Growth Mindset.  I have shared several articles that I have found on the growth mindset as well as some commentary because I am passionate about who CARES and the power of thinking positively.

This article comes from one of my favorite bloggers on EdWeek, Evie Blad, called “A Growth Mindset May Counteract Effects of Poverty on Achievement, Study Says”.

Please take 10 minutes to read the article and see that there is proof that the growth mindset is impacting our students, especially ones being raised in poverty.  Here is a link to the study as well if you want to look at the details future.

Do you use/discuss a growth mindset with your staff, children, or students?  If so please share successes and failures in the comments section!


8 Proven Secrets To Superior Skill

Anyone looking for a challenge today?  This is a great article from the Blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree.  It discusses 8 secrets to becoming an expert and having superior skills.  Here are the 8 but you have to read the article for the details!

  1. Be In It For The Long Haul
  2. Find a Mentor
  3. Start With What’s Important
  4. Train Like You Fight
  5. Use “Desireable Difficulty”
  6. Get Fast, Negative Feedback
  7. Study Less. Test More.
  8. Naps Are Steroids For Your Brain



Teachers Create What They Experience


What a powerful speech by Katie Martin.  She is on point and does an amazing job explaining how classrooms today are not built for the modern day child.  She discusses her fears for her 2 children and how she feels the reform necessary for schools today can be achieve.  She developed 3 concepts to create learning environments to bring people together, create positive learning experiences, and feed your children’s love to learn!

  1. Shared Vision
  2. Learning as a process, not an event
  3. Go Open

Watch the video to learn more about her 3 concepts and be prepared to be inspired!


Foundation for Successful Schools: All About Who CARES

The idea of a Slogan, Theme or Tag Line for your campus reminds me of one of my favorite stories growing up; The House on a Rock.  For those unfamiliar with the story, the premise is that wise builders build their houses on a rock (believers who put the thoughts of God into practice) while the foolish builders build their homes in sand (believers that do not put the words of God into practice).  The story concludes with a great storm of wind and rain and the home built on sand fell with a great crash while the house on a rock stood.

The purpose of the story is not to speak of religion, but this concept directly relates to developing successful schools, businesses, and being successful in life.  We want to build our foundation with CARE and make sure that it is on a ROCK!  If your foundation is strong then you will be able to withstand the pressures of budget, test scores, bullying, etc.  When you analyze the strengths and beliefs of your campus, do you not only believe in them but put those thoughts into action?  When we build our foundation for our campus/district/school we need those concepts to not only be heard but followed or your “house” may fall.

The CEO of my company has been CEO of companies with 30,000+ employees before coming back to one of his passions, education.  He frequently comes back to the word CARE when he speaks to groups of people about education, where it was, where it is now, and where it is going.  His argument is that if you CARE, (like really care – not care like care if it rains today or not but like you cared about your Pokemon or Pog collection as a child) then the sky is the limit.  His speeches always motivate me in a variety of ways because it is evident by knowledge and passion that he CARES.

cares 2


The number 1 concern in this area is providing a environment where students feel safe.  A culture of learning also needs to be established that supports them as they grow and encourages them to be life long learners.  Knowledge is power!   It needs to be modeled at all levels that the campus/classroom is a safe environment for all to be themselves, learn, but also have some fun! Once they genuinely feel safe then you can start to break down the walls and work on the rest.  Students need to feel secure, respected, and supported.   This concept of “community” needs to also extend outside of the school walls to the playground, library, and at home.  If this can occur throughout your campus then anything can happen.


For this one I am look at you.  Yes you, the adult in the room, MUST check their ego at the door.  We need to completely buy into the first step to make this successful.  As a young gun, I sometimes struggled with this because I would get defeated when I followed the “community” concept, but then held onto my ego when kids challenged/disrespected me.  “I kept it together until the end” is not enough because the end is where you needed to show your strength the most.  This does not mean we give the control to the kids and hang on for the ride.  Classroom management is a huge piece of this and we must pick our battles with the end game in mind: creating a learning community where our kids feel supported, secure, and respected.  Having a Growth Mindset is a great way to show, support, and use this pillar.  Interested in more information?


Respect must be given to the kids right away while we earn theirs.  Who is thinking right now, “PSSSSH, Oh no he didn’t!  I respect the kids but the kids need to respect me”.  (I admit I even thought it a little bit while I typed it!)  Please do not click “X” and stop reading, stick with me here and hear me out.

Take a second and think back to when you were younger.  Let’s be honest: some teachers you automatically gave your respect and others had to earn it.  That could have been based on who was “cool”, attractive, scary, or whatever fit your personality.  We need to avoid thinking like my quote above.  We need to give the respect to the kids FIRST and the rest will follow suit once they witness your positive attitude, support, love, care, and respect first hand.  Again, this does not mean we hand the keys of the car to the kids, but we always need to keep community and attitude at the forefront!


Simple definition from Websters: the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.

This translates into being an understanding, sympathetic, loving role model for your students so that they see and feel the true meaning of Respect, Community, and a good Attitude.  Being empathetic does not mean you let things slide, give breaks when they are not deserved, or “insert whatever comes into your mind here”.  It means that we provide a learning culture that supports growth and understanding.  We can still give deadlines and hold firm on them or do not accept late work without a medical excuse.  You can draw the line in the sand where ever you feel it needs to be.  As long as you can be 100% transparent and say, “Yes I did” when asked if you provided all opportunities for success and supported the student along the way with encouragement.  You need to also provide them all the resources they need to be successful.  If so, then yes, sometimes the students need to learn a lesson the hard way.

If this is the case, I encourage you to have a conference with them (and maybe the parents too?) to explain what is happening, why, how it could have been avoided, and how it could be avoided in the future, so that you protect the community and the learning culture that you have fought to hard to build.  Again, never give up the ultimate goal, show them who CARES.


Plain and simple it is when your district turns the corner and starts to grow by creating learning cultures that foster life long learners.  Success can be defined in a magnitude of ways but I encourage you avoid student achievement, high test scores, national rankings, parent satisfaction, whatever you want to stand on as a campus or district, and focus on who CARES.  The success will follow.  I believe this because there is power when people know that you care and feel your passion.  It fosters success, growth and inspires people to try new things and accomplish things that they dreamed were not possible.

This is a model created on my opinions, experiences, and reflections on my time in the classroom and also working with schools.  It is however, based on several things that are proven to be effected and supported in the industry.  Take Finland for example.  They have the highest performing schools in the world and a recent article in the LA Times highlights what makes them so successful and they, along with my CEO, inspired me to write this post.

—–>>  Feeling inspired?  I want to point you to a friend and former principal of mine, Justin Aglio and his colleague Dr. Michael Ghilani.  They recently published an article that discusses this concept while sharing their districts tagline for this year.   I worked with Justin and he CARES and it easy to feel it while you are with him.  Their district, Montour School District, is one of the 30 schools in the US that you need to visit – says Getting Smart. Check them out!