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College can Hurt

Chris Lehman:

Today, I was sitting with one of our SLA seniors. She’s gotten into a wonderful college – her top choice. The school costs $54,000 / yr. Her mother makes less than the federal deep poverty level. She only received the Federal financial aid package with no aid from the school, which means that, should she go to this school, she would graduate with approximately $200,000 of debt.


Frank Schofield on Preparation to be a Superintendent

I have had several professional experiences that I believe will guide my work as superintendent, but the experience that will help me the most is that of sending my own children to school. As a parent, I know what it means to send your children to school, hoping and trusting that the experiences they have that day will strengthen them and support their personal growth.

Frank was recently appointed as Superintedent of Logan City School District. I've admired Frank for many years, and he will be a great leader of that school district.

When I interviewed Frank, I sensed that he had great potential, and that he was very confident in the good work he did. He will be the first to admit that he can't do it all on his own. What makes him such a great leader is that when you are around him, you want to be engaged in what he is engaged in because his excitement and passion is so amazing.


Let's not steal

Chris Wejr:

Many educators, artists, and writers work hard to create slides and images that can be used to spread ideas and initiate important dialogue. Many people also share their work on the internet through a variety of methods. This is important as the sharing of ideas can result in “intellectual collisions” (C. Christensen) that can not only create some change but also improve upon ideas once they have been shared.

One thing I have noticed is that many of us share and use this work without reference to the original creator. When we share an image (or a quote) in a tweet, and we do not give a reference to the artist or author, are we are “stealing” images?

Sadly, I have been guilty of this with one of the images Chris even links to!


How to prevent suicide

Guest opinion: Keep Calm and Parent On | News | Palo Alto Online | Adam Strassberg:

Depression is a major factor in most suicides. Depression causes significant disruptions in sleep patterns. However, an emerging body of literature shows that sleep disruptions seem to precede and even precipitate depressive episodes.

Our children need to be sleeping more than us, not less than us. They need to be sleeping regular hours. Sufficient sleep must take priority over homework, athletics, social life, work, etc. I cannot overemphasize the importance of proper sleep hygiene. Poor sleep is just one of a great many contributing factors to depression, but it is such an easily controllable and preventable factor. Make your teens sleep.

My kids aren't teens yet, but they go to bed at 7:00 pm (asleep usually by 8:00-8:30, sometimes 10:00!). We can really tell when they don't have enough sleep.

There are more great ideas in this article. One of the most important is:

Asking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide. Asking about suicide will not implant the idea of suicide into your teens. Asking about suicide decreases the risk of suicide. So please do ask your teen directly about suicide.

Talk about it!


Growth Mindset is for Adults, too

Mike Kelly:

I see a lot of parallels to my experience and the experience of our students. Like me and my fixed mindset when it came to my carpentry skills, many students lack confidence and are unwilling to try or take risks. In order for them to be successful, they will need encouragement from someone who has confidence in them and teaches them a growth mindset, like my wife did for me. They will also need a lot of support, like I got from Pete. Some may not need all of Pete's videos, directions, materials and cut lists, but I did. I needed them to be successful, and in the end, I was. The objective was to make a bench, and make a bench, I did. Our students each need different levels of supports to be successful, but when we encourage them, have confidence in them, teach them a growth mindset, and support them, they can be!

It's always fun when the things we tell students actually happen in our own lives.


✓ Educational DNA

In his blog post, What is Your Educational DNA? Chris Lehman writes:

It’s a phrase I use a lot when I talk about SLA, “It’s in my DNA.” The ideas that form the backbone of SLA are the ideas that hold most dear about what I believe school can be. Much of the work I have done over the years has been developing a language for what I believed, refining the beliefs and figuring out how to make those beliefs easy to put into practice for teacher and students.

I attended five elementary schools (Rosecrest, Mae Ellis, Fallbrook, La Paloma, and Live Oak), one grade in a junior high (James E. Potter), and the different high schools (one giant school, Fallbrook; one low SES school San Juan; and one affluent school, Joel E. Ferris). I had very different experiences in these different schools and that taught me a lot.

One of the most frustrating parts for me was "learning" things that I had learned at my previous school. It really bothered me to see that I had to re-read our relearn things that I already knew how to do. My previous learning experiences were not valued and recognized. It made it very easy for me to feel like school didn't matter much.

I was very comfortable being the class clown, as well, which meant that I was often in trouble. Many times the teachers just wanted me out of their class. There was one teacher, Mr. Hughes, who understood the attention I was seeking, and gave me the attention in a positive way.

Guess which class I never goofed off in? His.

One teacher decided that because I had a behavior problem, I must not be "smart". She made it her personal mission to get me kicked out of all advanced and honors classes. So, I had to go to the "dumb kids" classes. Because that happened in 10th grade, I was never able to take any more Honors classes or AP classes. My high school classes very easy, but also very boring. I didn't have to try hard, and never had homework, because the expectations were so low.

Those experiences encouraged me to go into education. My strong desire to serve others solidified that choice for me. My job is to serve my teachers and students, to make them the best they can be.