Let’s be honest. Taylor Swift aside, it seems that Super Bowl viewers are divided by those watching the game versus the commercials. And the commercials in this month’s (2024) Super Bowl seemed to bring out more “Stars” than usual: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, JLo, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Jenna Ortega, Chris Pratt, Addison Rae, Jelly Roll, Judge Judy, Ice Spice, Lionel Messi, Kate McKinnon, Vince Vaughn, Quinta Brunson, Wayne Gretzky, Christopher Walken, and more.
For those of us who have had the privilege to serve, we know that leadership is far more than a designated position or title. We clearly recognize that effective leadership also entails its own unique set of challenges, some universal and others unique to specific roles, responsibilities, and work environments. These emerging and presenting challenges can be both highly complex and numerous, requiring a healthy perspective, perseverance under pressure and ultimately the sheer courage to lead!
We are living through an inflection point— a wake-up call, a call that has the potential to bring about a fundamental reordering and rebuilding of the entire education system.
In the third decade of the twenty-first century, it is reasonable to expect that all children should have free access to a system of learning that is grounded in the latest research for how human beings learn, grow, and thrive, and one that mirrors, honors, and nurtures all children. It is also reasonable to expect that all adults within that system of learning are provided the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive as the mission driven professionals they are.
While I love to celebrate the successes attained by the students, staff, and schools that I work with as a consultant, part of my job is to focus on the “half-empty” glasses, facilitating the processes needed to “fill them to the top.”
As we get ready for the new school year, I want to share this with you in case you did not see
it at the beginning of summer.
I won’t re-state my argument here; just click through to this article that I published in June via
Next Gen Learning Challenge. The big question that I hope you will ponder: Might it be time
to refresh education around a taxonomy that addresses today’s hurdles and biggest learning
Should we not retire what was, in essence, the taxonomy of the Industrial Age learning
With one that addresses the realities of
today and tomorrow?
The Alabama School Grant Consortia Program is a partnership between the Alabama Association of School Boards, the Winning Grants Institute, and The University of Alabama Center for Community-Based Partnerships. The program is based on a concept model that has demonstrated highly successful outcomes in a multiyear delivery system. The program facilitator is David G. Bauer, acclaimed author and grants trainer.
A key takeaway from Wisdom Road is not a surprise: America has seen a dramatic loss of
civil discourse in the last decade. The skills and practice of civility itself have become
endangered by a toxic stew of political, social, and opinion-masquerading-as-news media. I
believe that the very foundations of our democratic society are rooted in civility. Without the
ability to be human with each other, not through digital interfaces, but face-to-face with others
with whom we may have significant disagreements, the system is destined to fail.
Giving USA 2023: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2022 has just been released and the latest data on charitable giving is exciting. It is important that school districts throughout Alabama know these grant facts so that they can develop successful strategies to tap these remarkable sources of funds that never need to be repaid. Alabama school districts need to rid themselves of the notion that grant seeking is too much work and that failure is a given no matter what.
By: Julie Jungalwala (formerly Wilson), Recognized Thought Leader and Akribos Guest Contributor
The summer professional development season is upon us and I have been enjoying working with several
schools as they continue the work of translating their pedagogical and curricular vision into reality. A
key part of this work is deciding on the work to be done - all while holding it lightly and with a spirit of
iteration. During these conversations, we typically add things to be done - very rarely do we discuss
what we might stop doing.
A helpful exercise I often facilitate is called KEEP/STOP/ START. Try it with yourself and your team and
commit to the changes that emerge :)
You’re still celebrating being named to a new leadership role in your district and
you’re ready to get to work and move your school(s) forward … now is the time to
consider your strengths and weaknesses carefully and to introspectively analyze
your leadership style.
Grant dollars have always been available for K-12, but I would submit that we are seeing a
record amount of grant dollars being announced by multiple funding sources.
What problem or challenge would you solve if you had the money? Those funds are likely
available in the form of a grant.
Team building is an essential component in industry and in education.
Teams offer a systematic structure to address prevent and solve
many of the problems we face in education today that are too difficult
for one person or one group to solve.
School districts around the nation are faced with the challenge of finding sufficient qualified
staff to fill all the positions needed to serve students with disabilities well; therefore, staffing
must be strategic and data-driven in order to deliver needed services effectively and efficiently.
Additionally, staffing represents the largest portion of any school district’s budget therefore
determining staffing needs is a critical function in any school district.
The level of service students with disabilities need should be the driver for special education
staffing and NOT the programs available. Service needs are determined by IEP teams and
measured by minutes of service needed for students to make progress toward meeting their
IEP goals. It is important that district leaders have a means to extract total minutes of service,
as determined in student IEPs, per school in order to determine campus staffing needs and to
ensure student IEPs are implemented with fidelity.
For more than two decades, forward-leaning educators have focused on a set of skills that
for some reason all started with the letter “C”: creativity, critical thinking, communication,
collaboration, etc. I want to add another “C” to that list, one, I would argue, that will be more
important to the world going forward than all the rest. Civility. If we don’t get this one right,
we may not have a framework in which the others will bear fruit.
In our world of uncertainty, especially for superintendents, there is
one thing we can rely on: it is not a matter of if a crisis will occur, but
when. A recent stint as an interim superintendent served as a
reminder that the job has a unique set of challenges and adequate
preparation is essential.
Five years ago, I attended my 45th high school reunion and reflected in my Blog about how the interpersonal and student-focused dynamics of high schools in the early 1970s were similar and different from the high schools I worked in—at that time—in 2017.
Today, I attended my 50th high school reunion, and it is striking what has happened in our country and across the world over the past five years.
And while I will detail some of that history in a poem below, let’s recognize that every generation feels that it is unique, and that it contributed something essential to American history and our social fabric.
The vast majority of the 250 schools I have visited over the last decade were designed and
built with little alignment to what many of use believe is the future of learning. School
communities have spent vast treasure building learning spaces that re-enforce an industrial
model of education that should have been retired thirty or more years ago.
If you are like me, this is certainly one of your favorite seasons of the year and the particular season to which I refer has little to do with the weather. On the other hand this season has everything to do with school colors, fight songs, tailgating, game-day attire, and how we structure and schedule our Saturday afternoons and evenings.