School Culture and Climate

How to Change School Culture with PBIS

I learned something recently that shocked and horrified me:  the United States prison system forecasts its space demands based on current discipline data captured in our schools. This practice even has a disconcerting name:  the school-to-prison-pipeline. Approximately 3.3 million suspensions and over 100,000 expulsions occur each year.  This number has nearly doubled since 1974, with…

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4 Ways SEL Schools Can Succeed

Many years ago, I took a stand-up comedy class.  It wasn’t because I thought I was funny, it was just an effort to get more comfortable speaking in public. At the time, I wasn’t aware that the final “class” was actually the students all performing at a local Comedy Club.  I was petrified. The instructor…

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5 Empowering Thoughts on Teaching

I recently read a quote by famed educational psychologist Lee Shulman that discussed the challenges of being a classroom teacher.  He said: “Classroom teaching is perhaps the most complex, most challenging, and most demanding, subtle, nuanced, and frightening activity that our species has ever invented. In fact, when I compared the complexity of teaching with…

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Improving School Climate

Because of modern advances in brain imaging technology, over 90% of what we know about the human brain today was discovered in just the past 20 years [1]. Perhaps the discovery of greatest import, though, is the plastic nature of the brain – its ability to grow, develop, and change throughout our lives.  At no…

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How to Reduce Student Anxiety

Last week, I challenged my daughter to try doing some lacrosse tricks, little exercises with the stick and ball to develop coordination and handling abilities.  She’s very focused, and began working diligently to develop the skills. A few hours later, I found her in tears. “Dad, I can’t do it!” she said with frustration. As…

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