Author Archives: Deb

About Deb

I am a lifelong educator with experience in special education, counseling and staff development. Special interests outside of my chosen career field include entrepreneurship, investing and financial literacy.

“Forcing” Change

Avid gardeners know it is possible to ‘force’ some bulbs to sprout and produce flowers ahead of their normal schedule and outside their natural environment. The process requires that you artificially mimic and compress the process that would occur naturally … Continue reading

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At the Intersection of Career and College Ready

Historically, high schools have treated college readiness as a distinct and separate track than career readiness which was often referred to as ‘vocational education.’ Furthermore, I think it could be argued there was an understood (although not often stated) premise … Continue reading

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3 Factors that Impact Student Engagement

Ask any teacher about the relationship between student engagement and learning, and they’ll likely confirm that higher levels of engagement lead to improved learning. However, the understanding of what constitutes engagement may not be as universally agreed upon. For the … Continue reading

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The Wrong Way to Bring About Change

Unfortunately, we have a long history of approaching change in schools from the wrong angles. We’ve tried to ‘force’ change to happen through deliberate policy and legislative mandates (think NCLB). We’ve experimented with external motivators (think merit pay). We’ve tried … Continue reading

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Student Engagement

There seems to be more and more talk and focus on the idea of “Student Engagement,” which causes me to ask, “What is meant by the construct of engagement and how do you measure it?” In a recent review of … Continue reading

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Do students have shorter attention spans today?

Talk to almost any educator, and they will support the idea that this technologically rich world is ‘re-wiring’ the brains of students. This makes perfect sense if you think about how the brain develops. Without a doubt, early experiences in … Continue reading

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Impact of Technology on Memory Systems

Many years ago as the district in which I was employed prepared to move to a ‘block schedule’ at the high school level, we had outside speakers who provided training about effective instructional practices in longer blocks of time. The … Continue reading

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Misuse of Standardized Tests

By definition, standardized tests are administered and scored under clearly defined, uniform conditions. Most are commercially prepared for nationwide use, and they provide information about performance relative to others of the same age or grade. To understand how standardized tests … Continue reading

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College and Career Ready–Are they the same thing?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the dismal job we are doing when it comes to helping kids define and prepare for their path in life. It seems obvious to me that others are noting this too. … Continue reading

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Thoughts about iPads and Learning

We have a full house in the office today. In fact, over 120 educators have convened here to collaborate around the topic of using iPads in the classroom. Obviously much of what is being discussed applies to other digital mobile … Continue reading

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