Stepping out of the bubble

Chip and Dan Heath point out in their influential book Made to Stick that we suffer from the “Curse of Knowledge”—“Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it.” This is a key dilemma facing educational leaders, from Arne Duncan to campus level principals.  How do we step outside of what we know so we can experience it in a new way?   And how can we get new ideas when we are so immersed in day […]

Defining a vision

   In their article in School Library Journal, Things That Keep us Up at Night, Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson have  given us much food for thought.   They are earnestly  concerned about the survival of school librarians and libraries if we don’t evolve to meet the current demands that technological and societal changes regarding information use have wrought on our profession. One of the most fascinating points they make is that “We have no textbook for what 21st century school library practice looks like.”  And obviously if […]


One of my favorite things about learning is the serendipity of it all.    We know we need to learn something or grow in some way, and voila, as we are out in the world, and read blogs, and read books, we stumble over these things serendipitously. That’s one of the things I love about bookstores and libraries as well–wandering to a shelf that seems pertinent and finding all sorts of connections there. This morning my serendipitous find was this incredible post by Jan Smith, about […]

Leading a community

July 4 was National Leadership Day. I’ve been thinking a lot about NECC, and about leadership, and what qualities I think are most important in a leader. Though frankly, I’d like to expand the definition of leader to include all of us, because every person on a campus can provide some sort of leadership for others. But something that both Ken Pruitt and Michael Curtin said at NECC Unplugged has stuck with me all week. They spoke about different topics, but both of them talked […]

Why blog anyway?

I’m sure some teachers or others wonder why I blog or don’t really understand the point of sharing what’s going on in our school. And I’ve seen recent comments around online about the proliferation of blogs–wondering if we can get overwhelmed or there be too many, etc. But this post at the Principal’s Page blog speaks to one of my primary reasons that I think blogging is important. The principal writes plaintively about how we hear more negative stories about schools than positive ones, and […]

Flashing back–web tools for administrators

Kim Cofino twittered a link for her excellent presentations for the TeachIt! conference this morning, which reminded me that I hadn’t ever shared my presentation from the Internet Librarian session I did on Web 2.0 tools that librarians could share with their administrators. So in the interest of sharing resources, here are my slides: [slideshare id=144623&doc=il2007-1193251903222853-4&w=425] Several administrators, including one of our own, as well as Patrick Higgins and Dennis Richards, sent greetings for the participants in VoiceThread to open the session. Other things I shared which aren’t in the slides– The Podcasting […]

What can we do going forward?

  I’ve been following a number of posts the last couple of weeks about internet filtering and the erratic application of it in schools, and the frustrations of teachers just wanting to share fascinating new ways of learning with their students. Karl Fisch did an excellent job of pulling some of those threads together in his post, “More Thoughts on Filtering.”   I’ve been really thinking about this issue and how we can all develop better practices regarding internet filters, and what that might look like. […]

What motivates you?

School started in earnest for me on Friday, and I’ve felt a little dispirited.  On the one hand, I have learned so much this summer that I am enthused and eager about implementing.  But the tasks at hand right now aren’t necessarily those that will even get me there, but things I have to get done.  It’s reminded me of feelings reflected in a post that Chris Lehmann wrote about his own sense of disconnection as he started inservice.) I’ve been aware that I’ve felt somewhat muddled the […]

Innovative leadership — paying it forward

Scott McLeod at Dangerously Irrelevant designated July 4 as School Leadership Day, and has invited bloggers to write about how to support innovative school leadership. I’d like to share some ideas but also compliment the leadership in our district and at our high school, because there have been some great strides towards innovative leadership both at our campus and at the district level. One of the most transformative elements of that has been our campus Vision committee. Our principal established it upon arriving a year […]