Posts by Lori Cohen

Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Independent Schools

Working in schools is a vulnerable act. Every day can feel like a high-stakes performance review in front of an audience of young evaluators: performing effective planning, organization, pedagogy, relationship management, flexibility, patience, community building, knowledge of human psychology and all the additional skills of being an educator. It’s no wonder then that when teachers hear they’re about to be evaluated, anxiety sets in and amygdala hijack takes hold.

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The Benefits of Immersive Learning

Realizing Our Vision This past January, The Bay School of San Francisco launched its inaugural Immersives program: three-week academic courses that are experiential and project-based. After two years of developing curricula, honing pedagogy, securing partnerships with organizations throughout California, and working out the logistics of each course, Bay expanded its campus beyond its walls and…

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Power in Collaboration

Lori Cohen shares insights for how we can lead more collaboratively to achieve stronger outcomes. This post will inspire you to find ways to seek collaborative partnerships and share power, and also highlights the collaborative process involved in many CATDC workshops, most recently Aspiring Women Administrators of Color.

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The Power of Reflection

In our classrooms, we ask students to reflect on their learning as a metacognitive act, as a way to cement learning and create new neural pathways. We know that formative assessments—brief checks for understanding and ways of making our thinking visible—are an excellent gauge for where our students are, and serve as a springboard for…

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A Letter to Teachers

I spent a good part of the summer (and the months leading up to it) planning and co-facilitating Teaching Foundations in Southern California and the Bay Area with a team of stellar facilitators and cohorts of inspiring participants. While I end each session feeling physically tired, my heart always is full, and from that fullness,…

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Taking Off This Summer

As our school years finally end, and as we wrap up our culminating meetings in preparation for a quieter summer, I’m reminded of this powerful internal tool that allows us to recharge these next couple of months: the off-switch. For teachers, the off-switch may be an easier sell. Time away from school will allow teachers…

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Why Teaching Foundations Matters to Me: A Personal Reflection

We’re in the process of preparing for one of my favorite professional development workshops, Teaching Foundations. Each year around this time, we start our planning, and I already can’t wait to meet the participants and begin an inspiring week together. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about teacher preparation for those who are new to…

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It’s Always October

Several years ago, when the San Francisco Giants were on their even-year World Series run (2010, 2012, 2014), there was a buzz in San Francisco that heightened our energy levels. It was a fun time to live and work here. And the notion of a heightened energy level seems appropriate for the month of October:…

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Back to School: Creating Safe, Equitable Spaces for All

Anyone who has been following the news this past summer has noticed much tumult in the world and in our nation. The marches and counter-protests in Charlottesville and Boston ring alarm bells for anyone who believes in a socially just world. It’s a chilling time to be a member of this nation, and as educators,…

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“Make Box Brownies”: A Summer Pilgrimage

For educators, summer means many things: catching up on all the TV and books one missed during the school year; taking vacations; sleeping in; engaging in enriching and rejuvenating professional development. In addition to preparing for CATDC’s Teaching Foundations program, I’m participating in an activity my coach and I call a “summer pilgrimage.” Sometimes good…

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Summer School: Gearing Up for Teaching Foundations 2017

We’re well into the 21st Century, and the buzzwords of a new era are part of our daily lexicon now: project-based learning, design thinking, differentiation, personalization. And as the culture of learning has changed in this century, so has the definition of teacher. Whereas once upon a very long time ago, it was okay (I’m…

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Leading with Love: Lessons Learned from My First Year in Administration

First years at anything are hard. Kindergartners learn how to do school for the first time; middle and high schoolers learn how to navigate change not only in academics and moving from self-contained classrooms to several new courses/teachers, but also in social groups and the physical signs of adolescence; college freshmen are learning to live…

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