Changing Lives Through Collaboration

Creative collaboration with teachers in the service of student learning has been a deep current running through my career. As Executive Director of the CATDC, learning with and from other educators has become not only a passion, but one of my primary job responsibilities.

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Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Independent Schools

The Triggers of Evaluation 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…

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Of Bake Sales, Menstrual Pads, and the Oscars

The Girls Learn International club at Oakwood School recently won an Oscar for their documentary short, Period. End of Sentence. Learn more about the movement for menstrual equality and the group of students that brought global awareness to this important topic.

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Leading With the Brain in Mind

Understanding our neurobiological hardwiring plays an essential role in creating environments where teachers and schools can thrive. School leaders have the opportunity to notice the state of escalation occurring in stressful situations and model vulnerability to create space for others to do the same.

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Why We Need Racial Literacy Now More Than Ever

Given the current national landscape, it has become painfully obvious that those of us in schools need to double our efforts to teach racial literacy (Stevenson, 2014). Recently, I was working with 4/5th graders who are part of a racial affinity group program we coordinate in Portland, OR (for more about these groups, see So…

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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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Join the Club

Clubs and affinity spaces are designed to appeal to people of common interests and experiences. This shared experience ignites a sense of understanding and support within the group, a familiar camaraderie. The sense of empowerment that exists in affinity spaces is more critical when this group of people is part of a less dominant, disadvantaged,…

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Educating As If We Are Already There

“I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is your life’s blueprint?” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked this of Philadelphia’s Barratt Junior High students in 1967. When I read his speech at the King Center in Atlanta this July, it pulled me back into school mode because Dr. King’s question is ours.…

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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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A Rising Tide Will Lift All Boats

My parents immigrated to the United States from Central America, and I began my school career as an English Language Learner. Having graduated from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Saint Mary’s Kalmanovitz School of Education, I understand what it means to…

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Cultivating the Leadership Seed: My Journey with the CATDC

Debbie Reed began the first meeting of the Leadership Fellows Program with a story of her journey, when she was a girl, cutting out pictures of mythological creatures from magazines, knowing that someday she would use those clippings when she became the teacher she aspired to be. That journey would take Debbie through numerous schools,…

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