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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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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Hit Pause! And Other Advice to Round Out the School Year

I was talking with my colleague recently about shifting a slightly large school policy, and as we were hashing out the specifics, I started to do a quick body scan: I felt tired; I was a bit ornery, and my brain was processing at a slower rate. The conclusion: it’s May, and I’m feeling it.…

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Lessons from My First Year of Leadership

This year was my first as an administrative leader. After teaching for many years, I was promoted to interim division head and needed a crash course in effective leadership. Thankfully, the CATDC was offering an ongoing program for new leaders. The four meetings over the course of the year provided me with a network of…

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So What Do White 4th Graders Have to Say About Race?

As it turns out, a lot. Twice a month I get to work with fourth graders at a local school. The district has a stated commitment to racial equity and has been considering culturally responsive strategies with faculty and staff. When some middle school students of color reported a series of racial microaggressions, the administration…

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Describing Student Experiences in the Math Classroom

In a sentence or two, describe what your students did in class today. Go ahead. Don’t be shy. Talk to your device. Or engage in this activity with a colleague. Lessons. Tasks. Investigations. Projects. Problems. Worksheets. Labs. Assignment. Handouts. Exercises. Classwork. Did you use any of these terms in your description? Regardless of your answer,…

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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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Make Your Dumb Smart

Most of us know the times of day and days of the week when we do our best work. Tuesday mornings I feel like I am on fire, getting lots done with all cylinders firing. By Friday afternoons, though, I feel burned out. I am tired, daunted by the pile that has accumulated in my…

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Let the Nervous Come Out (And Other Advice From Kids)

Watch this first. the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo. February is a great time for storytelling and story listening. Whether in California or Vermont, there is an inherent coziness of the month, nestled between the January return and the sight of spring to come. I recently rewatched one of my all-time favorite…

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