Future Focus

I read with interest, an announcement  of  Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new graduation initiative designed to guide post-secondary success for students of all levels by requiring that they develop plans for life after graduation. Starting with current freshmen – the Class of 2020 – students would have a post-secondary plan in hand in order to […]

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Dialogue in Coaching Conferences

In my coaching training and modeling I stress coaches using open questions and paraphrases to create a dialogue in pre-conferences where the teacher is in charge and guiding the direction of the observation and coaching. I stress how these questions differ from evaluation pre-conferences where evaluators are getting information they need to do the evaluation. […]

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Feedback for Students and Teachers

I had a request to facilitate a workshop for principals and instructional coaches examining feedback as an element impacting student learning. I began the session with an exploration of current thinking by having coach and principal share their thoughts in response to these questions: How important do you believe feedback is to student learning? Why? […]

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Soft Skills for Students and Teachers

During the past four years, I have had the opportunity to work with school leadership and teachers in the Bismarck, North Dakota district. A special opportunity has been working with the Career and Technical Academy staff. Recently I was in a discussion concerning their work with Career Ready Skills and realized the connectedness to skills […]

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The Root of School Innovation

As a member of the Learning Forward Foundation board, I am part of a team exploring a think tank for innovation. “We are inviting leadership teams to engage in the Learning Forward Foundation’s year-long Innovation Think Tank Challenge. Innovation within our educational systems is important for ensuring that we meet the needs of each child […]

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Transition to Middle School

I have continued my work presented in an earlier blog exploring the transition for students from elementary school settings to middle schools. As part of prepping grade five and six teachers working with instructional coaches to plan purposeful actions, we asked sixth grade students to record on Flip-Grid Video their responses to these questions: As a […]

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Steve Barkley

For the past 30 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. Read more…