Center for Professional Practice and Growth

Give Learners the OARs and Watch them Row!

My first experience in a row boat occurred several decades ago on a small farm pond of a family friend. What had seemed like such an easy task when I watched my dad row across our favorite fishing lake became a lesson in frustration as my left hand literally did not know what my right

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Everywhere we turn we are hearing about grit, perseverance, the importance of failure and mindsets.  As educators, we grab at this stuff.  It is great.  It encapsulates the ideal work we want to do with students – helping grow students into lifelong learners.  When we embrace the Growth Mindset culture for our classrooms and schools,

Can There Really be Meaningful Test Prep?

If you have ever asked yourself the question “Can there really be meaningful test prep?”  The answer is yes!   First, let’s be very specific in mentioning that meaningful test prep is NOT about teaching the test.  Notice, that didn’t say teaching to the test.  Current wisdom would dictate that you design an assessment first, then

The Importance of Local Data Sources

It is summer and we are anxiously awaiting packages with our ACT results and the notification that Forward Reports are on eDirect.  We are wondering when all the state assessment data will be available in WISEdash, when we can download .csv files to get the data into our warehouse.  For all of us data dorks,

Who says you can’t learn from accountability testing results?

What can we learn from assessments when the results come so long after the students have taken the assessment and maybe have even moved on to the next building?  While it is important to remember we are looking in the rearview mirror when looking at accountability assessments, it can provide valuable information about how students

Coaching Teachers from Good to Great

As an external evaluator sitting in a classroom and wishing my own child could experience the teacher I am observing is a wonderful feeling.  I see the learning taking place from teacher to students and from students to teacher.  The question is how can building leaders guide educators so every child can experience a highly

Grading Grit: Schools Measuring Social Emotional Skills

In the winter of 2016, the New York Times ran a series of articles on “grit” in our schools (NY Times, 2016). Having read a fair amount about grit – I was intrigued. The notion of “grit” is not new of course, but does seem to be a popular buzzword in our schools. In our