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Reflections from Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia

I recently traveled to Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia for the EduCon 2.3 conference with Monika Aldarondo, BAA Senior Project Coordinator and Visual Arts Teacher, and two seniors, Duke and Xavier. Both students have been funded for their senior projects and were selected to speak at this conference about the senior project experience.

We flew down Friday morning after a big Thursday snow storm (which is becoming redundant to say!). Our first stop was Temple University, where we met Matt Clauhs, former BAA music teacher, and Kelechi Ajunwa, former BAA intern.

Former BAA Faculty Matt Clauhs and music student Xavier

We presented in three different Urban Education classes; I gave a brief overview of the school, the students talked about their experiences, and Monika talked about senior project. When we finished our presentations, we had a great tour of the new Tyler School of Art at Temple—amazing! Duke, whose senior project involves 3-D modeling and printing, was thrilled to go into the 3-D printing room and actually show me the results of this technology… I can see why he’s so captivated by it all!

Duke, Xavier, Matt Clauhs, and former BAA intern Kelechi Ajunwa

The next day the students presented a superb workshop on senior projects at the EduCon conference. Duke’s project involves teaching 3-D modeling and printing to a group of ten year olds; he feels strongly that most elementary art programs are lacking in exposure to new technologies. Xavier’s project is a one day benefit concert to raise awareness about youth violence and to give teens a positive way to express themselves. Xavier lost his brother to street violence, so this topic is very close to him.

The students had developed four questions: 1) How is Senior Project innovative? 2) What skills does the senior project process teach that help students after high school? 3) How do you think technology can be used in a meaningful way? 4) Who are the best people to judge this project?

Amazing Xavier presenting

There were about 40 people (all adults) in the room and what I loved more than anything was how Duke and Xavier handled their questions. For the first question, the students asked the participants to form groups and talk together. Like trained facilitators, they moved about the room listening to various groups. Then, they asked for folks to share out. I was the note-taker. Here are some of the answers from the teachers to “How is Senior Project innovative?”:

  • “This project really matters because it’s real world.”
  • “No one will ever take this experience from you.”
  • “You have empowered me, as a teacher, to think about how I can do this differently with my students.”
  • “By doing this, you empower others in your community to think differently.”
  • “The project requires entrepreneurship which is barely taught in schools with all the testing today.”

For the second question, “What skills does the senior project process teach that help students after high school?” participants said:

  • “You are learning the important skill of working hard for something you believe in, and what it feels like to really slog through something. That is so important since so much of school is about quick answers.”
  • “You are changing communities and changing yourselves!”
  • “You are learning the skill of networking—such a lesson for young person to know.”
  • “This is all about writing and communication skills.”

    Duke having a teaching moment

Others suggested that the ability to take a project from idea stage to final production is something most adults never do. A teacher asked Xavier how he was managing the entire concert. Would he be delegating responsibilities to others? Xavier smiled and nodded gravely. “I am not really diva, but I have to be responsible for everything, so, yes, I will be delegating a lot. I need to have my hands and mind free to run the concert. Time management will be critical for me!”

“Well, that is another important skill—time management!” a participant said.  “I wish all my students could learn that skill.”

There were a number of suggestions about the third question, “How do you think technology can be used in a meaningful way?”, including blogging throughout the process. Some suggested that the final projects needed to be available online to inspire others. Others shared ideas of different web-based programs for sharing the work. One idea that resonated for all of us was to have students do a 30 second promotional video about their project. This would help students articulate the main themes and also advertise their work.

The final question, “Who are the best people to judge this project?”, elicited all sorts of responses, from getting the corporate leaders of Boston into the school to including the entrepreneurs at MIT. Duke and Xavier listened to the suggestions attentively and made sure I was writing down these ideas. Clearly, they had already started to network!

We all went to a couple of different workshops during the course of the conference, and I found the entire weekend very stimulating. Although EduCon is billed as “not a technology conference,” as a digital non-native, I would have to disagree! I was initially very put off by walking into a workshop with everyone’s laptops open and no one looking at the presenters, but then I realized that there were participants who were not physically present but participating digitally. Fascinating!

Surprisingly, we even found time to visit the Liberty Bell!

I also loved the fact that the conference was in a school. SLA is in its fifth year and it’s one of the few Philadelphia schools mixed by neighborhood and socio-economics. The head of the school, Chris Lehmann, is a young, dedicated, bright and inspirational leader. He used to teach at The Beacon High School in NYC, but wanted to return to his hometown to start a school. It would be fun to think about exchanges with SLA… Much of the energy feels similar to BAA and to High Tech High. Students were very serious about their roles in running the conference (coat checking, technology assistance, directing lost folks, giving workshops, etc…).

I’ve made tons of new friends on Twitter and learned even more about the importance of blogging, so I felt that I made a small step forward in my own digital journey. But by far the best part of the trip was being with the kids and Monika!

Duke, Xavier, and Ms. Aldarondo

A Visit to Ms. Brown and Ms. Sullivan’s Publishing Party for The Reading Zone

Who cares about a blizzard?  It certainly didn’t stop Ms. Brown and Ms. Sullivan’s 20 students and their culminating publishing party. They were ready!

Imagine students seated around tables pushed together in a large rectangle. Above the white board is a large word cloud emblazoned, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Another banner says, “Who has power in the U.S. and why?” A painted kimono hangs from the ceiling not far from student made t-shirts from a unit on Darfur, Sudan. The room is chock full of posters, student work, displays, teacher desks and a small electric keyboard. (The classroom is also used for a music theory class.)

Since time is so pressured by another impeding blizzard, Ms. Brown explains that everyone should share part of their written review… either the intro, the summary, or their evaluation of the book. Some students sigh despondently that they can’t share their entire report. Emphasis on literacy initiatives and reading programs is strong at BAA. Our measurement data shows that, on average, one-third of every freshman class entering BAA reads at least one grade level below the norm. Ms. Brown’s class is just one example of that emphasis.

The amazing Ms. Brown teaching ninth-grade Seminar students

Today’s activity is the culmination of a unit in which students have the opportunity to select their own book to read and then uninterrupted class time to read it. The curriculum is taken from the work of educator and author, Nancie Atwell, whose area of expertise is reading and writing. Ms. Brown, a skilled Humanities teacher, has been researching whether students’ academic skills would increase by being given lots of choice in what they read. She transitions to the activity of the day.

“We are practicing gratitude today for one another,” Ms. Brown begins in earnest.  “Ms. Sullivan [co-teacher for seminar] will pass out cups with two sugar cubes and then pour water for your tea. You don’t need to make any comments. Remember we are focusing on the publishing part of today, not the party part.”

Ms. Sullivan moves gracefully and quietly around the room as Ms. Brown speaks. Students are immediately engaged by the rattling sound of the two sugar cubes. Gabe begins turning the cup upside down. Natalie quietly uses the cubes as dice. Mark grins at his cubes and blurts out happily, “I’ve never had sugar cubes before.”  Again Ms. Brown reminds the class that the focus is their work and not the cubes or the hot water being poured for tea.

Ms. Brown and Ms. Sullivan's Seminar students work on a writing assignment

“Some names are on the board of who is going first,” Ms. Brown continues as she holds up an envelope. “After those students share then other names will be picked from this envelope until everyone has shared. We have lost a lot of time to snow storms so we are trying to get through everyone.” Students shift in their seats with excitement. Mr. Sullivan moves around with a large woven straw basket filled with different teas. Students select their flavor and the tea-seeping begins.  While students dab their tea-bags up and down watching the water change color, Ms. Brown asks, “Why are some people very nervous about sharing and have a hard time volunteering?”

“I sometimes stammer,” Angie says, holding on to her Styrofoam cup of tea, “and that makes me very nervous.” She takes a gulp. Ms. Brown nods. “Yes, that would make someone nervous. I understand. What can the rest of you do to help students who are nervous?” Kitty looks up from her tea. “You can pay attention.” Jaevon adds on quickly, “And you can focus on the positive and not give a negative critique.”  “That’s right,” says Ms. Brown just as Niela frowns at the piece of pie that Ms. Sullivan has just placed in front of her.

Devin, on the other side of the table, practically leaps of his chair to receive his pie. “I love this kind. It’s pumpkin, right?” Ms. Brown smiles at Devin and speaks to the whole class. “I’m reminding you again that we are focusing on the publishing part of the party, not the tea-drinking or pie-eating part.  I’m glad so many of you like the sweet potato pie I made, but if you don’t like the pie, don’t worry, just don’t say anything. Leave it on the side.  No forks today; just use your napkins.” Ms. Sullivan keeps passing out the pie. Molly and others can barely contain their joy at the sight of fresh-baked sweet potato pie. Others, like Niela and Venessa, look like they will throw up, but Ms. Brown catches Vanessa’s eyes. “I brought you cookies, don’t worry,” she says. Vanessa’s face relaxes.

Students keep drinking their tea and some have started on their pie. Again, Niela looks like she will disrupt the entire class. “I don’t have a fork,” she says curtly. Without changing her tone or becoming agitated, Ms. Brown repeats, “No forks, Niela. Use your napkin or leave it on the side. We are here for the joy of the publishing and the party part is an extra. Remember that.”

With that final comment on refreshments, Ms. Brown looks away from Niela, sits down slowly and straightens her back, growing in stature.  She begins to speak more quietly and very clearly. “Now we are going to start sharing our reviews.” Her voice becomes almost hushed. Students lean forward.  “Remember to give positive critiques and to raise your hands and the reader will call on you. Who is first?”

Ms. Sullivan (second from right) with some members of "The Reading Zone"

Jaevon jumps up and introduces himself. “I’m Jaevon and I read Th1rteen R3asons Why.”  In a resonant and confident voice he reads his introduction. When he finishes students break into applause. Ms. Brown reminds them to clap quietly by waving their hands, which is our form of BAA applause.  Deaf students appreciate seeing the applause.

Devin is next. He bounces off his seat and begins to read his paper on Down These Mean Streets.  Quickly and clearly he gets through the introduction, summary and evaluation. “I really liked this book and think everyone should read it. It is an amazing book.” The majority of his classmates have listened in rapt attention, but some girls have been suppressing giggles. I have the sense that they are uncomfortable with the intensity of feeling that Devin communicates about his book.  “Nice work, Devin,” Ms. Brown congratulates him. “Do you want to call on anyone to ask you a question?”

Of course, I cannot control myself. I raise my hand. Devin is nice enough to call on me. I share how much I, too, enjoyed this book. I suggest that he would also like Malcolm X.

Michelle reads next about her book, My Sister’s Keeper. Some discussion involves the movie, and Michelle insists that the book is better because the movie “Hollywood-ized” the ending. “You have to read the book.” Ms. Brown cuts the discussion short. “I’m so happy that everyone wants to participate, but we have such limited time. You are all doing a great job. Michael is next.”
He begins to read his report and a student calls out. “Wait, you are telling the ending.” Ms. Brown stops him and asks him to re-read his report without giving away the revealing parts. Molly reads about Lovely Bones, and then it’s time to pull names from the envelope. RJ’s name goes up on the board. He looks uncomfortable, but with an encouraging look from Ms. Brown, he begins to read his book about Marvin Gaye.

Alina reads her paper about A Child Called It, and everyone focuses on her comments. This has obviously been a favorite book. Another student reads about Coraline. Ayla reads about The Hunger Games, and Mark can’t control his enthusiasm. “She is so smart. I just love her and what she says.”

A student writes about her book choice from the Reading Zone

I feel more sadness than the students when this wonderful publishing party ends. I’ve loved every minute, including the tea and pie. To see 20 students so completely engaged in their books, and in the sharing, is just a treat. The name of this unit is “The Reading Zone,” and it has clearly taken hold here.

Linda Nathan
February 2011

What teachers really need

A few weeks ago, The Boston Foundation (TBF) released a report entitled, “The Real Cost of the Contract.”  The report gained a lot of press; the Boston Globe published a front-page article highlighting the report’s findings, and Richard Stutman, the BTU President, wrote a response in the Boston Teacher’s Union Bulletin.

I do not blame any group for writing about their findings and conclusions.  However, I am afraid that what reports and responses like these tend to do is obscure the real issues.  Instead of raising higher-level questions, they create a polarizing dynamic that forces us to “choose sides.”  Do teachers make too much money, or don’t they?  Should teachers be paid based on their students’ test-score performances, or shouldn’t they?  Questions like these put us into opposing camps.

We need to have a different conversation – a conversation about what it means to professionalize teaching.  Teachers need sacrosanct “adult time” (as I argue in my response to The Globe’s article, posted below).  Currently, most teachers don’t have this time, don’t get paid for it, and don’t have control of it.  “Adult time” is simply not part of the way most of us think about teaching and schools.  This, I believe, is worthy of our debate.

My response to Boston Globe article:

THE MOST important issue in teacher negotiations is teacher professional time — what is called adult time (“Teacher salary system decried,’’ Page A1, Jan. 18).

Teachers cannot improve the quality of education if they don’t have sacrosanct time to talk about instruction, assessment, and their students.

Look at any successful school and then count the number of hours per week that teachers meet together.  See whether they have a clear purpose to raise student achievement, hold one another accountable, and nurture a continual feedback loop.

Schools will not improve if we continue to view teaching as an isolated task where one teacher alone could possibly be responsible for student achievement.

Linda Nathan
Boston Arts Academy

2011 ASCD Conference: Bold Actions for Complex Challenges

At the end of March, I will travel to San Francisco California to participate in the annual conference of ASCD, an educational leadership organization. This year’s theme is Bold Actions for Complex Challenges. While there I will join two other principals, Baruti Kafele (from Newark Tech in New Jersey), and Tim King (from Urban Prep Academies), on a panel discussing urban education.

I have posted a promotional video (below) made by the ASCD to publicize the event. The interviewer asked me to describe a time when I felt I had failed a student. I have to admit that I was caught a little off-guard by the question, and in the video, emotionally recall the difficult story of Shanita (from chapter six of The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test).

What School Can Be

An important milestone in the life of a Boston Arts Academy dancer unfolded last week as 17 seniors presented their 2011 Senior Dance Concert (SDC). How significantly this embodies RICO, our habits of the graduate. Students work for months on invention and revision.  Dancers from professional and pre-professional worlds provide a rigorous process of critique, including one of our own alumni! Seniors cast their pieces, work with lighting and costume designers and write a thoughtful description of their piece. Their writing briefly explains the process and the connections they have made to other dancers and choreographers. Most important, each senior must own the entire process throughout an often tumultuous rehearsal period until the opening night. These are skills that most adults never get to develop.

One of my students used his piece to explore the feelings of not having a father present as he grew up. He wrote in his program notes, “Entering a world where the term “Dad” or “Father” slowly drifted from my vocabulary… I go through life with just the satisfaction of my mother’s presence.” The piece was poignant, passionate and reflective and left me wondering how this young choreographer was only a senior in high school. Other students investigated themes of loss of loved ones, or the power of falling in love.  Some played with abstract ideas about shape and movement. Each piece was technically beautiful and allowed me, as an audience member, to enter into the worlds of my students and learn more about what makes them tick. What a gift.

Besides the obvious enjoyment of sitting in the audience, I loved listening and surreptitiously watching the reactions of other audience members. The 9th grade dance majors must write about each piece as part of their homework assignments in dance. They sat rapt and whispered to one another in between pieces about what they liked or didn’t understand. They know that, all too soon, they will be choreographing and casting, but for now they enjoy these moments of awe and even adoration as they watch their older peers perform. The sound effects of the young children of my faculty gave me such pleasure. Somehow two-year-olds manage to sigh or ooh and ahh in the loudest and most appropriate punctuations. I loved seeing aunts, uncles, cousins, former teachers from middle schools all clapping loudly as these young people performed. The dance teachers were all dressed up, too. Gone was the frustration and even anger at students who were late with their music or who missed rehearsals. All could be forgotten, at least for the performance. Later, they would talk again about deadlines and responsibility. Today we all celebrate.

This concert came at the end of a week filled with Math exhibitions, Sophomore music recitals, 11th grade Visual Arts exhibition, Spanish, Arabic and American Sign Language final exams, preparation for science fair and final due dates for Humanities 3 papers. Every student at BAA had major projects due—snow storms and cancelled school days or not. The overarching message from everywhere was: school matters, your work matters, what you are showing, writing, singing, presenting, computing, explaining is important to this entire community. That is what school should be.

-Linda Nathan
January 2011

BAA and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Some of you may know that the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Education Resource Center (BSOERC) is housed in the BAA/Fenway High School Library. The BAA/Fenway Library and BSOERC won the 2004 American Association of School Librarians National School Library Media Program of the Year and is an incredible resource for so many teachers, musicians, and students.

Allyssa Jones, Milton Wright and Myran Parker-Brass

BAA's Allyssa Jones, Milton Wright of the New England Spiritual Ensemble, and the BSO's Myran Parker-Brass (photo by Helene Norton-Russell)

We are lucky to have a fantastic relationship with the BSO and Myran Parker-Brass, their Director of Education and Community Programs. Last week I was invited to give the opening remarks for their professional development workshop, “Teaching African American Spirituals: an Interdisciplinary Approach.” The workshop was hosted by the BSOERC and co-sponsored by BAA’s Center for Arts in Education and the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Eastern District Outreach and Advocacy Committee, which includes one of our own music faculty, Allyssa Jones.

Tyrone Sutton
BAA’s Tyrone Sutton presents with Anthony Trecek-King of the Boston Children’s Chorus (photo by Helene

After an amazing day spent tackling the question, “Why teach African American Spirituals?”, the workshop closed with a performance by the New England Spiritual Ensemble (both Allyssa and Myran are members of this group) and students from the Boston Arts Academy Spiritual Ensemble. I am so proud that BAA was featured in this concert and that the ensemble (directed by BAA music and humanities faculty member, Tyrone Sutton) has been in demand around Boston, performing at the Room to Grow fall gala in November, BAA’s Council of Advocates breakfast in December, and now, at Symphony Hall.

I was impressed with Dr. Anthony Leach (Associate Professor of Music and Music Education at Penn State University) who led the workshop, and was incredibly inspired by the nearly 45 teachers from Boston, Chelmsford, Rhode Island, Newton, and Lexington who attended the workshop, including teachers from the Minuteman Technical School (I have always argued that we need to see the arts also embodied as vocational skills, and Minuteman Tech now has a band, recording studio, and sound engineering!). I was honored to be in the presence of these dedicated teachers, and have posted my introductory remarks below.

Dr. Anthony Leach

Dr. Anthony Leach led the workshop (photo by Helene Norton-Russell)

Introductory remarks- “Teaching African American Spirituals”
BSO, January 10, 2011

We live in an age where educational policy makers believe that only things that can be counted matter. Sadly, education reform has become synonymous with raising test scores. What it means to be a whole child, or a whole human being, who needs a strong intellectual center with many outlets for creative and even spiritual exploration, has been forgotten.  The conversation is completely lopsided. Our obsession with measurement and comparison has led to a curriculum that ignores the aesthetic, the musical or the imaginative. No one would ever argue that reading and math don’t count and shouldn’t be tested, but when a 9 month school year is reduced to a 7 month school year because of the number of days spent on testing and test prep, someone has got to say: Stop! It’s time to change our paradigm.

That is when I look to the arts. The arts teach us that judgment counts—not just finding right answers and filling in bubble test answer sheets. The arts teach about perspective, critique, working together, and learning from our history. The arts allow multiple opportunities to walk in another’s shoes, sing another’s songs and appreciate and empathize with lyrics and melodies that may be foreign to us.

American spirituals are a way into understanding our past, our traditions, our trials and aspirations, our greatest hopes for what can be. I’m not sure there is a test to measure what a good spiritual sounds like – I certainly hope not. The assessment of good (or not good) comes from the audience’s response. Were you moved? Did you come to a different understanding, emotionally and intellectually, than you expected? Were you transported? And what do those explorations mean to you?

I am so proud of the spiritual ensemble at BAA where our students work together to create a sound that helps us ask about our collective humanity and our history. That, to me, is why we are teachers

So, I welcome you to this wonderful day where you will work and learn together and where you will remind one another, and your students, that music – and this music in particular – is the stuff of life. We can never forsake it lest we forsake ourselves. I know we can struggle through these dark days of budget cuts and reforms that are a parody of what is actually needed. Remember the words of our spirituals: “I ain’t got time to die” and “don’t let nobody turn me around.” Stay focused on your good work. You know what is right for kids. Thank you for being here today… enjoy and sing!

Orlando Lightfoot of the New England Spiritual Ensemble sings with BAA student Anthony Lewis (photo by Helene Norton-Russell)


Ask the students

In a departure from blogging about the world outside of Boston Arts Academy, I am going to switch things up for the new year and return to life inside the school. While my travels over the past year and a half have taken me to many amazing schools and introduced me to so many incredible people, I feel I am ready to get back to the home front and the business of asking those hard questions.


Educators gnash their teeth and wring their hands about parent engagement in schools, especially in urban secondary schools. There is a great deal of research that suggests student achievement increases when parents/caregivers are involved and know what is going on with their children in school. There are three references in particular that I think are great: Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family/School Partnerships, by Anne T. Henderson, Vivian Johnson, Karen L. Mapp, and Don Davies; School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, by Joyce L. Epstein and Associates; and Trust In Schools: A Core Resource For Improvement by Anthony S. Bryk.

Recently, I brought together a group of secondary school principals and educators at Boston Arts Academy to brainstorm different ways to encourage parents/caregivers to connect more to their children’s schools. Our first idea was to ask our students. How would they define family engagement and what would they say were the challenges?

The first activity involved watching a short play called, The Waiting Room. Four theatre majors at Boston Arts Academy co-wrote this piece with their theatre teacher, which explores questions of what constitutes family. The action occurs in hospital waiting room in which two sets of siblings who have never met anxiously await to hear if their beloved mother or “Mama T” will live. One pair is the mother’s biological children; the other her community center-formerly-gang involved “children”. Both sets claim Mama as their mother. The group of educators watched the performance along with the 40 ninth and eleventh-graders. Afterwards we engaged in a discussion with actors and audience.

First, the actors spoke. “This play is about how you make your family with blood or not,” said one of the gang involved-children.” Another actor-child said, “The play speaks to the importance of nuclear or extended families and also how important it is that your parent or caregiver know you.”

Sitting in a large circle, students spoke passionately about the barriers for their parents to become involved in school. “My mom can’t participate because she knows there won’t be an interpreter. She’s embarrassed cause her English isn’t good. And also, she works at night so if the meetings are then, she can’t ever come.” Lots of kids nodded their heads. Another student suggested that the meetings not be just about talking about school issues, but that different activities should be offered (like cooking, computer classes, and personal finance). Cece, a ninth-grader, said that there should be more incentives to come up to the school. Deirde, a sunny-faced junior with energy bursting out of every pore, seconded that idea. “My mom doesn’t even get why she should come up to school. ‘What you do wrong?’ she asks whenever there is a call or a letter. “Why they want me to come up there?’ But if you could bribe her—like she’d win a raffle or a big prize then she’d come. You have to trick parents.” Others concurred, and Tishana said that parents are ‘old school’ and think that the only reason teachers ask parents to come to school is to be told that your kid is doing badly.

Students suggested that advisors call home every Sunday to tell a parent or caregiver something good or funny that had happened that week. “That way you have a relationship that isn’t about the bad stuff,” Stanley said earnestly. Tyrone agreed and said that he didn’t want his parents to have a real personal bond with the teacher—“That’s creepy. But I feel better if my mom knows what’s going on in school. It affects me if she doesn’t have a clue. But a teacher’s got to balance with parents and not get too close.”

Connor thought the idea of a carnival would be fun. “That way every family can share their culture and it’s a way to create a community where everyone comes together and you get to taste everyone’s food. That’s a good way to get to know people you know.” Again, the affirmative nods moved like lightening around the circle.

Ideas kept flowing—the idea of parents shadowing their kid for a day, an interactive newsletter where parents could ask questions and get answers from teachers or principal, facebook for parents, and a culture day. Arthur said that if his mom could actually do his art than she’d understand why he spends so much time in school, and she wouldn’t make him do so many chores at home. Other students laughed at this idea. “Naw, that wouldn’t matter. I’d still have to clean my room and do the dishes, but I would like my mom to understand what I do. When she knows things she feels better and then I do, too.”

I was impressed with the insightfulness and thoughtfulness of these young people. I worried, too, that even fourteen year olds use the phrase, “Coming up to the school” which seems to define school as a foreign, distant and even alien place. Our challenge is to change that perception and ensure that older adolescents see a positive partnership between their parent/caregiver and their teacher. Sometimes, as seasoned educators, or even as newly minted leaders, we forget to ask those closest to the issues: the kids. I learned a lot from listening to my students. Next, we will be sure to ask the parents and caregivers which of these suggestions they would like to implement.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback about these issues. Feel free to leave comments!

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