Learning Links for December 2017 - Holiday Break Edition

As you find yourself relaxing next to the fireplace this holiday season, hot cocoa in hand, we thought you’d like to know we’ve been thinking of you! Here are this month’s best articles, analyses, and stories in education from across the web! This month you’ll learn about 12 educators who are delivering big changes to their communities, how principals are building the skills to motivate their school teams, and strategies for effective discussion in the classroom. And in keeping with the holiday spirit, you’ll also get the story of how kindness can be taught to students everywhere. Enjoy our special holiday edition of Learning Links!


Creating Teacher Evaluation Systems with Sarah Rosskamm (Thriving Schools)

What you’ll learn: “In this piece, Sarah explains why coaching and development need to be at the heart of an evaluation system, how schools can intelligently implement such systems, and provides several examples of strong rubrics and frameworks.”


Meet the Changemakers: 12 Extraordinary (and Inspiring) Educators We Met This Year (The 74 Million)

What you’ll learn: “We’ve all encountered teachers who inspire us, but the innovators we met in 2017 have pushed our seasonal thankfulness to new heights.”


6 Strategies for Creating an Inquiry-Driven Classroom (Teach Thought)

What you’ll learn: “The goal of education should be to nurture and grow minds that are ready to solve problems and think critically, and asking questions is a necessary skill in that process. For this reason, we want to prioritize question asking and place it at the forefront of our mission for our classrooms.”


Strengthening School Leaders’ Skills in “Motivating Teachers” (National Institute for Excellence in Teaching)

What you’ll learn: “Principals identify specific ways that they could increase teacher motivation by making feedback and support more meaningful and relevant, valuing inquiry and curiosity, and reinforcing and rewarding effort.”


Making the Case for Live Coaching (Building Excellent Schools)

What you’ll learn: “Rigorous and joyful instruction begins with the effectiveness of the teacher. Leaders of high performing schools consistently work to build this talent, equipping teachers with high-impact skills and techniques to make them more effective as swiftly as possible.”


Theme and Variation: How Navigator Schools Build a School-wide Culture of Teaching (Teach Like a Champion)

What you’ll learn: “Navigator Schools is a small network of two high performing schools in California . . . Their results have been tremendous and yesterday I stumbled on a training video they’d made that I thought was fantastic . . . Not only that – I thought it provided a critical insight into how to train teachers and build culture around TLAC techniques – and any other approach to teaching.”


Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk (Edutopia)

What you’ll learn: “From forming different groupings to using talking points, learn how you can integrate strategies for effective talk in your classroom.”


Can Kindness Be Taught? (New York Times)

What you’ll learn: “Thanks to a challenge from the Dalai Lama, a number of preschools are trying to teach something that has not always been considered an academic subject: kindness.”


Teacher Leadership Works. Just Look at New Mexico. (Education Post)

What you’ll learn: “Ask great teachers – and teachers with the potential to be great – what makes teaching an attractive profession. One of the most common answers: a chance to lead, in their profession and in policy, without giving up the thing they love – teaching.”


Data Show Charter School Students Graduating from College at 3-5 Times National Average (The 74 Million)

What you’ll learn: “Among all students attending all types of schools in America, only about 9 percent of students from low-income families earn college degrees within 6 years. That means some of the top charter networks listed above are doing five times as well.”


Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You (Farnam Street)

What you’ll learn: “What we can learn from reading about the schedules of people we admire is not what time to set our alarms or how many cups of coffee to drink, but that different types of work require different types of schedules.”