Learning Links for July 2017

We started this series last month with the premise that we focus on is what we get. So instead of accepting the media’s narrative of low test scores, broken budgets, and poor morale, Thriving Schools has decided to go in the opposite direction (to focus on all the positives and the amazing individuals who make them happen). This is the list of stories and articles that our Thriving Schools network read and shared with us this month! We hope you find a few nuggets of inspiration and intrigue!


In Western Massachusetts, Schools Unite to Tackle Teacher Shortages (TNTP)

What you’ll learn: “Instead of jockeying for top teaching candidates, participating schools are working together to attract, select, develop, and keep them.”


IDEA Pilots New Summer School Program: Summer Odyssey (Idea Public Schools)

What you’ll learn: “Summer Odyssey is a six-week, full-day summer program for middle school students. Summer Odyssey was designed as a way to eliminate summer slide for IDEA middle school students and also introduce potential future teachers to IDEA Public Schools.”


Want to Improve a District? Let Teachers Lead the Way (Edutopia)

What you’ll learn: “A Connecticut superintendent put teachers and students at the forefront of all decisions and transformed a district.”


Pencils Down; Eyes to Me: Darryl Williams Looks at Allison Dungey’s Outstanding ‘What To Do’ (Teach Like A Champion)

What you’ll learn: “Every minute matters in Allison’s classroom, yet it doesn’t feel rushed or frantic . . . All in all there’s a beautiful clarity to her directions – she’s so disciplined in focusing on her own role in helping students always be able to follow directions. No wonder she’s smiling.”


Montessori was the Original Personalized Learning. Now, 100 Years Later, Wildflower is Reinventing the Model (The 74 Million)

What you’ll learn: “Wildflower Montessori is part of a chain or micro-schools that take Montessori’s model a step further, operating as one-room schoolhouses, led solely by teachers, that aim to make personalization a definition rather than a description of education.”


 Helping Teachers Become Leaders (TNTP)

What you’ll learn: “Teachers have all sorts of great ideas about how to improve their schools – we just need to give them opportunities to try them out. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?”


Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even if You Hate Doing It) (Harvard Business Review)

What you’ll learn: “At its simplest, reflection is about careful thought. But the kind of reflection that is really valuable to leaders is more nuanced than that. The most useful reflection involves the conscious consideration and analysis of beliefs and actions for the purpose of learning.”


Habits vs Goals: A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life (Farnam Street)

What you’ll learn: “When we want to change an aspect of our lives, setting a goal is often the logical first step. Despite being touted by many a self-help guru, this approach has some problematic facets.”