Leading Change: The Steady Path on the Roller Coaster

By Mary Coverdale, Executive Director of The Learner First, Australia. I work with courageous leaders. They have a profound sense of what’s right for their students and teachers—not just with regard to curriculum, but to the skills and…

Point of Reference

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. The third-grade students were busy arranging and rearranging desks. They had just received news that the whole class could learn in the classroom together,…

Enough

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Over the last several days, I’ve found myself reflecting on the concept of “enough.” When it comes to who we are and how we see ourselves as individuals,…

When We Say No

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Years ago, in the depth of winter, our school team was asked by a teacher to support a kindergarten student (“Lisa”) who, in response to every request,…

Turning the Lock on the Assessment Vault

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. By questioning and so challenging the assumption that an exam or test gives us the truth of what a child knows and understands, we dislodge belief systems and practices of 100 or…

Driving in the Dark

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. When you drive at night your vision is limited by the scope and quality of the car headlights. You can see an arc in front of you that guides you along the road. At the edges of the…

The Educational Dartboard

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. Educational change strategies tend to be a bit like throwing darts at a dartboard. We know what we’re aiming for, and we hope for the best. The intention is there––the desired…

Don’t Let the Past Block Your Path to the Future

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. At the moment, I’m reminded of the way the city of Troy was invaded by the Trojan Horse. The invasion succeeded because of subterfuge and deceit––tactics that preyed on the…

What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Future of Schools?

The impact of COVID-19 on education means schools as we know them will never be the same. All of us––children, educators, parents, and communities globally––have learned a valuable lesson: not everyone’s experience of learning is…

You Help Students Learn How to Add to the World

The contributions teachers make to their students and communities exemplify the human capacity to add––to make people’s lives, and the world, better. Teachers show us what it means to commit to the well-being of others and clear out their…