Stop the Swing, Start from Center

By Beth Hamilton, Director, The Learner First USA. I recently stepped away from the schoolhouse after 20 years in education that encompassed roles as a teacher, instructional coach, and, for the last 10 years, an elementary school principal.…

Going Toward vs. Going Away

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. The New Year is a time when we typically reflect, set goals, and determine actions. It’s a time in our school year when we recommit to action plans for the…

Moments of Joy

What does it mean to experience joy? Looking back, I recall some unjoyful experiences of sharing middle names as a child. Mine is Joy. My classmates would hear it and start singing “Joy to the World” at the top of their lungs on the playground,…

My Mother’s Curriculum

From the moment we’re born, we learn from those around us. Our parents or caregivers, extended family and friends, and our environments teach us how to live and behave. Some of the things that we do are instinctual, but the rest is a product…

Where to Now?

I’ve had some time to step back and reflect on the state of education—where we are, what’s important, and what’s in store for the future. Out of school systems globally, four themes are emerging: Let’s fix education by solving the…

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…