In this episode, I bring in my good friend Elisha Bauss, to discuss her insight into ADHD as an educator, school leader, and parent. What does ADHD really mean for our students and how can we help kids help themselves for life, not just school? Join us as we discuss Jerry McGuire, Icebergs, Traffic Controllers, real takeaways to help students with ADHD. Listen to the full episode below at the end of this post or watch the full interview on YouTube. In my conversation with Elisha, there were so many great takeaways for working with kids with ADHD …

Skills for Life, Not Just School: ADHD Deep Dive with Elisha Bauss Read more »

Are you running your day or is your day running you? How do some people seem to get things done and look like that are in full control, even now in the midst of a chaos? It is possible and you can do this too. Let’s talk about how to clarify our priorities, set our agenda, and accomplish our goals. Having a perfect balance in life is a myth. It’s theoretically possible, but in reality it’s fleeting even if we can attain it for just a brief moment. The trick is more on how we align our actions …

Who’s In Charge of Your Day? Read more »

Just because you take a detour doesn’t mean you’re lost. Some journeys take longer and are more challenging. But we can make it. In life and in the classroom, our perception of our ability to affect the journey is what really matters. In so many situations in our life, we feel lost or helpless. Especially in times of emotional stress such as when kids act up or have meltdown, it’s easy and normal to feel like we are out of control. That need to feel like we can control the circumstances around is normal and something we are all born …

A Detour Doesn’t Mean You’re Lost Read more »

The Problem with “Perfection” – A reflection on perfectionism by a perfectionist. Something I’ve known for a very long time is that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Not a big surprise to those that know me well, but it made me think recently how this idea of perfection within our own work, or within the work we do with kids, can hold us back from making real progress. This article begins a little bit of a new phase for my blog writing. I’m intrigued on how the multimedia effect of podcasting and blogging together on the same topic …

The Problem with “Perfection” Read more »

Every child has gifts and values. Some of those gifts take longer to figure out than others. Great teachers make enormous efforts to connect with every child and look at them as a whole child with relative strengths and weaknesses, not just all good or all bad. In a principal meeting, my awesome boss Todd Erickson showed us this amazing video by Clint Pulver and we had a great conversation about the deeper implications. What do schools look like when they value the child as a whole? How can we lift up every child, even the ones that …

See Students as Solutions Instead of Problems Read more »

Students are stressed. Teachers are stressed. And it’s understandable and should be expected. If you do this job right, it takes a lot out of you and drains you emotionally and physically. There is so much that we cannot control around us, even our own emotions are really hard to keep in check. Especially when our students push our buttons over and over and over…and over… But what we can control is our attitude and actions. Consider deep breathing strategies as way to reset both for your students and for yourself. Many of our students arrive to school …

Breathing Strategies to Relax Students Read more »

Many of our students have sensory issues and we need to provide them with extra tools to address these needs throughout the day. This post and video helps explain some of the ‘why’ behind these toys and a reflection in video to the different toys/tools we have in our school. Thank you Ashland Autism Teacher Laura Ryba for starring in this post’s video! (Always go to the experts in your school for these types of issues!) WHY SENSORY TOYS AND TOOLS: Before we get into the different types of toys and what to buy, we should always first …

Sensory Toys, Tools, Tips, & Kits Read more »

There are times where some of our most interesting and engaging lessons are just too much for some of our students. The lights, sounds, and excitement can cause a lot of anxiety that ruins the amazing experience and all the hard work put in by the teachers. Students with sensory processing issues have difficulties with some types of sensory input and in many cases build a lot of internal anxiety when things are unpredictable. As educators, we should not have activities where we know some students will not perform well. But there is good news. We can still …

Sensory-friendly supports and alternatives for intense lessons Read more »

For many families like mine, even simple things can be very stressful. When our son was little, the barber shop and a tight haircut, one of my favorite things, was way too much and very overwhelming for him. I had to cut his hair at home for years myself. Now it’s better, but I know many other kids go through the same thing. I’m so excited about this new program at Ashland where we can modify this experience and teach students how to enjoy this instead, and even better, have it done in school. Thanks to a partnership …

Sensory Friendly Haircuts Read more »

As principal, I have the honor of observing classroom lessons to learn about instruction and student motivation. This week I was able to directly see the positive impact that specific and direct modeling had on student performance in a 4th grade math lesson by Jesse Raines  (@Mr_Raines on Twitter). His lesson’s objective was for students to be able to identify and explain geometric transformations of rotation, reflection, and translation. Read more to see examples and why it matters to much to have such clear expectations for learning and how that worked in his lesson.