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Dave Orphal

December 21, 2015

The 12 Days of Winter Break : Turtle Doves


“Clack…Clack, Clack, Clack,” I heard as I  drifted back to consciousness. It was my girlfriend’s son, he was playing his video game, popping bubbles before they reached his castle, or something. Don’t ask. I don’t know. You have to be nine to understand.

“What time is it?” she asked the boy.

“Nine,” he replied.

Nine. Nine. This is a glorious sign of vacation. On a typical Sunday, I would be up at five or six in the morning, and reveling about sleeping in from my normal four-thirty. Even on vacations, I don’t normally sleep this late. It must have been the ghosts.

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Dave Orphal

December 19, 2015

The 12 Days of Winter Break: Partridge in a Pear Tree


As winter break approached I saw all the usual teacher memes on social media. You might be familiar with them. There is the video of people dancing, “Teachers on the Friday be like…” There was also the ballet dance joyfully leaping into an elevator, “Teachers leaving school on the last day before winter break.” They’re funny, but I think sometimes they send the wrong message.

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Jessica Cuthbertson

November 23, 2015

Say This, Not That: How Our Words Elevate (or Denigrate) the Profession


Whether we like it or not, teaching is a public profession. What we say (and how we say it) matters. Principals, parents, colleagues, and students are listening and watching. Our language can be used as a lever to communicate the very real challenges we face while still upholding professionalism. Check out this, "Say This...Not That," list of common phrases and share your own solutions-oriented sentence frames for elevating the profession.

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Brianna Crowley

November 19, 2015

To Revolutionize PD, Administrators Should Follow This Simple Rule: Think Like a Teacher


At the end of last school year, an assistant principal commented: "Sometimes I forget the power of seeing myself as teacher. That is where I feel strongest, where I do my best work." We were engaged in a conversation about how professional learning had been organized for our building. I shared critical feedback from a teacher perspective, and in return, she shared the administrative perspective on how the schedule was created and how teachers were organized. At the end of the exchange, however, she also shared this powerful reflection: to do her best work, she wanted to re-frame her role as a teacher first, administrator second. 


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