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The Tempered Radical

Bill Ferriter

August 31, 2015

Three #edtech Tools Worth Exploring Right Now

5 comments

An interesting email landed in my inbox the other day.  A middle school teacher from California asked me what #edtech tools I was planning on using this year.  "There's so many tools to choose from," he wrote.  "Where should I start?"

While there's no one right answer to his question -- choosing #edtech tools should start with a clear sense for the kind of learning space that you are trying to create -- here are three tools that I've used in my classroom already this year:

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Bill Ferriter

August 19, 2015

Giving Effective Feedback is a Work For/Work On Process [Activity]

7 comments

Over the last few weeks, I've been reading a ton about the characteristics of effective feedback.  The topic resonates with me because I'm frustrated by the fact that students in my classroom often seem to believe that the only people that can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses are the adults in their lives.  My goal is to figure out ways to create empowered learners who realize that they can reliably assess their OWN progress and abilities as long as they know what to look for.

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Bill Ferriter

August 11, 2015

Pushing Against Incivility.

19 comments

I spent the better part of last night wrestling with the role that feedback plays in the classroom.  I kept coming back to the notion that kids don't really take much action on the feedback that they receive from teachers -- and I started to wonder if that was a result of the fact that students don't get much modeling on how learners respond to feedback.

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Bill Ferriter

July 25, 2015

Three Traits of the Best Principals.

10 comments

Let me start with a simple statement of truth:  I am JUST a classroom teacher.  

I've never worked as a building principal -- and my knowledge of the principalship is limited to tons of reading, tons of conversations, and my first-hand experience working with tons of different principals and assistant principals during my 20+ years of teaching.

What I DO know is that regardless of their unique sets of strengths and weaknesses, the best principals that I've ever worked for shared three traits:

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Bill Ferriter

July 11, 2015

More on My Beef with the Term "Instructional Leader."

12 comments

Dear Principals of Professional Learning Communities,

Can I push your thinking for a minute?

I'd like to suggest that learning teams -- NOT school principals -- should be the primary source of instructional leadership in PLCs.  I'd also like to suggest that using titles like "the instructional leader" to describe the role of the principal in a PLC is incongruous with the core principles of professional learning communities.

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