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Personalized Learning Blog

B.Y.O.T Bring Your Own Thoughts

K-12 Education Resources

The latest on all student-centered models, leadership development, strategic planning, teacher retention, and all things innovation in K-12 education. We answer questions before you think to ask them.

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District Leadership  |  Personalized Learning  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership  |  Teachers  |  Teams & Culture

Opening Doors: Collaboration Brings Personalized Learning to Life

Implementing personalized learning across an entire school district is an ambitious undertaking. It requires a dedicated investment of time and resources, but the potential benefits for student learning are undeniable. One of the biggest challenges is prioritizing thoughtful professional development for educators amid many competing priorities in districts. Our team faced this challenge while partnering with the Manchester Shortsville Central School District in New York. Manchester is a rural district located near Rochester, serving approximately 700 students across PK-12th grade. We had been working with a dedicated group of teachers for over a year, and their team was eager to expand the program to a wider range of educators. In closing feedback, one teacher wrote, “I found the time we had to bounce ideas off each other to be beneficial. Learning about what my colleagues are doing in the classrooms was eye opening. I am always looking to learn from them.” As a result, the Red Jacket team engaged our Education Elements (EE) team to work with the whole middle and high school teams. Unfortunately, finding dates that worked for everyone proved difficult.

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District Leadership  |  School Districts  |  Teacher Retention  |  Teams & Culture  |  school climate

Retaining Teachers Requires a Belonging Strategy

Post-pandemic data shows that teachers are leaving the profession in higher numbers than they were before the pandemic and for reasons other than retirement or inadequate performance. These high turnover rates have many impacts on the school community, not the least of which is a detrimental effect on student growth and achievement. Why are teachers quitting, and what can be done to stop this troubling trend? Aside from compensation, teachers say they are leaving their positions due to frustration and even exhaustion from managing unreasonable expectations while feeling overworked and undervalued. Some cite weak or uninspiring leadership as a factor while others point to political pressures interfering with how they do their jobs and serve their students. This level of dissatisfaction is contributing to the unhealthy state of the teaching profession overall.

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Education Elements  |  School Leadership  |  Teacher Retention  |  Teachers  |  Teams & Culture

A Day in the Life of a Teacher: All The Things Teachers Do

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! This time of year is truly special to me. For 7 years, I worked as a classroom teacher. It was the hardest job I ever loved. Supporting my students academically, contributing to a positive school culture and communicating with families and community members, all made teaching such a wonderful professional experience. In my role as a Design Principal at Education Elements, I no longer work in the classroom, but I use the skills to support school leaders and districts.

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Education Elements  |  School Leadership  |  Teacher Retention  |  Teams & Culture

How it Was vs How it Could Be: Reimagining Hiring Season Best Practices

It’s the time of year when hiring managers and principals are gearing up to recruit and onboard their staff for the upcoming school year. As we prepare for this hiring season, most of us have team members who were promoted, or have pre-existing vacancies, and newly retired staff which creates additional open roles to fill. Undoubtedly, there are some big shoes to fill, but where are the people? As education evolves, we have the opportunity to redesign how we view hiring. Whether by leveraging technology to maximize time and optimizing the interview experience or by rethinking how the interview experience looks, here are 4 key moves to upgrading your organization’s hiring process.

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Data  |  District Leadership  |  Surveys  |  Teams & Culture

8 Questions to Consider when Designing a School Survey

When working on surveys for a large school district, I heard it all. We don’t trust you with our survey data. What did you do with last year’s survey? This survey takes too long. What am I supposed to do with this survey data? Often when these responses arise, it’s due to poor survey design, poor follow through, and a less-than-authentic approach – all of which can erode trust and lead to unsupported claims.

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Teacher Retention  |  Teams & Culture

Strong Teacher Retention Starts with Onboarding

During the next few weeks, districts and schools will begin the process of welcoming and onboarding their new teachers for the 22-23 school year. When done effectively, new teacher onboarding can allow new staff to gain clarity on their specific roles and feel welcomed into their school community.

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