If You Give a Dog a Classroom… #empathy #edchat

Last week, on pure luck, I was in the building when Mason, the cute dog above, started his first day of school.  Mason is a licensed therapy dog and will be joining this classroom for a bit each week.  But Mason isn’t coming in just to hang out.  The goal, as designed by @AndreaLister2, is to help students be able to practice their skills and learning around empathy.
I was struck by the intentionality of this concept.  @AndreaLister2 shared that she had seen models that included using a plant or a goldfish.  She felt like the buy in needed to be bigger for the work to be successful.  I’m excited to see how Mason does with his classmates this spring.

Taking Learning to the Slopes #vermont #vted

A part of my job (I’d argue that it’s a part of everyone’s work in education) is to tell and share our stories.  I’m grateful for this.  When I visit something like this I get to stand in awe of the people and places that make it possible.  Our Kindergarten students, across all our schools, are participating in an internally created program we call Snow Motion.  Visiting a local slope (Cochran’s Ski Area) students, families, ski area staff, and volunteers spend time digging into the skills of skiing and riding.  Skip past the sheer awesomeness of this and think about what this means for access.  Think about students.  There are many students and families that wouldn’t typically have access, skills, or experiences to visit ski resorts or mountains.  We’re knocking down that barrier with programs like this.  It’s powerful…really powerful.  That’s what excites me about work like this…that moment where we move the needle and don’t even know it.

100 Phone Calls Home for the 100th Day of School #hackingleadership


For the last two years, on or around the 100th day of school we contact at least 100 families in MMMUSD-CESU to share how excited we are to have their students with us. Educators throughout the schools nominate scholars to receive a call. On the survey form they tell us what the students have done or continue to do to be amazing. We’re so grateful to families for sharing their scholars with us. A simple phone call goes a long way.

Remember that time in preschool when we were playing hockey?

This was one of those wonderful “spur of the moment” things that popped up. I happened to have a few minutes and popped into Mr. G’s class as Mrs. Lister’s PreK was in his world for P.E.  I just sat down and took it all in.  There’s something about a kid running, sneakers slapping the ground, and laughing soooo hard they can’t see straight that makes Monday a little less like a Monday.

Sharing Student Art with the Community: Powerful Stuff #vermont

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I love storytelling.  It’s one of my favorite things to do within the context of our schools and district…and I think it has a powerful impact on our ecosystem (but I’m biased).  This was one of those things that I really enjoyed.
I received word from an educator at the high school that our students had an installment at a local gallery (one I’d never heard of).  I looked up the place, http://www.emilegruppegallery.com/, and set up a time to visit.  I was more than amazed by the whole experience.
The student artwork was incredible…to really take it in.  I was conflicted because I wanted to video and photograph everything BUT I want people to go there…to be in the converted barn…to hear stories about the artwork there…to sit and stare.  Emilie, the owner of the gallery, was incredible. Her father’s artwork is in the main room and compelled me to stare into the swirls of paint for at least a half an hour after I’d already finished taking pictures and video.
But the story…the story was just great.