Permit and Promote

“If you permit it, you promote it.” – Todd Whitaker, What Great Principals Do Differently

This quote was referenced by Todd Whitaker in the context of building culture and establishing expectations.  He explains that the culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.

As we recognize and commit to the need to journey into uncharted pedagogical territory in education, this quote actually may be the key to moving forward. That is, if we flip the focus of the quote from negative outcomes to positive outcomes.

What if we permitted more in our classrooms in order to promote more of the kind of learning experiences our kids need?

What would happen if we permitted more projects, more collaboration, more reflection, and more student control?

If we permitted more of the kind of learning that will allow more inquiry, authentic application of skills, and opportunities for kids to reflect on their learning journey more often, we will promote a dramatic shift the learning culture in our classrooms.

As we move into Act III of the school year, think about what you might intentionally permit in order to authentically promote.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out —

Love this video by Apple —  As we move to providing students with a One2One iPad experience next year I challenge you to think less about the tool and more about what’s possible with it:

What Makes a Master Teacher


Upcoming Dates —



27 – Spring Flower Sale Kickoff


1 – School Community Meeting – Step Up/Build Skill, 10:45; Spec Ed Team meeting, noon

2 – Admin mtg (AM)

4 – ADE Family Fun Day, 10am-3pm

7 – BIT Meeting, 8am; 3rd Safety Drill, 10:45 am

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am — Check in on Students’ writing performance since last month (Counts as monthly Data Team check-in for literacy)

10 – Principals’ One2One meeting, 10am

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

15 – Olive Tree Spirit DAY; Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:40

16 – 5th Grade Musical Performances: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

20-24 – Spring Break

2016-17 Testing Calendar


How To View a Day

How do you view the day that lies before you?  Do you see the celebrations, the growth and the joy of what’s to come? Have you already determined the challenges are almost impossible to overcome?

The self-talk we have before the day begins will manifest itself into the day we talk about later.  If we assume and expect “bad things” will happen, chances are we’ll be talking about our “bad day”.

I don’t believe for a minute that we can eliminate tough days from our lives; that’s just not a realistic expectation.  However, I do believe we have more control than we think over the way our days play out.

Like other staff members, I am currently reading “A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth” by Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz (2015), and this is one of the many points they make in the book.

I think this book is the perfect read for this year because it combines so many elements of our current work and focus are discussed by the authors in the context of teaching practices.  The authors are on a mission to connect growth mindset practices to learning practices but in a meaningful and transforming way.  Take a look at this from the authors:

We cannot let fear of benchmarks stand in the way of helping children find their value and their voice.  What does it matter if that same child does not believe she has power and agency? A child in passive receipt of learning will be in passive receipt of life. (p. xvi)

And their message is that it starts with us.  We set the tone that drives the behaviors that gets us the results we desire.  We have to see the possibilities of each day.  The change has to happen within us before it happens through us.

So as you start each day, imagine what you will celebrate.  Imagine the joy you will help create with kids.  Imagine the hope you will instill.  We can make a difference but it’s up to us to see it in our mind before we can see it with our eyes.

Have a GREAT week!



Tweets Worth Reading





Upcoming Dates


6 – BIT Meeting, 8AM

7 – Curriculum Night, 6-7PM

8 – House Leader Meeting, 8AM at DCR

9 – Campus Project Q&A with Herb, 7:45 Media Center *Voluntary* – I will have coffee 🙂

12 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

22 — School Picture Day!

24 – EdCamp Columbus at Gahanna-Lincoln HS



1 – Community Cardboard Challenge

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM


Click here for the Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2016-2017.


Community Information Meeting – September 6, 7:30pm at Scioto Darby Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 8, 7:30pm at Beacon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – September 11, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – September 13, 7pm at Ridgewood Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 15, 7:30pm at Britton Elementary

Board of Education Meeting – September 12, 7pm at Memorial Middle School

Community R Factor Training – September 18, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – September 20, 7:30pm at Norwich Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 22, 7:30pm at Brown Elementary

Community R Factor Training – September 25, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – September 26, 7pm at Davidson High School

Community Information Meeting – September 27, 7:30pm at JW Reason Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 29, 7:30pm at Darby Creek Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 2, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 4, 7:30 pm at Hoffman Trails Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 6, 7:30pm at Horizon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 9, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 10, 7pm at Bradley High School

Community Information Meeting – October 11, 7:30pm at Crossing Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 13, 7:30pm at Bradley High School

Community R Factor Training – October 16, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 18, 7:30pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – 20, 7:30pm at Davidson High School

Community R Factor Training – October 23, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 24, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 27, 7:30pm at Tharp

Community Information Meeting – November 7, 7:30pm at Station


Fueling the Wonder of Kids

Update for Nov 23-24

Last Wednesday, Adrianna Kruse captured the moment above, recognizing the “pure joy” of her kindergarten students playing in the leaves on a windy day.

Later on that afternoon, I was heading out to my recess duty a little early and noticed a group of kids playing in the same leaves.  The kids ranged from 1st grade to 5th grade, but each was captivated by the “leaf tornado”.  One of the kids noticed I had stopped to watch them having fun and said, “We were wondering if leaves turned into soil or compost when they die?”.

“What does everyone think?” I asked.

“Well, I think they turn into compost and he thinks they turn into soil,” the student replied.

With a smile, I asked, “What’s the difference between compost and soil?”

“I don’t know.”

Ah, the perfect response for starting a learning opportunity!

“I have an idea. Let’s ask Wonderopolis if they know the answer,” I suggested.

I told the kids that there is a website called Wonderopolis that has hundreds of posts questions, or wonders, that kids have asked.  They post information including videos and resources that help answer the “wonder”.

I took a picture of the kids standing in the leaves and tweeted Wonderopolis:

// Wonderopolis is great about interacting with others!  Here’s what they said later on that day —


While this is a great example of recognizing when we can take learning further, it actually made me reflect on the way kids learn and make sense of their world.

Kids are naturally curious.

They ask lots of questions, they create their own hypotheses, and work out meaning through play.

As adults and educators, we need to remind ourselves that kids are naturally curious and build off of that.

How much would our unit or lesson plans change if we started with the fact that kids are naturally curious?

How much more would the learning experiences we create for kids reflect inquiry and build on a sense of wonder?

We should commit ourselves to letting the curiosity and wonder of children inspire us to create learning experiences that fuel their learning.

Here’s to fueling the wonder and curiosity of kids!

Have a GREAT week!


Articles Worth Reading —

When Students Drive Improvement

Service Learning: Growing Action from the Roots of Passion

Real-World Problem Solving: Project-Based Solutions

Video Worth Watching —

Upcoming Dates —

Nov 23 – Board Meeting at ADE (Preschool is hosting in Cafeteria)

Nov 25-27 Thanksgiving Holiday

Dec 1 – BIT Meeting — Please have your wish list items submitted by Dec 1 to be considered by PTO.

Dec 2 – Yearbook Picture Day; ADE Staff Meeting, 8:00 AM – Media Center

Dec 3 – Admin Meeting (Herb)

Dec 7 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

Dec 8 – 3rd Grade ELA State Assessment; Steering Committee Meeting, 3:45 – ADE Media Center

Dec 9 – Spec Ed Team Meeting, 12:30; IAT Meeting, 3:45

Dec 10 – PD Series by Donna – “Dealing with Challenging Children”, 3:45 ADE Media Center

Dec 11 – KG Toys for Tots Fire Station Visit

Dec 16 – ADCC Staff Meeting, 3:40 – ADE Media Center


Change As Simple As Returning To Our Roots

Update for Oct 19-23
From Wikipedia; Labeled for Resue

Allison Zmuda’s message in the video below is timely for me — When it comes to change, staying focused on how students learn helps us continue to change and grow.

Zmuda cautions us not to focus on the “pace of change” but instead to stay focused on the simplicity of the learning experience.  

She reminds us that powerful learning experiences are just a few key ingredients such as co-creation of learning with students, meaningful feedback to students, and providing the opportunities for students to share new learning with a broad audience so that they can “change the world one problem, one question, one task at a time”.

Zmuda’s message makes me think of how important it is to return to our roots — Return to the purpose of why we are doing what we are doing.

For us, it’s remembering that we believe students learn best through inquiry and when they are our partners in learning.

It means remembering that we value feedback- student to student, teacher to student, and student to teacher.

It means remembering to build units of study around enduring understandings — Essential truths and understandings that students will remember for the rest of their lives.  

Furthermore, an article in KQED News’s Mind/Shift blog explains Will Richardson’s call for a “third narrative” in school reform. Take a look at an excerpt where Richardson describes what he thinks the third narrative should focus on:

What if we were to return to consistently using an inquiry-based approach to learning and connecting what we have learned along the way? How could we grow those roots?

If we were to return our focus to our roots of inquiry-based learning experiences, and then grow those roots deeper, we could support one strong and durable tree.

Have a GREAT week!


Videos Worth Seeing —

Adventure Time! —

You’ll need to get ready for some tears for this one, especially if you’ve ever had a dog as a pet. — (Shared by George Couros):

Articles Worth Reading —

Lessons that Matter: What should we learn from Asia’s school systems?’s-school-systems/

Math At Home Adds Up to Achievement At School

The partnership side of leadership

Upcoming Events

10/21–ADDC Staff Meeting @DCR, 3:45
10/23 — ADE Staff Meeting with Dr. M, 8:00am.  Preschool Staff will join us in the Media Center
10/26 — Yearbook Cover Contest Begins (Ends Nov 6)
10/26–6:00 p.m. STATE OF THE SCHOOLS ADDRESS at Bradley HS
10/28 — IAT Team Meeting, 3:30
10/28 — Superintendent Advisory Committee Meeting, 4pm
10/29 — CRAZY HAT DAY!

11/2–7:00 p.m. PTO meeting
11/3–Election Day–Hilliard U Day — District Staff report ONLY–NO SCHOOL for students.