Our Blog Posts

Why Teachers Need Cultural Proficiency

Jon Saphier - May 20, 2016: Changing demographics have made a “should” into a “must” for American teachers. Cultural proficiency produces behaviors that acknowledge and value the culture of those different from oneself. It develops out of being curious and wanting to learn about other people and their cultures.

Successful Teaching

Jon Saphier - March 9, 2016: This short video describes the elements required for successful teaching. Most people don't realize how complex teaching really is.

A Short History of Ed Reform

Jon Saphier - March 9, 2016: This short video describes the history of Ed Reform and recommends that the focus be on high expertise teaching in every classroom.

NEW TITLE: Transforming Ineffective Teams: Maximizing Collaboration's Impact on Learning

The Skillful Leader II has been reissued under new title. This important book arms administrators and teacher leaders with step-by-step strategies to confront and raise the performance of teams and individuals who undermine student learning.

The Mirage Report

Jon Saphier - September 3, 2015: "The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development" ... is a study of teacher professional development that surfaces stark data about the failure of an $18 billion dollar investment to have much influence ... on improving most teachers’ practice.

Case Studies in Great School Leadership: Brockton High School

Jon Saphier - August 24, 2015: Sue Szachowicz was a great school leader. When Brockton High School went from awful student test scores and graduation rates to national awards and a front-page story in the New York Times, analysts provided all kinds of explanations...The core reason was due to a particular kind of leadership. Sue exhibited vulnerability and strength at the same time; she elevated others who had the same combination of characteristics; and together they mobilized meaningful collective action across the school.

Lessons in Leadership: Be Vulnerable and Strong

Jon Saphier - August 10, 2015: Over the last 40 years from working directly with principals, instructional coaches, and central office personnel who supervise principals, there is one lesson about leadership that rises above all the others: the best leaders are vulnerable and strong at the same time.

The Interpersonal Skills Leaders Use to Build Trust

Jon Saphier - July 13, 2015: “Trust” is the foundation that successful leaders build on to create strong Adult Professional Cultures. The list of skills that successful leaders use to build trust are highlighted in this blog.

12 Observable Features of a Strong Adult Professional Culture

Jon Saphier - June 22, 2015: The strength of Adult Professional Culture is a direct predictor of how well a school will meet the educational needs of its students. So, how do you know if you have a strong adult professional culture in your school building or district?

Hiring New Teachers: Candidate Example #4

Jon Saphier - May 22, 2015: Four very different kinds of skill— planning skills, management skills, motivational skills, and instructional skills — enable effective classroom teaching. All of these skills are essential to improving student learning. Unfortunately, we rarely get new teacher candidates with all four. Let’s look at an example of a hypothetical candidate.