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Cultivating an Open Heart

    “We do not really see through our eyes or hear through our ears, but through our beliefs.” ~Lisa Delpit, Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom   We have a crisis of heart in education. “1 out of 3 students in California cannot name a single caring adult at school” ( CLICK […]

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The “Dis-ease” of Intolerance & Hate

These are challenging times in our country—a time when there is much racial, gender, class, and political division in our communities. While schools are deeply affected by these times, we can continue to remember what our commitment is to young people—and how we make a positive difference by creating environments where all students are served […]

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5 Keys

5 Keys to Classroom Engagement

In engaged classrooms, we see inspired teachers supporting students to discover and pursue their passions and strengths and take risks in their learning. In this “learner-centered” approach, teachers empower students with practices, principles, and content that engage them to think creatively, understand their emotions, communicate effectively, excel academically, and work with people who are different […]

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Just Say No.

Just Say No: The Path to Simplicity Begins with a Refusal of the Nonessential and Unproductive. It’s been several decades since Americans were first introduced to the idea that they should “Just say no.” While the context of this was originally about saying no to drugs, I believe this recommendation has even greater potential for […]

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Making Conscious Transitions

Last weekend, I was in a circle of friends who gathered to honor a 17-year-old young man’s transition out of high school— into the great beyond.  Over a two-hour period, I watched James move from initial discomfort to delight and relief as he was recognized for the passage he was making. As James was showered […]

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Inner and Outer School Change Work

In our world, there is a pervasive emphasis on achievement, outcomes, growth, and strategies. With school change work, we often see a kind of “turnaround” mentality— where there is an expectation that when we implement or “roll out” a program or initiative, we will see immediate results.  As part of this approach to change, educators […]

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Supporting Students in Challenging Times

We are currently living in a tense social and political climate, with a great deal of polarization within our communities. With so much change and daily turmoil in the news, students are not only managing their own personal stress about school, family, and growing up- they are also having to negotiate their questions and concerns […]

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Creating Safe Places

The Importance of Cultural Responsiveness At This Time in Our World From its inception, PassageWorks Institute has been committed to the creation of safe places for students, families and educators.  With her book, The Soul of Education, founder Rachael Kessler urged educators to invite the vulnerable inner lives of students into the public space of […]

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