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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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The Busy Teacher

As an educator you may feel stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed. You may find yourself in a community where self-sacrifice and time spent at school are markers of heroism.  You may have come to school with walking pneumonia or missed your own child’s special events. Maybe you have been congratulated for your dedication. I remember a […]

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Mindful Leadership for Educators

In the field of education, we are all leaders. Though our roles within school districts and school buildings vary, we all have an impact on the young people we work with and the adults we interact with. And from this place of leadership—daily, we have opportunities to create interactions with students and colleagues that build trust […]

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Creating Inclusive, Relationship-Based Classrooms

Modeling and teaching cultural responsiveness is an essential ingredient in creating an inclusive, relationship-based classroom in which all students thrive. With every student demographic, this approach develops critical skills and awareness that relate directly to learning outcomes and students’ capacity for success in a global culture and workplace. Geneva Gay (2000), in her book Culturally Responsive […]

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