NY Times Opinion by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar 7/22/15 entitled “Giving Doctors Grades

The original opinion has been copied and pasted below. My additions are found inside bolded, italisized parenthesis (like this). Enjoy!

ONE summer day 14 years ago, when I was a new cardiology fellow, my colleagues and I were discussing the case of an elderly man with worsening chest pains who had been transferred to our hospital to have coronary bypass surgery. We studied the information in his file: On an angiogram, his coronary arteries looked like sausage links, sectioned off by tight blockages. He had diabetes, high blood pressure and poor kidney function, and in the past he had suffered…

Students are always watching, listening, and learning. In this post I’ll attempt to analyze and learn from this amazing letter I received at the end of the year from one of my 8th grade students.

Dear Mr. Holman,

Thank you for being such a great assistant principal this year! I really appreciate your leadership this year, and one of my favorite things that you voiced is your approach to learning. I remember when we were having a discussion about whether grades interfere with motivation and learning in science class, and you came to visit the class and explained that you…

But know what you value and care a lot about that

So much of what’s said at Educon always resonates strongly with me, but everything just clicked when SLA principal Chris Lehmann said the following:

“I try to care about very little. But I do care very deeply about what I care about.” — Chris Lehmann, founding principal of Science Leadership Academy

I realized immediately that I share this sentiment and I think this is why I experience a lot of cognitive dissonance with my current role as assistant principal. I know that I truly only care (really deeply) about the following:

  1. Cultivating an inclusive school-wide culture that is safe physically…

And if your instructional leader still says no, have them call me

I want to focus this post on what Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde call the Cognitive cluster of their Best Practice Principles in their book “Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America’s Classrooms”. I have to admit that I’m naturally skeptical and very critical of books chosen by district level administration that are supposed to cover all levels of schools and content areas; however, this book seems to be an excellent choice thus far for our district level professional development on instructional leadership.

Here are, as the title foreshadows, the three instructional shifts you can no longer ignore (if you…

Reflections from a rushed mini-unconference

The deal: I asked my principal if I could have a session at our upcoming professional development day. I was given 45 minutes and I titled my session “Smorgasbord of Learning”. My goal was to create an unconference session to model what EdcampATX might look like (which will be on my campus November 9th)!

The plan: We spent approximately five to ten minutes doing estimation warm ups from my website while I (actually two science teachers) put together the session strands for our mini Edcamp based on teacher input. After estimation we broke off into three or four groups and…

Who am I and what am I tweeting about?

The last few weeks I’ve really felt lost on Twitter. I was even close to apologizing to my PLN for the lack of quality/interesting/useful tweets coming from my account (not that my tweets normally have those qualities, but recently they’ve been especially bad).

After deep reflection David Wees style, I concluded that the source of this confusion has been my transition from a physics and math teacher to an assistant principal. Should I now only tweet about bigger picture items like school climate, legislative issues, and general leadership (since I’m no longer in the classroom)?

Or am I still that…

Connecting a fitness initiative to high stakes testing

What do fitness and learning have in common?

They can both be very difficult to measure, and trying to measure complex and nebulous ideas often results in unintended consequences.

Our fitness initiative on campus started with us all getting MOVbands which measure the number of “moves” we make each day. I am still not sure what a “move” is but that is another conversation. For the record, I am really excited and lucky to have a principal that believes in mental and physical health. Educators need to lead by example and modeling healthy choices to students is absolutely essential.


Reflecting on what I stand for as part of #SAVMP

On June 30th, I tweeted four “Admin Pledges” that hopefully provide some insight into what I stand for and how I want to support my teachers as their assistant principal.

Admin Pledge #1: I will never say to a teacher “You need to raise your test (BOY, MOY, EOC/STAAR, SCA, etc) scores”

The amount of testing our students are subjected to is absolutely ridiculous. What might even be more absurd is the amount of time that is then spent ranking and sorting the students (all with the underlying belief that these tests are somehow the end-all and be-all of learning)…

Thank you!

Recently I posed the following to the Math Twitter Blog O’Sphere (see original post here)

What have you found to be the catalyst that helped either change your mindset/practice or helped change a ‘traditional’ teacher into one that cultivates relationships and student choice?

Not only did you help answer my question with responses, retweets, additional questions, and great advice, you demonstrated the power of Twitter. It’s a lot easier to show how this all works than to expect my teachers just to believe me that Twitter is used for more than telling the world about your most recent bowel movement.

Looking for Help Shifting Mindsets

Dear Math Twitter Blog o’Sphere,

Most of you don’t know who I am, but I spend a lot of time reading as your blogs and follow all (or at least what I think is all) of you amazing math teachers on Twitter. The things you do in your classrooms are fantastic and you will not find a bigger fan than myself.

This year is my first year as an administrator and I’m working with the math department. I’m sure you've found that too many math classes (other than your own of course) are too teacher centered. …

Adam Holman

Physics teacher turned AP & University of Texas Principalship Student. Obsessed with learning about learning. Co-host of EdcampATX.org www.adamholman.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store