While teachers play an integral role in leading a student to academic success, parents are the driving force that continually support and encourage their children to succeed beyond the classroom. Research shows that when the whole family is involved, teachers gain an invaluable partner in learning and students achieve greater academic and personal success.

But how do schools empower parents to become involved in the education of their children? We’ve seen an unprecedented need for programs that strengthen the school’s bond between educators and parents to foster a supportive environment for students, but schools frequently struggle to get busy parents to visit their classrooms or attend school events. Families in a rural or low-income areas often don’t have time to build social capital or trusting, mutual relationships with the school, preventing them from becoming the valuable partners we so often need in education. The community can help with this.

At Onaga Elementary in Kansas, the same ideas apply to our approach to education and our mission to include parents in the process as much as we can.…

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Many leaders come about the role and title by accident. Due to good technical skills, a great work ethic, seniority, or the unexpected exit of a former leader, a new leader is promoted. Without warning, and often without support or development, the new leader goes from “one of us” to “one of them.” This type of unplanned instant promotion is the root of many management and leadership problems resulting in workplace drama in the form of low morale, poor team coordination, and lowered engagement.

If you fall into this category of leaders who have been promoted without support, training and development, here are three steps you can take to start developing yourself so you can become the leader you want to be.

Step 1: Define your leadership.

Step 2: Make friends with reality.

Step 3: Build a plan to close the gap.

Step 1: Define your leadership

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US single women outnumbered married ones for the first time ever starting in 2009, and only 20% of Americans age 18-29 are married compared to about 60% in 1960, according to a recent New York magazine story. It’s a demographic trend that affects many aspects of life, from political attitudes to career paths to parenting choices to snacking styles.

And it’s driving some trends in packaged snacks. Searches for info and recipes on bite-sized snacks such as mug cakes, Buffalo cauliflower bites and mac-and-cheese bites have been on the rise in recent months, according to a recent Google report.

“Consumers are more complex when it comes to food choices, and snacking has become more personal. Brands will need to offer more than just customization based on flavors, but dietary restrictions, as well. Personal choices come best in solo portions,” the report says.

Americans are eating more snack foods at mealtimes, driven largely by the 38 million who live alone, according to NPD Group, and singletons often chose their snacks based on concerns about health and weight.…

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This year’s ASU GSV Summit, held in San Diego, California, brought together entrepreneurs, ed-tech providers, policy makers, and leaders from leaders from education and industry to network and discuss how technology is shaping learning and instruction. A number of solutions stood out at the event. Here is a roundup of what we saw:

Goennounce is a platform that lets middle- and high-school students create and share an electronic portfolio of their academic and extracurricular achievements. Students build personal pages where they highlight their activities and awards, showcase school projects, and connect with family, peers and mentors. The platform includes a feature allowing students to raise funds for school supplies, clubs and college. See it in action.

Kahoot! is a free platform that lets user design, share and play games. The platform now includes a “Team Mode” feature that lets users play in teams. Kahoot! supports multiple languages and is available on any computing device.…

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If coaching is to succeed, it must be simple and specific. That’s why I am a big believer in flash cards. Maybe this goes back to my childhood when my patient mother used them to help me learn phonetics, words and arithmetic.

You can even make a master flash card for dealing with complex problems by doing the following:

  • Square the circle. Focus on the core problem and its root causes, not peripheral ones that may be clouding the picture.
  • Determine action steps. Be specific about what you can do as well as what you cannot do.
  • Move forward. Take action when called for.

Flash cards can serve as your prompt to think through a problem, as well as to take action in a deliberate manner.

 

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts.

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