Abracadabra

Early on in my career I sat in a school meeting. Midway through the meeting the Head of School called a short five minute break. Everyone but myself, the Head of School, and another male colleague remained at the table. The Head turned, looked at my colleague and commented, “Well I guess it’s just you and me then Bob.”

In an instant the magic wand of soft-misogyny had been waved over my physical presence and I became invisible. I was annoyed and ruminated on the event as a modern allegory for the ways in which women are made invisible, through…


As educational leaders we can make better choices when hiring, creating collaborative teams, managing talent, and assessing teacher performance. Innovative companies and leaders now make decisions about their employees based on people analytics rather than the traditional methods based solely on personal relationships, subjective experiences or products and outcomes.

Over the last 20+ years that I have worked within schools I have yet to participate in, or administer, an effective form of teacher performance evaluation. Early on in my career reviews of my practice were parsed from narrative observations Principals made of lessons I had preplanned. I spent hours planning…


One thing is indisputably clear — kids learn from media, and the fact that they now have 24/7 access to screens nearly anywhere and everywhere means they’re learning more than ever. So “what” they’re watching — content — matters.

Diana Graber

Photo by form PxHere

In 1975 my mom was a busy single mom of three girls. In the late 70s I spent a great deal of time in a Jolly Jumper or in a play pen with classic Sesame Street relentlessly playing in the background. In the 80s my mother banned all media in my home but though I was only five, I…


The COVID-19 pandemic is having significant impact on schools, students and their families. It is not just remote learning that now looks and feels very different but also the very fabric of in-class inquiry-driven learning.

First it is important to say that it is okay that all of us are finding this new learning landscape difficult to navigate. Parents, teachers, and students have evidenced increased anxiety due to a complete change in patterns, social norms, and expected behaviours. Mental health and wellbeing are important and fundamental rights of children, but I will delve into that extensive subject in a subsequent…


It’s true, I don’t believe in report cards. They are an archaic system based on the often subjective views of tired humans. There are so many other more powerful and student driven ways to provide feedback for learning. That being said, in many schools, districts and countries it is still report card season! So, if we have to do them, let’s do them right!

Every new teacher struggles with how to write reports objectively and as data driven as possible. Many turn to sites like Teacher Pay Teachers for banks of comments. However, every experienced IB Teacher knows that it…


We are in unprecedented times. Students and teachers are facing a reality that has the potential to change the very fabric of teaching and learning- but change is hard and education has a tendency to change at glacial pace.

Traditional education offers a plethora of examples of experiences that create rote memorization, disconnected habits of mind, and drudgery. In the age of COVID-19 it is easy to simply turn the remote learning interface into that same traditional experience for learners. After all, in times of great stress it is easy to go back to familiar habits of mind. So, how…


Parents, caregivers, educators, and friends with children at home right now.

Over the last few months have been watching as we have pulled together as a global learning community and shared resources ideas, platforms, and information in order to help each other provide the best care for students that we possibly can during this challenging time. I have been proud that we truly do actively live the values we want to see in our learners.

This morning I ran across a conversation about getting kids together to chat online, and the digital learning coach in me thought, I think we…


In education we always seem to be behind in innovation. Now that we are firmly within the Fourth Industrial Revolution schools scramble to keep up with the newest ideas for pedagogy and integrate the latest technologies. This is not due to the lack of innovative practitioners or teachers who lack passion for teaching. It is because we operate within a massive industrial machine which is the normative educational institution. School organizations are generally concerned with success, and success is measured by what has come before. Schools are pressured by higher education entrance requirements, job markets and parent’s beliefs about learning…


Often when I speak at conferences about individualized, personalized or differentiated learning it is clear that the people in the room have very different ideas of what those terms mean. Teachers, parents and students have a hard time biting into a what a day would look like learning in a personalized learning community. To help place our community on the same page, in this blog post why we have embraced personalized learning.

Differentiated learning

Within the context of education, differentiation is a type of learning where instruction is tailored to meet the learning needs, preferences and goals of individual students. This means…


I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work — Frank Lloyd Wright

Photo Credit: Dr. Tosca Killoran. Kalamalka Lake 1 hour 27 minutes from Unisus

Strip down the pomp and ceremony of most schools and what we really want to create is happy, healthy, lifelong learners. As educators we often observe that stress levels appear to be affected by time outdoors. In fact, the science behind the stress levels in children who learn indoors is well documented. For example, In the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2017), Dettweiler and his team measured daily levels of the stress hormone cortisol in two groups of children. They were…

Tosca Killoran (EdD)

#Principal, #Author, #EdTechCoach, #InternationalBaccalaureate, #Equity, #TEDx Organizer, #GlobalCitizen

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