I made a discovery recently. The schools that experience the toughest challenges with a remote learning model (or even a hybrid schedule) are the ones that continue to push for keeping academic scores high, at the expense of everything else. I asked a teacher recently how her remote learning experience was going. She said:  “I’m exhausted. We’ve implemented the A/B model, and

I watched a revealing video made by Olivia, a freshman student from Toronto. It’s called “Numb,” and it’s just over three minutes long. It describes what life feels like for a kid who’s been forced to learn remotely. If you have three minutes, I encourage you to watch it here before reading my article below: Olivia (Liv) isn’t an unmotivated student.

If you’re like me, you’ve attended countless webinars on leading students during a pandemic. You’ve probably read so many articles on COVID-19 you feel like a cross between a therapist and a physician's assistant. You’ve likely been on video calls so much your eyes are blurry and you’ve contracted Irritable Zoom Syndrome. (Just a little humor there.) On top of that,

A few weeks ago, seven high school and college students organized an effort to get a petition signed that would create a mask-wearing policy in their city of Savannah, GA. I spoke to them about their strategy to reach their goal and why it felt so important. Each student found his or her own way to articulate why their aspiration

Many parents fret that they’re not having the same conversations with their children that they did with their parents when they were kids. Teachers fret that engaging students in the classroom is tougher today because they compete against YouTube, Netflix, and Tik Tok. Coaches and youth workers fret that keeping a student athlete’s attention is tough because they’re up against Madden NFL

For decades now, leadership professors and leader development specialists have categorized leadership using an uppercase letter: Leader, verses a lowercase letter: leader. This is helpful in determining how different people influence a team. First, those who appear to be natural leaders, often in positions of authority, are Leaders. The uppercase L is often a person with extraversion, usually confident, and one

Most of us have mourned what the COVID-19 quarantine has stolen from our teens. Less class time, more screen time, more boredom, and both students and teachers who are uncomfortable with the new normal. Many traditions were removed like sports games, recitals, school plays, proms, and marching bands on Friday nights. But I’d like to focus for a few minutes on

We have coined a term: “The Pandemic Population.” It represents a portion of Generation Z, high school and college students who have no memories of the 20th century as the Millennials do. They’ve grown up in the 21st century when the world was different, and they’re now coming of age in the midst of a pandemic. While Millennials were marked

We’ve actually heard some good news from European countries like Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Norway. These nations have figured out ways to reopen their schools, some as early as mid-April and early May, without seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases. And, according to the New York Times, “Experts are cautiously optimistic that sending children back to school may be relatively safe.”  The

A few years ago, my extended family gathered for a reunion. My sisters and I reminisced about our childhoods, including vacations, past girlfriends and boyfriends, squabbles we had, you name it. What struck me that day was, while we all remembered significant occasions, we all recalled different details, smaller occasions and we even retained different stories. Behavioral scientists have gathered a

I recently met with a group of teachers and parents to talk about the “Black Lives Matter” protests. Within this group, there were caring adults on both sides of the issue: some that were completely affirming of the protests (even the damage to property) and those who were against the protests, believing they’re not the best way to accomplish the

Our world today is in combat over language. Two sides of any issue vie for the best words that make any opposing view seem, well…wrong. Everywhere we look we see mantras, slogans, and mottos that draw readers in and make them want to side with their cause without even really understanding the deeper ramifications. Because we have short attention spans,

I just spoke to Sharon, a mom who is now teaching her three kids at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first few days were novel and even fun. The adrenaline that flows from doing something new had kicked in. Now, it’s a different story. Sharon told me recently her biggest struggle is wanting to control everything. I can see

A hundred years ago, we read stories of how families were larger, how kids were to speak only when spoken to, and how parents enjoyed a more influential voice in their teens’ lives. In most cases, the acceptable style was command and control. My research shows that much of that narrative is true. There was a clearer sense of control

I love remembering the story of two young men who both contracted the deadly disease, Polio, almost a hundred years ago. One man became understandably bitter over his prognosis. He would be confined to a wheelchair and never get to do what most young men do at his age. He decided to give up on his dreams and languished for

At Growing Leaders, we have the privilege of interacting with lots of school administrators, athletic directors, and department heads. Obviously, with such a strange spring semester behind us, these leaders are planning for a new normal this fall.  No one I have spoken with plans for life to go completely back to how it was in 2019.  One high school principal put

After teaching the art of communication to some high school seniors, I turned them loose to apply what they’d learned. In groups of three, students stood up front to speak on a topic they felt passionate about. One group specifically caught my attention. The group members spoke about how much they wished for a class on life skills. Respectfully, they praised their