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Kimberly Moritz

Great inaugural post Chris! At the end of the year faculty/staff meeting, I lined the halls with our student's names. Every student's name went on a blank sheet of paper that I posted in the hallway. At the end of the meeting, teachers and staff were asked to go into the hallway and to sign their names to the papers of any student with whom they felt they had a connection. This was defined as knowing something about this student outside of the classroom and believing that the student would come to them if needed. At the end of the exercise, we took the students who only had a couple of names and mixed them into small, mentoring homerooms. The best news was that every student paper had someone's name on it. That's an exercise we should do again this year and every year after this one. We're looking at an advisement period next year, in the middle of the day--this is a great way to connect every kid with a caring adult.

Matt Hillmann

Thanks for leading us off, Chris! We used a password-protected Zoomerang survey to do the same thing as Kim's school. It allows us to not only make sure the connections are there, but also analyze on a broader level if we are connecting with all students. We have considered turning the tables and having students complete the same survey -- which adults in our school do they have a connection with...we might find some interesting results!

brian saxton

Great job in starting off this exciting venture. With so much talk around Web 2.0, technology, NCLB, curriculum and everything else it is easy to lose track of what really matters at a school. The students. Connecting with students is what takes a good teacher and makes him/her great. I am excited to visit the link about "advisory" at the secondary level. Currently we do not have an advisory and thus I feel that sometimes our teachers lose track of making those connections. It is so important to remember that the job of working in a school, from custodian, to teacher, to principal is about moving those students forward and connecting to them in a way that transcends the classroom is so very vital.

Chris Lehmann

Thanks to everyone for their comments... and Brian, some schools do have everyone from custodian to teacher to principal as advisors. At SLA, I have an advisory, and it isn't hard to see that, in time, our sys admin will, our secretary will. Students can learn from many different people, and we all can learn from them.

brian saxton

I agree with you in that everyone could/should be an adivsor. Many times I hear kids come back and say, "the custodian was my reason for coming to school, or the office manager really made me smile each day." Sometimes we forget that there are more people out there than the teachers. And some of the time, those peripheral people have the biggest impact on the students.


I am a beginning doctoral student in Higher Education Administration. I am looking at conducting a study of female college/university presidents and the Ethic of Care. Does anyone know of an already developed and normed instrument?


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