The Struggle to Learn…

An interesting article on the role of “struggle” in the classroom and eastern and western societal perceptions about the same. I’m taught, as a student of education, to keep my students in what we term the “Zone of Proximal Development”, more on that later…


It is for Freedom…

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”
– Nelson Mandela

“Starting a New Private School” with Reed Sumida


This is a very short video clip that opens the door to the steps towards starting a New Private School. ISPG/The Independent School Performance Group is a company that offers consultancy services to existing private schools and and schools that are on a start up stage. Lots of excellent materials and advices worth browsing. As usual I will be posting the other excellent short video clips on “Advancement”, “Student Retention”, “Strategic Planning”, “Board Development”, “School Formation” etc. I’m sure you will be benefiting a lot from this a..n..d Enjoy!!!
Meri Desta

ISPG and its Associates provides school start up services to private and independent schools throughout North America. Our experience of helping numerous other founders form their schools guides us in understanding the critical functions of starting a school and will provide you and your group with the strategies and tactics that will contribute to making your project:

financially viable
void of costly errors and missteps
on time and on budget
stay within the financial reach of the founders
exceed the expectations of the community
a long-term legacy of the founders’ vision
ISPG Quick Tip – If you want to significantly increase the likelihood of making your school dream
a reality, make certain that you have:

A vision for the school shared by others who will dedicate their time and energy within your founding group;
Financial resources sufficient to fund the development of your school’s business and financial plan.
ISPG School Formation

Whether you are looking to start a pre-school, grade school or vocational/career school, ISPG Associates have real world experience based in our vast educational and business sector experiences.

The following are services provided by ISPG for new school formation. ISPG Associates have been instrumental in the formation of numerous new private and independent schools throughout North America.

Private School

Business Related Services

ISPG School Formation

Defining the true vision and mission
Establishing the legal entity by which the school will operate;
Establishing a school governance and reporting committee structure based on the vision and values of the founders which may include a School Society Constitution and By-Laws;
Creating a three year strategic Business Plan;
creating a strategic financial plan including
requirements for investment capital, working capital and cash flows for the first three years;
Creating a three year strategic marketing strategy to drive enrolment;
Oversight of an application for Charitable status (if applicable) for purposes of issuing donation receipts:
Leading the design of an identity package, including website, brochure, logo, motto, crest, slogan and uniform concept;
Property procurement
Lease negotiations
Administrative requirements
Policies and procedures
Procurement of project financing
Market research
Private School

Education Related Services

ISPG School Formation

Registration and licensing;
Curriculum development;
Advertising for, evaluating and interviewing teaching staff, administrative and other staff;
Development of the admissions process
Student recruitment and marketing strategy;
Sourcing and supervising procurement of equipment;
Recruiting, supervising, supporting and evaluating the Head of School (the “Head”);
Assisting the Client to ensure that the School:
meets the requirements of the legislation applicable for the opening of the School; and
is able to provide an education to students which meets the requirements of the local governmental jurisdiction;

Call or email to discuss your vision for a new school. 1-800-884-0989

Risky Stuff…

“If we want to grow as teachers — we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives — risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract.”
― Parker J. Palmer

Creating Fabulous Schools Vs Faculty Collaboration

Hi there,

I am cross-posting a fabulous article on “Creating Fabulous Schools” and the crucial role of ‘Faculty Collaboration’. This article was written a while ago but still fresh and relevant. J Daniel Hollinger is a very high professional educationalist and consultant. He is the PRESIDENT AND PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT of HOLLINGER INTERNATIONAL, Chevy Chase. Without further ado, enjoy his wonderful article.

Merid Desta

Creating Fabulous Schools: Faculty Collaboration is Key

 by  Leave a Comment, April 25, 2012 by

Faculty Collaboration

Faculty Collaboration and Student Learning

One of the most important factors in school improvement and creating fabulous schools is the quality of collaboration among teachers. Certainly, there are other important factors, but faculty collaboration is an absolutely necessary condition. It is possible, with high quality teaching, to have a good school. It is not possible to have an outstanding school without excellent teamwork among teachers.

Faculty collaboration is what makes the sum of the parts greater than the whole. It’s what creates the conditions for students to excel intellectually, academically, socially and emotionally. And that’s the primary business of the schoolhouse. Schools in which students are not achieving their highest and greatest potential are not fabulous. They may be good or even great, but great is not good enough when it comes to schools and the education of our children. The ultimate goal of school improvement is to create outstanding schools for all students.

Most schools kill collaboration before it even has a chance to germinate. That’s hardly the fault of the teachers. It’s a problem with the very structure of the school. One can’t expect teachers to work together as a team when schools’ organizational systems proclaim loudly and clearly that collaboration is dead upon arrival. Little or no time to meet together, the absence of effective school leadership that supports teamwork, and a lack of cross-curricular planning are a few of the telltale signs that collaboration among teachers is not valued.

First and foremost, the school leader must clearly articulate the case for working together as a team. Given how deeply collaboration is buried by the structure of schools, they must make a compelling case for collaboration. They need to be truly committed to collaboration at every level in the school. To rise above the noise, they must be visionary and zealous in creating a collaborative environment. That’s not an easy task and many school leaders will benefit from leadership coaching to accomplish the goal of creating schools in which collaboration among faculty and staff members is as much a part of the fabric of the school as students and teachers themselves.

A collaborative faculty sits together and plans the curriculum. English teachers teach content and skills that are connected to content and skills being taught in social studies, art, science and so on. Units of inquiry centered on main ideas guide the organization of the curriculum across the disciplines.

Suppose, for example, that students in the sixth grade are studying peace and conflict. In social studies, students may be studying about notable peacemakers and the origins of war while the science teacher engages students in exploring scientific discoveries that were the source of major conflicts between religion and science. The English teacher has selected a text focused on themes of war and peace, and students are discussing the characters and plots, and writing essays on peace and conflict. Add physical education, art and drama to the mix and students are buzzing with the excitement of learning that actually makes sense to them.

– See more at:

Successful Teachers

I am pasting a brief article written by a recent network friend and a wonderful educationalist Leah about what she calls ‘Successful Teachers’. Read what she thinks are the qualities of such teachers. Hope you will benefit and be challenged at the same time. Enjoy. Merid D


Successful Teachers

By Leah Davies, M.Ed.

Teachers set the tone in a classroom and can affect children’s lives in profound ways. What teachers do and say encourages or discourages their students. When teachers model acceptance and caring for all children, the students are likely to follow their example. The resulting classroom climate is conducive to children’s growth and development. Children thrive when teachers:

    • Sincerely like them and believe in their worth
    • Are dedicated to helping children learn
    • Are enthusiastic about teaching and inspire their students
    • Are prepared, consistent and firm
    • Provide a nurturing, safe environment
    • Accept themselves as imperfect and freely admit to making mistakes
    • Model fairness, honesty and dependability
    • Listen carefully and give recognition freely
    • Are sensitive and respectful of children’s individual differences
    • Provide an opportunity for children to help formulate classroom rules
    • Help children feel important by allowing them to make choices
    • Have clear, high, reasonable expectations for children’s work
    • Acknowledge children’s efforts and successes no matter how small
    • Stress that it is okay to make mistakes because they are a natural part of learning
    • Avoid threats, sarcasm, favoritism and pity
    • Focus on solutions to problems rather than on punishment
    • Teach children how to solve their problems peacefully by listening to each other and by compromising
    • Provide opportunities for children to encourage and applaud one another
    • Involve parents or guardians as partners in their children’s education
  • Invite them to dream, share goals, and to think of themselves as being successful