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November 20, 2017

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, we thought we would embrace the cliche and share a few things we have to be thankful for!  

At the core of our vision for this Education Brothers blog is the importance of the role of family.  First and foremost we (Steven & David) are both extremely thankful for our parents. Being former teachers themselves, our parents have instilled in us many qualities and characteristics that have molded us into the people and educators we are today. Without their continued guidance, love, and support, we wouldn't be where we are today. While our parents are no longer teachers in a school, they still continue to teach us every day.  Of course I (David) have to express my thanks to my wife and my two kids for their continued support. Whether it's coming to one of my concer...

November 6, 2017

This past week I (Steven) had the incredible opportunity to travel to Harvard University to work with the Center for Education Policy Research on a project called “Visibly Better: Using Video for Teacher Development.”  My dissertation research focused on teachers’ perceptions of using video for self-reflection and professional development and since that time, I have continued to use video with teachers at my school as an optional component of classroom observations.  To say that I was humbled to be invited to work with such an esteemed group of researchers and educators in the reputable setting of Harvard University would be an understatement!  

During the two-day working conference, we had great dialogue about a range of topics related to video-use, leading change initiatives, giving fee...

October 8, 2017

As I (David) am sitting down to write this post, there are so many other things that I could (and maybe should!) be doing. Finding the time to balance all of life’s responsibilities is a challenge that transcends all professions and life-stages.  For me, I make a constant effort to balance work and family, so that I can find success in every avenue. With two little ones at home (Emma is almost 3 and Matthew is almost 3 months) life is crazy!  Just the other day, someone asked me, “How do you have time to do everything? You work full time, I see you outside playing with your kids, I know you like to cook, you started a blog with your brother that's really awesome (I promise, he said that!) and I know you have other things going on.” His question made me pause and really consider how everything does...

September 18, 2017

No matter your position or role in a school, communication is a key factor in finding success.  Sadly, “lack of communication” is often cited as a major weakness in education. Teachers can be frustrated with lack of information from administrators, parents can feel left in the dark by the school, and administrators can often feel blindsided.  It’s important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” approach to effective communication.  However, our varied experiences have taught us (sometimes the hard way) a few helpful approaches.

Communication should be proactive and transparent.

As our district’s union co-president, I (David) am in a position where I am constantly communicating with our leadership team, staff members, administrators, and board members. If I am not honest and open...

September 4, 2017

This post was co-written with Todd Nesloney.  You can follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.

Schools across the country have either already begun or are gearing up to start their year.  As the year gets underway, one thing that campus leadership must keep at the forefront is how we can intentionally uplift and empower our teams on our campus. Now, don’t get us wrong - kids are always the number one priority!  But, it is important to remember that an empowered, positive, and engaged staff will ultimately impact students in that same, powerful way!

What follows are a few ideas that we’ve used in our own schools that we wanted to share with you - ideas and activities that have shown to improve morale, bring people together, and amplify the important voices across across our campuses.

Designin...

August 30, 2017

The “back-to-school” buzz is unlike any other time of year.  Teachers are excited to get their new class, students are excited to meet their new teachers, and administrators are excited to watch it all unfold!  While excitement fills the air the first day back, it can sometimes be hard to keep that energy up past the first week or so. After the initial “honeymoon” stage, reality can begin to set in.  We both know this all too well because we live it each year!

As brothers, a unique aspect to our relationship currently is that we can offer one another differing viewpoints.  As we discussed the back-to-school season, we realized we each had things of value to share from our different proverbial “seats on the bus.”  What unfolded was a few items, from teacher to administrator and administrat...

August 19, 2017

I have come to firmly believe that the fastest way to increase leadership capacity is to read.  Whether from books, articles, blog posts, or 140 character-long tweets, reading about the ideas, experiences, and perspectives of others has exponentially impacted my own development as a principal and a leader over the past two years.  In fact, one of the first principals I started following on Twitter was Beth Houf (@BethHouf).  Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious and I have “stolen” more than a few ideas from her as time has gone on!

Beth co-authored the book Lead Like a Pirate with Shelley Burgess (@burgess_shelley).  This past year, our staff did some professional development and taught collaborative lessons using “hook ideas” from the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  Needless to...

August 11, 2017

Every year I get excited about school starting again. As a music teacher, I am privileged to teach EVERY STUDENT that attends my school!  Because I don't just have just 25 students in my class, I have to really work at getting to know each student.  Two keys to a positive climate in your classroom and school are positive relationships and appreciation.

Growing up, I was always lucky to be surrounded by good educators. Both my parents were public school teachers, my uncle was an assistant principal, and my grandfather served on Board of Education of his hometown. However, my 5th grade teacher, Ms. C, stands out as the one who truly inspired me to learn. In her classroom, I learned academically, socially, and emotionally each and every day. Ms. C made time for me and that made me feel loved and...

July 27, 2017

Welcome to our new blog! We are really excited about this new collaborative venture, which we have been discussing on and off for the past year. I (David) have done some blogging on my own in the past. I (Steven) have always been resistant to start a blog, as I wanted to be sure it had real purpose and wasn’t just because it was the “trendy” thing to do.

Growing up with five years between us meant that we were always in different “phases” of life. However, as we have both established our roots in education and a shared passion for innovative teaching and leadership has evolved, we have grown closer as brothers, professionals, and friends. The idea of a purposeful blog, in which we can share varying perspectives, ideas, and experiences began to evolve and has ultimately led us here. Many of our post...

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Steven & David Lamkin

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August 3, 2018

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