Entries by Joanne McEachen

The Whole World Waits

In my experiences with teachers and school leaders in educational systems around the world, one frequently asked question stands out from the rest: “How can I balance the demands of the system with the interests and needs of my learners?” A lot is expected of teachers and school leaders, and those expectations don’t always align […]

Measuring Human Return

What do we value as humans? Some things are important no matter where or who we are. These universal human values demonstrate what we want for ourselves and others both individually and collectively, along with what it really takes to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. They show us what matters and where we have […]

Calling All Teachers to Stop the Insanity

Let’s do our part, teachers, to stop the insanity. Let’s not wake up again, like every other day, to hear about the next mass shooting, the shooting of a person because of their color, or other tragedies of politics, famine, war, and hate, and then wonder why. We know why. We know that for decades […]


What would happen if: Equity was a right, not a fight? We didn’t need to have money as the means for trading? We all cared for, took responsibility for and loved at least one person each? Everyone had access to health? Learning was relevant and is a genuine part of daily life? What you contribute […]

Learning Beyond the Known

Putting the learner first and at the center of the teaching and learning process means evaluating every decision – at every level of the education system – through the lens of how it will impact learners. It requires educators to understand and celebrate who their learners are, what they are interested in learning, and how […]

Measuring the why of student success

Standardized tests are supposed to objectively show what a learner knows. The theory goes that if all students answer the same test questions, you will get a clear picture of who knows what. But that isn’t how it works in the real world because students aren’t as standardized as the standardized test’s they are taking. […]

Failure is not an option

Federal Education policy makes targeting the lowest performing schools the priority. It is widely understood that school performance across the US is uneven. While some schools are performing very well, others are in dire need of help. Under No Child Left Behind, interventions for schools that did not meet the federal standard were predefined by […]

Teach Kids, Not Topics

Beginning your career as a teacher is exciting – it’s one of the most important roles someone can fill. Every day creates opportunities for positively or negatively impacting the lives of the children we teach and the future of the world as a whole. In my first year of teaching, I was asked to teach […]

Student Competency

The US education system assumes that a high school diploma means you have met certain standards in universal skills like language, mathematics and reading. Our systems are pretty much aligned with the concept that it takes until 12th grade to get all those minimum competencies. Much the same way that you can walk into a Starbucks […]