Mr. Ackerman's Blog

Mr. Ackerman Takes a Trip to NYC

March 6th, 2011 · No Comments

I had the pleasure of traveling with Dr LaCroix to New York City on Friday to attend an invite-only Leadership Event.  We traveled with fellow administrators from Burlington.  The event brought school leaders to NYC to discuss and learn about schools of the future. The two speakers were Chris Lehman, head of the Science Leadership Academy, and David Pogue, New York times technology columnist. What did I take from the day which can be applied to Lane School?

  • We should aim to have our kids thinking for themselves, not just following rules
  • Schools need to aim to create 21st century citizenship, not just prepare kids for the workforce
  • We need to remind ourselves that we are” educating” students, not ” training” them
  • We don’t teach subjects, we teach kids
  • Create innovation, not change
  • Technology should be like oxygen
  • If schools don’t innovate then they will become irrelevant
  • technology is changing fast, and having huge effects on our students (important not to be judgmental of this change)

One of the themes which prevailed was the need for schools to not be too focused on state driven tests, and instead think simply in terms of “what is best for the students.”  Hard to argue with that?

Tags: 21st Century Learning

Ms Ellien’s class migrates across the Atlantic

November 17th, 2010 · No Comments

Last Friday, Ms Ellien’s class performed a fantastic,  short Immigration play for parents and staff.  It was a great example of what we lose when we are too focused on test scores and standardized tests.  While watching the play I was reminded of my very short and unsuccessful role as an elderly man riding a bike in my grade 5 play.  Although my acting career was short-lived, it still taught me a lot.  Collaboration, presentation skills, and creativity (she let us write our own lines) were all emphasized.  Standardized tests can’t test these skills, but that doesn’t mean we should leave them out.

They're coming to America!!!

Tags: social studies

Adult Learning

November 2nd, 2009 · 4 Comments

As a principal I feel it is my responsibility to continue to learn.  Despite my ongoing reliance on “the web” to be my main source, I also find time for good ‘ol books.  Here are a couple I have read recently:

columbine Columbine by Dave Cullen is an important, yet difficult book to read.  It is the most thorough look at what transpired at the Colorado high school over 10 years ago.  What really happened? Could it have been stopped? Were the shooters really victims of bullying? Schools across the country are practicing lockdowns, in part, because of this tragic event.


Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner is a great look at today’s issues for educators and parents as we look to the future for our schools.  What should schools be focusing on? What role does technology play? (Hint: a lot)  With “21st skills” and “global awareness” being the big buzz words in education right now, this book is a great place to start for those interested in finding out what all the fuss is about.

Tags: 21st Century Learning