≡ Areas of Focus

Meeting the Diverse Needs of Teachers

In this issue Bruce writes, “One of Just ASK’s most popular books (and corresponding workshop series) is Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners. Author Paula Rutherford provides an extensive analysis of how to address the learning requirements of all children, no matter their readiness levels. As I was recently paging through that book, I had an aha moment: Not only is it important to support the learning needs of each student, it is equally advantageous for leaders to address the individual needs of the teaching staff.

All principals want to have the best school possible. They go to great lengths to hire the most qualified candidates. Then the real work begins. It is incumbent upon all leaders to look across their faculty as a whole and consider how each individual functions on a day-to-day basis to provide the best learning experience possible for the young people they teach. The question about teacher diverse needs then becomes:

What are some important considerations that an exceptional leader should take into account in order to have a positive and productive?” 

As you read the nine suggestions provided in this issue, ask yourself what  suggestion you would add to make this a “Top Ten List of Ways to Meet the Diverse Needs of Teachers?” 

Be sure to read this thought provoking issue and then take action.



Boost Writing Production and Engagement

In this issue Heather writes, “As we return to another school year, there will still be many unknowns. What we do know, however, is that our students deserve the promise of sound instructional practices that meet them where they are and prepare them for what’s to come. Now, more than ever, it the time to have predictable routines, opportunities to build stamina, and classrooms where it is safe to take risks as learners. One way to do this is through the use of daily Quickwrites.

In his book, Conditions for Learning, Brian Cambourne shares how “The majority of teachers frame writing as a medium for communication. Very few frame it as a medium for thinking, learning and solving problems.” However, that is precisely what writing should be for our students: the opportunity to think on the page and put writing to paper every day, rather than spending their time thinking about what to write. According to author Paula Bourque, “Frequent short bursts of writing throughout the day give our students more time to think on paper with greater automaticity, fluency, and agency to discover what they know.”

Read this issue to learn more about the benefits of quickwrites and how to implement them in the classroom.




Included in this Mentoring Memo is a short collection of reflections from California mentors that provides a picture of how we can best maximize student learning (and our sanity) as we return to our brick and mortar settings… or as we continue to use virtual settings. The document is titled “Words of Wisdom: What I Know Now that I Wish I had Known When I was a New Teacher” If we take these comments to heart and use them to coach new teachers we will all be more fulfilled and productive in creating inclusive classrooms and schools.” Read Now! 



Facilitator's Handbook Why Didn't I Learn This in College? Book Workshops Workshop




How Leaders Think Matters More Than What They Do

The issue of EmpowerED 3.2.1 titled “How Leaders Think Matters More Than What They Do” is now available. Marcia writes “I’ve always been a leadership geek digging into and getting lost in research studies, dissertations, articles, books, and blogs both inside and outside of education. I’ve always believed that effective leadership is effective leadership regardless if you’re a company CEO or an educational leader. The similarities of the ASK construct (attitudes, skills, and knowledge) far outweigh the differences of the discipline.” She cites three books:

She further writes, “The common link among these and other experts is that great leaders are great learners and thinkers. They learn, grow, and change from evaluating their impact on others. That’s all about thinking more than it is about doing more.” Read now!

Access the archives and subscribe to EmpowerED 3.2.1


Distance Learning Collection

The Just ASK Team has written new articles and updated some older ones as 2.0 versions to support our many colleagues who are tasked with creating positive and productive learning experiences from a distance and/or in hybrid or face-to-face environments that are ever evolving. A special thanks to Marcia Baldanza for sharing so many powerful stories from her work as a professor, K-12 educational leader, and mom and for providing us with dozens of amazing and helpful links. Feel free to share with colleagues near and far. 

Click here to access the collection





Just ASK uses a common language and concept system to provide a systemic approach to teaching, learning, and leading in the 21st century. Thousands of educators across the country are using our publications and products, attending our institutes, and participating in our onsite workshops. Their application of their learning has led to more students learning more, more of the time!