In a few weeks to the next few months, many of us will begin the biggest project of our lives.

Re-opening our classrooms. 

Some of us have already started. My friend Kevin Zou, a school leader in Dali, China has already disinfected the hallways; installed temperature monitoring checkpoints at the front of school; created staff protocols to ensure student safety; and communicated new procedures to parents and other key stakeholders.

And while like us, he will try his best to create a sense of ‘normalcy,’ post CoVid 19, he knows that school as he knew it before will never return to ‘normal.’

The post CoVid student will emerge more resilient, independent, self- assured and self- aware than ever before. As a result, they will demand a new kind of schooling.

One centered around their needs, passions, interests and inquiry.

The Twelve Shifts Necessary for Student- Centered Learning

As a commitment to you and the work you lead, for the next six weeks, I will share the twelve teacher shifts to transform our classrooms from places where students wait for us, to places where students lead each other; seek out and explore answers independently; act empathetically; engage in deep and meaningful work; and collaborate seamlessly with peers and adults in the real world.

The twelve shifts are community curated from research and interviews with some of the most innovative leaders and schools in the world.

Preparing to Make the Shifts

The first step is to re-imagine or re-visit our collective vision for student learning.

What kind of students are we hoping to create? What activities/ things will the ‘ideal’ student be doing? How will they think? How will they behave? 

Work together with your subject or grade level teacher team to explore these questions. Provide everyone an opportunity to share, and use stories from your classrooms or remote learning experiences to serve as inspiration.


Next, identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in relationship to this collective vision. (examples above).

You are now ready for the twelve shifts. I look forward to sharing the first one with you in Wednesday’s email!

<<First Name>>, thanks for all you do for kids.

Your PBL and School- Reopening Coach,

p.s. Need support shifting to student centered learning? I would love to add you to the list of teachers I’m supporting in the 2020-2021 school year. Schedule a short 30 minute discovery call to discuss your challenges and I will share ways I can help!