Educators Blog 2017-12-04T13:15:44+00:00

Finding a Personal Passion: Jeremy’s Journey

As a ninth grader, Jeremy struggled to develop his Personal Graduation Plan (PGP).  When his counselor asked him to think about an endorsement, or area of interest, Jeremy shrugged his shoulders.  He wondered if there was an endorsement for playing football, or maybe video games.  His counselor smiled and told Jeremy to look at some of the available elective courses and choose a couple […]

By | December 15th, 2017|

Mid-Year Reflection: A Data-Informed Approach

Note for new readers: Our team member, Dr. Amanda Sailors, actively serves as a district administrator for a public school system as well as a LifePlan Labs blog contributor.

As a school administrator, I enjoy this season.  I enjoy the excitement as students discuss their holiday plans and wishes.  I enjoy the crispness in the air, the sparkle in the eyes, and the little […]

By | December 4th, 2017|

It’s Not Just Academic: A Comprehensive Approach to College and Career Readiness

Download Now: The Social-Emotional Curriculum Checklist


Most high schools understand that part of their mission is to prepare students for the next level.  The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, and many state-specific standards, include a focus on student success at the next level, or “college and career readiness.”

It’s important for students to be prepared for the academic demands of college.  There is a plethora […]

By | October 16th, 2017|

Success Begins with Showing Up: The Impact of Attendance on Academic Progress

You might have heard the saying, “80% of success is showing up.”  While that might be a high estimate of the impact of attendance, research does tell us that attendance in school is one critical factor for success.  Researchers who have studied early warning factors, or factors that can help us to predict a student’s likelihood to graduate from high school, have noted the […]

By | October 3rd, 2017|

Promoting Engagement with SEL

Free Resource: The Social-Emotional Curriculum Checklist

Schools are increasingly recognizing that implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) can increase academic achievement, increase positive social behavior, and decrease behavior problems and emotional stress.  The recognition of the value of SEL programs at the high school level is increasing as well, due to the connection of social and emotional competencies to college and career readiness […]

By | September 18th, 2017|

The Importance of Social-Emotional Competencies in Adolescents

Download Now: The Social-Emotional Curriculum Checklist

In education, we love acronyms, and one hot acronym right now is SEL.  You may have heard of SEL standards or SEL curriculum, or even embedding SEL into your lesson plans.  But, what exactly is SEL?

SEL stands for “social and emotional learning.”  The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) […]

By | July 23rd, 2017|

3 Ways to Help Students Retain What You Teach

It’s an age-old problem for educators.  You spend time planning and delivering a lesson only to assess students and realize that they did not learn the material, or at least they did not retain it.  While it’s tempting to move on—after all you taught it, they should have gotten it—that’s not what is best for your students, and it definitely will not serve you well […]

By | July 15th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

3 Ways to Improve Teacher Student Relationships

July 4th is a significant day in the life of our nation, but is has also become a significant day for me as an educator.  It marks the mid-point of the summer vacation.  On July 5th, I find myself thinking about the school year ahead—gearing up for back-to-school shopping, preplanning, and preparing for a new year […]

The Push and Pull: Increasing the Graduation Rate

‘Tis the season!  Caps and gowns, pomp and circumstance.  Graduation is upon us, and schools across the nation are celebrating as students reach the end of their studies and complete a journey that began the day they walked through the doors of the building.  As we celebrate with each graduate who walks across the stage, it’s difficult not to focus on those who may not […]

By | June 15th, 2017|

Why are teachers not excited about teaching?

As you read this, it may be pre-planning, just before winter break, cold February, or even near the end of the school year in May.  No matter the time of year, you may have begun to feel that the teachers in your building never seem excited about teaching!  They complain about having to come back to work after a nice summer break.  They look forward […]

By | June 1st, 2017|

Why are my students not completing homework?

It seems simple enough.  Answer a few questions about what the class read today.  Practice a new math skill by completing 10 problems on your own.  Read the next chapter in the textbook so that you will be ready for the lesson tomorrow.  None of it should take very long, and if you do it, you will be prepared for class tomorrow and ultimately, you […]

By | May 15th, 2017|

Three Reasons That Early Planning is Vital to Success

Are you someone who likes to plan ahead or someone who takes life as it comes?  Do you make lists of things that you know you need to do each day, or do you wait until something has to be done to get started?  Do you think ahead about what you will wear each day, laying out clothes the night before?  Or, is it after […]

By | May 1st, 2017|

The Nationwide Study Pointing to a Major Gap in Education Today


While high school graduation rates have improved recently, the United States still faces a significant problem with students dropping out of high school or failing to complete school on time.  About 25% of students who start high school as 9th graders fail to graduate four years later.  There are a myriad of factors that […]

By | April 3rd, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Extinguishing Apathy in High School Students


Talk to pretty much any high school teacher today, and they will tell you that apathy and disengagement are key factors in their classrooms.  In fact, this problem is not new.  In 2003, the National Research Center noted that approximately 40% of high school students are chronically disengaged from school.  Research indicates that several […]

By | March 6th, 2017|Tags: , , |

How Our Custom Curriculum is Already Aligned With Your District’s Vision


College and career readiness is an important component of the mission of any K-12 institution.  After all, school districts want to graduate students who are ready and able to succeed beyond high school at the post-secondary level or in the workplace.  Districts often highlight mission statements that include readiness for the next level, and […]

By | February 6th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Bullying and the Power of Self-Acceptance


Bullying is a problem in schools across the nation.  According to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, one in every five students report being bullied in some form.  Bullying affects, not only the victim, but also the bully.  Both victims of bullying and bullies are at increased risk for a host of social, academic, and […]

By | January 2nd, 2017|

How LifePlan Labs Saves Your District Money


When we talk about preparing students for college, many teachers and administrators think of course rigor and academic credits.  Yes, students do need to graduate from schools that engage them in challenging academic courses and prepare them for the rigors of their college coursework.  However, there are other aspects of preparing students for college […]

By | December 5th, 2016|Tags: , , , |