Picture of Jack Appleby set against a green banner with the title of the episode. In the background is a classroom.

Leadership in our schools is in decline. Children aren’t learning. We need to fix it, but it all seems so complicated.

Jack Appleby, after fifty years in education, knows that it actually can be quite simple. Jack was a biology teacher, a principal, a school reformer, and has been all over the world sharing his ideas about education. He boils success down to two things: relationships and accumulative knowledge. Whatever your role in education is, listen in today to discover how you can harness the power of connection to work with others, educate yourself, and create a better learning environment for our kids!

“Schools are built on relationships. Relationships exist between the teacher and the student…Relationships exist between the teachers and the parents…Relationships exist with school board members and how they relate to the stakeholders of their school. It’s all about relationships.” — Jack Appleby, President of the Noah Webster Educational Foundation

Here’s a recap:

  • Jack recounts his fifty years as an educator, from his days as a biology teacher to his education work around the world
  • What working with schools in other countries can teach us about American education
  • Why are relationships so important in education? Why do we remember some of our childhood teachers so fondly?
  • Schools are medicating students to keep them quiet and well-behaved in the classroom, encouraging the idea that structure is valued over the child
  •  How can teachers keep up with paperwork, forming relationships with students, and all the other demands of modern education? Can better teacher training programs help?
  • Jack talks about his work helping failing schools—how he brought teachers and school staff together, spearheaded discussions on leadership books, and improved teacher success by having each of them pick three goals for the year
  • Building a holistic education mentality
  • How retaining long-term leadership in schools and on school boards can improve school success
  • Jack lists some of his favorite resources for educators and explains why adults—especially educators—need to be lifetime learners
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If you like what you heard today, stay tuned for our next episode on Counterpoint with NWEF.


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