Mimio Educator

Kelly Bielefeld

Kelly Bielefeld, Assistant Superintendent, Clearwater School District & Adjunct Professor at Friends University, Kansas Kelly Bielefeld is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Clearwater, Kansas and an adjunct professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. Prior to this, he spent 13 years as an elementary and middle school principal. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Kansas State University, as well as a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership & Administration from Wichita State University. As a principal, he has worked in rural, urban, and suburban schools, along with having experience in both parochial and public school settings.
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Recent Posts

Psychologically Safe Schools

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Dec 5, 2019

Because of the excessively violent situations that have occurred in schools over the past 20 years, school safety has been a hot-button issue. Many schools have moved to create a more secure environment by controlling access, locking doors, and conducting drills so that students and staff are prepared if something happens. And while all of this is good and necessary to some degree, I believe we must keep the bigger picture in mind as educators

Unfortunately, the concept of being safe must include a discussion of risk. When lawmakers make decisions about things like stoplights, speed limits, and other traffic laws, they consider the possible danger and how that weighs against normal operations on a roadway. For example, we could put a stop sign at every intersection in the country, which would create safe roads, but it would also hinder commerce, travel, and many other endeavors. There must be a balance between safe roads and the purpose of the roads in the first place.

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Topics: tips for teachers

The Professional Breakup

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Dec 4, 2019

Unfortunately, I have seen a number of teachers come and go throughout my 20 years in education. And for every teacher who leaves my school, there's a different reason for why they left. However, I would say that I've seen some patterns in the departures of teachers in terms of both why they left and in the manner in which they departed the school. 

And reflecting on this—all of which is based on my observation, not on any research—I believe it might be helpful for school leaders and for the teachers who remain to process the departure of their colleagues. Maybe some of these ideas can help the “professional breakup” to go more smoothly than it sometimes does.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Professional Learning That Works Part Four: Relevant Learning for Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Nov 26, 2019
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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers, tips for teachers

Resources for Teaching About Space

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Nov 20, 2019

Space: The final frontier. A topic that is touched on in many science classrooms, but rarely finds a foothold in the major learning of our students. Learning about space provides opportunities to not only teach the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), but also allows students to think, dream, and wonder.  

As a classroom teacher of science or any other discipline, the topic of space can be a great crosscutting concept. As teachers dive into the NGSS, they can use these cross-curricular ideas to engage and deepen student learning.

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Topics: STEM Lessons, STEM

Professional Learning That Works Part Three: Practice Opportunities for Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Nov 19, 2019

Professional learning is not only a huge investment for a school district, it’s also a great opportunity for teachers to grow in their profession. Because it’s such a critical part of improving the educational experience for our students, we are looking at how to make it most effective for our teachers. In the first two parts of this series, we covered issues with professional learning and how to make learning more timely for teachers. In this third part of the series, we’ll focus on the implementation portion of any professional learning. We hope to answer the question of how teachers can practice and implement the new strategy in the most effective way.

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers

Professional Learning That Works Part Two: Timely Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Nov 13, 2019

 

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers

The Best Books About School

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Nov 7, 2019
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Topics: Educational influencers, tips for teachers

Professional Learning That Works (Part One)

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Nov 6, 2019

We often hear educational experts harp on teachers that times have changed, tools of changed, and students have changed. The conclusion drawn is that teachers and classrooms also need to change. While I agree with the sentiment in some ways, I find it ironic that many of those people who are preaching this from the mountain tops also never really model that behavior.

The sit-and-get full-day workshop is the traditional professional learning model that, in many ways, is much like the traditional classroom. We know that adults don't necessarily learn best in this format, but it’s what we see most of the time.

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers

Helping Students Focus by Minimizing Distractions

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Oct 31, 2019
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Topics: tips for teachers

Using Virtual Reality in the Classroom Part Two: How to Get Started

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Oct 30, 2019

As I discussed in the first part of this series, there are many great reasons to get started with virtual reality in your classroom. The immersive experience is like nothing else—to me, it really feels like futuristic technology in our students' hands. Engagement skyrockets when we have the VR goggles out. 

There are numerous teaching tools and instructional strategies to go along with this experience that are easy for teachers to access. While on a VR tour, teachers can prompt students to look at different landmarks or details of the environment. There are both self-guided student experiences as well as others that the teacher leads the students through, depending on the objectives of the lesson.

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Topics: tips for teachers, STEM

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