Shoehorning Old Structures into New Shoes Isn't Working. What Do Our Students and Teachers Need to Succeed?

Across the country, students, their families, and teachers have shown up or logged into a new school year. The standardized practices and structures of their new classrooms are still-recognizable versions of pre-pandemic schooling that have been flattened, twisted, and forced to fit into new, socially-distanced, and on-screen classes. Even under “normal” circumstances, many of these familiar school practices have been historically inadequate for ensuring the success of all students.

Especially now, the particular challenges involve engaging students in developmentally appropriate practices: building interpersonal relationships, and providing mental and behavioral health supports are more acute. And, it’s not just students needing care and support. Teachers increasingly work in greater isolation from their students and their colleagues.

What do our students and teachers need to thrive at school, at work, and at home? How can school and district leaders support and care for their school communities? Join us for a conversation exploring these questions and more.



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About the Presenter

Steve Amstutz began his career serving children in education as a 5th grade teacher in Houston, Texas.  He served as a principal for 20 years at both elementary and secondary schools. During those years, he founded Liberty High School an alternative school designed specifically to meet the challenges faced by older, immigrant students, and DiscoverU, a non-profit providing novel learning experiences beyond the high school classroom that expand students’ aspirations and develop the confidence and skills essential for college success.  Since 2013, Steve has worked as Director of Measuring What Matters at the Institute for Research and Reform in Education supporting school improvement initiatives in urban and rural school districts across the country.  He is a lecturer in the educational leadership program at Rice University.




Are you an aspiring teacher or education administrator?


The Glasscock School's Rice Education programs offer a comprehensive educational program that integrates work in courses with field-work experience. Additionally, we facilitate a network of support for our students and alumni so that we ensure our teacher leaders continue to grow and evolve as professionals.

Programs Include:

+ Alternative Teacher Certification
+ Master of Arts in Teaching (Paths for New & Experienced Teachers)
+ Principal Certification

Join us for a free, convenient information session featuring Rice University's Education programs. This is a great opportunity for you to meet our program faculty and staff, who will be on-hand to present information and answer your questions. Choose a date and time that best fits your schedule.


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