- Raising Adults (Children are not Bonsais!)—August 2018 - Parenting is never easy. Even in the best of times, parents must balance carefully their child’s desires and expectations with the reality of the world’s desires and expectations. However, some would argue that our society’s current devotion to scheduling virtually every minute of our kids’ lives, collecting and analyzing as much data as possible about their abilities and trying to save them from making their own mistakes is resulting in children who have a difficult time being equal to life’s challenges and having the proven skills to know they can accomplish whatever they wish to. Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former Stanford Continue Reading
- Reality-Based Education—May 2018 - The headline grabbed my attention—“High-Paying Jobs Go Begging While High School Grads Line Up for Bachelor’s Degrees.” This type of headline is catnip for someone who 1) is involved in the education profession, 2) has worked both in and out of that profession and 3) believes educators sometimes see the world through our own chalk-dust covered lenses. I highly recommend reading the article; the link is at the bottom of the page. As you might expect, educators want all of their students to “do well.” Raymond School District’s vision is creating “graduates with the motivation and talent to achieve their Continue Reading
- Drowning in Data – April 2018 - Do you sometimes feel as if the world is moving faster and faster? Navigation systems recommend what routes to take, based on real-time data. Driverless cars are not part of some Jetson-like future, they are being tested in several states. All-day, every-day news is everywhere. Ninety percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day—the equivalent of 6 quadrillion Libraries of Congress. According to one source, in 2017 we accessed the Internet to find this information or access these services at the following rates Continue Reading
- What Do We Value? – March 2018 - What Do We Value? "It shall be the duty of all teachers to endeavor to impress on the minds of their pupils the principles of morality, truth, justice, temperance, humanity and patriotism; to teach them to avoid idleness, profanity and falsehood; to instruct them in the principles of free government, and to train them up to the true comprehension of the rights, duty and dignity of American citizenship."- RCW 28A.405.030 I don't know about you, but that quote makes me smile. I believe a large part of a public education is helping students be good citizens. To me, principles like Continue Reading
- What Teachers Know – August 2017 - I recently read a book written by Denver elementary school teacher Kyle Schwarz. The book, entitled “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids,” details some of the experiences that Ms. Schwartz has had in her role as teacher in the primary grades and how they have affected her personally and professionally. It is a stark reminder that 1) adults are primarily teachers of children, rather than simply subject matter and 2) every child has unique talents and needs. Though these insights are neither new nor unique, it is sometimes easy for parents, community Continue Reading
- The Joy of Learning – September 2017 - In today’s world, it is sometimes easy to forget that learning should be joyful. Too often we project a jaded or cynical countenance when discussing school. “I have to go to school,” or “I can’t wait until spring break,” are common expressions regarding our attitude toward education. Learning can be hard, and sometimes it is difficult to see its usefulness immediately. However, learning is much more than simply finding out more about a particular topic; in fact, in many ways, learning is at the core of what it means to be human. A recent study of Finnish 1st- and 2nd-graders, Continue Reading
- Teaching Confidence – October 2017 - Recently I was reflecting on a study I read about years ago regarding a phenomenon known as “learned helplessness.” A quick trip to Wikipedia helped refresh my memory regarding this theory. In 1967, an American psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania was interested in researching depression. The psychologist, Martin Seligman, came up with an ingenious (if somewhat barbaric) experiment in an effort to find out how depression affects living organisms. The experiment he performed would likely face ethical challenges today, but here is what he did in his two-part experiment: Part 1: He created three groups of dogs and placed Continue Reading
- Grateful to Teach – November 2017 - After college, I began a career as a stock broker. Having been a poor college student, the appeal of making a good deal of money was hard to ignore. However, it did not take long for me to realize that receiving a good salary did not guarantee happiness at work. As I looked around for something more appealing, I found the idea of working in military intelligence and learning Russian to be exciting. Five years later, the appeal had largely faded. After being discharged from the Army I went back to school to get my Master’s degree and found my Continue Reading
- Raising Kids With Love – December 2017 - I came across an article, written by Joshua Rogers, and asked for permission to reprint it. He graciously granted permission, but only on the condition that I not publish on the Internet. Consequently, this article was published in the Pacific County Press the week of 11 December, and is not available online. Joshua Rogers is a writer and speaker who blogs at JoshuaRogers.com. His original article was entitled "What happened when my daughter saw me kiss my wife".
- Founding Fathers – January 2018 - What did our founders believe about education? I had the opportunity this summer to visit the home of one my favorite founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. As a recovering history teacher, I find places such as Monticello, Virginia both inspiring and a bit intimidating. Below are a few quotes regarding the role of education from this amazing man’s viewpoint: Regarding the need for education "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."—Thomas Jefferson "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not Continue Reading
About the Superintendent
Steve Holland has worked as a stock broker, intelligence analyst and educator. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and received his Bachelor’s from Brigham Young University. He received his Master’s in Teaching from Whitworth College and his Doctor of Education from Washington State University. He began his teaching career in Colville, Washington and was the only administrator of a very small school district in Orient, Washington. He has served as Superintendent of the Raymond School District since July, 2003.
Steve married Kathy Holland (née Haas) in 1983; they have 6 children, as well as three grandchildren.