The Freshman Transition Network

Working together to transition freshmen & transform schools from the bottom up!

Scott Habeeb's Blog (125)

What's the Matter with Freshmen? Part 1 (Guest Post on NASSP Blog)

I had another blog post published on the NASSP's Ignite Blog.  Here is a link to that post:

I will be presenting on the topic of Freshman Transition at this month's NASSP Conference in Washington DC.

Added by Scott Habeeb on February 1, 2013 at 12:51pm — No Comments

Guest Blog Post from David Douglas High School, Portland, OR

A year or so ago I had the opportunity to make a couple of trips to Portland, Oregon to work with the faculty and staff of David Douglas High School, Oregon's largest high school.  They wanted to build a Freshman Transition program.  Some of their faculty members had joined this site and had also read my book, The Ninth Grade Opportunity.  They decided that they wanted to build a transition program that utilized a…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 7, 2013 at 4:21pm — No Comments

Why Do Freshman Academies Sometimes Fail? (Guest post on NASSP Blog)

I recently wrote a guest blog post for the NASSP's Ignite Blog.  Here is a link to that post:

Added by Scott Habeeb on January 2, 2013 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

Love is as Powerful as it is Felt

I have yet to meet a teacher who doesn't say he or she loves his or her students.  What I have noticed, though, is that some do a better job than others at expressing that love.  Love is only as powerful as it is felt.

Last night I was talking with my daughter, Kaitlin, who has been home sick the past several days leading up to Christmas break. I told her that her German 5 teacher, Frau Fowler, had sent home a quiz that I could proctor over break.  I mentioned that I had told Frau…


Added by Scott Habeeb on December 20, 2012 at 12:08pm — 3 Comments

Babysitting to Make a Difference - Intentionally Teaching Service

Sometimes as a parent you're not paying attention and suddenly your child reaches a milestone that completely snuck up on you.  This happened to me just last week.

My 2nd child, Kelsey Grace, is a freshman at Salem High School, where I serve as an Assistant Principal.  Last week she came home and asked my wife and I if we would be willing to donate money to her freshman service project -…


Added by Scott Habeeb on November 1, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments

A Parent Boasts and a Child Lives a Great Story

Let's get something out of the way here at the start.  I, Scott Habeeb, am a proud parent.  My 4 children keep me in a state of constant amazement, and I don't mind occasionally letting people know about who they are and what they do.  This will be one of those occasions, as I plan to use this blog to boast with a purpose about my oldest child, Kaitlin Ashley.

I use the term "boast with a purpose" because the point of this post isn't really to let folks know how proud I am of Kaitlin…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 21, 2012 at 10:08pm — No Comments

The Power of YET (Found on Facebook)

In the last week I have now found two awesome Facebook posts worth sharing from FTN member, Kaitlin Nelson.  I'm going to have to follow Kaitlin's Facebook more closely from now on!


Read Kaitlin's experience with the power of the word YET.  This comes from an interaction she had recently with a student in her Math class in Portland, Oregon:


Student: "I can't do…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 11, 2012 at 6:30pm — 5 Comments

A Secret to Working with Freshmen (Found on Facebook)

Freshman Transition Network member and 9th grade math teacher, Kaitlin Nelson, shared the following post on Facebook today.  I hope she doesn't mind me reproducing it here on the Freshman Transition Network, but I couldn't resist.  It's so simple yet reflects a profound understanding of young people.  (Actually, of people in general)


Want to get 9th…


Added by Scott Habeeb on October 3, 2012 at 8:00pm — 4 Comments

PART THREE - Using Music to Inspire and Motivate Students in the Classroom

There are several blog posts on this site related to using music in the classroom to inspire and motivate kids.  Each has included a list of specific songs that can be used. Here are links to the previous 2 posts:

Part 1Part 2…


Added by Scott Habeeb on September 21, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

This year, be THAT teacher

With Labor Day behind us now, students and educators across the country are back to school and working hard. This time of year I find myself thinking about how THIS year will be THE year - the year when I finally get it right! I'm still waiting for THAT year to come, but in the meantime, I'm sure that self-reflection and a focus on continuous improvement are essential ingredients of my professional growth. And so I reflect once again.... How can I make THIS year THE…


Added by Scott Habeeb on September 7, 2012 at 12:21pm — No Comments

A Reminder: Life is Longer than a School Year

Do you ever make the mistake of forgetting that  life is longer than a school year?  

There is an eternity out there, yet we often view time as an extremely finite resource.  Our own understanding of life is so limited, and we are often blinded by the here and now.


The same concept applies to education, more specifically, to how we educators view our students.  We tend to be blinded by the here and now.  We see and judge students' lives based on the years they…


Added by Scott Habeeb on July 12, 2012 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

Can one person change the world?

Members of The Freshman Transition Network know how important it is to share with students stories and examples that help young people live into their purpose, their mission, and their life story.  Coach John Wooden is one such example shared often on this site.  (See John Wooden's Corner)   Now,…


Added by Scott Habeeb on March 13, 2012 at 11:00am — No Comments

Motivate Your Students: Eric Thomas the Hip Hop Preacher

A friend from Oak Hill, WV turned me on to E.T. - the nickname for Eric the Hip Hop Preacher.  If you're looking for more resources to share with your students to teach them about life, check out E.T.'s YouTube page.  

I love his moniker - TGIM - which stands for Thank God It's Monday.   This guy is all about motivation, all about talking straight to young people, and all about…


Added by Scott Habeeb on March 6, 2012 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Helping students internalize their behavioral decisions

This post was originally shared on Assessment FOR Learning.

I'm going to share a specific example of how AFL can be used to impact student behavior; however, first I'd like to take a look at the topic from a philosophical standpoint.  We should start by reminding ourselves why it is that AFL helps students learn content.  AFL practices help students learn because as a result of regular/daily assessments:

  • Students…

Added by Scott Habeeb on March 1, 2012 at 1:29pm — No Comments

A Police Officer's Final Act of Kindness - An example to all of us!

Members of the Freshman Transition Network know what a premium we place on inspiring students.  In fact, while we love teaching content (love it passionately), we really feel that there is NOTHING you can do for you students more important than pointing them toward truth and providing them with lessons to guide them through life.  This story of how a polic officer's act of kindness - right before his death - has impacted a young boy's life is a worthy example to be shared with our students.…


Added by Scott Habeeb on January 27, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Essential Components of an Freshman Transition Program - Part 7 - Student Recognition

This series of posts on the Essential Components of a Freshman Transition Program is based on ideas found in The Ninth Grade Opportunity: Transforming Schools from the Bottom Up by Scott Habeeb, Ray Moore, and …

Added by Scott Habeeb on January 14, 2012 at 10:02am — 2 Comments

The Case Against the Freshman Academy

Over the past decade as I have worked with high schools across the country, I have noticed that the term Freshman Academy has almost become synonymous for Freshman Transition Program.  This is a mistake along the same lines as saying that the word Hammer is synonymous with the word Tool.  A hammer is a type of tool.  A Freshman Academy is a type of Freshman Transition Program.  But just like there are more tools than just hammers, there are also more types of Freshman Transition Programs…


Added by Scott Habeeb on December 7, 2011 at 4:12pm — No Comments

When Spartans Fight Like Knights!

In A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller talks about the importance of living a good story.  Essentially we were each created to be a part of great story - a story worthy of a movie.  Unfortunately, we often miss out on the great story for which we were purposed because we are too busy living in comfortable insignificance.  


I see this in school on a daily basis.…


Added by Scott Habeeb on November 1, 2011 at 12:54pm — No Comments

New Terminology: Scoring v. Grading

This post was originally posted on Assessment FOR Learning.

After studying Assessment FOR Learning pretty intensely for the past few school years, I am now beginning to think that we might do ourselves a favor if we would change some of our terminology.  Specifically, I think it's time to stop using the words "grading" or "grade" as often as we do and replace them - at times - with "scoring" or "score".




Added by Scott Habeeb on September 6, 2011 at 3:58pm — No Comments

Is Zacchaeus in your classroom?

Ever since I was a young child I have always liked the story of Zacchaeus found in the New Testament in the book of Luke, Chapter 19  I think it was because as a kid I identified with the fact that Zacchaeus was described as a short man.  Recently, though, I've begun to see something else in the story of Zacchaeus - something that is especially relevant to teachers in the…


Added by Scott Habeeb on August 5, 2011 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

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