This question as a principal, Am I sure the students are all learning? Use to keep me up at night.
However, then I learned that the best way to ensure students are learning is through daily classroom walkthroughs.
These walkthrough must be intentional and focused on making sure that students are not just learning but mastering the curriculum taught.
That the atmosphere is affirming.
That the students are engaged in the process.
That the teacher is aware of everything that is happening between the four walls of the classroom.
While you are walking through each classroom, the validity of the information you receive through assessments and benchmarks will be affirmed.
The first step in effective leadership is making a choice that is in harmony with our goals and desires.
I personally believe that the academic growth your students make, and the development of the teachers that lead them, will directly correlate to the effectiveness and the...
Just because there are not strong applicants does not mean you allow negative behavior to exist in your school.
Here is an example.
Just recently I was on a coaching call with a leadership team when they began to describe the behavior of a staff member as being toxic to their culture. Just being mean, not following school expectations, making their teammates feel uncomfortable.
When I asked them why are they still working there they shared, “well, there are not too many good candidates right now.” Then they justified it with, “Their scores are really good and We won’t be recommending them for renewal.”
I asked if they had ever had a toothache, a bad cavity or infection?
“Oh yes,” they replied.
“And when you went to the dentist did they say, well, it still chews just fine, let’s give it another six months and see how it’s doing then.” Or did he say, "This needs to be repaired immediately or the...
Recently I was in a conversation with a group of school leaders and they were sharing how expensive a professional development quote was for their staff.
I shared, well, If you think the price for training is expensive, just wait until you get the bill for incompetence.
This is a common problem in the field of education. Schools will not invest in their people. They succumb to the “position” trap.
They assume by having the position they don’t need more training. Or worse, they don’t have the position but once they do THEN they will sign up.
What they don’t realize is that leadership evolves daily, not just in a day. Not in an event.
Even if we are avid readers or listen to podcasts, read blogs and articles, this doesn’t mean we will be better leaders. It just means we are more informed.
We pour ourselves into work, family, mentoring co-workers, and are involved in community groups or activities.
Being involved with these...
I believe that when a leader puts their family first, the community benefits. When the leader puts the community first, both they and their family suffer.
Starting at home is always the key to affecting others in a positive way.
Being positive models at home is critical for your legacy. Remember, people (especially your children) don’t do what people say, people do what people see.
I grew up in a broken home. My parents divorced before I was a year old. Both my mother and father were married multiple times. We didn’t speak much about values or relationships (except the bad stuff!)
When I married my wife (twenty years this June!) I honestly never thought it would last. Divorce is all I experienced.
It’s hard to grow and improve when the only model you have is your own.
It wasn’t until I started to pay closer attention to other couples, couples who had lasted decades and their children, did I begin to learn what it truly meant to be a leader in your home.
I believe between every stimulus and its response, every piece of information and our decision, there is space. A brief pause.
It is brief, but always enough time and room for our philosophy or interpretation to be inserted.
Within that space creates choice.
The pause is everything.
The pause before…
…jumping to conclusions.
…assuming the worst.
…rushing to solve your child’s problems for them.
…forcing a problem into some kind of policy
…turning away in fear
As a younger leader I struggled with my emotions. I would not say I am cured but 15 years of evaluative experience, yoga, better exercise and self care. Learning to create better relationship...
Showing gratitude is a win-win. Harvard research shows that just thinking thoughts of gratitude makes you measurably happier, regardless of whether or not you act on them. Setting time to think or write thoughts to yourself about the gratitude you feel has positive effects on your general outlook in your life, and also on the relationships you have. So if you go out and share your thoughts, notes, letters, or posts about the gratitude you feel, then that feeling becomes contagious and everyone wins.
I am truly grateful for so many things that I am fortunate to have in my life - my family, my friends, and my dog to name a few - and there are so many ways to show them my appreciation. But how do we show that gratitude professionally? I know how to show my wife and my kids and my parents appreciation, what is the right way to show that to people we work with?
This question popped into my mind while reading a book recently- How to Win Friends and Influence...
Most people will last anywhere between three hours and three weeks when it comes to implementing new behaviors in their lives. Most quit because they do not see the results. Growth happens on the inside before it will show on the outside. Basically, just because you do not see it, doesn’t mean it is not working.
Becoming a stronger, more effective leader takes time. John Maxwell’s third law of leadership from his 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, the Law of Process, states that leadership evolves daily, not in a day.
As a leadership coach, speaker and trainer, I am privileged to interact with hundreds of organizational leaders each year. There are many who believe that because they attend a conference, read a book, or participate in one of our leadership calls that they are now a leader.
Successful leaders are indeed learners but the learning process is ongoing - a result of self-discipline and perseverance. As said by John Maxwell, “Microwave leaders do...
I know you get WAY TOO MANY emails each day. I know because I have been in your shoes the last two years being the interim principal for six different schools. Your list of emails is like....
SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, parent complaint, teacher need, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM....
If you are looking for help with how to manage your emails I added a lesson I did years ago on how to STEP READING YOUR EMAILS (link at the end).
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Just because the goal to raise student achievement is clear in your head, does not mean it’s clear to your team.
Here are three questions your instructional leadership team and teachers must know the answer to.
Download a copy of my book and read chapter two, Quality of Student Work for more resources
Don’t BE SELFISH as a leader….
Lead your team through this easy accountability strategy and raise their performance and build a more cohesive team.
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