Recently while consulting for a charter school having challenges with their school culture, a group of teachers were complaining about their board not understanding their school, not attending school events or touring the school. I asked one teacher, “Is that what you expect them to do? Do they know that? I have been a board member for over four years now and I’d be really surprised to hear that is what is expected of me.”
An expectation is defined as believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be a certain way. However, any expectation not communicated is merely a thought.
I know I struggle with communicating clear expectations. It is something I have to work on daily. I will allow my faulty assumptions to close that expectation gap. Which has never led to great results.
As a consultant and coach for school leaders across the country, the lack of clearly understood and communicate expectations is the number one issue I see in...
Dr. Mary Majors, principal of Anderson Creek Academy, has had a storied career in education leadership impacting thousands of children and families. Over the last four years she has transformed an underperforming charter school, then in its second year, to today being the highest performing public school in Harnett County.
Anderson Creek Academy (ACA) opened in 2014 and was designed to be a part of a housing community designed by partners David Levinson and Steven Shotz. Their vision aimed to bring homeowners a one-of-a-kind experience that promotes the core values of health, education, sustainability, fellowship and camaraderie called Anderson Creek Community. Levinson and Shotz, knowing that education is a critical element to community success desired to create a school with a family atmosphere where students’ academic success comes first.
The ACA board hired Dr. Mary Majors, a veteran principal from the schools in the Department of Defense District to take to...
If you are like me you like lists. You cannot start your day without writing down some sort of plan, some list of items that you aim to accomplish that day. Now, if you are even more like me that list is probably filled with items that are either not the most important tasks you should be focused on that day. Working with school leaders across the country I have learned there is one major difference between the good and the great. The great are relentless when it comes to how they can best utilize their time and develop their team.
Watch the video or read below to learn three three items that should be on your “to do” list every single day as a leader that you are probably overlooking!
Develop your top people: Leadership author Liz Wiseman stated, “Leaders who are multipliers increase intelligence in people and in organizations. The people on the team actually get smarter and more capable thanks to the people around them.” As a leader you need to spend...
The Law of Priorities states leaders never advance to a point where they no longer need to prioritize.
Great leaders know that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Some of you have already started your school year, others are days away from inservice, the rest of you may still have a week or two of vacation before staff arrive.
To quote the great John Snow from Game of Thrones, "Winter is Coming".
Well, in your case, "The first day is coming" and you and your team must be prepared. (See our best resources at the end of this blog).
As a former teacher, principal, executive director and board chair you know what I have realized is most important when it comes to that first day? That first work day, first open house, first school day?
EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT!
My challenge to you is to be intentional about identifying the most important activities that need to be accomplished in order to have the best "first day" experience for staff, parents and students. For your team to...
Budgets are plans that help you to prioritize where your money should be spent. By building a budget, it minimizes frivolous spending and creates a uniformed plan that everyone should follow. Public charter schools receive millions of dollars annually in public taxpayer money. Since we know that the number one cause of charter school closings is based on fiscal mismanagement, I want to share with you five strategies for fiscal success in charter schools. What I learned from Jon Schwartz’s Charter Growth Fund, was instrumental in helping me meet my goals. We utilized Jon’s strategies to turn around the fiscal standing of two public charter schools. One school had over $500,000 in previous year’s debt. We used these strategies to not only pay off all debt, by carry a $100,000 surplus.
Tip #1: Start budgeting in the First Quarter, Not the Last: If you’re reading this in the Spring, that’s ok; just begin planning differently moving forward. Once...
My journey into public charter schools, and learning about the characteristics of effective schools, began in 2008 when I was an Exceptional Children’s teacher. I later became the director of a rural charter middle school in Brunswick County at Charter Day School. It was during this time that my “leadership lid” was lifted as I spent time in five high performing K-8 public charter schools in North Carolina during my dissertation study, The Characteristics of Effective K-8 Charter Schools in North Carolina. The leaders and community stakeholders from the schools that I served as a Principal, have helped shape my understanding of what makes an effective school. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, this week is National School Choice Week. As we celebrate National School Choice Week, let’s also discuss five characteristics of effective charter schools.
Leading through change is what separates the good from the great. Right now, thousands of school leaders across the nation are saying, “I cannot wait until next year. Next year will be different.”
My question to them is, “How do you know?”
When leading through change, it is all right for leaders to be uncertain about their process to get there, but it is not all right for leaders to be unclear about their overall vision. It is in time of change when people need their leaders the most. When people lack hope, the leader needs to provide hope. When people lack answers, the leader needs to have a vision and clearly communicate that vision.
A time of uncertainty is the hardest time to lead. Most people tend to freeze when the future is uncertain; unfortunately, this is when many leaders decide to take a step back rather than being at the forefront. When I was a principal, in times of change or adversity, I did not want to have to answer everyone’s questions...