Monthly Archives: April 2016

Making the Courageous Choice

One day when I was a young teacher, I was shopping at a local grocery when I saw a very large man talking to a teenage girl down the aisle from where I was standing.

willful blindness

A story of courageous choice

I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but he was moving his hands aggressively, and she was backed against the shelves behind her.

I did what I believe most teachers would do: I walked over and asked what was happening.

“Butt out,” the man told me. He was at least a foot taller than I and outweighed me by at least 50 pounds.

I turned my attention to the girl. She was wearing a worker’s uniform. “Are you frightened?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “He’s married to my mother, but he’s not supposed to have contact with me. I’m just trying to get to work.”

“This is none of your damn business,” the man said stepping between us. Continue reading

PMP:019 Key Responsibility Areas for Your School Team

When I transitioned from teaching to school admin, I was surprised at the many moving parts outside the classroom that keep schools running smoothly.
Even with all the ways I prepared, it still took me a long time to begin understanding for the multiple job descriptions I was responsible to oversee. Over time, I discovered the importance of identifying and writing down the key responsibility areas of my team members. Episode 19 is all about helping you discover how a simple process involving KRA’s can help any school management team.

Check out the original blog posts I wrote about KRA’s in Part 1 and Part 2.

Here are the show-notes for Episode 19

Continue reading

Countdown End-of-School Year

My school is quickly approaching graduation.
As we head into the last five weeks of school, I’m reminded that not all educators consider our North American summer the end of their school year.

In Sydney, for instance, schools just ended their first term April 8 and begin their second term the last week of April. If your Down Under, you may benefit from my podcast episode, 7 Questions for The First Days of Schools!

For most of my colleagues in North America, however, the end is near. Every year it seems like the last weeks become the most stressful as we wrap up events, meet deadlines, and prepare for summer. If you’re like me, those end-of-year to-do’s seem to grow by the day. After a while, you feel yourself sliding down the slippery slope of panic. Continue reading

PMP:018 First Days of School Questions that Work All Year Long

My school is preparing for the last days of school, but Episode 18 of the PMPodcast shares ideas from Harry Wong’s First Days of School–ideas that work all year long.Principal-Matters-Artwork-3000x3000 Communication about the basics is essential for healthy school communities. Go here to check out the original blog post that accompanies this podcast.

Here are the show-notes for Episode 18

Harry Wong likes to remind teachers of seven things students will want to know on the first day of school: Continue reading

Dear Educators, We Still Need You!

The other day I was presenting to a small group of teachers and assistant principals on the many hats school leaders wear.
As I was closing, I asked them to look at me. Everyone fixed his or her eyes on my own, and suddenly I was overwhelmed.

I wanted to tell them how much our schools need their leadership…how much our students need men and women who are passionate, caring, determined, courageous, and committed…how we can’t do this without them.

But all I could get out was, “We need you.” And then I was too choked up to continue. Continue reading

PMP:017 Leadership Lessons from the Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Studying other leaders can help give us insights and lessons that influence our own.
From another great historic read, Episode 17 looks at the life of the legendary Theodore Roosevelt, taken from Edmund Morris’s biography, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.

Listen in for 8 inspiring takeaways from his early life! Here’s a link to the original post that accompanies this audio version.

Episode 17 Show-Notes

Morris’s biography of Roosevelt paints the picture of a boy who began life frail and sickly, who developed his mind and imagination through reading and travel, who beat all odds through intense self-improvement, and who lived a life of eagerness to fight at every opportunity: Continue reading

10 Steps to Host Your Own Edcamp

This is a guest post by Missy Bush.


Missy Bush, Curriculum Director

Missy is Director of Curriculum & Federal Programs at Skiatook Public Schools, a veteran teacher, school leader, and strong believer in collaboration. An active presenter, trainer, and professional development consultant, she is also currently working on her doctoral dissertation. Missy lives in Skiatook, Oklahoma with her wonderful family of red-heads! You can follow her on Twitter via her handle @MissyBushOK. If you’re interested in guest posting for Principal Matters, check out the Guest Post Guidelines.

Our district recently hosted an EdCamp during our district-wide professional development day. Here are some highlights of the process we used to develop and implement our very first EdCamp. Continue reading

PMP016: Learning from the Expertise of Others

Do you ever think about areas in work or life where you wish you had more insight?
In episode 16, we talk about learning to lean on the expertise of others. Here are four quick tips on easily connecting and growing to improve your school leadership. For my original companion post to this audio version, go here.

Here are the show-notes for Episode 16: Continue reading