Monthly Archives: May 2016

PMP:024 Lessons from my Son’s Hospital Stay

When bad things happen, it is sometimes hard to see the good in our difficulties. A couple of years ago, I posted about my son’s battle and recovery from an infectious disease known as Kawasaki.
In addition to the amazing support of our friends, church and community, during that time, I was astounded at the phenomenal care he received from his nurses, techs, doctors, and interns.

They were an excellent example of teamwork. In fact, their actions could apply to anyone interested in growing as a team, organization or even as a family.

In episode 24, I share four lessons in teamwork I have been reflecting on from our experience with my son’s medical team. Here’s a summary of the show notes: Continue reading

5 Steps for using YouTube in Hiring

Spring time is not only busy as we finish out the school year, but also it is often a busy time for hiring new teachers or staff.
Even with the pending cuts in state funding, we were excited to be able to fill a couple of openings for the coming school year.

As I’ve looked for strong candidates this spring, I’ve kept in mind some lessons I learned from Jimmy Casas earlier this year (see previous post on Tips for Hiring for Excellence). Jimmy’s advice has been spot on with tips on reaching out to candidates ahead of time, having multiple conversations, and rallying around a common vision.

If I could add anything to Jimmy’s suggestions, it would be some feedback I received from a candidate today. Continue reading

PMP:023 Five Simple Ways to Support Others

In episode 23, I share a story from a local 10-year old boy who inspired others by his willingness to “be the legs” of his little brother in a 5K run.
Listen in for reminders on 5 ways you can provide “legs” to those in your building.

Here are the show notes for Episode 23

Tobias, a 10 year-old Oklahoma boy, wrote a letter to a local TV station because he had a dream for his 11 year old brother who has Cerebral Palsy. He asked if they could spread the word that he wanted to borrow a large jogging stroller for a local 5k run that was coming up.

Tobias’s dream was to push his brother through the race, but their single mom could not afford to buy a jogging stroller.

Of course, when the news station spread the word, a sponsor quickly donated the stroller, and Tobias’s run and story were broadcast on the evening news. Continue reading

Top 10 School Leadership Podcasts

This is a guest post from Jenn David-Lang.

Jenn David-Lang

Jenn David-Lang

Jenn is the founder of THE MAIN IDEA which she began in 2007. THE MAIN IDEA provides education leaders with ready access to the most current and powerful ideas in education to help them serve as strong instructional leaders. Jenn received her principal’s certification and Ed.M. from the Bank Street College of Education.

This month I am sharing a list of top 10 school leadership podcasts with THE MAIN IDEA subscribers. When I reached out to Will Parker at Principal Matters to let him know his podcast was on the list, he invited me to share my top 10 with his readers too.

Podcasts are quickly becoming a popular way for school leaders to find content for their own professional development. As I’ve listened to many of the podcasts available for school leaders, I wanted to share 10 shows that are important resources you will want to check out. Please note the following is not a curated list, and the language describing each podcast is adapted from the podcasts themselves. But I think you’ll see how each one offers unique content for school leaders: Continue reading

PMP:022 Lessons in Leadership from a Cross-Walk Guard

In Episode 22, I share lessons in leadership I learned from a school crosswalk guard.
I also tell a story of how a simple phrase can powerfully influence students, how attitude encourages others, and some ways to help students communicate positive expectations.

Listen in for motivation in the ways you communicate to others–no matter what your position is in your school community! Continue reading

What Do You Do With All the Mandates?

When Education Week did a survey a few years ago, principals were asked about the biggest frustrations of their jobs. At the top of the list was the response: “Mandates without Money.”
If you’ve been in education for a few years or a very long time, you can relate to that concern. In fact, this year the federal government produced 81,611 pages in new regulations.

In my state, for example, high schools are mandated to teach personal finance, CPR instruction, test students in 7 end-of-instruction exams, and remediate students who don’t pass them–to name a few.

From the federal level, we are also expected to enforce NCLB regulations until they are replaced with new ESSA regulations (once they are finalized). And we are inundated with infinitely-growing pages of documents and guidelines surrounding federal regulations for children with medical or learning difficulties.

So with the consistent frustrations that surround unfunded mandates, how do you structure your priorities so that you can serve students and support teachers while still fulfilling these imposed expectations?

Here are four suggestions for keeping mandates in perspective:
Continue reading

PMP:021 10 Ways to Positively Communicate About Your School

I once heard someone say, “Communication is 100% of what a principal does.”
I couldn’t agree more. Of all the areas you manage as a school leader, the way you communicate is one of the most powerful determiners for what people will think about your school.

In episode 21 of the podcast, I share 10 simple ways to make your communication positive. If you want to see the full companion blog post for this episode, check it out here. Here are 10 strategies I discuss: Continue reading

Teacher Appreciation Week: 5 Steps for Involving Your Community

A few days ago, one of our community business owners came by with a $50 restaurant gift certificate he wanted to donate for our Teacher Appreciation Week.
When we thanked him for the gift, he said, “With the kind of budgets schools have had to work with this year, it’s a no-brainer that teachers deserve some encouragement.” Amazingly, his donation was one of 32 other give-aways donated to tell our teachers thank-you.

Over the years, we’ve consistently tried to provide something special for our teachers during Appreciation Week. But this year, my site secretary Ms. Stephens, approached me about gathering more support from around the community. I was thrilled with the idea, but I was even more surprised by the measure of generosity we received by simply asking. Continue reading

PMP:020 Planting, Growing, and Flourishing

It’s easy to become distracted in school leadership, and often my biggest distraction is myself.
That’s why it’s so important to keep your focus on serving others. When you do, you’ll find yourself celebrating student learning and remembering why school leadership matters.

In episode 20, I share some ideas inspired from author and speaker Jon Gordon. And I tell a story of a conversation with a student who reminded me how a school community works together in planting, growing, and flourishing student experiences. Go here to read a companion blog post to this audio version.

Here are the show-notes for Episode 20

Continue reading