Monthly Archives: April 2015

Making the Most of Learning Moments

Last week I drove a group of students to the State Superintendent’s Arts Awards ceremony in Guthrie, Oklahoma.


Before we arrived at the event, we stopped in downtown Guthrie to see the historic buildings. Guthrie was the original state capital before the state seal was stolen by night and transferred to Oklahoma City over a hundred years ago. So the buildings in Guthrie are reminiscent of pre-twentieth century western townships.

After grabbing some coffee at a local chocolate shop, we turned the corner and found a music store owned by the legendary Byron Berline. Continue reading

Starting Next School Year Strong

We’re a month away from the end of school (sorry friends not in North America). When I’m asked if I am excited for the end of the school year, I usually say, “Yes!” But the truth is that I don’t always have the same sigh-of-relief I once had pre-principal days.

Veteran educators know that as school comes to a close, you are also responsible for making sure the “ship is ready to sail” for the upcoming voyage. And just as a ship must be fully stocked, fully manned, and fully scheduled before setting sail, schools are no different.

It takes a great team to prepare for the next launch, so preparation begins long before the current voyage has even ended. Continue reading

Principal Matters–The Book!

It’s finally here! I am thrilled to share this collection of insights, motivation, and practical ideas for school leaders.
Principal Matters (Final) 3D
Principal Matters is the advice I would share with anyone who wants to grow as a school leader.

School leaders are very busy, so each of the twenty-four chapters is designed as a quick-read and followed with take-action questions for follow-up or reflection. If you want practical ideas on understanding your purpose, managing school teams, dealing with challenges, and leading with courage, action, motivation, and teamwork, go HERE to pick up a copy for you or your team.


Rather have a Kindle version? Go HERE! Continue reading

7 Communication To-Do’s For Managing Student Discipline

If you had asked me to describe my greatest challenges during my first years as a school administrator, I would have quickly said managing student discipline.

image source:

image source:

When I talk to prospective principals, I sometimes ask them to think back to their most difficult days in teaching–you know, the intense confrontations with students or others that caused you to go home with a knot in your stomach, wondering what happened. Here’s an uncomfortable truth about becoming a school administrator: plan on dealing with these difficult situations on a daily basis.

Over the years, I have managed thousands of discipline incidents, so I know from experience that the process is taxing; however, it can become relatively more manageable. Thankfully, I have learned how some common practices can help improve school-wide discipline management. Continue reading

The Power of “Entanglement”: Implications For School Leaders

Recently I was listening to a January 29, 2015 episode of Invisibilia, a podcast about the invisible forces that affect us without us being aware.

image from

image from

Specifically, the reporters narrating this episode were talking about a phenomenon known as “entanglement.”

They began by describing a physics experiment where scientists have been able to isolate atoms in separate locations, change the molecular structure, and cause the two separate atoms to become one atom in separate locations.

That’s right. In one experiment, an atom contained in a box four feet away from itself in another box was demonstrating simultaneous responses in both boxes. These atoms are not mirror images of one another; they are one another. Separate but one: a phenomenon known as entanglement. Charles Q. Choi from Live Science explains that scientists theorize entangled atoms may stay connected even if a universe a part!

Scientists are able to explain how to make this happen, but they are still unable to explain why this is possible.

So, why am I fascinated with this idea of entanglement? Continue reading