Monthly Archives: July 2016

One Caring Adult Can Make a Difference

Earlier this school year, I had a long conversation with a student who had been abandoned.
He was fourteen years old. His biological mother was not in his life. A guardian had adopted him, but when she had difficulty with him, she had convinced his biological father to take him back.

Now the dad was having trouble with him. So he left the boy with a neighbor, packed up and moved out of state. I had contacted DHS to let them know about the situation. But in the meantime, the boy was without a legal guardian, and his adopted guardian who also lived in another state was trying to convince this new family to house him. Continue reading

PMP:029 How Can I Have a Bigger Leadership Role as an Assistant?

Today’s podcast episode is the first in a series responding to listener and reader questions.
One assistant principal wrote me to ask, “How can I have a bigger leadership role as an assistant?”

This week I wanted to share the response with Principal Matters listeners. If you have other questions you’d like responses to about school leadership, leave comments below. Thanks for doing what matters! Continue reading

Are We Committing Educational Malpractice?

One day I was visiting my family medical doctor, when a nurse asked me to follow her to another room.
She asked if I would unbutton my shirt so that she connect me to some small leads and do an electrocardiogram.

I was surprised since I thought this was just a routine physical. Perhaps she was aware of my family history, I thought. Or maybe the doctor recommended more information on my heart than his stethoscope could give. I wasn’t sure. So I just sat there and let her complete the test. Continue reading

PMP: Encore 03 Purpose-Driven Leadership

In this encore episode of Principal Matters Podcast, I talk about the reason behind why some people find meaning in their work.
Research confirms that when you understand the meaning behind your work, you actually serve with more effectiveness. Listen in for reminders on how your work matters! Continue reading

Caught in the Middle: Policy, Principals and Practice

Jack is a middle school student who is found in possession of something dangerous at school.
His assistant principal guides his parents and Jack through disciplinary actions based on school policy, which may include temporary or long-term removal from the school setting while still receiving educational services.

Jill is a middle school found in possession of the same dangerous item. Because she is also allergic to peanuts, she is on a federally mandated 504-Plan, which requires an entirely different set of meetings, including a manifest-determination hearing, which shows her behavior was not affected by her disability but still may result in discipline consequences very different from the ones Jack received.

Even though Jack and Jill are fictional characters, their scenarios exemplify the ways public policy often creates conflicts in school practice. And the principal is often the one caught in the middle of interpreting and implementing these competing interests. Continue reading

PMP: Encore 02 Courage, Teamwork, and Purpose

This week is another encore episode of Principal Matters Podcast.
You can link here see the original post accompanying this episode and all the show notes. Thanks for everything you do in serving schools and for doing what matters! Continue reading

NASSP Advocacy Conference Update

On June 21-22, 2016, the National Association of Secondary Principals hosted its Advocacy Conference for members in Washington, D.C.

NASSP Principals gather before visits to the Hill on June 22, 2016

NASSP Principals gather before visits to the Hill on June 22, 2016

Principals and school leaders from across America received updates and heard presentations from experts in advocacy, leadership, and federal policies that affect schools. As State Coordinator for NASSP, I joined Clay McDonald, Middle School Principal from Piedmont, Oklahoma and President-Elect of the Oklahoma Association of Secondary Principals for the two-day conference and Hill visit.

On Wednesday, June 22, we visited Congressional members and staff in their House and Senate offices on the Hill. Mr. McDonald and I visited the offices of Oklahoma representatives: Congressman Frank Lucas, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Congressman Steve Russell, and Senator Jim Inhofe. Continue reading

PMP: Encore 01 Three C’s For a Great School Year

The weeks of summer are a good time to revisit some original Principal Matters content. This week is an encore episode of the very first episode of Principal Matters Podcast.
Listen in for reminders on 3 essential to-do’s for providing a great school year for your students and teachers. For the original blog post accompanying this episode, you can go here. I hope summer is giving you time for finding creative ideas and motivation for your own personal growth and for serving others. Continue reading