Monday Moanin Thoughts #209 Real Leaders Don’t Avoid, They Act With Courage

Happy Beautiful May 2016 Monday Moanin to all of you.

A week from today we will celebrate Memorial Day 2016 across the country. I can’t help but think of what character strengths our fallen displayed during their service to our great nation. The list of these strengths would be a lengthy one. One way to honor these men and women would be to lead by focusing on one characteristic they all shared, Courage. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #208 Register For The Planning Summit

Happy chilly Michigan Monday Moanin to everyone. Later this summer on Wednesday August 3rd, the 5th annual Hickey Planning Summit will take place. Below is an archived MMT from August of 2014 about the Summit from that year. Please register now at


Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. This past Thursday over 100 educators attended the Hickey Group Planning Summit 2014. It was inspiring being in the same room with such a committed group of school leaders and teams. Over the course of the day, teams from 9 different school districts and 25 different schools were focused on planning some part of  the 2014-15 school year. During the day we used the hashtag #hlgsummit14. Listed below are some of the tweets from the  Summit that will give you a flavor from the day. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #207 Thanks For The Modeling Mom

Happy early Monday Moanin! Today we celebrate a wonderful Mother’s Day. Every one of us can reflect on how our mom’s have influenced us as people and leaders. When I think of my mom, I am filled with many examples of how she helped shaped my life and those of my five brothers. Luckily, she still influences all of us  to this day. Rose Hickey is a  93-year-old dynamo. Her gifts are many and she still is the leader of our family. After my dad passed away in 1991, my mom modeled for all of us resiliency and strength.  It was not an easy time, yet she led us through our grief and though missing him, continued to enjoy and live a rewarding, full life. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #206 Thank You Teachers!

Happy first Monday Moanin of May 2016 to all of you. This week across the country it is Teacher Appreciation week. I hope all of you are getting your messages ready to share with your staff. To assist you I am including two examples to help you as your prepare your message. The first example is from a Principal that is using Becoming from Miriam Pederson as a theme. Here is just a portion of her message;

The beauty of education is in working with children especially, but within each of us on this process of becoming in working with evidence of things unseen as Miriam Pederson so beautifully expresses in her poem Becoming. In it, she refers to someone, a stranger or even friend, and I would expand that definition to colleague or student. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #205 Last Weeks Of School Signal Time For Principals To Lead

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. This time of year begins the home stretch for bringing the 2015-16 school year to a close. Being a leader during the final weeks of a school year can be filled with many challenges. Your ability to help everyone navigate this time is critical to a positive end of the year. Your effort is needed and it is your time to LEAD! Listed below are some helpful reminders. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #204 Be Respectful, Listen

Happy beautiful Michigan Monday Moanin to all of you. Wow do I love Michigan weather. Last Sunday I used my snow blower and this Sunday it was 70 degrees and I used tons of sunblock. For school districts in Michigan, April signals the beginning of the stretch drive to the end of the  2015-16 school year. For the past several years the focus of  this mid April blog was about the critical focus of finishing strong. Though important, I believe you can’t shortchange the importance of  being a good listener.  During the last weeks of school there are many demands on all staff and students. From testing, final evaluation meetings, assessments, classroom interruptions, to end of the year celebrations , demands can  turn into distractions. For all of us in education, these distractions can be unsettling and may cause a lack of patience and understanding as we deal with them and one another. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #203 It Is Not Too Late For A Spring Message

Welcome to this edition of Monday Moanin Thoughts. I am assuming that many of you are just returning from a much needed spring break. My mentor always encouraged me to write a welcome back message to staff as they return from their break. The goal is to set the stage for the final weeks of  the school year. Below are two prompts from other leaders that they sent to their staffs. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #202 What Is Your Spring Message Going To Be?

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. Here in Michigan,  most school districts will be enjoying their last week with students before a well-earned spring break. Spring break represents lots of things for all of us. They may include warmer weather, blooming plants, renewal and the possibility for transformation. It is a perfect time to refer to these ideas and others  as you lead your staff into the final weeks of the 2015-16 school year. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #201 Great Time To Reflect? Answer These Questions

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. For many , spring break is within  a couple of weeks and well deserved break is really needed for all school communities. This is also perfect time to just ask some questions regarding your practice and the state of education. Please consider reflecting on a few of these and see if they assist you in your future planning. Here goes: Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #200 Check Out What Teams Are Focusing On

Happy mild March 2016 Monday Moanin to all of you. I hope all of you are well and ready to take on a new week. As I reflected on what to post this week, I kept thinking about what some of the administrative teams I work with in our Administrative Learning Team(ALT) are focusing on. The goal of the team is to focus on an area of need that enhances their work over the course of 5-7 weeks until we all meet to debrief. Then another area is chosen and the process is repeated.  As a result, I thought sharing a few of their areas  may inspire your teams to work on something similar. The key is being proactive with intentionality. Check these out: Read more