Monday Moanin Thoughts #319 Improve Your School By Following Dr. King’s Teachings

Happy frigid Michigan January 2019 Monday Moanin to all of you. Today we celebrate the American federal holiday marking his birthday  Let’s honor Dr. King’s memory as we begin our work this week. The following Dr. King quote can help us reflect on the work we are doing in our schools.

” The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The above quote raises some questions for all us to think about. Reflect on the following questions.

Does your school have high expectations for all learners?

Are there the same opportunities for all learners?

Is critical thinking reinforced in your classrooms? Is it taught?

Is character education a focus in your school?

Is there a culture of acceptance and respect in your school?

Are you serving others in your school community?

As you begin your week, keep the above quote in mind as you reflect on your practice. Consider using one of these questions at your next staff meeting as an opener. It could lead to a very rich discussion on best practice. Have a great week, lead with compassion and keep finding the good stuff.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that a system which produces beggars needs restructuring.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday Moanin Thoughts #318 What Are You Going To KEEP Doing In 2019?

Welcome to the first Monday and MMT of January, 2019. As you prepare for 2019 consider using a Ken Blanchard suggestion. Blanchard often refers to the following questions; what are you going to start doing, stop doing , and keep doing? Since we are beginning a new year, let’s focus on what you want to keep doing in 2019. Listed below are ten suggestions about what you may want to keep doing in your practice as you begin the week. They are:

Keep paying attention to the needs of your community.

Keep supporting your colleagues.

Keep the learner at the center of all decisions.

Keep working everyday on improving communication.

Keep learning and getting better.

Keep speaking up, your voice is important.

Keep improving your climate and culture.

Keep giving specific positive praise and feedback.

Keep celebrating your successes.

Keep leading with honesty and integrity.

Consider focusing on one of these each week. Have a great start to 2019 and keep finding the good stuff.

Monday Moanin Thoughts #317 4 Holiday Wishes For Schools In 2019

Happy December 2018 Monday Moanin to all of you. We are so close to a well earned Holiday break. For many the first 4 months of the 2018-19 school year has been filled with many challenges and yet it may also feel like it  has flown by.  With 2019 a few weeks away let me share 4 of my doable wishes for the New Year. They are:

Less focus on compliance in classrooms and in offices throughout your school district. Everyones voice is essential to future growth. Encourage the conversations.

Keep principals and teachers in their buildings during the school day. Professional development and training is critical but not at the expense of teachers not in classrooms and principals doing the big picture work of the district and not focusing on leading their building.

Focus more on social emotional learning. Our students are getting more and more anxious. Provide more support and action dealing with this growing challenge.

Improve and enhance communication across the building and district. Work at it everyday. It is essential in providing clarity, direction, and action.

Enjoy your well deserved Holiday break and attack 2019 with a renewed spirit and energy. Keep finding the good stuff.

Monday Moanin Thoughts #316 As The Holiday’s Near, Reach Out To Others

Happy first December 2018 Monday Moanin to all of you.  For most of you a long Holiday break is a few weeks away. December signals the time of year that many schools are taking action with the Holiday spirit in mind.  Many student and school organizations are conducting food drives, providing backpacks with the essentials, food and clothing as well as other initiatives to help those students and families less fortunate.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #315 Check Out These Thanksgiving 2018 Quotes

Happy chilly Michigan Monday Moanin  to all of you. This is also Thanksgiving week 2018.  I wish all of you positive energy and hope as you celebrate later this week.  Listed below are several thoughts from educators about leading with gratitude.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving 2018, consider using them as a reminder as you prepare for a productive week. They are: Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #314 Great Week To Practice And Improve

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. Wow, it is hard to believe that we are a few weeks away from Thanksgiving 2018. The school year is moving fast and it is a challenge to find the time to reflect on how things are going. Over the past several weeks I have met with many administrators discussing their effectiveness as a team and their individual challenges. During this time I have encouraged them to focus on practice and what does it mean and how do we address it?  When discussing instruction and assessment the term best practice is  often used. But do we really practice strategies in those areas or do we just discuss it and rarely take action? My understanding of practice is to work on something to improve a specific skill. To get better,  we need to intentionally use the skill. This week, consider choosing one of these suggestions and try to practice it. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts # 313 Enhance Your Practice By Focusing On These Fundamentals

Happy brisk October, 2018 Monday Moanin to all of you. It is hard to believe that for most of you the first month of the 2018-19 school year is in the books. Typically the first month is front loaded with many activities and a fast pace filled with adjustments and reactions. October signals a time when most school staffs and administrators  are settling into their routines and schedules. As a result, this is a great time to refocus on some essential leadership fundamentals to enhance your performance. During this week, practice the following three fundamentals. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #312 Use These Top Tweets To Guide Your Week

Happy Second Monday of October 2018 to all of you. Over the last three months, July-September,  I tweeted many opinions and quotes from many of the stars of leadership and education. Below are listed my top tweets during that time. Each of them had over 2500 impressions on Twitter. Consider using one of them to guide your work and planning this week. Read more

Monday Moanin #311 Fight The Start Of School Distractions, Focus On These

Happy  first Autumn Monday Moanin of  2018 to all of  you. Being a leader in public education is a difficult challenge. There are many issues to deal with, especially at the beginning of a new school year. These challenges may cause you to lose confidence and act with caution which could negatively impact your role and performance as a leader. Listed below are some strategies  that may be helpful in improving your skills as a leader. Consider focusing on some of these during the next 30 days. In no particular order, here they are : Read more

Monday Moanin #310 Thoughts 2018-19 School Year Has Begun, Now What?

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you on this beautiful , crisp Michigan September morning. Today, most schools in the Midwest are in their initial weeks of the 2018-19 school year. Building principals and their staffs have been busy welcoming students and dealing with all of the tasks that go with starting a new year. Read more