Happy late July, 2019 Monday Moanin to all of you. On August 1st, over 120 educators from the tri-county area of Detroit will attend the 9th Annual Hickey Leadership Group Planning Summit. It is during the Summit that participants begin to do some focused planning with their teams for the upcoming 2019-20 school year. Every year the Summit begins with an opener. I wanted to share part of the opener with you. Please consider using it as a prompt or reflection during future meetings as you begin planning for the opening of a new year. Read more
Welcome to the first Monday Moanin of July 2019. For many of you this may be your first weeks of summer vacation. After a long and challenging school year it is important to recharge and get some rest. Enjoy some quality time with friends and family and enjoy your time away. After a few weeks of rest and relaxation, it will be time to get back to work. The following ideas hopefully will assist as you begin planning for the summer and upcoming 2019-20 school year. Give consideration to the following strategies.
- Plan optional summer meetings for staff to read and discuss articles or books that connect with your vision. This is a great culture builder and growth opportunity.
- Set dates and agendas for an off site retreat and refocusing meetings with your key staff members. This could include separate meetings with administrative teams, counselors, or teacher leaders. The purpose is to be intentional and target areas regarding the needs of your school.
- Plan topics that are related/connected for all of your professional development and staff meetings throughout the year. This is essential for staying on course and focusing on the things that you have control over. This planning will bring clarity to your vision which helps the organization understand it and work together in applying it.
- HS Principals can meet with Student Council leaders to discuss their plans. This is also a great time to validate what they do and build relationships with them.
- Organize instructional support teams (peer-to-peer, rounds) and meet with those volunteers to discuss implementation for the fall.
- Consider changing building responsibilities with your administrative team. It will keep you fresh and it will provide new areas of growth for assistants that aspire to the principalship.
- Make an appointment with your Superintendent or direct supervisor to discuss your plans for the upcoming year. Be proactive.
- Communicate with your staff at least twice over the summer. Send them an update and keep them in the loop. Honest and open communication is one of the good seeds that grow in healthy cultures.
- Begin planning your opening staff meeting. Do not put this work off. This is urgent, get to work.
- As you plan, keep the students at the center of your focus.
If you happen to live in the Tri-County area of Detroit, consider attending the 2019 Hickey Leadership Group Planning Summit on August 1st. Check this link for more registration information at https://hickeyleadershipgroup.com/summit/ Many of the above mentioned strategies could be worked on at the Summit, including opportunities to network with other schools. Information is located on the homepage by clicking on Summit 2019.
You will rest easier if you are proactive in your planning. Have fun and enjoy the good stuff! As Ken Blanchard writes: “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
Welcome to an early MMT and happy Fathers Day 2019. For many of you tomorrow may be the first Monday Moanin in a long time when you can hit the snooze on your iPhone alarm. Enjoy the experience! Today, I think about all of the men who have influenced me in my life and I am grateful for their help. Today, I honor two of those men. Of course I think about my dad, Don Hickey, with fond memories and appreciation. He passed away in 1991 and there is not a day that goes by where he is not in my thoughts. His humor, work ethic, faith, caring attitude, and his love of family and his wife Rose, has rubbed off on all of his 6 sons. As my brother Bill said at his funeral, Don Lives! Another father that is a wonderful model for me is my father-in-law, George. He has been my other Dad for 29 years. He also is a model for me and he exhibits all of the traits I admired in my Dad. Above all he is the definition of a giver. At 85, he is an avid golfer, friend to many, loving husband, and caring father. He is a person who always puts others first. He gives freely in caring for his wife Manya, as they live daily with the challenges of Alzheimer’s. Not an easy task but he handles it with love and grace, guided by a strong faith. I am so grateful to these incredible men for modeling what it means to be a father and a husband. Thank you so much. Read more
Happy first Monday Moanin June, 2019 to all of you. For many of you this may begin the final weeks of school of the 2018-19 school year. For many students, these final days can be filled with lots of emotions, distractions, and for some, anxiety. Not all kids are looking forward to a summer break. School could be there safest place. Read more
Wow we did it. We made it to the third Monday Moanin of May 2019. For many of us educators, the month of May signals the school year will be ending soon. With this comes many invitations to focus more on being reactive than proactive. It is a real challenge to focus on good teaching and learning. As a young teacher, my principal always reminded our staff to be well planned and intentional for the final weeks of school. Read more
It is hard to believe that we have reached May, 2019. Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. As I wrote in the last two MMT’s this is the time of year for a renewal and a good cleaning. This is also the time of year for many year-end activities that simply put, are filled with lots of emotions and distractions. As a result, dealing with the complexities of this time of year can be challenging and some times paralyzing. Let’s simplify our leadership and enhance our effectiveness by focusing on MVP. Let’s break it down: Read more
Happy Easter/Passover Monday Moanin of April 2019. For most of us in Michigan we have reached the time of year to begin the annual event of spring cleaning. OMG, we hit the 70 degree mark yesterday. It’s finally time to open up the windows and get rid of the cooped up stale winter air and welcome the newness and hope of springtime. This may be a perfect time to conduct a professional spring cleaning. It’s time to let go of some things and freshen up and enhance your practice. Use the questions listed below to guide your reflection. They are: Read more
Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. Many of you may be returning from a much needed spring break. While others of you have already started your last quarter of the 2018-19 school year. Wherever you are in the school calendar it is important to realize that these next few days can set the tone for the final stretch of the school year. It is a great time to focus on those actions that lead to a spring cleaning or better yet, a renewal. The final weeks of spring are filled with many distractions: school wide testing, increased field trips, early dismissal for rescheduled athletic contests, and end of the year activities. All of the above issues may lead to reduced instructional time and increased pressure for teachers to cover the essentials of their curriculum through a more narrow window. This is why the spring may feel like the most difficult and challenging part of the year. Listed below are five suggestions that may help finish the year strong and successfully. I encourage you to focus your energy and get to work on your renewal! Read more
Welcome to the latest Monday Moanin Thoughts. I am just returning from a 2 week visit to Valencia, Spain where our son and his family are living. It was relaxing and wonderful and I did not think about this MMT until we were home a few days. It became clear to me that this is a perfect week to focus on leadership and begin thinking about your spring message. For many, this is a couple of weeks before a well deserved Spring Break. My mentor always encouraged me to write a welcome back message to staff as they return from their break. If you are planning to do the same, consider getting started on it now. The goal is to validate the hard work and commitment of your staff and set the stage for the final weeks of school. Below are five prompts from leaders they sent to their staffs that set the tone as they began the home stretch to the end of the school year. Consider using these as a prompt for your message.Read more
Happy Monday Moanin to everyone. To assist you with your work this week, consider focusing on my top five tweets from December 2018-February 2019. All of these had a minimum of 4000 impressions. They will serve you well as you begin the challenging weeks of late February through the tunnel month of March.
Thursday thought from from @ToddWhitaker; “It is the people, not programs, that determine the quality of a school.” #reachout #reinforce #validate
Friday thought from @DavidGeurin; “Be a difference maker…
3. Show up
4. Lead up
5. Lift up
6. Never give up
Thursday thought from @SteeleThoughts; “Great teachers don’t always have the best lessons. But they always have the best relationships with kids.” #connect #respect #lead
Monday thought from @SteeleThoughts; “Great teachers can look past the bad attitude. They realize there’s always something else going on.” #payattention #respect #SEL
As you plan for next week, be reminded that Monday the nation honors Dr.King. Let his quote guide your work. Dr. King wrote; “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of education.”
Have a great week and keep finding the good stuff. MMT will return on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2019.