Entries by Dan Hickey

Start Strong By Setting The Correct Tone

Most schools in the Midwest begin the 2011-12 school year the Tuesday after Labor Day. Building principals and their staffs have endured several professional learning days in preparation for the opening. As I reflect back on my years as a building principal , I remember  reaching the first day with students exhausted due to the […]

Focus On What You Can Control- Begin With Respect

We are living through an unprecedented time of attack on public education. Issues range from an over focus on testing to loss of  individual  benefits and compensation to loss of local control. Educators are being scrutinized more closely than any other time in recent memory . They are constantly having to adjust to changes over […]

Instructional Support Teams (IST) Help Enhance Instructional Skills

In many school districts teacher improvement is measured by a traditional, outdated evaluation process conducted by building administrators.  Very little improvement occurs for teachers as a result of this archaic process.  Many of these observations are directed by individuals lacking background  knowledge in an area of the curriculum being observed and evaluated. For the master […]

Spring Is The Time To Communicate-Try These Themes

The spring of the year is a welcome sign for many  of us that have survived another frigid winter. It can be a difficult time for student’s to remain focused as we wind down the 2010-2011 school year. It is also a critical time for principals to communicate with their staffs about finishing strong with […]

Sharpen Your Saw, Prepare Like You Are Interviewing

For the past several weeks many of my mentees have been preparing for interviews. Through the process  of conducting mock interviews and  planning meetings I  wondered, could I answer all of these questions and meet the challenge of the interview process?  My last interview was ten years ago and you may share a similar time […]

Live In The Learning Zone, Read Ten Minutes A Day

A few years ago a colleague of mine suggested that I read a book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell. In it Cottrell reflects on eight sessions he had with his mentor. It is a concise read , filled with sound ,insightful leadership principles. In one of the chapters, Cottrell was encouraged  to lead from something […]

Coming Back from Break

So, I just had a great holiday break with my family, and my 29 year old son, who owns his own online company, is showing me some tips on how to better use my website and brand new Facebook business page. It’s ironic that a thirty-some year educator like myself is now getting educated, but that’s […]