Monday Moanin Thoughts #254 Hey Educators, Write A Letter To Your Students, #finishstrong

Happy May 2017 Monday Moanin to all of you. A few weeks ago, I wrote about using the hashtag #finishstrong. I urged us all to view this time of year as not the ending but the beginning of next year. Earlier today, my wife shared a message she wrote for her graduating seniors that she gave to them last week. Her thoughts are rooted in gratitude and validation for all of her Seniors. It is a great example of an educator finishing strong. Consider doing something similar with the students that you work with regardless of grade level.   It reads; Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #253 Thanks Mom, Celebrating Mothers Day 2017

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  94-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 #252 Let’s All #finishstrong

Wow we did it. We made it to the second Monday Moanin of May 2017. For many of us educators,  the month of May signals the school year will be ending soon. With that 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

Monday Moanin Thoughts #251 How Are You Going To Lead This Week?

Happy first Monday Moanin of May 2017.  This week I kept reflecting about the numerous challenges that leaders face working in public education. Some of my thoughts included that leading is overwhelming, thankless, more top down decisions, less control, everything’s urgent, and poor staff morale. So, how do you deal with these and other challenges and  still keep your organization effective and growing ? This week, how are you going to lead? Consider these three areas to focus on as you continue to wind down the 2016-17 school year.

  • Lead by taking care of the little things. Be well planned and organized for the week. John Maxwell writes; ” Don’t try to conquer the world until you’ve taken care of things in your own backyard.” 
  • Spend this week leading from your strengths. Reflect on what you do well and stay in that lane. Enhance your practice. Maxwell shares; ” Set your priorities and focus on your strengths today.”
  • Lead with the right attitude this week. Lead with your glass half full. Your staff doesn’t need to hear you blame others for the challenges everyone faces. Take responsibility for your attitude. Maxwell reminds; “Life is full of surprises, and the adjustment of our attitudes is a lifelong project. The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Lead this week by focusing on the little things, strengths and attitude. All doable and in your control. Have a great week and keep finding the good stuff.

Monday Moanin Thoughts #250 Great Week To Focus On Listening

Happy beautiful Michigan Monday Moanin to all of you. It is hard to believe that today is the final Monday of April 2017. For school districts in Michigan, April signals the beginning of the stretch drive to the end of the  2016-17 school year. For the past several years the focus of  many April MMT’s were about the critical focus of finishing strong. Today’s blog is about a key ingredient of doing just that, the importance of  being a good listener.  During the final 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 #249 Do You Want To Finish Strong?, Try MVP

Happy April 2017 Monday Moanin to all of you. Hopefully you had a relaxing Holiday weekend with your family and friends. As I mentioned last week, April signals the beginning of the path to the end of the 2016-17 school year. This is the time of year of 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

Monday Moanin Thoughts #248 Use Top Tweets To Guide Your Week

Happy  Monday Moanin  of April 2017.  Spring time is the signal that you are beginning the home stretch of the 2016-17 school year. During January through March, I tweeted many opinions and quotes from many of the stars of leadership and education. Below are listed my top ten tweets for that time period. Each of them had over 1500 impressions on Twitter. Consider using them to guide your work this week as you begin winding down and finishing strong. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #247 5 Things Every School Leader Should Say

For many of you this will be the final week of school before a much deserved spring break. Several years ago I read a blog by Sheryl Nance-Nash about things leaders should say. As a result, I thought it would be a great time to post something similar by listing 5 things we should here often in schools from all leaders. I believe  these are  some of the right words and phrases that can keep your organization growing and moving in a positive direction. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #246 Conduct Your Own Spring Cleaning

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. For many this may be the week before the week for spring break 2017. For most of us in Michigan we know about spring cleaning and opening up all of the windows and letting that fresh air in.  It is a way of getting rid of that cooped up cabin fever feeling of a frigid winter. As a result this can be a great time to  conduct a professional spring cleaning to help enhance and  freshen up your practice.  Use the questions listed below to guide your reflection.  Consider using some of them with your staff as openers at your next PD/staff meeting.  Here goes: Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #245 Reminders And Thoughts From Previous MMT’s

Welcome to another March 2017 Monday Moanin. Hopefully this will be a positive and productive week for you and your staff.  Positive and productive are always challenging during the month of March and coming up with an idea or focus for this blog is no different. After some reflection, I am posting three excerpts from my previous 244 Monday Moanin Thoughts. Hopefully they will timely and helpful as you begin your week.

From May 31,2015 #160

One thing is certain, there are no easy answers during this difficult time. However, I would emphasize and remind you that Leaders Don’t Hide!  It is critical to fight the invitation to disappear. When your organization is hurting it is important to be hopeful and I believe you can do this without acting pollyanna. You can be respectful without cheerleading. You can be supportive without trying to fix things for people. You can be a listener and fight the urge to be a nervous over-talker. You need to be present in order to be compassionate. Read more