Monday Moanin Thoughts #258 Get Rest, Then Reinvigorate

Happy June 2017  Monday Moanin to everyone. For many of you this may be your first week without students or of summer vacation. After a long and challenging school year it is important to recharge and get some rest. Enjoy some quality family time and have your share of fun. After a few weeks of rest and relaxation, it is time to get to work. The following ideas hopefully will assist as you begin planning for the summer and upcoming 2017-18 school year. Give consideration to the following strategies. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #257 Happy Fathers Day, A Week Early

Happy June Monday Moanin to all of you. As I was preparing for this MMT,  I realized that Fathers Day 2017 is a week from today. I then found this archived blog from 2012. Hopefully  it will provide you an opportunity to reflect on the influence that your Dad had on you and your path in life.

Please enjoy this archived blog from June of 2012.

Happy Fathers Day!  My dad passed away in 1991 and I miss him very much. I think of him everyday and as I get older his influence continues to grow on me. An area that I never focused on until this morning was his influence on me as a leader and leadership overall. My dad was a great initiator with many outstanding qualities. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #256 This Week, No Talking About Best Practices, Enough!

Good morning and welcome to the first Monday of June 2017. For many of you this may be the final week with students for this school year. As I was preparing to write this week, I had an interesting discussion with my wife about best practice and effective teaching.  She has taught for 30 years and we usually enjoy a spirited discussion about teaching, learning and leadership. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #255 Be Bold This Week, Lead With Courage

Happy Beautiful May 2017 Monday Moanin to all of you.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day 2017 . 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 #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