Monday Moanin Thoughts #292 It’s Time For Some Spring Cleaning

Happy final Monday Moanin of March 2018. For many, this may be the final week before spring break 2018. For most of us in Michigan we have reached the time of year to begin the annual event of spring cleaning. It’s the time we open up the windows and get rid of the cooped up, cabin fever, stale winter air and be open to the newness and hope of springtime.  This may also be a perfect time to conduct a professional spring cleaning that will help to let go of some things and freshen up your practice. Use the questions listed below to guide your reflection. They are: Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #291 Get To Work On Your Spring Message

Welcome to the latest Monday Moanin Thoughts. For many, this is the week before we have 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 four 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. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #290 Begin March 2018 By Leading Better

Welcome to the first Monday Moanin of March 2018. Wow, spring will be coming soon. This week I met with several educational leaders and it became clear how difficult and challenging it is to be a leader in schools today. Some of my observations about their challenges included issues like poor funding, teaching and learning, school safety, shrinking autonomy, student testing, and staff/student 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 focusing on the three areas below.

  • 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 taking action and keep finding the good stuff.

Monday Moanin Thoughts #289, Fight Being Isolated- Build A Community

It is hard to believe that this is the final Monday Moanin of February 2018. In much of the country and certainly Michigan, we are dealing with the challenges of winter. Less daylight, cold, snow, ice, rain, flooding, fog , and let’s not forget the roads with potholes the size that could swallow up your vehicle. It is also the time of year where you spend more time indoors. It is rare that you talk to your neighbors, much less see them. Similar things can happen in your schools. It is easy to become isolated and not see or be available to others. So, this week let’s fight isolation and work at being more community minded. This week, consider trying some of the things listed below.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #288 Take A Pulse Check, What Kind Of Tension Is In Your Organization?

Good morning and happy Monday Moanin to all of you. Many authors agree that successful organizations and teams need a healthy tension to be productive. My definition of healthy tension is an organization rooted in a collaborative climate. Some examples include staff engaging in discussions about instruction, learning,  growth and possible changes in how individuals teach and students learn. The opposite is an organization that focuses on teacher/adult happiness that may not have enough tension or discipline to change and improve. Some describe this as a more congenial environment than collegial.   Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #287 Are You Delegating Or Abdicating?

Welcome to the first MMT of February, 2018. I am writing this on a snowy, windy, frigid Super Bowl Sunday in Michigan. Over the past few weeks I have had conversations with many central office and building administrators about several topics including, how can they improve their effectiveness. During one of these discussions I raised the topic of leaders that delegate many responsibilities and decisions to others.  Delegation certainly is a common  leadership strategy that fits with shared decision-making, capacity building, trust, and using your resources well to name a few. Delegating to your team members can also help improve your organizations effectiveness and assist in getting tasks and work done more efficiently. However, delegation without action can hurt your organization and ultimately the work being completed. The challenge for a leader that delegates is, do they stay engaged? Do they check in with staff members for updates?  Are they available to support and assist the team? Will they share in owning the outcome and decision recommended by the team? Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #286 Are You In The Dark? Don’t Get Comfortable

Well  lets put the final January Monday Moanin 2018 in the books. Here comes February. I hope all of you  had a great weekend. After reading a quote from Bud Ozar my thoughts kept returning to how parenting and administration is so similar.  In both roles your children or your staff can leave you out of conversations and avoid approaching you with things they think you won’t approve of or be disappointed in. Or maybe they just don’t want to have the discussion and they will choose how to deal with it their own way. As a result,  the parent or the administrator is in a situation that they don’t know what they don’t know. In other words they are left in the dark, maybe on purpose. There can be some good things that come out of not being aware of the issue.  For example your kids or staff may learn how to take ownership of  the issue or problem they may going through. The Ozar quote  fits perfectly for this issue of darkness and being left out. It’s  written for parents, but fits for school administrators.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #285 Free Yourself Of The Muck

I would like to  wish all of you a happy January 2018 Monday Moanin.  I trust that everyone had a restful and enjoyable weekend. As I thought of what to write on today I reflected on how difficult it is working in education today. There is so much to focus on and days filled with many challenges. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #284 To Honor Dr. King , Focus On The Dis’s

Happy 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. Dr. King was a champion and leader of  inclusivity, non-violence, equal rights, voting rights for all, and desegregation to name a few. As educators lets model our actions after the example of Dr. King.  Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #283 Best Tweets From October -December 2017, Use Them

Happy Frigid, snowy January, 2018 Monday Moanin to all of you. Over the past three months, I tweeted many opinions and quotes from many of the stars of leadership and education. Below are listed my top 7 tweets during that time. Each of them had over 2000 impressions on Twitter. Consider using one of them to guide your work and planning this week. Read more