Monday Moanin Thoughts #55 Two Simple Strategies To Become More Effective

It is hard to believe that this is the final Monday Moanin of January 2013. Over the last the few weeks I have met with many school administrators who have shared some frustration about not getting their instructional leadership strategies done during their day. They shared that management issues are consuming most of their time and energy. During our discussions I suggested two doable strategies to become a more productive instructional leader. Give these a try. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #53, 2013-Keep It Simple

I would like to  wish all of you a Happy 2013.  I trust that everyone had a restful and enjoyable Holiday break. It can be such a challenge to start back up after a long time off. Being an educational leader today can add to the challenge. There is so much to focus on, from test scores to blended learning to meeting the needs of all learners and staff members. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #48 Workplace Survey 2012, What Really Matters

Welcome to the Monday Moanin thoughts the week of  Thanksgiving 2012. Thanksgiving is a great time to be full of gratitude and thankfulness. It is also a perfect time to reflect on how effective you are performing in your areas of responsibility. As a nice prompt to assist in your reflection, I will share some information from the 2012 Detroit Free Press Workplace Survey. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #47, Practice Some Resiliency

Happy Monday moanin, the week before the week of  Thanksgiving break 2012. My mentor would remind me that the week before the week of any break can be a real challenge for any school community. There are many reasons for this , but really it comes down to everyone wants some time off and it is still more than a week away. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #46 5 Questions, Do You Have Answers?

Welcome to the first Monday Moanin of November. During this election season , education policy has been discussed by candidates at all levels of government. For today’s blog , I am posing 5 questions about education. Consider using them at staff meetings, PTSA gatherings, and among colleagues. They will provide a fine opportunity for discussion and reflection. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #44 Be Proactive , Try 30 Day Surge

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. This past week I met with several outstanding building administrators. A common theme emerged during our discussions, they could  not accomplish what they wanted  because of the issues that come up over which they have no control. I think that  many of us can relate to the frustration of being more reactive in our role than proactive. As our discussions continued and we talked about the challenges, I encouraged them to be more proactive.  We discussed establishing a daily focus and setting achievable goals for the day. It is a given that much of the day can be swallowed up by issues that do not line up with your daily focus. So why not set a 30 day plan that includes a Surge in one area of your responsibility?

Because your surge area of focus is established for a 30 day period, you may feel less discouraged on the days that you are required to be more reactive. With your 30 day surge in place, it will  be easier to be productive and effective in your  focused area. The achievable goal of the Surge is to enhance your performance.

Potential focus areas of the surge  could include: Student relationships, formative assessment, servant leadership, walkthroughs, engaged classroom, RTI, and teaching and learning.

So , give it a try over the next month. Hopefully your productivity will improve and you will enhance your performance as an instructional leader.

Quote of the week:

My mentor said, “Let’s go do it,” not “You go do it.” How powerful when someone says, “Lets”!  Jim Rohn

Have a great week and keep finding the good stuff!

Monday Moanin Thoughts #43 Suggested Testing Days- Could Reduce Learner Stress

Lots of thoughts from the last week;

I was talking to several HS students about challenges that they face on a daily basis. Near the top was the number of tests or assessments they have on the same day. Several of them shared that it is not unusual to have three or four tests on most Fridays. Teachers, try asking your students about the amount of tests they are having and consider adjusting  your assessment schedule. The goal should be learning and achievement for the student not your pacing guide or timetable. Administrators, consider beginning a dialogue with your staffs about designating suggested test days per departments and curriculum areas. Lets get to work on reducing stress for students that may assist improving achievement and learning. Lets work at being intentional on helping students find balance as they prepare for assessments. Work at having a” try it” philosophy in your building.

On another note, please communicate with your new teachers . Check in with them about their concerns. Listen more than talk, support more than criticize, offer options and ideas. Don’t assume that if you are not hearing anything that all things are going well.

Quote of the week:

“One thing we know for sure is that kids learn better when teachers are invested and paying attention and showing they care.” Madeline Levine

Have a great week and teachers keep up your exemplary efforts working with all learners. Keep finding the good stuff!

Monday Moanin Thoughts #42 Stop Making Assumptions

Happy second Monday of October 2012 to all of you.  My focus for this Monday moanin is about the impact of making assumptions and how it can effect your leadership and in some cases hurt relationships. In his book The Four Agreements, Don  Miguel Ruiz writes about making assumptions. In describing this agreement, he encourages leaders to not make them. You can become a better leader and person if  you: Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #41, Try These Affirmations And Reminders

There were many times during my sixteen years as a principal that I needed to get back on track. As the learning leader for your school community you face many challenges daily that can derail your vision. Over the years I used many of these affirmations and quotes to remind and guide my actions.  Some of my favorites are listed below. Give them a try and see if they work for you.

  • Be quick, don’t hurry.
  • Remember to sweep your own front porch.
  • Learning doesn’t have to be painful.
  • Who are you going to encourage today?
  • Be the first to serve.
  • I wonder how many  leaders today are reaching out with respect toward others rather than seeking it for themselves?
  • I need to fill the  buckets of others and not expect others to fill mine. Lead!
  • Each day accomplish more than just making sure the trains are running on time.
  • Be learner centered, not adult focused.
  • Don’t make the same mistake twice. Keep learning.
  • Don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Get to work!
  • Ask good questions. Is there a healthy tension in the building?

I want to thank many of my mentors who encouraged me to use these reminders. What affirmations do you use?

Quote of the week:

“Until you take responsibility, you are a victim. And being a victim is the exact opposite of being a leader. Victims are passive. They are acted upon. Leaders are active. They take initiative to influence the outcome.” Michael Hyatt

Monday Moanin Thoughts #40 Improve Your Leadership, Focus On The 5 C’s

Leadership is hot topic. Visit any bookstore or website and you will find several models and opinions of how to improve your organization and enhance your skills. After reviewing several authors in preparation for the blog, I have decided to simplify this complex subject. As a school leader,  focus on a few of these areas and  your performance will improve and be enhanced.  Be intentional on the 5 C’s. Read more