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

Monday Moanin Thoughts #39, Improve Your Effectiveness

Being a leader in todays schools is a difficult challenge. There are mandates, shrinking resources, learning gaps, new supervisors, and active school boards and state legislatures to deal with. These challenges can cause you to lose confidence which could negatively impact your role as a leader. I want to share with you some strategies to use that may be helpful in keeping you on track and focused on improving your skills as a leader. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #37 Labor Day, Good Time To Self-Reflect

Monday moanin thoughts this morning is especially challenging because today signals an end of summer for many. Today, also is Labor Day when we celebrate working people across America. There are many challenges across our country with high unemployment, growing poverty, and a movement towards privatization of services that have cost several of our colleagues their jobs and benefits. It would be easy to write about these challenges and make this blog a commentary on political issues that impact our profession. Instead, lets take the time to reflect on your work and careers. Hopefully it will help you grow and improve as you begin a new year. To help you with this process, listed below are some questions for you to answer and think about. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #36 Great Protocol For Your Opening Remarks

Happy early Monday moanin to all of you this fine Thursday night. For many of you,  your opening staff meeting is right around the corner. I thought it would be helpful to share a protocol that I used often with my staff.  Below is the prompt that I used to introduce or reintroduce myself to the staff. It provided me with the necessary structure to keep me on message and stay organized in my thoughts. Please  consider using this as a guide  in your preparation for your opening remarks and message. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #35 New Year, Focus On Your Strengths

Happy Monday moanin to all of you. Many of you have already started the new school year and the rest of you are probably busy  planning your opening. I was out running this morning thinking about what to write and it became clear I needed to remind readers about something we are not very good at. As you begin a new year,  focus on your strengths. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #34 Grow in 2012-2013

Happy Monday everybody. As we are all preparing for a new school year, I kept thinking about , what is going to be different about my work ? Am I going to change ? Will the people I work with notice a difference in my performance?  Finally, will I grow during 2012-2013? Check out the following questions, thoughts, and ideas listed below. Consider focusing on two of the areas and be intentional in your practice. The goal is to grow in 2012-13. Lets get to work. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #33 HLG Planning Summit 2012 Review

Hello everyone. We have  reached August and now the real timely and critical planning begins for the 2012-13 school year. During this past week many educators began to do just that. Fifty-two instructional leaders from nine districts, twenty  two schools, made up of superintendents, curriculum directors, principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders attended the Hickey Leadership Group planning summit at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Read more