Monday Moanin Thoughts #5

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 adjust your schedule. The goal should be learning and achievement for the student not you pacing guide or timetable.   Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #4 Validate

The theme of the week is validate. Across the Tri-County area of Michigan several schools have celebrated Homecoming week. The amount of planning, doing, and acting by students and staff to provide a positive experience for all is overwhelming. As a leader, validate the time and effort put in by these outstanding people. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #3

  • If you have personality that is always seeking perfection and you are self critical when things don’t  go according to your plan, try focusing on being effective. This may help you achieve balance and you will operate with a high level of success. Perfect is tough, effective is achievable.
  • I co-facilitated a workshop with outstanding Principals from across the county this past week. I was so impressed with their knowledge, commitment, and willingness to improve and grow. Our students and schools are in fine shape if these are the caliber of  principals leading buildings. Bravo!
  • Principals, do you send out your  emails or does your secretary/assistant send them on behalf of you? Consider giving your assistant proxy to your account.  Bottom line, do it yourself,  critical and pertinent information should come from you.
  • Quote of the Week:

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Monday Moanin Thoughts #2

Some  thoughts from the last week. In Michigan, it is getting very frustrating that the Legislature is dealing with issues that attack teachers and  do little to help kids. The latest is to not allow districts to directly deduct  union dues as part of the paycheck, Really! Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts

This is the initial post that will be here every Monday. It will be about hot topics of the day and my thoughts on current issues. Read more

Start Strong By Setting The Correct Tone

Most schools in the Midwest begin the 2011-12 school year the Tuesday after Labor Day. Building principals and their staffs have endured several professional learning days in preparation for the opening. As I reflect back on my years as a building principal , I remember  reaching the first day with students exhausted due to the planning and facilitating meetings for the new year. Read more

Focus On What You Can Control- Begin With Respect

We are living through an unprecedented time of attack on public education. Issues range from an over focus on testing to loss of  individual  benefits and compensation to loss of local control. Educators are being scrutinized more closely than any other time in recent memory . They are constantly having to adjust to changes over which they have little or no control. Read more

Principals: Get Some Rest, Then Reflect And Get To Work

After a long and challenging school year it is important to recharge and get some rest. It is critical that all principals reflect on the year and focus on those things that you have control of. After a few weeks it is time to get to work. The following ideas hopefully will assist as you begin planning for the summer and upcoming school year. Give consideration to the following strategies. Read more

New Shared Leadership vs. Traditional Autocratic Leadership

I have recently read a book by Linda Gross Cheliotes and Marceta Fleming Reilly. The title is, Coaching Conversations, Transforming Your School One Conversation at a Time. The book is filled with great strategies and suggestions that could enhance your skills as a leader. Read more

Instructional Support Teams (IST) Help Enhance Instructional Skills

In many school districts teacher improvement is measured by a traditional, outdated evaluation process conducted by building administrators.  Very little improvement occurs for teachers as a result of this archaic process.  Many of these observations are directed by individuals lacking background  knowledge in an area of the curriculum being observed and evaluated. For the master teacher it is an exercise that rarely provides growth producing feedback. For the marginal teacher, it turns into a dog and pony show. In other words a lesson that is special and unique  for the formal observation but rarely repeated throughout the year.  However, we are entering a positive period  with many changes to the evaluation process that are improving teaching and learning. The shift is to more of a self directed goal setting process that guide teachers in enhancing their own professional practice.   Read more