School of Thought

Student Success Starts with Strong Teacher Support 

Guest post by Ryan Maxwell 

Teachers these days are constantly being told that they must “take ownership” for all of their students to meet the standards and succeed. But at the same time, teachers often receive mixed messages from their own school leadership that raise doubts about whether the leaders above them really believe in these goals. At Sunnyside High School (SHS) in Sunnyside, WA , our school leadership focuses on supporting teachers so that they can fully support their students. When teachers’ efficacy is high, they are much more likely to support their own students. The manner in which SHS leadership builds teacher efficacy is through a unified message of teacher ownership. It begins with administrative leadership believing and internalizing the following quote from the distinguished educator and author Carl D. Glickman: (more…)

Get Your Leadership Ego Out of the Way and Empower Your Students

Guest post by Jethro Jones

We often give lip service to the idea of empowering students.

Yes, we all agree it is important, but the adults in the building are the ones who really know best.

Yes, kids’ ideas matter, but they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

Yes, kids have good ideas, but the adults still take credit for those ideas.  (more…)

Know What Matters and Make It Work 

Guest post by Angela K. Doll

A parent request for hourly behavior updates.

A student sent to the office for repeatedly trying to staple himself to his chair.

A community member’s plan to improve the school by eliminating all technology. (more…)

Advocacy Update

Don’t Miss the 2018 Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.!

Join principals from across the nation in Washington, D.C., March 19–21, for the 2018 NASSP Advocacy Conference. At this conference, you will have the opportunity to hear from some of the nation’s foremost education thought leaders. You will also receive federal advocacy training and the chance to use that training on Capitol Hill in meetings with your congressional representatives. (more…)

Raising Student Voices to Strengthen School Communities

Guest post by Robert Nolting

For many students, school seems to be done to them, not with them. At Victor J. Andrew High School (VJA) in Tinley Park, IL, we make it a point to raise a student’s voice not only as a spotlight, but a headlight—leading the way, we carry on throughout the year. At VJA, this starts with our Senior Leaders and Principal’s Advisory groups.  (more…)

Digital Leaders Read to Succeed

Guest post by Bobby Dodd

 

I will always remember the first leadership book I read as an administrator. I had recently read Diane Coutu’s piece, “Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln” in the Harvard Business Review, discussing the greatest leadership characteristics of Lincoln. As I began to do more research on Lincoln and read more about his legacy, my wife purchased the book Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips. I can still remember the stories from Lincoln’s days as president and the knowledge I gained on leadership throughout the book. (more…)

Creating a Culture of Leadership in Schools

Guest post by Doug Crowley

As a principal, an assistant principal, or a director at a district office, leadership is sort of “there” for your taking; you are viewed as a leader by virtue of your title. At DeForest Area High School in Wisconsin, our “titled” leaders work hard to create a culture where staff and students feel comfortable and, dare say, entitled to find ways to lead. How can school leaders create this same culture of leadership and encourage their staff and students to take the lead? (more…)

Advocacy Update

Register Today for the 2018 Advocacy Conference

Join principals from across the nation in Washington, D.C., March 19–21, for the 2018 NASSP Advocacy Conference. At this conference, you will have the opportunity to hear from some of the nation’s foremost education thought leaders. You will also receive federal advocacy training and the chance to use that training on Capitol Hill in meetings with your elected representatives in Congress.

Only Federal Grassroots Network (FGN) members may register. Registration for the conference is free, but attendees will be responsible for their hotel and travel costs. (more…)

A Principal’s Day Through the Lens of an Advocate

I started my day at Loudoun County High School (LCHS) in Leesburg, VA, feeling excited and a little nervous at the same time. Although I spend most of my days speaking on behalf of principals and advocating for their interests on Capitol Hill, I myself have never been an educator. And the last time I sat in a high school classroom was more than 20 years ago.

I was thrilled that LCHS Principal Michelle Luttrell was so quick to accept my request to shadow her for a day as part of our annual National Principals Month celebration. (more…)

Building Your School Leader Tribe

Guest post by Annette Wallace

My professional learning network—or as I like to call them, my tribe—is a group of people whose ideas, opinions, and research inform and motivate me as a school leader. I found most of these people online, but I also have used my online presence to develop more educationally meaningful relationships with educators in my district who I often don’t have time to work with face-to-face. I’ve come to appreciate that professional development is my responsibility and taking charge of my own learning has helped me improve as a leader in my own school and district, as well as the wider education community.  (more…)