School of Thought

Instructional Collaborators: Guiding Teachers to Continuous Improvement

Guest post by Melissa D. Hensley

Throughout my tenure as a middle and high school principal, the consistent request from teachers has been for ongoing, non-evaluative feedback about their pedagogical practices. Early in my career, this meant completing classroom walkthroughs, collecting data about instructional strategies, and offering recommendations. Providing this general feedback took a lot of time and often failed to improve instruction. I wondered, how could I help teachers get the ongoing feedback they wanted in a more efficient and effective way? (more…)

Lessons Learned From a School Shooting: Information Sharing is Key Element

Guest post by Sarah Goodrum

Research on violence prevention in schools focuses on building positive climates and sharing information. A positive climate increases students’ willingness to report concerns to school staff. There is less research examining the climate among school staff; yet, this climate also shapes whether teachers report concerns about students and how administrators respond to concerns about those students. This qualitative case study provided lessons learned about information sharing among school staff following a tragic high school shooting.   (more…)

School Improvement: More Is Not More

Michael Schmoker will be a Thought Leader at the National Principals Conference in July 2017 and will provide more insight. Register today!

 

After decades of reform, schools across the country still haven’t learned to prioritize their improvement efforts. Instead of focusing on the most vital, game-changing actions, we are implementing an abundance of initiatives simultaneously—which often ultimately leads to failure. (more…)

STEM: Developing Students’ Skills for Future Success

Guest post by Mary Anne Moran

Do you ever stop and wonder what the traditional high school experience is preparing our students for? Are we preparing students for life beyond the high school or college classroom? Do the hours in the classroom have a direct correlation to future success? It is time we begin to reconsider the programming that we are offering in schools to ensure that our students are prepared for their futures rather than the next classroom.

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Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Contact Your Congressman and Support Funding for Principals!

Last week, President Trump released his first budget proposal for FY 2018. In it, he called for a complete elimination of funds for Title II, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This section provides formula funding to states for the purpose of preparing, training, recruiting, and retaining high-quality teachers, principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders. While it is extremely disheartening to see President Trump turn his back on the nation’s educators, Congress still has the ability to continue funding Title II, Part A. Take a stand with NASSP and participate in our newest action alert opposing President Trump’s cuts and asking Congress to fully fund Title II, Part A at the levels authorized under ESSA. (more…)

School Leaders Joining Hands Across All Levels

Remember when student learning took place in a one-room school (think “Little House on the Prairie”)? There was a time when all students were together—learning in one culture and one environment.

But as communities got bigger, we started separating students by developmental stages. As a result, students now have to transition from school to school—experiencing different cultures and curriculums each time. And there is no doubt that those transitions can be difficult. (more…)

100%: Fantasy or Reality?

Guest post by Margaret Calvert

As school leaders, we define success in numerous ways. Higher attendance rates. Improved reading and math proficiency. Increased achievement on assessments. But the ultimate measure in high school is graduation. In this measure, we strive to earn a 100 percent, like any good student. However, most of us believe that this exemplary standard exists only in the realm of our imagination and is impossibly beyond our reach. But what if we change our thinking? What if we make our goal to reach 100 percent and expect that all of our students find success? (more…)

Positive School Culture: Make It the Principle

Guest post by Lizzie Sider

Lizzie Sider is an 18-year-old singer/songwriter born and raised in Boca Raton, FL. She is also the founder of the bully prevention foundation Nobody Has The Power To Ruin Your Day, through which she has personally visited over 350 schools with her original bully prevention assembly. In her post below, Lizzie offers principals some observations related to the importance of promoting a positive school culture. Lizzie’s endeavor highlights key values all global change ambassadors should possess, including promoting awareness/perspectives and empathetic action. (more…)

Roundabouts—The Direction for Learning

Guest post by Paul Hermes 

 

In the early morning hours of a Wednesday in October while on my way to work, I exited off the interstate. As I reached the bottom of the off ramp, I breezed through a series of roundabout intersections that I go through on this particular route to work without having to wait or even slow down much. As I got closer to school, I came across my first traditional traffic-light-controlled intersection. I hit a red light and sat there waiting even though no other cars used the green light coming from the other direction. I became impatient and frustrated and felt like I was waiting there forever until I finally got the green light to go.

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Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

This is Your Last Chance to Register for the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference!

Today is the final day to register to be part of the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., April 24-26. Programming includes sessions on the Trump administration’s education agenda and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act; federal advocacy training; a debate on school choice; meeting with your representatives in Congress; and more! (more…)