School of Thought

Focus on the “BE” before the “DO”

Guest post by Jay R. Dostal

Last year, my leadership team held a two-day retreat to focus on moving from our current school building into the new one we were building at the time. As you might imagine, moving a 230,000 square foot building, in addition to implementing a new educational model centered on college, career, and life readiness, can be quite stressful and taxing. Many details needed to be coordinated, including developing a communication plan, updating multiple forms with the new address, purchasing new furniture, and much more. My team and I worked diligently to put together a list of things that we needed to get done during our two-day hiatus away from the building, and we had every intention of getting them completed before the second semester started. Then the retreat happened. (more…)

When Things Get Personal

Guest post by Crystal Newby

With another college application season about to start once again, we know that one of your students’ main concerns is the admissions essay. That’s why the National Honor Society (NHS) recently launched a series of virtual college application essay writing workshops. In one such workshop, Crystal Newby, assistant director of education and training for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), presented “Perfecting the Personal Statement.” After the presentation, Crystal prepared some strategies for you to share with your students:

I’m sure you’ve heard your parents, grandparents, or family members say the phrases, “When I was your age…” or “I’ve been in your shoes.” When I heard mine say this, I used to roll my eyes (behind my mom’s back, of course). I used to think that they couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. It wasn’t until later in life that I appreciated what they said and came to the realization that they really did understand. (more…)

Summer Camp for Lead Learners

I know tons of students who get to attend summer camp every year. I also know many adults who reminisce about their experiences at summer camp when they were younger. Unfortunately, I never went to summer camp though I think I would have enjoyed packing my bags, waving goodbye to my parents, meeting new friends, and participating in all sorts of new experiences. (more…)

Five Simple Ways to Boost Teacher Morale

Guest post by Tara Rosipal

Administrators spend lots of time and energy creating a positive and caring student culture. Although important, what about teacher culture? How do we as school leaders help teachers stay positive and keep their morale high? (more…)

Advocacy Update

Learn How the Education Landscape Has Changed at the National Principals Conference!

The election of President Trump and his appointment of Secretary DeVos have drastically altered the education sector’s path set forth by the Obama administration. To help you better understand the new policies and platforms of this new administration, as part of the 2017 National Principals Conference, NASSP and NAESP will host a panel with thought leaders and policymakers to discuss emerging issues in education reform at the national level. Issues discussed during this panel will include the school choice movement, questions about the appropriate federal role in education, a looming educator shortage crisis, and state implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (more…)

A “Pineapple Program” for Principals

Guest post by Donald Gately

Teacher peer observation is a powerful tool for professional growth and school improvement. Whether done formally or informally, peer observations help teachers enhance their knowledge base, improve classroom practices, gain new ideas for instruction, and much more. For a principal, however, it’s rare to see another principal’s work or spend time observing other schools. How can principals get feedback from their leadership peers, like teachers do, to improve their schools and grow professionally? (more…)

Ineffective Leadership in Today’s Schools

This year marks the 20th anniversary since I attended my first NASSP principals conference. I still recall the excitement I felt. As a young administrator, I could hardly wait to get to the conference to learn from some of the best minds in educational leadership. (more…)

The Benefits of Association Involvement for School Leaders

Guest post by Cameron Soester

Four years ago, I became the assistant principal at Milford Junior/Senior High School. It was September, and the principal in my building, Brandon Mowinkel, invited me to attend the Region 1 meeting of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals (NSASSP). I was unsure exactly what I was getting into, why I was going, and what I was going to do at this meeting, but as it turns out, getting involved in my region has opened many doors for me. (more…)

Advocacy Update

Learn How to Influence Your Elected Officials at the National Principals Conference!

As a principal, you are already your school’s lead spokesperson in your community. Have you ever considered taking that responsibility even further by contacting your government officials to advocate on behalf of your school? If so, then join us in Philadelphia on July 9–11 at the National Principals Conference, the first-ever joint conference for Pre-K through grade 12 school leaders, hosted by NASSP and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. (more…)

Finishing Strong

Guest post by Duane Kline

I’m writing on a cross-country flight from Kentucky to San Francisco with my wife and daughter. It turns out that my 22 years of parenting have brought us to the point where (a) my daughter has her own interests and a career and (b) she feels the need to “see the world.” So, she’s preparing to move to Northern California.  (more…)