NASSP

Being Wrong Isn’t Always Bad—Sometimes It’s the Right Thing to Do

Guest post by Donald Gately

There is an event that every principal anticipates with varying degrees of trepidation. It is something students are excited and nervous about as well: the year-opening school letter telling kids who their teachers are going to be.  (more…)

Swapping Coins and Talking Choice with Betsy DeVos

Guest post by Tom Dodd

It was an honor to help facilitate the 2017 NASSP National Principals Institute, assist with Principal of the Year finalist interviews, and attend the awards ceremony. It brought back great memories of last year’s Institute, the outstanding leaders I was surrounded by, and my own surprise announcement as the 2017 National Principal of the Year.

It also gave me a chance to create new memories. I caught up with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as she left the awards ceremony after delivering her comments to the State Principals of the Year. I reintroduced myself and gave her one of my gold challenge coins. The secretary’s confidential assistant offered her coin in return, accompanied by the potential of an audience with the secretary the following morning. (I offered to bring Secretary DeVos a pumpkin spice latte if she could make it happen, my treat!) (more…)

How I’m #MakingGlobalChange

Guest post by Alexis Tisby

The NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee launched a global citizenship initiative in November 2016, and Alexis Tisby is one of the initiative’s global change ambassadors. She is from Lakewood, WA, and a senior at Harrison Preparatory School who has completed over 260 hours of volunteering and service in her community. In the future, she plans to major in computer science and minor in theater and art while obtaining her private pilot license.

She encourages others to join in on this global citizenship initiative and make global change. Local efforts count! As she shares, projects don’t have to be done on a global or international scale—the things you do locally can still contribute to making a global impact.

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Building School Culture by Starting Small

Guest post by Duane Kline

I have an admission to make. It turns out that after 31 years as a public school educator, I think school culture is the most important part of schooling. More important than curriculum, more important than assessment. Additionally, its importance is not solely for the benefit of students, but for the teachers and staff members who make the school what it is for the students. (more…)

Promoting Ownership of Learning Through Student-Led Conferences

Guest post by Mike King

Located on the rolling plains of Southwest Kansas, Dodge City is a town with Wild West roots where Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Doc Holliday used to rule the land. Today, Dodge City is less lawman and gunfighters and more meatpackers and manufacturers with Cargill Meat Solutions and National Beef as the community’s top employers. As principal of Dodge City Middle School (DCMS), I am on a constant mission to cultivate opportunities for our students to develop college and career readiness skills and help them take ownership of their learning.  (more…)

10 Tips for Growing Your PLN—It’s Not Just Books and Conferences

Guest post by Heather Daubert

Several years ago, a colleague asked what professional book I was reading. I rattled off the name of a popular educational author and then shared that my greatest professional growth came through my professional learning network (PLN). The response from my colleague left me with feelings of inadequacy. Was I viewed as an ill-informed administrator because I sought professional growth from non-traditional avenues? Even though I could articulate the thinking of highly respected peers, because it did not come from a book, was it not valued?  (more…)

Celebrate National School Lunch Week: Optimize Success With Community Eligibility

Guest post by Alison Maurice

Across the country, schools are celebrating National School Lunch Week—a time to shine a light on the important role school lunch plays in supporting students’ academic success and health.  (more…)

Happy National Principals Month!

We know how important school leaders are to the success of their schools and students, yet they often don’t get the appreciation that they deserve for their efforts. Because we believe in the critical role of principals, our organizations—NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators—have once again declared October as National Principals Month. (more…)

School Leadership Starts at Home

Guest post by Steve Carlson

This year, the Carlson family finally all takes the same path in the morning. Now that my youngest is in kindergarten, my wife, three children, and I spend our days in the Sandusky Community School District. I know that many others have enjoyed this experience, but having it happen in our family has given me a new perspective. For starters, it is nice to know that the long hours I put in as Sandusky Junior/Senior High School principal have a direct impact on my family. More than this, having my entire family under the same “school roof” has motivated me to lead our school to benefit all families and taught me some valuable lessons. (more…)

Build for Learning

Guest post by Darren Ellwein

Stanford’s d.school has had a major impact on how I view learning in my school. Founded in 2005, the d.school is an institute that brings students and faculty from different backgrounds together to tackle real-world challenges and develop innovative, human-centered solutions using design methodology.  (more…)