NASSP

Change the Preposition: No More Choice “of” Schools, Choice IN Schools

Guest post by Kevin Lein

Throughout my career in education, various school choice initiatives have come and gone, but now school choice has the backing of our current political administration and Secretary DeVos. As a staunch advocate of public education, I am deeply troubled by these efforts to undermine and dismantle the progress we have made in our public schools. I believe that the solution to the question of school choice lies not in offering choices between schools, but rather in promoting choice initiatives within our public schools.  (more…)

Tips to Build a Culture of Innovation

Guest post by Jamie Richardson

School leaders talk often about innovation in education, but as much as we want it, we have to admit it’s hard to get past talking about it and actually change. Change is scary and uncomfortable. Even with well thought out plans, the outcome is unknown and the stakes are high. A far greater risk, though, is maintaining the status quo. But I have seen the power of change at LaCreole Middle School. Our stellar staff faces their fears, takes risks, and embraces new ideas so that we all work toward a true common goal. (more…)

Take Time Out to Learn from Your Peers—and Help Your School in the Process

Guest post by Lenore M. Kingsmore

When I received the call that I was the New Jersey Principal of the Year, I was elated. Receiving my award in the nation’s capital would be a highlight of my career—and it was —but what was more important were the rich professional development opportunities I received that I had not imagined were possible. The NASSP Principals Institute breathed new life into me as a school leader, expanded my vision of leadership, and catapulted me into the 21st century of professional learning.  (more…)

Three “Secret” Ingredients for Building Strong Classrooms

Guest post by Amber Schroering

Brownsburg East Middle School (BEMS) is a community that takes great pride in the achievements of its students and staff. For many years, BEMS has topped the rankings for academic excellence in all of the areas of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP). In fact, many visit our school and district to learn about our “secret sauce,” or how we consistently get high achievement from our students. One of our “secret ingredients” involves a commitment from our faculty to incorporate three classroom management techniques that ensure a strong culture conducive to high levels of learning.  (more…)

Change Your Island Mentality Through Connected Leadership 

Guest post by Winston Sakurai 

At my school in Hawaii, we embrace the native mentality of “aloha”—which means we always welcome new people and ideas no matter where they are from. But at the same time, as we are literally living on an island, it can be hard to keep up with what is going on elsewhere. To overcome these challenges, I have worked hard to develop connected leadership behaviors that leverage technology to maximize time and performance.  (more…)

Cranium Crunch at Lunch: A Book Club to Increase Reading Levels

Guest post by Derek Fialkiewicz

I teach math as my father did before me, so I have always considered myself to be a “math nerd.” I find math fun and am proud of my students’ achievement, but when I became an assistant principal, I was forced to consider student achievement and learning outside of my math bubble. I came to better understand that while my students achieved in math, many were struggling as readers. This was a perfect opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and entice students to read. (more…)

That’s a Wrap for this Year’s National Principals Month

 Our month-long celebration of National Principals Month has concluded and schools across the country took the opportunity to say “thank you” to their principals in really meaningful ways.

Video Contest

One way was through the student video contest, which challenged students to create fun short videos telling us why they love their principal. This year’s winners are: (more…)

Cooling Down and Perking Up: Restorative Practices for Student Success

Guest post by John Bartlett

It was a normal morning during my second year as a teacher. I got to school early and went to the office to get my second cup of coffee before school started. On the way back to class, it happened—a girl fight. As an educator, you know what I am talking about. You also know that generally girl fights are much more difficult to separate than boy fights. As I stepped in between the two female combatants as their hands clutched at each other’s hair, one of the duelists knocked my coffee cup out of my hand to meet its ultimate demise on the tile floor. Coffee went everywhere including on the two girls. Long story short, their parents were not happy. They reported to the principal that I had poured coffee all over their “innocent” young ladies.  (more…)

Telling a 21st Century Learning Story Through Digital Portfolios

Guest post by Mike King

Last time I posted, I discussed Dodge City Middle School’s (DCMS) student-led conference initiative, which places students at the center of their own learning. This post, I will share how we’ve continued this important work and integrated digital portfolios that help students apply their learning experiences to the real world and foster digital citizenship and 21st-century learning skills. (more…)

Let the Games Begin: Using Competition to Motivate the Students and Staff

Guest post by Chris Chitwood

As a coach, I believe that motivation is everything, and everyone is motivated by something. When our administrative team at Wilbanks Middle School in Demorest, GA, wanted to transform our culture to one of excellence in attendance, behavior, and academics, we decided to utilize competition as a way to motivate students and shift everyone’s focus to these three key areas.  (more…)