Guest post by Holly Ripley
As school leaders, we are often expected to provide answers and guidance in times of uncertainty and transition. But what happens when we do not know the answers? I learned recently that sometimes the best response is to ask your students and encourage the community to share knowledge. Our job is not to have all of the answers but to help facilitate a collective search for greater understanding and help students leverage their own voices. (more…)
Guest post by Donald Gately
I read with great interest the letter from NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti in this January’s issue of Principal Leadership. She references a report issued recently by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) about how principals spend their time. I want to react to the three key findings noted in JoAnn’s letter.
The first of these findings is completely unsurprising: The average principal spends 59 hours a week on the job. (more…)
What if you turned off the bells in your school and threw away the traditional schedule for the day? What would you do for an entire day with students? How would students want to spend their time learning? (more…)
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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…)
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.
Recently, members of NASSP’s Student Leadership Advisory Committee visited Capitol Hill to meet with their respective members of Congress and participate in education-focused advocacy. The Student Leadership Advisory Committee has helped shape NASSP’s Student Leadership Initiative: Global Citizenship and continues to be an important voice on behalf of young people. In the posts below, learn about what a few of the committee members did while advocating on Capitol Hill.