Guest Blogs

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize—But Give the Rest to the Players

Guest post by Robert Nolting

 

Great coaches have a notebook, clipboard, or corkboard in their office with the big picture written down. Then, they let the players, assistant coaches, and others run with great ideas to make it happen. Principals should take cue. It is our job to create a vision for our school, but it is our teachers, students, and parents who develop the details and make our vision a reality.  (more…)

Parent University: A Formula for Success in Math

Guest post by Derek Fialkiewicz

In my life before I was a school administrator, I was a math teacher. In most parent-teacher conferences, I listened to parents explain their struggles to help their children with math: (more…)

Interventions for Struggling Learners: Meeting Students Where They Are

Guest post by Michael Pflugrath

As schools work to support struggling learners, it is important for school leaders to reflect on the effectiveness of their intervention programs and strategies. How do we know whether the interventions are enough to help students? Do these programs and strategies meet students where they are and provide equal access for all students to learn?  (more…)

Leverage the Three Ts: Talent, Transparency, and Timeline

Guest post by Robert Nolting

When I was hired as principal of Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, IL, in 2009, it was expected that I would bring needed changes to the school. Most of us in school leadership are hired under this same expectation, but principals succeed or fail based on one simple concept: Do they bring positive change to the school? If the changes we make are negative—or none at all—we tend to leave, either on our own or through the influence of others. So how can administrators be an agent for positive change in their schools? My advice for all school leaders is to leverage the Three Ts: talent, transparency, and timeline.  (more…)

A Recipe for Success: Embracing Schoolwide Strategies to Promote an Academic Culture

Guest post by Susan Harrison-Rollins

I’m often asked for the recipe to a high-performing school. It’s a question that’s hard to answer. Of course, the recipe begins with a dedicated staff ready to embrace the many changes that come with education. And it helps to have a motivated group of students who have accepted a culture of learning. A school becomes a high-performing school when it has, through a clear and shared focus, high standards and expectations for all students, effective school leadership, high levels of collaboration and communication, frequent monitoring (of both learning and teaching), focused professional development, and a supportive learning environment with high levels of family and community involvement. Beyond these things, and maybe most important, it is paramount to devise a set of schoolwide strategies that become embedded and essential to the academic culture.  (more…)

Changing Paradigms from Adult-Centered to Student-Centered Learning in Schools: A Powerful Shift and Catalyst for Change

Guest post by Autumn Pino

I will be the first to admit that what I am about to say might be a little controversial, and maybe even a bit daunting for some.  (more…)

Leading in the Google Classroom Era

Guest post by Brad Currie 

Over the past year, Google Classroom has taken the educational world by storm. Teachers and students are now able to thrive in a paperless world. School leaders must support this new way of life while respecting the transition from traditional methods. So how can a school leader leverage the power of Google Classroom to promote student and staff success? Let’s take a look … (more…)

The End is Near—But the Beginning is Right Around the Corner!

 

We’ve all heard folks grumble that time flies faster and faster as we age. With schedules governed by school calendars each year, that sentiment seems to be most aptly applied to principals! Each year seems to go more quickly than the last, and I’m likely not the only one wondering where all the time has gone. (more…)

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…)