School of Thought

Facing Professional Disappointments and Finding Peace in the “No”

“Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.” —Mark Amend

How do you handle “no”?

You’re getting ready for dismissal. You have just survived yet another final interview for a principalship. You feel you have highlighted some of the qualities a principal should have and your plan to help the students and teachers move forward at the school. You have a clear vision, and you clearly outlined how to continue the mission already in place. When the phone call comes, you get a lump in your throat and chills. Once again, you hear not only that they have chosen another candidate who was a “better fit,” but you are being moved to another school. (more…)

It’s National Principals Month!

Happy National Principals Month to all the amazing school leaders out there from all of us at NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators! We know how important school leaders are to the success of their students and we want to take this time to express our appreciation. That’s why our organizations have once again declared October as National Principals Month.  (more…)

This Week for National Principals Month

It is officially October, which means it is time to celebrate National Principals Month! NASSP is once again partnering with the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) to host this monthlong celebration honoring the contributions principals make toward school improvement and student success. (more…)

What’s Your School Leader Story?

When it comes to school leadership, what really matters? Years of experience? Advanced degrees? Principal placement? While each of these indicators can play a role in a school leader’s impact on student achievement, they don’t tell the whole story of why a principal can succeed. (more…)

How to Keep Staff Motivated Throughout the School Year

I always love the first few of days of each year when the anticipation for school is palpable. The students are eager to get their schedules, see their friends, and make their Friday night game plans. While their excitement for school makes me remember my teenage dreams, it’s the staff who really inspires me. Restored from the summer, the staff is even more eager than the students to get their classrooms organized, collaborate with colleagues on lesson plans, and fulfill the promise of the new school year. (more…)

Taking a Critical Lens to Instructional Design

No one can deny the fact that we are seeing some pretty exciting changes in teaching, learning, and leadership. Advances in research, brain science, and technology are opening up new and better pathways to reach learners like never before. This excitement, in some cases, effects real change and has supporting evidence of improvement. In other cases, money is being dumped on the latest tool, program, idea, or professional development without ensuring that instructional design is up to par in the first place. Pedagogy trumps technology. It also goes without saying that a solid pedagogical foundation should be in place prior to implementing any innovative idea. (more…)

Four Ways to Fine-Tune Your Leadership Skills

After 18 years of being an assistant principal in various schools, I still love my job. But whether you are a new administrator or a seasoned veteran, it is always a challenge to stay current in the ever-changing educational landscape. How do you master the varied roles you are expected to fulfill?  Here are four ways that I have honed my leadership skills in my time as a school administrator: (more…)

The FY 2019 Appropriations Process Continues to Move Along

Earlier this year, congressional leaders in both the House and Senate stated their intent to pass all 12 appropriations bills, a process often referred to as “regular order,” which hasn’t been done since 1996 as to avoid another end of the year budget package. In late June, House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) both released their spending bills. The Senate acted on their bill and packaged it with the defense spending bill to help pass the two largest spending bills at once. (more…)

How Will You Celebrate National Principals Month?

Principals are educational visionaries who lead us in providing the best possible education for our school communities—so how can we thank them for all they do?

Start by honoring them during National Principals Month. (more…)

NASSP and HRC Lead School Inclusion Efforts for LGBTQ Students

NASSP and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have partnered to highlight the important role that principals have in striving for educational equity, with a focus on safety and inclusion for LGBTQ students.

The need for culturally responsive practices that promote each student’s academic well-being is especially critical in this politically charged time. HRC’s 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report found that only 26 percent of LGBTQ students feel safe in their classrooms, with only 5 percent stating that they feel their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people. This heartfelt video clip spotlights just some of these experiences faced by LGBTQ students. At the same time, according to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 83 percent of educators felt they should provide safe classrooms for LGBTQ students, though only half have actually taken action to do so. (more…)