Let’s be honest. In today’s time, education is all about numbers—state tests, national tests, school report cards—the list goes on and on. One number that I always strive to see increase is our graduation rate. Yes, an increasing graduation rate looks good on paper, but more than that is the intrinsic motivation I have when a student who has faced many obstacles receives a diploma.
E pluribus unum.Out of many, one.
It sounds cliché, I understand. Yet, as I reflect on the past few months after being recognized as the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals 2018 Principal of the Year, and after participating in the NASSP Principals Institute in Washington, D.C., I find this to be a remarkably simple and accurate summary of principals around our state and nation. (more…)
In a recent Q&A I host weekly with Danny Bauer, we talked about the importance of having a coach, or mentor, to help you become a better leader. (more…)
Each year I invite our teachers at Montour High School to participate in the Shadow a Student Challenge. For one week, a group of teachers spends time following students around the building, attending their classes, and joining them in lunch, activities, and more. Afterward, the teachers and I get together and talk about their shadowing experiences. It was during one of these afternoon conversations that changed the direction of our school community for the better.
Guest post by Kelly Parker
South Meadow School (SMS) in Peterborough, NH is guided by our vision: “A caring, cooperative, and respectful community of learners.” We are a family and work hard to instill values that will help students realize this vision by providing the support they need to be successful. One of the most important ways we guide students is by helping them connect to our school and one another in a positive way. We use the following guiding principles to nurture relationships and develop connections for all members of the SMS community: (more…)
Guest post by Jay R. Townsend
What do NFL coaches and high school administrators have in common? Certainly not the pay or the publicity. But they both build people and teams. And you can learn a lot about how to build a winning school team from former NFL head coach Tony Dungy. I have been a huge fan of Dungy’s leadership style, and the lessons that I have learned from his book The Mentor Leader have helped me design a strong playbook for my students and staff. (more…)
Guest post by Holly Ripley
As you well know, the role of the assistant principal has changed dramatically since the days when our primary responsibility was to serve as the resident disciplinarian. Addressing poor student behavior is of course still a necessary part of the job, but I work to minimize the time I spend on it so I can do the important work of coaching teachers and—sometimes directly, often indirectly—guiding students. If all students are in classes where they feel cared about, comfortable, and confident in learning, then we ultimately have very little misbehavior to deal with. (more…)
Guest post by Jeff Simon
Last week, I discussed the importance of building a positive school culture by utilizing a one-hour lunch period for clubs and activities that foster school pride and for innovative labs that encourage enthusiasm for learning. This week, I will share how we’ve built a culture of personal responsibility at Payson High School by providing a positive support system for student learning through embedded intervention.
Guest post by Jeff Simon
Indiana Jones was my hero growing up—I wanted to be just like him. And now, as high school administrator, I get to do that every day, because not only did Indiana Jones study culture, he taught it to inquisitive minds and instilled passion in curious students to become lifelong learners.
Principals know that as the culture goes, so does the school. From Day 1, our administrative goal at Payson High School has been to build a culture that focuses on pride in our school and enthusiasm for learning. (more…)
Guest post by Kendrick Myers
Have you heard the story of Telemachus? Or maybe the story of Odysseus? Either way, if you research mentoring, you will find that many authors make references to Greek mythology that paint the picture of a mentor as a wise teacher, advisor, counselor, advocate, and defender.
Yet some educators and scholars would argue differently, referencing Bandura’s social learning theory as the framework for mentoring; a theory that suggests that individuals learn through observing the actions and behaviors of influential role models. (more…)