Todd Whitaker

Reflect on #NASSP15 (and 5 Reasons to Plan Now for Ignite ’16)

Ignite ’16—Are you ready? February 2016 in Orlando, FL, might seem like a much-too-distant vision. But now is a good time to reflect on the experiences of Ignite ’15 to get the financial or professional support you need to assure your place at NASSP’s annual national conference, a no-regrets investment in the future of your students and your school.

Whether you were there in person or in spirit, Ignite ’15 offers some persuasive reminders about why you should make Ignite ’16 a “must” on your to-do list for the 2015–2016 academic year. Check out a Storify recap of Ignite ’15 (#NASSP15) now to revisit the event that many consider a professional game-changer. Consider these five reasons to get Ignite ’16 on your radar:

  1. Connect

Many school leaders celebrate Ignite for its ability to enable them to build and reinforce that all-important professional learning network (PLN). (more…)

What Connected Educators Do Differently

Guest post by Jimmy Casas, principal, Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, IA, and Jeff Zoul, assistant superintendent for Teaching and Learning with Deerfield Public Schools District 109 in Deerfield, IL.

The jubilation that she had felt during the welcome-back-to-school week had worn off. Gone was the energy of connecting with new faces, interacting with her peers, and preparing for the arrival of students who were eager to get back to school after a long summer. She was now alone, in her classroom, removed from the rest of her peers. She was feeling isolated, less effective, and thirsting for some adult personal and professional interaction. (more…)

A Leader’s Resolution: Professional Fitness in the New Year

Guest post by Jared Wastler, assistant principal, Liberty High School, Eldersburg, MD

It is that time of year again­—time to set resolutions for the New Year. Eating healthier? Using technology less? Exercising more? Those are the popular ones. However, this year I challenge you to consider a different type of resolution. My challenge to each and every one of you is to resolve to become more professionally fit.

Professional fitness does not refer to how many stairs you can climb throughout your building during the day or the number of steps you take during bus and lunch duty. Instead, professional fitness refers to your aptitude as a continual learner. Ignite ’15 Thought Leader Michael Fullan uses a key term in his book The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact: lead learner. (more…)