History
Icon-add-to-playlist Icon-download Icon-drawer-up
Share this ... ×
...
By ...
Embed:
Copy
Rss
The Principal Entrepreneur
Supporting Educational Leaders
Category: K-12
Location:
Followers (14)
Currently following. Unfollow
Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Picture?width=25&height=25 Picture?width=25&height=25 Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Picture?width=25&height=25
by Jonathan Royce
x
take it with you
Iphone5s_trans go mobile with PodOmatic's new iPhone app.
don't have an iPhone? no problem »
x
loading results... Loader
loading results... Loader
x
No results found.
August 24, 2017 02:29 PM PDT

The Principal Entrepreneur: 3 Habits to combat the principal’s first few weeks hangover

The first week has simultaneously felt like forever and gone by in a flash. Your body feels like it has been hit by a Mack Truck. You’ve got a to do list the length of a census scroll and all the vitamins in the world haven’t done the job to keep you energized. You’re a principal and only others in the role understand the phrase “principal tired”. The combination of mental gymnastics and physical movement in the first week is second to none. These 3 habits are a good reminder of what can help combat that first week principal’s hangover.

Hydration
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, so I’ll just reiterate it. Hydrate. Hydrate before you eat and drink more as you make your way down the hall for the one thousandth time. Keeping hydrated helps your mental function, keeps those headaches at bay and has numerous other health benefits. It’s also one of the easiest things to forget as we’re running throughout the week. For a more in depth look at how water impacts your health, check out this easy reading from Fitday.

Snack
Have healthy snacks available. As your body wears done it will crave the deliciousness of fat, sugar and salt. Somehow I always find myself doing walkthroughs in the room with the candy jar. Avoid that trap! Make it easier to get the healthier stuff. You can get a good sweet with strawberries and bananas and a good crunch with carrots. While nut as fun as chips and cookies you’ll feel better eating healthier as you give your body what it actually needs.

Balance is key
This is my favorite. Take your one day and splurge! Eat all the mac and cheese, greens, ham or turkey you body can hold, and then eat some more. Pile up your plate with pie and tasty treats. I’m no trainer or health nutritionist but I know that after a day of eating to excess my brain and tastebuds have had enough. It’s much easier to eat healthier after a day like that than to try and be disciplined an entire first week of school.

The first week of school is a mental and physical marathon. I don’t know if it’s completly possible to avoid that first week principal hangover, but it is probable that you can limit it. Stay hydrated throughout the week, keep healthy snacks easily available and don’t beat yourself up if you have one day where you just eat whatever. Sometimes eating your favorite tasty treat is better for your mental health.

What strategies do you use to keep your sanity and your energy up that first week of school?
Leave your helpful suggestions in the comment section below.
If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please follow me and share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. You can also get a monthly email that delivers the most valuable blogs as voted by readers by joining the Principals’ Prep Minute. You can register right on the website.

If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 22, 2017 01:27 PM PDT

3 things veteran principals know when dealing with a parent’s online rant.

One of the unwritten rules of education is that the parent is always right. No principal wants to hear from board members that they didn’t treat a parent well. However, always supporting parents will ruin your ability to lead effectively. Veteran principals know that when dealing with parents who are going on a social media rant there are at least three things they have to remember.

Communicate and Diffuse
If a parent believes that they are always right, regardless of rudeness, they can and often will ask for just about anything. They will demand that Sally be moved from one room to the next or that a teacher change a grade or extend a deadline. It also means that these oppressive parents are getting better treatment and more attention than their easy going polite counterparts. That just isn’t right. Unfortunately these parents aren’t shy about complaining on social media. When that happens it’s time for us to diffuse the situation, even when we know they’re being unreasonable.

A good first step is to bite the bullet and make the call to the parent. Let them know another concerned parent forwarded the message to you so you would be able to address it. Once you’ve heard them, ask if they’d mind taking down the post.

Supporting Staff is Key
In conflicts between aggressive parents and teachers it’s okay to consistently side with your teachers. They have to put up with and be great in the face of parents’ complaints, societal judgements and unrealistic expectations on a daily basis. Treating staff like quality members of the team provides them with the value that they’ve earned and deserve. It shows you have their back. If you don’t support them in the face of an overwhelming parent, smaller things will cause huge resentment and inhibit your ability to lead. Of course there are ineffective teachers who don’t communicate well or appropriately with parents, but in a conflict, that is not the time to coach those behaviors. In fact this could actually leads to worse parent teacher communication.

In the event that a conflict like this get recounted online in an unfavorable manner sometimes a good choice is to just ignore it. Veteran principals often have a good sense when this would be the wiser course of action. If you’re new, run the scenario by a colleague and get their perspective.

Every Night has its Dawn
Parents will talk crap about the school and the teachers. Those are often easier to deal with because it’s not necessarily a direct assault on us. There will be occasion, however, when parents will insult us and call into question the decisions we’ve made. Maybe we’ve cancelled a school dance or end of the year ceremony where all kids are affected because of the choices of a small group. If you make the choice that you need to further explain your choice and the reasons for it a good idea is to wait until the next morning.

If you’re like me by the end of the day you’re often physically and emotionally drained. This is not the best time to send out an email responding to a parent’s attack. The tone in an email response cannot be easily interpreted and is often read with the recipient's emotional lens. Wait until the following morning and write your response. Again if you have a trusted staff member have them preview it before you send it out.

Veteran principals know of at least three strategies to use when dealing with parents that are online, ranting about school. They know they must communicate and diffuse the situation as best they can, support the staff member who may be caught up in an awkward situation and possibly just ignore the online chatter and finally, if it’s a personal attack wait until the following day to address the situation and have a trusted colleague review your message. These three strategies can help make it through a school year relatively unscathed by social media vitriol. their staff first knowing that this builds a culture of caring that spills over into students and their families.

What are your strategies for dealing with a parent’s online mayhem? Share your strategies in the comment section below.

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please follow me and share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. You can also get a monthly email that delivers the most valuable blogs as voted by readers by joining the Principals’ Prep Minute. You can register right on the website.

If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 19, 2017 09:37 AM PDT

In this episode we’re talking with Mrs. Donita Townsel. We discover the events that triggered her desire to teach, dig into the advice she has for principals and learn the lessons that sparked the inspiration for her book.

Mrs. Townsel has been an educator for 31 years. She spent about ½ that time as a middle and high school level science teacher and the other has as a lead counselor. In that role she worked hand and hand with the principal positively impacting school culture and academic achievement. Along with Dr. Selina Thedford she is the co-author of " The Ultimate Survival Toolkit for High School Students and their Parents" a step by step guide to navigate the college and career application process. We’ll get into some of the great advice and strategies in her book, but before we do so we get into her educational journey.

Summary Educational Journey
After graduated from Atlanta public schools. Donita attended Telladega College in Alabama with the intention of going into medical school. Realizing she’d done a little too much partying to pass the Med Cat she decided instead to join a lab. While living in Miami and looking for jobs in that field she discovered that there was a teacher shortage in the Sciences. Taking a look at her own skills she realized that there wasn’t enough interaction with people working in a lab. So, she decided to give teaching a shot on a provisional teaching certificate.

Tweetable quotes
I was determined to become a great teacher despite the mentoring I got.
I wouldn’t have survived if I didn’t have the thirst to become a great teacher.
Something in my personality made students confide in me.
Our (counselors) time is precious just like the principal’s
Counselors are the heart of the building.
Involve others and empower them in the organization.

Words of wisdom
Go to other content area teachers and shadow them to see what they’re doing and what you can bring back to your own classroom.

The mindset [of students] can impact whether or not the student is retained or drops out of college.

You create buy-in when you include counselors in the leadership team.

Jesus had a team he couldn’t do it all himself. He had the disciples.

Educational Challenge
Getting principals to see and understand the role of the counselor
Principals often give disciplinary duties to counselors which blur the lines and makes it difficult for students to trust them.

Solution
When it comes to discipline, find someone else to fulfill that role. Perhaps have someone switch duties.
Create systems that can smooth out work loads.

About Her Book
The inspiration for book " The Ultimate Survival Toolkit for High School Students and their Parents" a step by step guide to navigate the college and career application process, came from the many parent nights where the same questions were asked repeatedly. She and her coauthor Dr. Selina Thedford realized there was a pain point and they could address it. They are currently building a curriculum around the lessons they learned and plan to have that out as well in the near future.

Ideal audience includes juniors and seniors and their families as well as other counselors and schools looking for a handy guide for their students.

Most impactful sections of the book: Mindset and Communication sections

Advice for Principals
Counselors and Principals need to be a team.
Find space for counselors to create a curriculum of college and career readiness and socio emotional content.
Include counselors in the leadership team.

Book Recommendations
Jesus CEO by Laurie Beth Jones
21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership by John Maxwell

Contact Information
www.ultimatetoolkit.net.
Email: bntwhitlock@gmail.com

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please follow me and share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. You can also get a monthly email that delivers the most valuable blogs as voted by readers by joining the Principals’ Prep Minute. You can register right on the website.

If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 17, 2017 09:05 AM PDT

08/16/2017 The Principal Entrepreneur: 3 Tips For Leading With Integrity When The President Doesn’t

In a time when civil liberties and raw racial fault lines are the current topics of conversation and not black and white historical images on Youtube leaders must speak. There is a struggle to reconcile the leader of our United States words, with the reality some of us live on a consistent basis.

With the recent racist and violent acts in Charlottesville and President Trump saying,
"I think there is blame on both sides," and that within the group of those with Swastikas and yelling out anti-Semitic slogans there were some "bad people .... but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides." As principals we are left to parse words and determine how to lead our schools with vulnerability and integrity when the person in the highest public office of our land does not. The following are three ways to demonstrate leadership when the president does not.

Action are more important then Words
Do the little things. You’ve heard it before, but this is one of the best ways to show integrity and self discipline Doing the jobs that you expect others to do is an example of integrity. Show them that you aren’t afraid to get in the trenches with them. If you’re school holds ISS (in school suspension, take a turn sitting in their with the students. Join your staff in performing the jobs you know they dread. Leading by example, demonstrating through your actions that you mean what you say is a great way to show your integrity.

We is greater than Me
This is a team concept and those with high integrity demonstrate this value. Gathering the advice and listening to the point of view of those on your staff is important in building a strong culture. Hiring those who can support you and compensate for your weakness is key. Being able to ask for help and not pretending to have all the answers is an offshoot of this concept. Not only must you create a team you actually have to listen to them. Treating your entire staff as integral parts of a whole following their insights when necessary highlights your vulnerability and integrity as a leader.

Be comfortable with discomfort
This is often about honesty. Telling the truth tactfully lets your staff know where you stand. They don’t have to worry that you’re hiding something from them. Often making the decision to confront someone is more difficult than having the actual conversation. You must embrace the discomfort. When a teacher is disrespectful to the student and then the student responds in kind. Intervening in a respectful way is the right thing to do. Asking your staff what they could have done better isn’t easy. It’s your job to do it anyway. Integrity means having the courage to be uncomfortable.

In an age of hyperbole, increasing racial tensions, and alternate facts and hard line stances demonstrating vulnerability and integrity is one of the most important characteristics of a principal. Leading by example through your actions, showing that the team is greater than the individual and embracing discomfort are all components of integrity.

What are other ways you can demonstrate these characteristic. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you’ve gotten this far and found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection and you’d like to help me out please share with your friends!

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. You can also get a monthly email that delivers the most valuable blogs as voted by readers by joining the Principals’ Prep Minute. You can register right on the website.

If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and Podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 15, 2017 08:43 AM PDT

Hi there everybody welcome to the Principal Entrepreneur I’m Your Host and author of the book How to be a great principal Jonathan Royce.

Welcome to the 100th episode of the Principal Entrepreneur where we support educational leaders with strategies and suggestions that answer the question. How do I become a great principal.

I also interview Principals and school and educational leaders just like me and you and discuss their areas of expertise and how they overcome the challenges within schools.

Before we get into today's episode I’d just like to thank you listeners from all over the world joining me on the podcast. For those who don’t get the stats, we have listeners from not only the US but also Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Canada, Venezuela, Democratic Republic of the congo, Brazil, India, Australia, Egypt, Mexico, Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria, Philippines and Bosnia. If you’d like to join me on the show from any of these countries and talk about your educational experience we’d all love to hear about what education is like for you. Just email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Once again thank you for listening and please share with your friends and colleagues.

Now for Today’s episode we’re discussing:3 Things Principals sensitive to Charlottesville think about

After the Charlottesville incident where racist white nationalist battled counterportersters and three deaths occurred President Trump gave a statement, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,". Was this a strong enough statement? When domestic terrorism raises it’s ugly snout in the form of alt right racism, in such a visible, 1960’s manner, there is a process many school leaders go through as we try to process the event and the media and political circus that follows.

Should we address the event
The answer isn’t as easy as you would think. The reason for this is because every school is different. Is there a strong culture of courageous conversations in which people feel safe touching the live wire of emotion that speaking about race based topics can ignite? Often times the answer is no. This can be especially true if you’re a new principal and you haven’t yet learned your staff. Even if you’re a veteran leader your school culture might not lend itself to these types of intense conversations. Wondering if we should even address the issue is often the first step in the reflective process.

Composition of staff
Is having a conversation around this worth the potential disruption between staff? Does my staff have strong enough relationships with each other where a difference in perspective will not negatively impact the day to day operation of my school? These are at least two of the questions that I ask myself as I take in the current visible reality in our America.

Student and Staff interaction
If you bring the conversation to the students, does all your staff have the capacity to lead the conversation and diffuse tensions as necessary? Often times there are one or two staff members that are able to constructively have the conversation and work through the emotions that inevitably rise. Typically these are classrooms where teachers have strong relationships and high expectations with their students. These types of teachers aren’t as numerous as we would hope. The reason more than the one or two highly competent staff is necessary is because the other staff members will need to work with the same students that just got hyped up in the previous class. This is the third question that must be pondered when deciding if a discussion about overt racism should be endorsed.

These are all questions a building leader must process before making a decision; should the event even be addressed, is the staff composed of the “right” mix to have the conversation amongst themselves and finally is their a strong enough relationship between most of the staff and students. Often times you may be able to answer one or two of the questions positively. Knowing this is an opportunity for authentic learning are those great enough odds to take the risk. For me, the answer is almost always yes.

What is your process for working through these types of intense situations? Share your strategies in the comment section below.

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. You can also get a monthly email that delivers the most valuable blogs as voted by readers by joining the Principals’ Prep Minute. You can register right on the website.

If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 13, 2017 08:22 AM PDT

In this episode we talk with Dr. Tommy Watson. Dr. Watson is a former elementary principal, acclaimed author, and speaker. He is also the owner and driving force behind his company TA Watson, Speaking, Coaching and Consulting. We discuss his book A Face of Courage and his area of expertise; the systematic motivation of students. Before we do, however, we get into his educational journey and the struggles and successes he’s navigated to get where he is today.

Summary of his educational journey.
Dr. Tommy Watson grew up in Denver, Colorado with parents who who drug addicts, shoplifters and were in and out of the criminal justice system. As a result he and his siblings were placed in and out of foster homes. He was forced to bounce around to five different elementary schools in his first six years of school. As a result there were huge gaps in his education. He spent all of his 8th grade year living out of a motel after getting kicked out of his house in front of all of his friends.

It was in 8th grade however when a pivotal encounter with a coach inspired he and his inner city friends to play football. Just like a movie, Tommy found himself traveling across three city bus transfers to get to a private suburban mostly white school. This presented its own challenges both with the suburban students and his friends from the neighborhood.

To learn more about his journey and the Nun who challenged him and helped him succeed . . . listen to the entire episode smiley

Tweetable Quotes
I discovered the power of education and the difference it made in my journey
Education is a game changer
No one [teachers] killed my dreams. They simply had a philosophy that life would teach [me]
It’s not about hammering kids! It’s about teaching kids
I had no control over my life, so I came to school and tried to control that.

Words of Wisdom
I want to inspire young people to maximise education, utilize i [education] t and give back in the same way.

I had a coach, who for the first time, really believed in me, pushed me, motivated me. Who constantly spoke life into me. And talked to me about the possibilities beyond my neighborhood.

Often times we kill the dreams of our young people by telling them that their chances of making it to the NFL are slim. Not realizing that there’s never been an NFL player who didn’t first go to college

The kids who need love the most are often the kids who ask for it in the most undesirable ways.

We as educators, have to dig deep and have to learn to suspend judgment and allow a young person to do what it is that they enjoy doing.

Challenges
Walking into school with high poverty and low morale
Low principal during district cuts, lost job along with third of staff was brought back to building after district had assigned another principal who had brought his own staff. Had to rebuild again.

A Snippet of What he learned
Begin to change the culture “first class staff, serving first class students”
Move away from punitive discipline

Advice for Principals
Continually speak life into your staff
Place heavy emphasis on instruction and instructional strategies and classroom management.
Get community volunteers involved
Switch mindset from getting parents involved to getting caring adults involved.
Create PLC’s and create common language throughout building
Heavy emphasis on reading
Focus on building relationships with staff, student, parents and community.
Model the change you want to be, spend time in the community.

About his book A Face of Courage
An autobiography of his journey used to inspire educators about what their students could be going through. It can be used as a tool to create empathy in educators working with students from high poverty areas.

Secrets to Motivate Students Workshop Teaser
Step one - find students value of valence (find out what this means on the podcast) or by contacting Dr. Tommy Watson. You can learn the entire system for motivating students.

Recommended Books
The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell
Leading Change by John Kotter.

Contact Information
Dr. Tommy Watson
www.tawatson.com
Phone number 704.944.3555

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please our one ask is to follow the show and give a rating and review. This helps other educators find the show and helps give credibility to the work which makes it easier to get more great educational leaders on the show.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 10, 2017 07:16 AM PDT

How many of us have heard of data driven decisions or data driven instruction? Everybody right? If you’ve been in education longer than two minutes you’ve been hit over the head with the concept and the language so much that it’s now just part of our educational existence.
In the next 3-4 minutes it takes to read this. I’m going to reveal the single greatest strategy that will leverage those decisions and that instruction and provide the greatest impact on your students.

I’m adopted my biological mother delivered me when she was 16 years old. I was born with physical deformaties. Imagine a bullfrog when it ribbits and the membrane around its throat expands. I had a blister like that on the tip of my tongue when I was born and needed surgery to remove it. I was also born with extra digits on each hand those were removed as well. And so to look at me you wouldn’t know that these pieces of me were removed. What you can’t see is that I was also born with dyslexia and adhd and that as a child I had a speech impediment. As a result I really struggled to read up through and to the end of elementary school. I was even put in a special ed class for a short time in 6,th grade. All of this created a lot of self doubt and insecurity things you can’t see.

Why am I telling you this? Because there was one circumstance that profoundly changed the trajectory of my life. I got the chicken pox. Why is that important? It’s important because I was too sick to play. I couldn’t leave the house. It was during that one to two week period that my life changed. My mother sat and read to me. She read the adventures of Zorro to me from a Walt Disney book of collected stories. I can still see that book in my mind's eye it was a couple inches thick with a yellow binding. Those stories transported me to other worlds. It wasn’t just the stories though it was her spending time with me. It was love. It was in those weeks that I became a reader. That was the beginning for me. If it hadn’t been for that love I wouldn’t be an educator today. Love enabled me to raise my test scores in that specific area.

Love is the strategy that can provide the greatest impact on your data driven decisions and data driven instruction.

So what does that look like in your classrooms and in your schools? For me and my personality and my high school grade level. It’s greeting the kids when they come in. Smiling at them dapping them up. Being genuinely happy to see them when they come back from missing a day or three. And telling them that I need them there. But also having empathy or sympathy if they can’t make it everyday. What that reveals to them is the respect I have for them as people.

For me, the two greatest indicators of love that I can give students as an educator are trust and respect. So that means that I need to allow them to make decisions and have choice. I need to respect them enough to hold them accountable and also have high expectations. I also need to spend as much time with them as I can in my role as principal.

So what’s the data say about this love strategy? I can tell you that we had less discipline issues in our building. I can tell you we had no fights on our campus.

I had a student who I had to remove from our traditional day program and had to place her in our Virtual Academy which is our after school online program. This student was upset that she was removed, but eventually got her head right and buckled down to work. She showed that she was ready to be a student and earned her way back to the day program. Once there she continued to perform well and make the honor roll. She is now one of the senior leaders and is in charge of a bunch of different activities. I showed her love by holding her accountable, continuing to connect with her even after her poor choices and trust her to lead her classmates.

There is a lot of invisible aspects of our students that we can’t see. We can’t see their brain chemistry, we can’t see what they go home to on a daily basis. All we see is their actions and it’s up to us to interpret them in the most loving light that we can. Showing the students that we love them despite and sometimes because of their actions can change their lives and change their data. Love is the single most important strategy to use when leveraging data.

What are your thoughts on strategies that can be used to leverage data?

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 08, 2017 12:21 PM PDT

As the excitement builds to the first day of school and I brainstorm ways to being the school year with the new and veteran staff, traces of anxiety sink their tentacles into my stomach. I sleep fitfully waking up in the middle of the night thinking of ways to set the tone. In my first year I made many mistakes presenting at staff meetings. This year I want to do better. The following are three common mistakes principals make at their first staff meeting.

Death by bullet point
As educators we know that the human brain can only take in so much information. As a teacher we prided ourselves on chunking the information and scaffolding so all students could access the material. Somehow as a principal I forgot that and almost wanted to “show off” how much I knew by putting it all in a powerpoint. This is an easy mistake to make because there’s so much to cover. This year I’ll only present the material needed for the first week of school. This will limit the Powerpoint to just a few slides and the most important material wont get lost with stuff that isn’t happening until Thanksgiving!

No clear priorities
This goes hand in hand with too many bullet points. When there was a wealth of information my staff didn’t know what was important and what they could dismiss until a later date. I was unclear in my priorities and I didn’t make it a point to highlight or show in any way what I wanted accomplished within the first few weeks. This year at the first staff meeting I will make sure I only have three or four main points that can be ranked in importance. Not having a clear picture of what’s most important is one of the mistakes principals make at their first staff meeting.

One person show
Doing everything yourself at that first staff meeting, for me, is the hardest one to avoid. You’ve spent the whole summer working on the upcoming year and now it’s time for your vision to become a reality. At my first meeting I wanted to get input from the staff so I was facilitating and writing staff answers down. This added an easy 10-15 minutes to the meeting. I’ve got horrible writing so not only did it take longer, staff was also struggling to read what I had written. Thankfully, a veteran teacher volunteered to be the scribe in the afternoon session and I was wise enough to let her. Although you’ve spent the whole summer planning trying to run the show on your own is another common mistake principals make at that first staff meeting.

This year I hope to avoid these common pitfalls: too many bullet points, lack of clear priorities, and running the meeting by myself. What are some other common mistakes principals make at the first staff meeting? Please share your experience in the comment section below.

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 05, 2017 09:05 AM PDT

In this episode we chat with Dr. Mary Hughes-Tutass. Dr. Tutass has been in the educational arena for a couple of decades, she is a lecturer and expert in neuro linguistics for educators and is the founder of TeacherTMI: Ten Minutes of Information, where they specialize in bringing 10 minutes of information that matches the school calendar when and where teachers need it. We chat with her about the creation and inspiration for her company, discuss her educational journey as well as the struggles and success she’s had on her way.

Dr. Tutass grew up in a baby boomer neighborhood where the expectation was if you knew something you shared it otherwise you didn’t have anyone to play with. As she grew up in the educational era with a focus on cooperative learning she found herself leading groups and being a tutor to her peers. One thing naturally lead to another and in high school she had a P.E. class that focused on leadership. It was after that experience that she realized that education could be a profession for her.

She made her transition from college to P.E. teacher and during those 15 years she taught every grade before deciding to become a principal. The catalyst for that transition was a rapidly shrinking pool of talent in the principal ranks and noticing that those who remained weren’t as good as they could be. She decided to stop complaining and do something about it. Again her recommended books were

Tweetable Quotes
People are retiring faster and faster . .. better be ready to lead.
[As a principal] being scrutinized constantly is tough.
[As a principal]There is no planned day.
The choreography changes constantly, so do the players.
You need to focus on what to do instead of what not to do.
Students acting out in class are not always a personal insult to you.
No one comes into to this profession wanting to do poorly.
Teachers love to give, all the way until they feel taken.
Always listen to the ones that are quiet. It’s the loud ones you’ll hear repeatedly.

Words of Wisdom
I figure I better be properly trained rather than step in with no knowledge no empathy no experience.

You can go ahead and plan. You should plan. But don’t expect it [the day] to be planned.

Take smaller leadership roles first.

The words of positivity, the deeds of positivity are actions and words all moving you forward towards that goal.

The “why?” whine in itself is an accusation better to substitute it with “The reason”

When you say for what reason you’re making an assumption that there is a rationale and thinking behind what they’re doing and saying.

In talking about students acting out towards their teachers “If you can go one step further and unhook the blame and shame you feel all the time, you can move on knowing you are providing the service [to them].

Sometimes when kids name call it’s them showing their appreciation to you for keeping them on track.

Challenges as Principal
Always being public.
Always knowing had to be true to self and still represent education
Keeping public eye appropriately focused
Mentoring large number of teachers

Solutions
Focused a lot on exactly what she would say and what she was going to do.
Continually reflecting on practice
Asked herself:
Is this in alignment with who I want to be
Where I want to go
Why am I in this role in the first place
Teacher TMI is a scalable way to mentor large number of teachers and get them the content that they need

Advice for Principals
You want to create pictures and images in their [the students’ minds] that move them closer to a goal.
Ask any teacher for a list that would show their individual support for a student, use that list and treat the teacher in that manner.
Assume teachers have something good to contribute. Assume they have skills. Watch out for the things they don’t have skills for and scaffold.
Treat your teachers as you would have them treat their students.

Recommended Books
They call me coach by John Wooden
The four agreements Don Miguel Luis

Contact Information for Dr. Mary Hughes Tutass
TeacherTMI.com
teachertmi@usa.com

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please share with your friends. If you’d like to do me a solid please follow me on podomatic and leave a comment and review. This helps other educators find the show as well.

If you’d like the top stories of the month without having to search through facebook or hope you catch it in your feed you can subscribe to the principal prep minute a short email with the five most popular blogs and podcasts as selected by readers and listeners. That is on the welcome page of the website on the right hand side, right past the fold.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

August 03, 2017 04:47 PM PDT

8/02/2017 The Principal Entrepreneur: 3 useless items every principal has on or in their desk

I’m back at work looking at my desk and going through the drawers as I prepare for next school year. As I’m digging through the random items, I see a bunch of stuff that I’ve never even touched since I started 2016 as a first year principal. The following are the three items that are completely useless and only fulfill the purpose of completing in my mind what a principal’s desk “should” look like.

Clear Tape Dispenser.
Seriously? I haven’t taped anything in the entire 18 months I’ve been on the job. The best thing that this tape dispenser has been used for is as a weight holding doing a six inch stack of paper. That and for any number of students that have come in and asked if they could use some for a project.

Ruler
Speaking of useless, I don’t even know why I have a ruler. I don’t need to know the dimensions of my laptop or need to use the ruler to convert distances on a map like we did in the 80’s. As a matter of fact I think I have a rubberbanded bunch of rulers. I’m sure as heck not going to use them to teach a lesson in the many being stronger than the one . . . Well, actually that would probably be a good use for them. For now tho, they’re just taking up space. But for some reason I’ve still got them in my drawer.

Magnetized Paperclip Holder
We’re in the digital age. I can’t remember the last time I needed to paperclip something to hold them together. That might also be because I’m a staple person. But really, there’s no reason for it. I don’t have enough things to paperclip that I need a special holder to contain 300 of them. Most items I get are in a digital folder. The paperclip holder with the clear bottom and the black top is useless.

What else do you have on or in your desk that is actually completely useless? Share your observations in the comment section below.

If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection please share with your friends.

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

loading more... Loader
 
x

take it with you


Iphone_trans Listening to podcasts on your mobile devices is extremely convenient -- and it's what makes the podcasting medium so powerful.

You can take your favorite shows and mixes with you anywhere, but to do so requires some quick and simple steps.

Let's walk you through that process together.
step 1:


Click the "Subscribe With iTunes" link in the page's sidebar:

Subscribe_with_itunes

This will require that you have the iTunes software on your computer.

(You can download iTunes here.)
step 2:
Itunes_ss

Now that you've subscribed to the podcast on iTunes, the feed will display in your "Podcasts" section on the left navigation bar.

Click there and you'll see the show displayed in the iTunes browser.

You can "get all" to download all available episodes or just individual episodes.
step 3:


Plug your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) into your computer with the Dock Connector cable, and click the device in iTunes's left navigation bar.

Itunes_ss2

Once you have your device highlighted, click "Podcasts" in the top navigation bar and sync the podcasts you want on your device. Click "apply" and the episodes you have downloaded on your iTunes software will sync with your device.
that's it!

The beauty of this process is that now, every new episode of your subscribed podcasts will automatically sync to your device every time you plug it in and open iTunes. You can now take your favorite shows with you everywhere you go.

Enjoy!
done!
x

share this podcast


Email a friend about this podcast
x

subscribe to this podcast

Rss-icon RSS
Itunes-icon iTunes