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The Principal Entrepreneur
Supporting Educational Leaders
Category: K-12
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by Jonathan Royce
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August 01, 2017 01:25 PM PDT

Overworked principals is probably a redundant statement. Whether we’re at a holiday recital until 9 as an elementary principal or a Friday night football game until 11:00pm as high school one, most of us would agree that we work a lot. Even if we discounted those nights many of work in the towns in which we live and have to fill that role of school leader in the grocery store or at the local pub. That being said how can we find more time in our day so that when we finally do get home we can focus on our family life? These three things that overworked principals do can be pared down and even replaced.

Think everything is essential
An overworked principal is often a new one. As such we think that everything that comes to us must be completed now. I often got caught in that trap. The latest or the most recent problem that came to my attention is the one I tried to solve. This left things undone and sometimes forgotten until I was asked about it again.

To avoid this scenario it may help to think about your day as a book you’re studying for specific information. When you’re skimming through a book you skip the information that you don’t need. You must be disciplined enough to do the same with your daily events. What do you absolutely need to do in order to be highly effective? Those are the priorities that you focus on first. Everything else can either be eliminated or delegated. Learn to say no, or I’ll get back to you. This will give you valuable time to think and have a proper response.

Lack of Focus
A principal who is swamped with busy work usually lacks focus. He hasn’t internalized his school’s goals and brings to projects into the school that might not align with the stated goal. Last year as a new principal if something seemed cool I would want to bring it to my team and implement it. I was lucky in that when needed I was reminded that we didn’t have time to do everything I wanted and still get our stated goals accomplished.

To continue the book metaphor from above when you’re reading you focus on a particular theme. Keeping focused on your mission will help you make decisions about what you bring into your school. This will save time as you only allow programs that support your plan. If you want to decrease your odds of being overwhelmed stay focused on the mission until it is complete.

Failure to use leverage
A principal who is overwhelmed often thinks that she or he must do everything and forgets to leverage the strengths of the staff, students and even technology. From my own experience one of the pools of talent that I dismissed at the beginning of the year was that of the students. Many things fell through the cracks because of this, including getting our seniors’ pictures into the yearbook. This year I’m holding a meeting prior to school’s start and giving them an opportunity to sign up for jobs that will help create buy-in and get things accomplished.

To finish up the book metaphor, “skimming” isn’t the only way to save time. The same applies to time management. Use technology to help save time, find others who complement your weaknesses so that important tasks can get done more quickly. Save your bandwidth for things only you can do. An overwhelmed principal fails to leverage the skill sets and the technology around him.

Time for a principal is precious, an overworked principal thinks everything is essential and gets buried in busy work, lacks focus on specific goals and gets distracted by every cool proposal that comes across her desk, and fails to leverage the strengths of those around him . What are other ways overworked principals squander their time? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 29, 2017 08:35 AM PDT

In this episode we’re talking with Elementary Principal Mr. Jonathon Wennstrom. Mr. Wennstrom has been in the educational arena as a principal for 15 years. He is an educational blogger and is a part of a committed group of educational leaders who believe that blogging is part of the reflection process. We’ll chat with him about the genesis for the blog in a bit but before we do so let’s get into his origin story

Summary of Educational Journey
Like many in the field Jonathon was inspired by many great teachers and coaches which made him want to inspire others. In particular a 5th grade teacher, Mr. Reed, took a young Jonathon into his home while Jonathon’s family dealt with the severe illness of his father.

Wennstrom also discusses the internal challenges of misaligning one’s passion for educating children and that of increased social status. He also get’s into the struggles of transferring one skill set to another setting and taking them for granted.

He goes on to describe his introduction to blogging how he was inspired to begin it and how he joined a group of like minded principals. He discusses the themes of the blogs and how it is used to improve his professional practice.

In addition Jonathon wants to break that misconception that educators don’t have anything important to say. He sees fantastic things happening everyday. People like hearing ideas.

Tweetable quotes
“Relationships aren’t transferrable.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“What we do is pretty special.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“We’re changing lives and that’s pretty important.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“If you’re working in education you have a pretty special calling.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“People [educators] want to support and encourage each other.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“Everybody has something we can learn from.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“Don’t be afraid to say the words I don’t know.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“I want to grow the leaders in my school.” Jonathon Wennstrom
“Leadership is a skill, a set of skills that people can learn.” Jonathon Wennstrom

Words of Wisdom
Once relationships are in place then you can start working together as a team.

It’s important that before you step through those doors on day one, before the teachers return, that we have an opportunity for people to get together socially to just talk and get to know one another.

We need to build each other up and tell our stories of the great things that are happening.

There’s a pressure to feel as if you have all the answers, and that you have to fix every problem. It’s ok to say I don’t know, or I’m going to get back with you, or let me think on that.

Good principals will grow the leadership. If staff is feeling safe in that school environment and empowered, then that helps everyone.

Advice for Principals
Step one Always build relationships
Find out about your team find out
Sequence to follow:
Send out email
Share your philosophy on education
Give list of question including
What are your points of pride
What traditions do you want to continue
What are your proudest achievements
What are your fears
What are your hopes
Take time to meet them
Make sure to have some social time before school starts.
Don’t be afraid to say the words I don’t know.
Lean on the experience around you.

Recommended Books
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
Mindset:The New Psychology of Success By Carol Dweck
The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros

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 theprincipalentrepreneur.com and/or pre 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, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest, email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 28, 2017 09:41 AM PDT

I was recently reading The Savvy Principal: What Streetwise Principals Know by Jody Capelutti for a book club of which I’m a part. He has a chapter in his book that describes the qualities of a good boss. This chapter had a bigger impact this time reading it because, as many of us are this time of year, I’ve been scanning the job opportunities in the surrounding area. As the jobs open up, thinking about the “right fit” is important. This particular post was inspired by Dr. Capelutti’s observations and my current state of mind.

Balances hands off with appropriate feedback.
If you’re hired into a position, naturally you’d believe that you’re qualified for the job. I’ve heard horror stories of principals being micro managed by their superintendent. He or she would question the principal’s decisions and suggest, in of their peers, a different way to get it done. Once you’re hired you should have the freedom to implement the changes you think are necessary. The superintendent should be monitoring your progress based off previous conversations and goals and providing appropriate check ins and feedback as you move towards success. A good superintending knows how to strike that balance between hands off and holding you accountable with appropriate feedback.

Respects personal time and understands importance of health
Being a principal requires you to be “on” all the time. When you do get a chance to take a breath you don’t need a text from your boss asking a question that could wait til you’re back on the “clock”. A good boss has her own life and is also taking the necessary time to relax and recharge and understands that you need that time too. Being healthy both mentally and physically means you’ll be there for your students, staff and the larger community. Getting that personal time to take care of yourself is another key indicator of a good superintendent.

Supports you and your building with personnel and resources
With budgets as they are, we know providing 360% support can be problematic. A good superintendent is transparent and is able to provide the rationale when he is unable to provide the necessary resources. However, they should also do their best to provide the latitude for you to hire, develop and implement the staff and programs that will move the school forward. While physical resources might not always be available, emotional and professional support are often just as needed. Seeing that the superintendent backs your initiatives gives you credibility with your community. A good superintendent supports you any way she can.

Being able to tell whether or not a superintendent is or will be a good boss is something we have to deal with. A boss who is able to balance a hands off approach with the appropriate timely feedback, respects your personal time and your health and supports you in whatever way she can is one worth working for. What are other key attributes of a good superintendent? Share your thoughts 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 theprincipalentrepreneur.com and/or pre 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, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest, email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 25, 2017 01:15 PM PDT

The Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows. I like the interaction of the characters and how, when they’re at their best, they’re working together to overcome insurmountable odds. As school staff we too have to band together to resist the onslaught of disregard that is often brought against our profession. As the leader of a school building 3 indicators demonstrate that we’re ready to prevail and persevere even if a zombie apocalypse is on its way. (If you haven’t seen The Walking Dead and plan to, there are spoilers below.)

Optimism
The relatively freshly widowed Maggie is a symbol of optimism and her unborn child epitomizes that hope. A principal must also be relentlessly optimistic and exude hope for her students’ futures. This hopefulness is often indicated by the welcoming smile that parents see when they drop their child off. You can see it when the principal is walking down the hall smiling at students and staff and knowing them by name. This optimism is also heard in the language they use. The community never hears the principal speaking poorly about his school or his district. Optimism is one of the major indicators that a school could survive a zombie apocalypse.

Collaboration
When you’re in survival mode collaboration is key. Rick is constantly looking for mutually beneficial relationships in order to keep his group safe. An example of this is the amount of effort he put forth to create a positive relationship with the kingdom. As a principal working together creates the strongest culture. Identify those key influencers on your staff and encourage their input. Use your student governing body to bring in student voice. It’s their future we’re fighting for. Rick has an end goal, destroying Negan he doesn’t really care how it happens. We too must have a goal that we would like to accomplish. Having all stakeholders come up with the means to get there is the key to success. No principal is an island, collaboration is another indicator that the zombie apocalypse is survivable.

Hard Truths
In the Walking Dead series the characters must continually confront hard truths. Often it’s the death of a member of the group. As principals our hard truths will occur in the form of tough conversations. These are usually uncomfortable exchanges. However, they do provide an opportunity for growth. Just like in the show we get stronger and better at our job when we survive these conversations. We can be optimistic and collaborative but that doesn’t mean we are oblivious to reality. Poor performance, ugly data, and our own mistakes are all things we can’t ignore. Facing hard truths and working to overcome them is one more example of a school ready to face a zombie apocalypse.

The zombie apocalypse is a metaphor for what we face as principals and educators. Optimism, collaboration and facing the truth of tough situations are key indicators that our schools will survive and grow. What are other signs of strong schools. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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

If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at theprincipalentrepreneur.com and/or pre 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, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest, email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 22, 2017 08:50 AM PDT

In this episode we’re talking with Kim Hansel. Ms. Hansel has been in the educational arena for 18 years. She is a national educational speaker and trainer, and an assistant principal. We’ll chat with her about her areas expertise in differentiated instruction and using engaging methodology and teaching with the brain in mind. in a bit but before we do so we’ll get into her educational journey.

Summary of Educational Journey
From cloning mice and research to tutoring and youtube tutorials to alternative ed math teacher to assistant principal and national coach and trainer Kim Hansel’s educational Journey has had numerous challenges and successes. She left the research looking to share her passion for mathematics with students at an alternative high school and found she loved teaching. From there she got her masters in education and has been in the educational field ever since. While a teacher she also became an educational consultant. She performed so well in that role that a principal at a school she was consulting for asked her to come on board as an assistant principal.

Challenges
Giving professional development as instructional leader and then doesn’t get incorporated into the classroom

Providing additional support [to instructional staff] when you’re doing a bazillion different things.

Solution
Modeling good instruction, teaching a lesson, tends to be the best way to get that information incorporated into the classroom.

Use screencasting when don’t have an opportunity to go into a classroom to demonstrate how to incorporate different technologies into class.

Advice for New Principals
When providing pd it’s important to be able to have someone model what you’re looking for in the classroom.

It’s great to have coaches around to say here’s what we’re looking for to incorporate into the classroom and to have them sit in on the pd so they know what’s going on. Then send them into the classroom to help support those teachers with implementation.

Coaching is a great option for overworked principals and assistant principals to help with instructional leadership.

Tweetable Quotes
“Differentiation is important for reaching all students.” Kim Hansel
“Differentiate by modes of reception, visual auditory verbal kinesthetic.” Kim Hansel

Words of Wisdom
You can give all this great professional development and all this information, strategies and great ideas but it doesn’t always get incorporated into the classroom that where you have to provide additional support.

The more modes of reception you can cover the more likely you are to get information retained by the student.

I’m talking to you and your listening, that’s not the way to get material into a student’s brain. It’s important that we’re trying different things in the classroom.

About her Coaching and Trainings
Kim provides real examples of how she incorporates differentiated instruction and the impact it has on student learning. You can visit her website here to learn more.

Books she recommends
Basic Principles Of Curriculum And Instruction by Ralph Tyler
Teaching With The Brain In Mind by Eric Jensen

Contact Information
http://kimhanselspeaks.com
kimhanselspeaks@gmail.com

If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or pre order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies which also has quick and easily digestible pointers. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 21, 2017 10:57 AM PDT

I’ve been on a work vacation. During the work part I attended one of the break out sessions and the topic was implementing school renewal initiatives with integrity. This got me thinking of all the different initiatives that get started within a school system. Every time there is a new leader something new is happening. With the amount of turnover in central office leadership, at the principal and even at the teacher level is it any wonder that everyone is cynical when it comes to new programs. These 3 signs are indicators that your brand new shiney plan will fail and are based off the presentation at the Achievement Centered Leadership conference.

Unfocused Target
You may have heard the saying if you’re trying to sell to everybody you’re not going to sell to anybody. The idea is you have to know exactly who your target audience is or your product will get lost among all the other products. The same idea applies here. You have to know specifically the portion of your student body that you are looking to impact with a new initiative. An example of this for our school is a mentor/internship program that we are rolling out for our seniors. We did a survey of parents and students asking what would be most beneficial in helping them learn future career goals. A mentor was the overwhelming common answer. The segment of the population you’re targeting and the new plan must be chosen based on the data that you’ve collected. If you don’t have a focused target your plan will fail

No Metric for Measurement
If you don’t have a way to measure success how will you know you’ve achieved it? Not only must you have a way to measure the outcomes of your plan you have to make sure that you are consistently monitoring progress. If we continue with the example above of the mentor program. We have to know what success looks like. One indicator of success could be the student's new depth of knowledge about the job they are exploring with their mentor. A consistent means of monitoring would be a weekly writing assignment where they journal what they’ve learned that week. At the end of the program a career fair in which they share what they’ve learned could be the final measure. Without a metric of measurement and knowing what success looks like any new initiative will fail.

Poor Personnel
Picking the wrong people is probably the biggest mistake that can be made. Knowing your staff and which ones will be able to carry out the task and buy in to the initiative are key components to any type of success. You might have a “favorite” staff member whom you typically tap to lead. Depending on what the initiative is this person may not be the right one for the job. In this case, it’s our job to select and grow another leader who is better suited. Not only does this ensure a greater chance for success but it creates that buy in. To complete the example scenario, I have a SLC (small learning community) leader that is usually the one who heads up school objectives. In this case the counselor and a member of the district from outside the school is helping to organize and run the program. This frees up the SLC leader to focus on other things, empowers the counselor, and creates a relationship with another member of the school community. Picking the wrong person to head a new initiative is a sure fire way for a new plan to fail.

Having an unfocused target, no means for measuring success, and picking the wrong personnel are 3 signs that your new initiative will fail. What are some other indicators you’ve come across that are warning signs? Please share your observations in the comment section below. If you’ve found the article helpful, entertaining, or cause for reflection please share with your colleagues.

Make sure to check back in on saturday for the latest interview. Last week we chatted with Dr. Sharon Porter who helps assistant principals prepare themselves to lead. This week we get to talk to Kim Hansel she is a
National Educational Speaker and Trainer & Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at Youth Connection Leadership Acadamy

If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or pre order my newest book for free How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies which also has quick and easily digestible pointers. I’ve already hit my goal of 10 pre orders before publication but I’m keeping it free until it goes live on Amazon in the next few days. So put in your pre order soon if you’re interested. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 21, 2017 07:54 AM PDT

All right I’ve been on vacation this past week so I missed out on dropping this on Tuesdays. However, I’m getting back on track and
In Today’s episode we’re discussing: 10 Things only Principals at a Sanctuary School constantly focus on

Just last weekend I went out to eat with my wife and our five kids. It was a local coney island that my wife and I often frequent because we know exactly what we’re going to get and the surprisingly high quality of the food. We brought the kids this time because it was her birthday. The number of us eating is important because what I’m going to say next isn’t based on a small sample size. The food wasn’t as good as it typically is. When we asked the server where the regular chef was she informed us that he had been picked up by ICE (immigration and customs enforcement). This got me thinking of our chefs family and especially his children. This man has been working in the restaurant for at least the last 15 years. Which means his children have established friendships and relationships within our school system. The following are 10 things only principals that are attempting to create sanctuary schools must focus on in a scary political environment for our students.

Promote a safe and orderly school environment for all students.
Have a robust ELL program.
Send out newsletters in more than one language.
Have a graduation ceremony that includes an interpreter.
Consistently celebrates multiple cultures throughout the school year.
The staff works towards cultural proficiency.
Minority students come to school at the same rate as the general student body.
Immigration and Customs officials treat your school as a “sensitive location”.
Multiple staff members speak some of the languages of your student body.
Students’ families bring food in to share with you and members of your staff.

While most schools may touch on these 10 components from time to time principals that are creating a sanctuary school must focus on these. What are other ways schools can demonstrate a commitment to all children? Share your views in the comment section below.

If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the howtobeagreatprincpal.com and/or pre order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies which also has quick and easily digestible pointers. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 15, 2017 09:37 AM PDT

In Today’s episode we talked with National presenter, podcast host, Educational Leadership Coach, CEO of PerfectTime SHP and Author Dr. Sharon Porter, Dr. Porter is the author or co author of at least 1/2 dozen books. We discuss her newest one, Next in line to lead: The Voice Of The Assistant Principal. We get into the inspiration for that book a bit later in the conversation but before we do so. We get into her educational journey.

Summary of Dr. Porter’s Educational Journey:
She had an amazing fourth grade teacher and decided to become a teacher because of that fourth grade teacher. That teacher instilled love of teaching and the love of education. While Dr. Porter was a teacher she observed individuals around her and listened to the bios of individual and presenters that would come to the school.

What intrigued her was that they held so many positions. As she contemplated moving from assistant principal to principal she wanted to be able to have as many different positions under her belt as she could so she could have a more global perspective.

As an assistant principal she wasn’t sure she could do the job. Once she held two different central office jobs however one in which she was a regional instructional specialist her mind changed. It was this job where she assisted principals and the superintendent with principal issues, that she realized she could do the job of principal.

Her biggest challenge in the role of principal was dealing with the politics of the position. It really depended on where she was and what was going on in the community. If it was an incorporated town, if it had a mayor or town council. In her school district it really varied. So the struggle for her, especially as a new principal, was trying to make sure all the stakeholders were involved. She overcame the challenge of the politics by really focusing in on her communication skills and being transparent. She also made sure to include all stakeholders.

Advice for new principals:
Make sure you extend yourself and learn all that you can. All that learning isn’t going to come from your building. Be the aggressor and extend yourself to other mentors, other coaches, and other places. Build the relationship with stakeholders and the community it enables you to go so much further.

Her Plan for including the stakeholders include:
A monthly chat with the principal
An executive meeting with PTA
Extend invitations
Plan exactly what rolling out for each particular group
Have consistent structure

Tweetable Quotes:
Make sure all the players are involved. Dr. Sharon Porter
Don’t do anything in isolation include those stakeholders. Dr. Sharon Porter
You want to be inclusive and make sure all stakeholders are at the table. Dr. Sharon Porter
We are the leader of the school but not the only investor in the school. Dr. Sharon Porter
The children, the students, our scholars are our first priority. Dr. Sharon Porter
All decisions made in the best interest of our scholars Dr. Sharon Porter
Relationships are key. Dr. Sharon Porter
There is nothing that is going to prepare you ( for the principalship) until you get there. Dr. Sharon Porter

Words of Wisdom:
If you’re a high school principal you definitely want to have that student voice as part of decisions because they really bring to the table an insight that maybe you don’t have.

As a school leader you must build and maintain positive relationships.

It does not matter how many programs you have, in a school district or outside a school district. [when it comes to preparing assistant principals] What matters is that day to day mentoring and coaching that’s provided by that principal.

There is nothing that is going to prepare you ( for the principalship) until you get there.

When the principal sits down and really takes the time to be a mentor to be a coach that’s where you see the progress in the assistant principal.

Advice for Introverted Principals:
Make sure to plan and be detailed
Take energy breaks
Have alone time to recharge

About her book:
The inspiration for her book Next in line to lead: The Voice Of The Assistant Principal originated with her dissertation. She was looking to answer the question of how assistant principals, across the country, were being prepared to lead. Within the book are phenomenal stories of assistant principals and the journeys they’ve been on to take the next leadership step.

Her greatest take away from the stories she collected was the importance of the principal in preparing the assistant principal for the job.

Books she recommends:
The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide To Building Exceptional Schools by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
Good to Great By James Collins

July 13, 2017 05:13 PM PDT

When we think about how to become a great principal we often talk about the best practices. We discuss the power of shared leadership, strong school culture, safety, and efficient processes and procedures. But we also need to evaluate ourselves and make sure we’re not doing some of the worst practices out there. Some of these practices are built into our personalities and hard to avoid. These three worst practices should be avoided and rooted out at all costs.

Destroying Leadership Potential
Acting as if, and even worse believing, you’re the only one with the answer and the smartest person in the room is one of the worst practices a principal can have. Humans are wired to notice the negative aspects of life. Only providing negative feedback and blaming others when things don't work are two easy ways to destroy any type of self sufficiency in your building. Thinking you’re the only one that can solve the problems others are making adds to this poor practice. Additionally, taking the credit publicly when something is fixed will definitely get you the side eye and could lead to a full scale mutiny.

Neglecting Personal wellness
With the long hours and inconsistent eating schedule finding time to take care of yourself often falls by the wayside. Being at your worst mentally and physically will ensure your decisions will often be less than ideal. Having low energy will make you short tempered and you will have a hard time connecting with you staff. This will ensure that your building is a place in which your staff is worried, stressed and afraid to make mistakes. In an environment like that, discipline problems are bound to be higher than you would like.

Don’t do what you say
This can be a hard practice to avoid especially if your upper administration are poor communicators. Sometimes your can say one thing then everything changes without notice and you have to go back on your word. This is a key component in destroying your building culture. You can say, “all hands on deck” then stay in your office and let others try to handle the emergencies. Being above the fray will absolutely cause a lack of respect. You can also say you have an open door policy, then make it clear by being on your phone or on your computer that you’re not interested in hearing what your staff has to say.

These 3 worst practices, destroying leadership potential, neglecting your health, and not keeping your word can ruin your building. What other practice of poor leaders do you avoid? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more
For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the http://www.theprincipalentrepreneur.com/ and/or pre 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, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

July 11, 2017 03:13 PM PDT

I recently lost three of my staff members to a better looking, higher status, and more lucrative district. I have to admit that the only way I found out, wasn’t because they were displaying any outward tells, but because they were exposed. These were excellent members of the staff, hard working, creative, team oriented and dedicated to the students. Once one left however, some of the others followed suit. The following are three ways to tell if your staff is leaving you for a better district.

Misty Eyes and Far away looks
As teachers begin to contemplate leaving they may begin to display some of this type of behavior. You might catch them looking fondly at a kid they were furious with just a few days or weeks earlier. You might see them shake their heads and smile and say things like “That’s just Blankty Blank.” instead of correcting the behavior. As staff decides to leave behaviors that once got on their nerves no longer does because they know there is an end in sight for them.

Brilliant Students
Another sign of teachers getting ready to leave may be a sudden uptick in classroom grades. Teachers may begin to take less time grading the papers that are being turned in as they prepare for another assignment. Perhaps there is less focus on the correct usage of a comma, capital city or congruence of a triangle. Or another indicator could be a sudden adherence to grades being turned in on time and the grade book updated. These changes in behavior could be signs that your staff has found another prospect.

Mopey Colleagues
More than likely your entire staff will know before you do that one of their members has found another. You may hear more expressions of black humor or innuendo as you’re walking through the halls. There may be awkward silence as you walk into a room where three or four teachers are gathered. You may also notice hugs and the giving away of valuables like staplers, rulers or lined paper. Or suddenly, teachers who never got along are now cordial as they realize they won't be seeing each other anymore. If you notice this type of behavior a staff member may be leaving.

As principals we are often the last to know that one of our valued staff members is leaving. It’s not even us, it’s them. The other district just might have more to offer. However, if you see misty eyes, an increase in grades and depressed staff members be prepared to find another.

What are some other ways you can tell if a staff member is leaving? Share your insights in the comment section below. If you found this post entertaining and/or informative please share.

If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more

For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the http://www.theprincipalentrepreneur.com/ and/or pre 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, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at jonathanroyce@theprincipalentrepreneur.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.

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