A Principal's Reflections

Leading is Not Easy

A Principal's Reflections

This post, like so many, has been inspired by something I read. One of my favorite sites to glean more insight and knowledge on leadership is Inc.

A Pedagogical Shift Needed for Digital Success

A Principal's Reflections

In a previous post I discussed in detail strategies to help ensure the effective use of technology to improve learning outcomes. You don’t have to be a fan of technology, but you do need to understand that it’s a catalyst for some exciting pedagogical changes.

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Competencies vs. Skills

A Principal's Reflections

The 21st Century skills discussion and debate has waged on even prior to the onset of this century.

Research-Influenced Learning Spaces

A Principal's Reflections

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Learning is the Reward

A Principal's Reflections

Let’s face it, school, as we know it is driven by grades as the main reflection of what students do, or do not, know. What has resulted is a rat race of sorts where many kids and parents alike have their eye on the prize.

Unearthing the Why

A Principal's Reflections

There are so many important questions that we have to ask and attempt to find answers to. Many of these questions start with what, how, and why. Simon Sinek reminds us that the most important questions we should be asking need, and should start with, a focus on why.

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Empathy and Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

“ It is easy to knock people down. Building people up is at the heart of empathetic leadership.” - @E_Sheninger No significant relationship can exist without trust. Without relationships, no significant learning occurs.

Improving Instruction in a Digital World

A Principal's Reflections

The Rigor and Relevance Framework —an action ­oriented continuum that describes putting knowledge to use—gives teachers and administrators a way to develop both instruction and assessment while providing students with a way a way to project learning goals.

Join SETDA: Affiliate Memberships Now Accepted

SETDA's Affiliate program connects non-profit education membership organizations with state leaders. SETDA's mission is to build the capacity of education leaders to improve learning through technology policy & practice. Benefits include: SETDA conferences, webinars and news feeds.

Critical Thinking in the 21st Century and Beyond

A Principal's Reflections

One of my fondest memories of school was my science teacher, Mr. South. Having attended a K-8 consolidated school in rural NJ, we knew who all the teachers were. However, Mr. South stood out.

The Potential of Virtual Reality

A Principal's Reflections

Many educators, including myself, routinely talk about the need for innovation in education. If we continue to employ the same type of thinking then we will get the same or results. We also run the risk of taking a step backwards and experiencing worse results than anticipated.

Learning Transformed #LT8Keys

A Principal's Reflections

It has been quite the ride since I changed my perspective on teaching, learning, and leadership eight years ago. Prior to 2009 I basically saw technology as just an add-on and something that could spruce up a lesson.

Value-Added Schools

A Principal's Reflections

No, this is not a post about value-added evaluation practices. I believe that ship has sailed.

Rise of the Edupreneur

A Principal's Reflections

Entrepreneurs love what they do. They do what they love, are dreamers, but they also are doers and go-getters. Entrepreneurship may be missing from your resume, but shifting your perspective will change this as you experience the rush and benefits of an entrepreneurial mindset.

Better Decisions, Better Leaders

A Principal's Reflections

The only thing that might be harder than embracing change is making tough decisions. A hallmark of great leadership is creating the conditions to arrive at consensus when major decisions will impact the entire school or district.

Actions Change Things

A Principal's Reflections

Conferences are a hallmark of the summer season. Thousands of educators attend events around the United States to connect, learn, and grow. For the past three years I have had the honor of attending and participating in the Model Schools Conference.

Own What You See

A Principal's Reflections

As a former science teacher I was always a fan of the scientific method. It was a great process for students to actually do science in order to learn by designing an experiment to deeply explore observations and develop/answer questions.

Beyond Perception

A Principal's Reflections

"People only see what they are prepared to see." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Life is full of twists and turns as well as ups and downs. In my opinion, it is a never-ending test that determines the trajectory of our career paths.

The Significance of Trust

A Principal's Reflections

“ The glue that holds all relationships together — including the relationship between the leader and the led — is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” ~ Brian Tracy Success in life hinges upon the ability to build and sustain relationships with others.

The Process of Change

A Principal's Reflections

There is always a great deal of discussion about change in education in order to better prepare students for success. The stakes have become higher as changes in a globally connected world are far outpacing those in our schools.

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Stop the Homework Insanity and Let Kids Be Kids

A Principal's Reflections

I have so many fond memories of my childhood. Growing up in a relatively rural area of Northwestern New Jersey sure had its benefits. As we returned home from school each day, my brothers and I would jump off the bus and diligently make our way about a half-mile back to our house.

Why Every Leader Needs a PLN

A Principal's Reflections

The concept of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) has been around for a couple of years now. Educators who have embraced this concept have experienced firsthand the positive impact on professional practice that being a connected educator brings. The premise is relatively simple.

Ideas and Tools to Give Everyone a Voice

A Principal's Reflections

Whether during a class, meeting, presentation, or workshop it can be at times extremely difficult to give everyone a voice.

Keys for a Successful Digital Transformation

A Principal's Reflections

Nobody likes change, but the fact is that change is at our doorstep. Changes in technology are quickly beginning to force the hands of schools and districts across the world.

Our Work is Our Message

A Principal's Reflections

The following post is adapted from BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning. Branding matters in the changing world of learning, fueled by powerful digital resources (Sheninger, 2014). It’s time to make a choice – define or be defined.

10 Strategies to Improve Instructional Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

I still vividly remember my early years as an assistant principal and principal. Instructional leadership was a routine part of the job along with the budget, master schedule, curriculum development, meetings, email, phone calls, and many other duties.

Learning is Not Linear

A Principal's Reflections

I think, for the most part, everyone strives for success. We want to be successful in our professional as well as our personal lives. I strived to be the best possible principal for my students, staff, and community. Whether I was successful is a matter of perspective.

The Challenge of Change is Not You

A Principal's Reflections

Relationships Are Everything

A Principal's Reflections

I recently had the honor of being a guest on Dr. Will Deyamport’s podcast called the Dr. Will Show. You can view the Google Hangout video HERE.

Educators are the True Rockstars

A Principal's Reflections

" To recruit the brightest and best, teaching needs to be a high status occupation " - Lord Adonis It is interesting how our culture works, especially here in the United States. We idolize those who entertain us such as actors, actresses, rockstars, and professional athletes to name a few.

Mindsets for a Bold New World #LT8Keys

A Principal's Reflections

There are points in our professional lives that change us for the better. I vividly remember one such moment in 2009 when I took a device from a student as he had it out in the hallway.

The Need for More Play in School

A Principal's Reflections

As I kid I loved play. Countless hours were spent building forts in the woods, creating sand castles at the beach, riding bikes, playing Atari (then Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, etc.) or just running around for no apparent reason.

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Implementing Mobile Devices With a Focus on Learning

A Principal's Reflections

The following post is a modified excerpt from Uncommon Learning. Mobile learning provides enhanced collaboration among learners, access to information, and a deeper contextualization of learning.

10 Tips to Make Learning REAL

A Principal's Reflections

Another Christmas has passed and I am continually amazed by the technologies that kids now have access to. For example, my son received a drone from my mother-in-law and has been playing with it non-stop for days now. At first, he was focused on just the basics of flying the device.

Making is a Process

A Principal's Reflections

“ No two makerspaces should be exactly alike, because no two school communities are exactly alike. Properly planning your makerspace will ensure that you uncover themes that are unique and meaningful to your school.

Pay Attention to Your Digital Footprint

A Principal's Reflections

“ Your digital footprint paints a portrait of who you are as an educator, leader, school, or district.

Associate for Success

A Principal's Reflections

I cannot overstate the importance of trust in establishing the foundation for relationships. In addition to trust various other elements contribute to the growth and strengthening of relationships. One that might not readily come to mind is association.

Be Wary of Putting the Cart Before the Horse

A Principal's Reflections

" Unless you get instructional design right, technology can only increase the speed and certainty of failure " - William Horton As budgets expand or money becomes available at the end of a school year, the knee jerk reaction of many schools is to go all in and spend it as quickly as possible.

The Need For Digital Literacy

A Principal's Reflections

The following post is cross-posted at edu@scholastic. With 1:1 technology initiatives and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs increasingly being implemented in schools across the globe, the need for digital literacy education has become more important than ever.