Saturday, July 27, 2019

6 Steps to Becoming a Really Good School Right Now

The school year is upon many of us, and we’re all feverishly working to make our schools the best they can be for all kids. All educators want their schools to be really, really good, but wanting something to be good and taking the critical steps to make it happen are two totally different things. If you really want your school to be great, you have to really want to work hard to make your dreams become your reality.

6 Steps to Becoming a Really Good School.

People make schools great when they focus on building strong relationships among and between leaders, teachers, students, and parents.  When these relationships are strong, open, honest, supportive, and ultimately focused on what's best for all kids, schools stand a great chance of becoming great. 

In schools of excellence, expectations are high, tight and consistent for all kids but also for all educators, and what's really important is that these high expectations remain high, tight, and consistent all year long. 

Expectations can only remain high when every person in the organization stays really committed to them by holding everyone accountable. Without accountability, high expectations wither away to mere hopes and dreams. 

If you really want your school to be excellent, a culture of leadership exists where every employee from the principal to the custodian is a leader of some aspect of the school program, and they lead their area by inspiring and teaching everyone how to get better every day.

Your school will never become really good until every adult becomes a learner and a model of learning for everyone around them. We can’t expect a students to become learners if the adults who influence them aren’t learners first. 

Really good schools never settle for the status quo, and they don’t lean on last year’s success. They yearn for even better results, a more supportive student environment, and a better and more effective way of doing things for the benefit of all students. 

Do You Really Want to be Really Good?
The fact of the matter is that we all want the same thing, but the really good schools turn their aspirations into actualities. They turn their why’s into why nots, and they do it as a unified team of educators. 

What ideas listed above will you take advantage of to make your school really good this year?

Friday, July 19, 2019

How to Tell if your School has a Pronoun Problem

Missions are realized through the actions in the building rather than words plastered on the wall. Visions can become realities, but they can also become nightmares as well. Goals are reached by people who believe in the power of teamwork and are also missed by teams who get cause in traps of selfishness.

We know this to be true, so how can we prevent our organizations from moving backwards?

Dig deeper into the words used in your organization

Actions often follow our words, which are shaped by our thoughts. Many times our thoughts are positively and negatively influenced by those around us as well as by the words our ears consume in the building and our eyes absorb through social media. If you  think about it, those words enter our brains and the negative ones will impact our works if we fail to filter them appropriately. To determine if this is a problem in your school, a key indicator can possibly be revealed in how and when we use our pronouns and possessive pronouns in our daily work.  

Does your School have a Pronoun Problem?

Teams that win use power pronouns. They say:
  • My and I when they own it
  • You and your through the lens of support,
  • We, our and ours when they remind everyone that we’re all on the same team in both good and bad times. 
  • He, She, They, His, Her or Their to identify where both problems and solutions are located,
  • This, that, these, and those to elevate strengths and identify struggles. 
Teams that lose use blame pronouns. They say 
  • My and I only when they succeed 
  • You and your when they fail and need others to blame 
  • We, our and ours only when there’s a team success,
  • He, She, They, His, Her or They to identify where problems are,
  • This, that, those, and these when frustration mounts about kids. 

Which Pronouns are Most Prevalent in your School?
Often times, the pronoun problem is not pronounced among the school as a whole, but there are always pockets of blame pronouns as well as exemplars who always use power pronouns. The job of leaders, both campus and teacher leaders, is to confront and counteract blame pronouns with a reminder of why the team exists, and that problems and frustration can be overcome when the principle pronouns become we, us and our, instead of the divisiveness of mine and yours. Only then will the words positively impact the actions of the organization. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Disconnect You Need, So You can Connect to What Matters

In this fast paced world driven by social media, texting, or instant communication, there is an ever growing urge to be "connected".  Finding the latest information, checking your feed, checking your other feed, and then checking your stories can consume us if we're not careful. The dopamine hits increase with every like, love, comment or retweet, and they push us to be evermore connected to the people inside our screens.

There is however an inherent problem that comes with this urge to connect, and that is it disconnects us from the people outside those screens that we stare at.  Each time we connect to one thing, we disconnect from everything else. You have a choice.  Connect with people inside your screen or outside your screen.  The decision can be influenced by this question.  Are you connecting with the most important things in this world most of the time?

Chances are that if you are connected to your device a lot, you're doing that at the cost of connecting with people who matter most to you:  your spouse, your children, your friends, and your colleagues.  So what's most important in your life?   If it's in your device, it might be time to reassess your priorities. 

Better yet, how much of life are you missing because you are so connected?  After all, the purpose of life is to make a significant impact on those we are closest to first, and everyone else second.  D

This summer, disconnect so you can connect to what matters most.