Sunday, December 29, 2019

10 Tips to Make Sure 2020 isn’t a So-So Year

The 2020 New Year and new decade are here, and now is the time to make sure this new year is anything but a So-So year. When it comes to New Years and even new decades it’s easy to just think, “This year is going to be my year!”  But it’s not that simple. This year will be your year if and only if you do the work to make intentional plans to make it your year!

10 Tips to Make Sure 2020 is Your Year!
1.  Set a Health Goal - 2020 wont be good if you don’t feel good. Set a goal for exercise and healthy
2.  Set a Relationship Goal - Make plans to spend quality time with those who mean the most to you!  They are your support system and who you will spend the most time with in 2020. 
3. Set a Professional Goal - Set a goal for your career that you want to accomplish this year?
4.  Make a Weekly Schedule - If you want to accomplish these goals, you have to make time for them in your schedule every day. Putting it on a calendar gives you a greater chance of accomplishing those goals. 
5. Sunday Reflection - Make time every Sunday to review your goals, make your schedule support your goals, and evaluate your progress. 
6. Wake Up Routine - Develop a 5-15 minute morning routine that gets you focused for the day. It may be spending time reading or in prayer. This prepares your mind to reach your goals each day. 
7. Turn Off Notifications - Our cell phones are our biggest distraction. Turning off all notifications except for text and phone calls keeps our phone from hurting our plans and productivity. 
8. Set Timers - Using your phone or watch timers and alarms helps you optimize your time so that you don’t waste time on tasks or excessively long meetings. 
9.  Make Appointments with Yourself - If our work, health and time with family is important, use your calendar to save blocks of time so that you guarantee that your time is spent well. 
10.  Have Fun - Life is too short not to enjoy it. Realize that 2020 can’t be a good year unless you’re having a good time in your new year.

The new year is an opportunity for a new you!  It can be the best year of your life if and only if you make the most of it. I challenge you to optimize your time. Make the most of your relationships, and remember that you and only you are the only reason your 2020 will not be a So-So year. 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Top 10 Posts of the 2010's

The 2010 decade is coming to an end, and boy has it been amazing.  I have enjoyed leading amazing schools, and I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you for almost all of this decade.   As I reflect, it is hard to believe that I have been sharing my thoughts with you through this blog since 2012.  There have been ups, downs, celebrations, and failures throughout this decade and with each event, it prompted a thought that I shared with you.

It is because of you that I wrote the book, "A Leader's Guide to Excellence in Every Classroom", in 2016 and followed that up with my latest book, "A Teacher's Guide to Excellence in Every Classroom".  You inspired me to create a movement, #LoveMySchoolDay, where every year on a school day around April 11 (4/11), educators across North America give their communities the 411 about all the reasons they love their school.

So it is with great excitement that I share with you the LeadLearner Top 10 of the 2010 Decade

Top 10 of the 2010's
#10 - #GrowthMindset: Failure TO Learn vs. Failure FOR Learning
#9 - 26 Traits of Terrific Teachers
#8 - The 5 Prerequisites to Rigor
#7 - 5 Ways to Assess Learning without Giving a Test
#6 - Walkthroughs Don't Work!!!
#5 - 7 Traits of a Transformational Leader
#4 - The Teacher's Summer Excellence Checklist.
#3 - The Principal's First 20 Days
#2 - 5 Alternatives to Asking New Teachers How They’re Doing
#1 - The Principal's Summer Excellence Checklist

I would also be remised if I didn't share my top 10 posts for 2019.  Here they are!

Top 10 of 2019
#10 - The #1 Thing You MUST Give Teachers BEFORE School Starts
#9 -  The Key to Unlocking Student Engagement
#8 - 6 Exit Tickets to Improve your Leadership
#7 - 7 Serves of a Super Leader
#6 - 7 Sentence Stems that Strengthen Student Motivation
#5 - How to Know If You’re a Leader or a Boss
#4 - 6 Steps to Becoming a Really Good School Right Now
#3 - E, The Only Letter that Matters in your A-F Rating
#2 - The MOST IMPORTANT JOB of a LEADER at the End of the School Year
#1 - 4 Steps Away from Transformational Leadership

The 2010's were a fantastic decade.  Thanks to you, I grew by leaps and bounds.  I appreciate you for reading my thoughts and giving me feedback through your comments and shares.  I wish you the best in 2020!  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The 2 Minute Warning for Learning

In football the 2 minute warning is an intense push from the team to score before going into half-time or the end of the game. When it comes to halftime, success during the 2 minute warning gives the team a huge momentum boost heading into the locker-room. If you think about it, the 2 minute warning can change the trajectory of the rest of the game.

No matter if your team is ahead or behind, you expect them to give everything they've got leading up to half-time.  In fact, you would be pretty frustrated if your team shut it down and let the clock take them into the lockerroom.  The last 2 minutes of the 1st half sets the stage for the 2nd half.

Now Let's Apply this Analogy to your School

In schools, the 2 weeks before Christmas break is very similar to a 2 minute warning. If done well, the last 2 weeks can send the kids home for break fired up about the spring semester. But if we shut down our engines early, it can hurt the impact we make on kids during the second semester.  The weeks leading up to break have the potential to strengthen the momentum needed to reach our goals for the spring semester.

To finish strong in the 2 minute warning, we must keep our intensity.  We must make the extra effort to build upon our relationships with all kids.  Most importantly, we must avoid the temptation to go into the locker room before the clock expires. 

Students deserve to go into their break believing in how much growth they have experienced in the first semester, and they need to leave with confidence that they will achieve their growth goals in the spring semester.  Momentum is motivation, and we control how much motivation students will have going into break.

So how will you manage the clock during your 2 minute warning?  The answer to that question will result in your plan that will set the stage for success or failure during the spring semester.