Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 35 in total
A recap of the week's five Strategic Leader emails. This week featured a sequence around the theme of "five things you can do now for a more productive fall." A bonus at the end is how I turned some negative thinking around to rewrite my own (flawed) story.
We are all teachers here, right? So, I can be honest, Right? We love all children equally and we have no favorites. That said, there are always those students who give us energy. They bring a passion for learning that inspires us to be at our best. I had those kinds of learners when I was a middle school teacher, when I was a professor at Clemson University, and I have them now as I work with APs in the APEx program. In fact, today’s guest is one of those special “students” because she is passionate about her learning, always brings her A game, and inspires me to be better.
This is an experiment! Each weekday at 6 am I send out a 100-330 word email on leadership. I thought it might be fun to do a recap of those emails to share with the podcast audience. In the future I'll try and do better tying the content specifically to APs, but this was the first attempt and I'm going to roll with it.
In Jim Collins’ Iconic book, “Good to Great”, he describes the flywheel. An organization’s flywheel consists of some core practices that, when executed consistently, drive organizational excellence. If you’ve been listening for a while, you ‘ve heard me reference the flywheel, but we’ve never done a deep dive. The basic flywheel for schools goes like this: provide professional development for teachers, follow up with targeted observations, use the observation data to inform the next round of PD. When we execute this cycle repeatedly, we grow great teachers, and great teachers equals great schools. Let’s be real, and let’s be clear – the flywheel is going to look different in different schools. This fall in APEx we will be focusing on building each part of the flywheel, so I thought it would be a good time to bring back Melissa Burns, one of our most popular guests, to talk about their instructional team and what that flywheel concept looks like in her school.
Dealing with discipline, being the test coordinator, and taking care of a million things for everyone else. Somehow you find the time. But do you find – or make – that time for yourself? What are your strategies for nurturing your own growth? Today, Maria Werner talks with us about how she juggles school, kids, and even dogs, and manages to still prioritize her own growth. We also discuss how Maria has grown her leadership through APEx and some of her key takeaways.
In a noisy world, is it possible to find the quiet necessary to do work that moves us forward? In this episode, we cover six suggestions for creating a saner and more productive leadership life
Culture. What is it? How do we shape it? Why is it so critical? You could fill an entire library with books related to culture and how leaders influence it. Or you could listen to this episode of The Assistant Principal Podcast with our special guest, Brad Coleman.
Imagine you’re on a nice little boat, floating along a gentle river or out on a calm lake. Everything is fine until you hear a gurgling sound. You look down and are astounded to see water pouring in from a how in the bottom of the boat. You grab your red Solo cup and begin scooping out water, but it isn’t enough. You look around for something to patch the hole with – nothing. As you look around despondently, you notice a faded plastic bucket floating your way. You manage to get ahold of it and redouble your efforts. Aided by the size of the bucket you begin to get the boat emptied and over the next few hours you alternate between bailing and rowing. The shore is getting closer. You may make it.
Have you noticed how many first-year teachers have trouble managing their classrooms? And if they never receive really good support, they become 5 and 10-year teachers who can’t manage their classrooms. And then they leave the profession. But guess what? We have a similar problem in the principalship. Most (not all) principals are not fully prepared to meet the challenges of instructional leadership. And if they never get really good support, their trajectories can mirror that f the teachers I just mentioned. This issue is the reason I started this podcast, the reason I do a daily leadership email, it is the focus of my trainings and courses, and it is at the heart of my APEx program. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that instructional leadership is a common focus. Today, we are going to look at the problem of developing instructional leaders and some things I think we can do about it.
Are you living your leadership journey courageously? Before Dr. Mary Hemphill became the Director of Academic Standards for the North Carolina Department of education she was a passionate and innovative principal. Before that, she was an assistant principal with the courage to stand up for her convictions. The assistant principalship is loaded with values conflicts. How do you stay true to your values amidst complex power dynamics and competing interests? Mary helps us figure it all out in this week’s episode.
“We need to increase family engagement.” I hear this all the time. We know what we want from families, but do we know what families want from us? Today’s episode will take us beyond reading rallies and pizza nights and even beyond my favorite parent event - donuts for dads. Today we focus on what teachers can do to build stronger parent partnerships and how school leaders can support those partnerships.
I’m asking for your help. I’ve put together an MVP (minimally viable product) training video and am looking for a few people to pilot it. In exchange for access to this mini-PD, you would be committing to the following: • Watching the video (about 45 minutes, but can be chunked into six parts) • Completing the feedback form (5-15 minutes) • Providing your email address knowing that I will not spam you but will provide you with updates on the project and updated materials The pilot will run from May 3-17, so you would have two weeks to watch the video and complete the feedback form. If you want to make this commitment, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will then receive an invitation to join my website as a member of the 4-patterns pilot group and will have access to the video. PLEASE – if you don’t have time to follow through, save both of us stress and pass on this opportunity. There will be others.
April showers bring May flowers and May flowers bring…. Testing in schools! Many of the assistant principals I work with also serve double duty as test coordinators. It is a challenging job, but today’s show should contain some tips that make the job a bit easier.
If you have ever played buzz-word bingo, and had “growth mindset” on your card, you knew you odds of winning were good. But what is “growth mindset” all about? As an assistant principal, you probably already know where this is going. Yes, we want our kids to have a growth mindset, but if we can get our teachers to also have that growth mindset, then we will be in great shape!
In today’s episode, guest host Mara Buskey leads us through a discussion with two relatively new teachers about what they need from their assistant principals, how they view leadership, and what kind of feedback and style of coaching best meets their needs. This is an inspiring episode that may yield some surprising but valuable insights.
The topic of this show is restorative practices, but the show title is the key to implementing such practices: Change starts from within. In this episode we take a detour from the common one-two-three approaches to kicking off a restorative justice program in your school. Instead, we focus on you. Or more accurately, we focus on getting you to focus on you? If the discipline approaches you are relying on aren’t working, then this podcast is for you. Just don’t expect a magic bullet or paint-by-numbers approach. The change will start from within.
Serving exceptional students can be one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of school leadership. In this episode Elizabeth Schumpert, Director of Student Support Services for Saluda County Schools, helps us gain some insights into supporting exceptional students and their families, and working with the variety of support services and personnel that make up part of the team that cares for exceptional students.
The four principles of leverage, described last week in episode 17, can guide us to creating progress in our organizations. A key to progress is focusing on incremental progress as opposed to big changes to fix things. In today’s episode, we will apply leverage to a real school situation.
Ever wonder why we are always driving change in our schools? Ever wonder why change initiatives rarely seem to produce the promised results? What if there was a better way? What if, instead of making sweeping changes, we just made tomorrow a little bit better today? If the concept of incremental yet immediate change appeals to you, then listen to todays show on the four principles of leverage
Developing teachers is important, but it is rarely urgent. When we are proactive, we can plan ahead and do this most important work of developing teachers. However, assistant principals operate in an environment where being reactive is a defining feature. One of the ways to move from being driven by the urgent to being driven by the purposeful is to become strategically reactive. What does that mean? Stay tuned!
Dr. Melissa Burns is the principal at Sara Collins Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina. Melissa is a remarkable principal and leader who balances wisdom and practicality. One of Melissa’s many superpowers is developing other people’s leadership. In the first half of this episode, we discuss the importance of developing teacher-leaders and how to do it. In the second half of the episode, Melissa provides some practical advice for how busy assistant principals can hone their instructional leadership skills.
Why does it always feel like improving teacher quality is an uphill battle? One big reason is that our schools are not structured to facilitate consistent teacher growth. Focusing on helping teachers to grow requires us to focus on the structures that can support growth first. In this episode we look at on important structure, the teacher tracking document. The teacher tracking document helps us to develop and document a coherent and consistent approach to helping individual and groups of teachers grow.
Today I’m joined by Brenda Byrd, an Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership (and a former South Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year and a National Distinguished Principal). Brenda works for Greenville County School District in Greenville South Carolina. Brenda is here with us to talk about what makes an AP great.
Today I’m joined by Becca Silver the founder and lead consultant at The Whole Educator. Becca has been posting some great stuff on LinkedIn, which is where we met. Becca is here to help us explore the AP – Instructional coach relationship.
This podcast is being recorded in mid-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is intense. I don’t know that there are any solutions that school leaders can take at the local level, but finding a few minutes to reflect on our experiences, to learn from each other, and to feel more connected with our peers is important. This will be the last of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each podcast will focus on how a different assistant principal is navigating this current moment. I’m not sure if these episodes will shape your practice, but I think they will be cathartic, and right now that seems good enough.
Today’s guest is Emily Parks, the Assistant Principal at Ford Elementary School in Laurens, South Carolina. This podcast is being recorded in late-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is still intense. I don’t know that there are any solutions that school leaders can take at the local level, but finding a few minutes to reflect on our experiences, to learn from each other, and to feel more connected with our peers is important. This is the second of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each one focuses on how a different assistant principal is navigating this current moment. I’m not sure if these episodes will shape your practice, but I think they will be cathartic, and right now that seems good enough.
This podcast is being recorded in mid-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is intense. I don’t know that there are any solutions that school leaders can take at the local level, but finding a few minutes to reflect on our experiences, to learn from each other, and to feel more connected with our peers is important. This will be the first of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each podcast will focus on how a different assistant principal is navigating this current moment. I’m not sure if these episodes will shape your practice, but I think they will be cathartic, and right now that seems good enough.
In this episode we look into the surprisingly complex question of “Who should I coach?” We examine the five ways that teachers grow, we overview what a systemic approach to teacher growth looks like in a school, and we answer the question. If you only have time to coach one or two people, then you can’t afford to choose the wrong person to coach. This podcast should help.
Today I’m joined by Dr. Sam Sircey, the Principal of North Buncombe High School in Weaverville NC. Sam is here with us today to explore the perspectives that school leaders need to consider.
Today’s podcast addresses a variety of aspects of coaching teachers. We consider the approach to coaching, who to focus on, and how to break coaching into A-B steps. This is NOT a training on how to coach, but rather is a discussion about some of the issues that pop up in the coaching process.