Articles

Turn a challange into a goal: A coaching tool for the new year

Categories: GOAL SETTING, TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
Turn a challange into a goal: A coaching tool for the new year Image

It’s almost a new year!  During my tenure as a Principal Coach, I looked forward to coming back to work after the winter break, knowing that January was a bus...
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Attention, Vision and Mission Skeptics!

Categories: ESTABLISHING & SUSTAINING VISION, MISSION, & GOALS
Attention, Vision and Mission Skeptics! Image

For 20 years, Great Oaks Elementary has been the WOW place to learn and teach. How was the vision established? Intentionally, and with intensity. I was the Assistant Principal at Great Oaks...
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School culture building-a century in the making

Categories: CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
School culture building-a century in the making Image

Happy 100th birthday, Mathews Elementary! Last week, under a big green awning, and beaming proudly despite a passing rain storm, Mathews students and staff celebrated their school's 100th birthday. Their fo...
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Magical

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Magical Image

It's not the new building. It's not the slick hardware.It's not the powerful software.It's not the inspirational speeches.It's not the important new initiative.It's not the innovative p...
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Remember the Small Moments

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
Remember the Small Moments Image

This morning I was touched by a story. Not by one I read but by one I had lived and written. It was the story of an incident I experienced p...
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How to Listen Your Way to Better Leadership

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, EFFECTIVE CONFERENCING, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
How to Listen Your Way to Better Leadership Image

I’m not a schmoozer. It’s not in my nature to chit chat idly or drum up conversation where there is none. I have to work intentionally to connect with...
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Going Up?

Categories: CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE, ESTABLISHING & SUSTAINING VISION, MISSION, & GOALS
Going Up? Image

It's an all-too-familiar scene. Picture it with me. You're in the grocery store, or coming out of the doctor’s office, or having dinner at a restaurant with the family, or...
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Finding Joy in the Work

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
Finding Joy in the Work Image

My husband and I took the kids to our community’s First Friday Arts Trail recently, a fun event held at multiple venues around Lubbock to see the work of loc...
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My Favorite Hat

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
My Favorite Hat Image

Principal Coach. I've worn quite a few hats in school leadership over the years, but this one, the Principal Coach hat, is my favorite. For about nine years, I had the...
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Unknown Waters

Categories: IMPROVING INSTRUCTION
Unknown Waters Image

Leading Change. This was the topic of one of our recent principal program seminars. One intern put it so poignantly when he openly reflected: 

...
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Simple Systems, Big Results

Categories: MANAGING DATA & PROCESSES
Simple Systems, Big Results Image

Early on in my principalship, I was struggling to get a handle on everything and I was talking with one of my mentors. I was explaining how massive the job was and how I just couldn’t keep up with the demands. She said these ...
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Persnickety

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Persnickety Image

We all know people who major in the minors. They critique, dissect, cajole, nitpick anything and everything.  We also know those people as persistent pains and energy drains. It's even worse when they're in charge.

...
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Take My Advice-Or Not

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, EFFECTIVE CONFERENCING
Take My Advice-Or Not Image

I read a blog post by Keith Webb that resonated with me. The post centered on not being attached to the advice you give...


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It's About the Teacher-and the Question

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, EFFECTIVE CONFERENCING
It's About the Teacher-and the Question Image

"On a scale of 1-10, what's your homework load tonight?", I asked Aubrey, my high school freshman. "It's a five", he said.  "And here's why", he continued.   Powerful questioning...
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The School Leader as Chief Problem Solver...or Not?

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, CONFLICT RESOLUTION
The School Leader as Chief Problem Solver...or Not? Image

I admit it.  As a campus leader, especially in the beginning, I thought I needed to be the Chief Problem Solver and Mediator.  When our staff was considering the implementation of a process to use for&n...
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Start with the TP!

Categories: CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Start with the TP! Image

I am big on building a positive, trusting, and loving culture in my school. It hurts me when I hear of principals who are micro-managers, dictators, and/or are just focused on the scores.  I just don’t believe...
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Lessons from Ike

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Lessons from Ike Image

I've read this article a few times since I first saw it a couple of years ago. I like to come back to it because hum...
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So Many Core Values and Beliefs: One Unified School Vision

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, ESTABLISHING & SUSTAINING VISION, MISSION, & GOALS
So Many Core Values and Beliefs: One Unified School Vision Image

Back in September, I wrote about the importance of school leaders reflecting upon their own core values and beliefs, as an important first step in leading a school.  Why? Because we don't leave our experiences, our philosophie...
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Why Am I Talking?

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, EFFECTIVE CONFERENCING
Why Am I Talking? Image

There seems to be an unspoken rule in leadership. Somehow the leader is the one who does all the talking. Yet, as leaders, how do we foster the growth and development of others if we possess all the knowledge, all the answers, ...
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You Need More Than One Mentor

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, MANAGING DATA & PROCESSES
You Need More Than One Mentor Image

Through my years of being a principal, I have learned that no one person can be a master...
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Leadership Challenge: Take Ownership - Be Happy

Categories: GOAL SETTING, DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, TEAM BUILDING
Leadership Challenge: Take Ownership - Be Happy Image

This past year I had accomplished some big goals and was ready for the next set of challenges in my continued quest for self-improvement. I'd like to tell you about my most recent goals but first let me ask:...
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do our strengths 'bubble up'?

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
do our strengths 'bubble up'? Image

There has been something on my To Do list for seven months now. It kind of became a game to me-to see how long I could move this particular chore to the next, fresh list-and still have a good excuse for not accomplishing the task. Procra...
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Why Program Evaluation?

Categories: CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION, DATA GATHERING & ANALYSIS, MANAGING DATA & PROCESSES
Why Program Evaluation? Image

I recently completed a research study as part of a graduate program in school leadership. My study attempted to identify validity evidence from a standards-based teacher evaluation and compensation system that I oversaw in a Texas school...
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Interconnectedness

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Interconnectedness Image

For those who choose the demanding but rewarding path of servant leadership, one of the most challenging tasks we face is to understand the concept of interconnectedness. The most effective and influential leaders have developed the abil...
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Meet David Manning: Coaching & Strengths Based Leadership-Still Going Strong After All These Years

Categories: GOAL SETTING, TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
Meet David Manning: Coaching & Strengths Based Leadership-Still Going Strong After All These Years Image

From the AEL team: One of the goals of AEL is to connect educational leaders across the state and even the nation. Our blogs will occasionally feature educators who tell their story AND share their thoughts based on their ex...
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Taking Time for Self-Reflection: Your Beliefs

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, ESTABLISHING & SUSTAINING VISION, MISSION, & GOALS
Taking Time for Self-Reflection: Your Beliefs Image

It is September.September. How did that happen? In my house, it’s time for football & band season. Evenings and weekends seem to fade all too quickly into the crisper, cooler air. School is in full swing. We are looking ahea...
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Guiding Questions for Instructional Leaders

Categories: GOAL SETTING, CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION, IMPROVING INSTRUCTION
Guiding Questions for Instructional Leaders Image

With a new school year upon us, principals are marking items off the to-do list, making sure the campus is ready to welcome students and teachers. While there are the logistical demands that can dominate your list, as the instructional le...
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Mountains of Data!

Categories: DATA GATHERING & ANALYSIS, IMPROVING INSTRUCTION
Mountains of Data! Image

Currently in education, you hear the term “data” used over and over again. If you look in the education world, you will find mountains and mountains of data. But what do you do with all of this data? How will it help your teachers ...
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Taking Time for Self-Reflection: Core Values

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
Taking Time for Self-Reflection: Core Values Image

It’s that time of the year.

You are in the midst of hiring staff, finalizing the master schedule, and planning back-to-school professional development. Often, that professional development plan for your staff includes the creati...
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What Is A Team?

Categories: TEAM BUILDING
What Is A Team? Image

Together, Everyone Achieves More As a campus principal it was always important for me to foster a sense of team. But what exactly is a team, and what exactly was I trying to foster? My school was made up of m...
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First Impressions on Building an Effective Campus Culture

Categories: CREATING POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
First Impressions on Building an Effective Campus Culture Image

First impressions set the stage for many different factors that influence the direction of personal and professional interactions. Campus culture is built the moment parents, students, faculty, staff, and any other stakeholders step foot on campus....
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Understanding the Roles of Coach, Mentor, and Supervisor

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING
Understanding the Roles of Coach, Mentor, and Supervisor Image

In the world of school leadership, there’s a dance we do. It’s the dance along the continuum of supervising, mentoring and coaching. This is a good thing. With our ability to shift our dance moves from one of these to another, we serve...
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Paraphrasing, Not Parrot Phrasing!

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING, EFFECTIVE CONFERENCING
Paraphrasing, Not Parrot Phrasing! Image

Instructional Coaching. Leadership Coaching. If you’ve been the “coachee” in any of these situations, you probably know what it feels like to have your coach repeat back to you what you have just said. Because of their clear and conci...
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Effective Conferencing…

Categories: TEACHER COACHING & MENTORING
Effective Conferencing… Image

Instructional Coaching. Leadership Coaching. If you’ve been the “coachee” in any of these situations, you probably know what it feels like to have your coach repeat back to you what you have just said. Because of their clear and conci...
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Becoming a Reflective Practitioner

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS
Becoming a Reflective Practitioner Image

As the Advancing Educational Leadership training evolved from an idea to a realized product, the importance of addressing what we are calling the “soft skills” of leadership steadily grew in the hearts and minds of those working...
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Without a Vision...

Categories: DEVELOPING SELF & OTHERS, ESTABLISHING & SUSTAINING VISION, MISSION, & GOALS
Without a Vision... Image

As the saying goes,without a vision the people perish. I will take that a step further and say without continued reflection the leader will perish...
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