Blogs on Administrators



Get tips, support, and advice for leading your school toward effective 21st-century learning practices.

Scott TaylorMay 2, 2013

Abraham Lincoln inspired me, like so many others, to lead by relationships. Donald T. Phillips (Lincoln on Leadership) and Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) describe that president as a kind, gentle and genuinely personable man for whom many subordinates deeply cared. He got close to his cabinet, his personal secretaries and his generals, and wasn't afraid to let them into his personal world.

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José VilsonApril 26, 2013

Last week, the National Football League released its schedule for the 2013-14 season, to the joy of die-hard pigskin fans and the chagrin of the rest of America trying to watch their Sunday evening programming. For the last month and a half, teams had been carefully analyzing the results of the NFL scouting combine to see which players best match their system and show the most promise for their future success. (Quick note: the combine is a weeklong display of different workouts and challenges that may demonstrate prospective players' mental and physical abilities.)

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Bob LenzMarch 19, 2013

Recently, I listened to a story on NPR's All Things Considered called "'Serendipitous Interaction' Key To Tech Firms' Workplace Design" that highlighted the cultures of innovation and creativity at Google and Facebook. The leaders of these organizations intentionally create opportunities for collaboration, learning and fun because they believe it will lead to the creation of better products and services.

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Ben JohnsonJanuary 31, 2013

I squirmed a bit in the center seat as I responded to questions. One educator after another around the circle asked me probing questions that made me think about my actions. I knew they understood me because they often rephrased what I said. Vocalizing my thoughts helped me to see clearly what my real issues were. Even still, I was hesitant to reveal my concerns, but at the same time I was curious to see where it would lead; I was being coached!

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Matt LevinsonJanuary 15, 2013

I had a conversation a few months ago with a parent about being a school principal. We were talking about the various demands of the job, from the different constituents that a school principal has to work with to the environment of a school. The parent asked me how I would define the job if I had only one word to use.

The word I chose was safety. The parent expressed some surprise and intrigue at my answer. We proceeded to talk about safety on multiple levels, beginning with physical safety, moving to emotional safety and finishing with academic safety.

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Elena AguilarDecember 5, 2012

In my last post I reflected on what makes an effective team of teachers. This is something I've been contemplating a great deal as this year I'm leading a team of instructional coaches. We work with a number of middle schools that are "transforming" and a central element in our theory of action is that leadership and instruction will transform by way of strong, effective, high functioning teams.

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Anne OBrienNovember 26, 2012

This time of year, many people are reflecting on what is truly important in life and all they have to be grateful for. The most common item of the top of these lists: family.

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Ben JohnsonOctober 22, 2012

Yes, let's give students iPads so they can be smarter and learn better. It sounds so easy. The reality is that there are many unknowns, like how do you hand out 800 iPads and keep track of which student has which iPad, and how do you get 800 students to register with iTunes so they can use their iPads on the school system? (The school system: How do you provide enough bandwidth for 800 iPads? That's another challenge entirely!)

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George CourosSeptember 12, 2012

Just let me start off by saying that the term "21st Century Learning" still drives me crazy. If you think about it, in the last ten years have we progressed in our thoughts about what learning should look like and could be? What about in the next 50 years? Will "21st Century Learning" be the same, or will we still promote the same skills? Who knows? But I am sure that our world will continue to change significantly.

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Anne OBrienAugust 21, 2012

Our nation is on the right track when it comes to high school graduation. The graduation rate is the highest it has ever been (75.5% for the class of 2009), and between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of dropouts among 16- to 24-year-olds declined from 12.1% to 7.4%. While there are still racial and socioeconomic gaps in these areas, improvement is happening across the board.

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