Blogs on Administrators



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

Tom WhitbyApril 10, 2014

I believe that most states require teachers to have a certain amount of professional development (PD) each year. I also believe that most states do not directly pay for this to happen, leaving the funding of any PD up to individual districts. At that point it comes down to budgetary priorities. Some schools have the means, but many others do not. Nevertheless, every school must check off a box on some form somewhere indicating that some degree of PD has been delivered. And so was born the idea of the full-day workshop at least once a year. The impact on the budget is minimal, all of the teachers receive a day of PD to carry them through the rest of the year, and most importantly, the box on the form can be checked. Does this sound familiar?

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Shira LoewensteinJanuary 20, 2014

I recently read an article (posted on Facebook by a colleague of mine) about love in the workplace. The article spoke about how employees who felt companionate love at work performed better. It sparked my interest in teacher communities.

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Dr. Kimberlee RatliffNovember 20, 2013

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, President Obama called for increased mental health support in school settings. Counselors are qualified to work with students in individual counseling, small group counseling and large group support. Besides being leaders, advocates, collaborators and systemic change agents, counselors have training in crisis intervention and are often called upon to assist in small- and large-scale crisis situations. However, if school counselors are engaged in too many non-counseling duties, then their effectiveness is reduced.

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Fred EndeOctober 31, 2013

It's been a trying time for our government and our country. Decision-making, often unbearably slow, was at a standstill for 16 days. Many waited to return to work, and the economy hung in the balance. Regardless of your political leanings, it is tough to think of our government as being in any type of position to provide lessons in leadership. Yet, as a mentor of mine once shared, "You can often learn more about true leadership from failures than you can from outright successes." And though the realm of politics can be quite different from education, it is amazing (and perhaps a bit frightening) just how many corollaries there are between our two worlds.

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Ben JohnsonOctober 28, 2013

Being back in the classroom has given me a refreshed perspective. Below, I would like to share with administrators some helpful observations and suggestions that may improve your relationship with the teachers you serve.

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Anne OBrienOctober 22, 2013

It is now late October. Have any of your students already missed more than a month of school? Are any on track to? Can you even know?

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Mark PhillipsSeptember 30, 2013

I love movies, especially good movies about kids and about education. I'm also often disappointed in these films. I've become tired of documentaries extoling or attacking charter schools. I've also seen too many films focusing on at-risk kids in struggling schools that somehow manage to be clichéd, repetitive and boring.

So when I discover films like the two that I want to share with you, films that are truly great in both their substance and the quality of the filmmaking, I feel uplifted and hopeful. They renew my faith in both public education and great documentary filmmaking. The two films are The New Public and The Graduates. I plan to review the latter film just before its wide release in late October. But The New Public airs nationally on PBS on October 1, so let's start with that one.

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Mark PhillipsSeptember 23, 2013

It's school board election time in communities all across the country. Hopefully, most of these are contested elections. It isn't easy finding good people to run for what is usually an unpaid, time intensive and highly challenging job. And however good he or she may be, every incumbent running for reelection should have to stand the test of accountability that a contested election provides.

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Scott TaylorJuly 9, 2013

Until several years ago, I had a hard time confronting my subordinates with direct, straight-up critical feedback. I didn't want the awkwardness I thought would come from telling someone he wasn't doing his job correctly. However, I grew out of this feeling over time and found constructive, professional ways to provide critical feedback.

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Mark PhillipsJune 24, 2013

We can do a much better job of supporting the secondary school experience of our adolescents. I would like to share some ideas for parents, educators and students to think about this summer.

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