Transformative Principal (podcasts)
Discover the secrets of school leadership in this weekly interview podcast with top leaders in education.

Michael Shapiro is serving in his second year as the principal of Highland Tech Charter School in Anchorage School District. A recent transplant from the Chicago area, he previously served as principal of Shepard Middle School in Deerfield, Illinois for seven years, during which time the school earned a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award. Prior to that he served as an assistant principal for five years in two different schools. Mr. Shapiro began his educational career as a computer applications teacher and director of instructional technology. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Administration and Supervision at Loyola University in Chicago.

Highland Tech is a 6th–12th grade charter school that promotes personal mastery through student centered, individualized learning and varied assessment strategies. Student placement is based on academic ability, rather than chronological age, ensuring students are challenged each day. Students are encouraged to take an active role in their education and master core content and the skills necessary for success in the 21st Century. Technology integration and project-based assessments are critical components of Highland Tech’s rigorous model. 

  • Professional Development - content expertise and deep understanding of the standards.
  • Focus on building a curriculum that is standards-based.
  • Planning meaningful activities that align with standards.
  • Help teachers help students refine and revise work.
  • Time is a huge barrier.
  • Giving up control to students.
  • Advisory - take this incredibly seriously.
  • School visit in Michigan.
  • In the traditional model, we don’t demand that they master, we demand that they pass with an average.
  • Redos and Retakes
  • Be present. Be in classrooms learning every day.
  • Uncomfortable being called boss, because he is really a servant.

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Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: Giving_Up_Control_with_Michael_Shapiro_Transformative_Principal_093.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Michael Shapiro is serving in his second year as the principal of Highland Tech Charter School in Anchorage School District. A recent transplant from the Chicago area, he previously served as principal of Shepard Middle School in Deerfield, Illinois for seven years, during which time the school earned a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award. Prior to that he served as an assistant principal for five years in two different schools. Mr. Shapiro began his educational career as a computer applications teacher and director of instructional technology. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Administration and Supervision at Loyola University in Chicago.

Highland Tech is a 6th–12th grade charter school that promotes personal mastery through student centered, individualized learning and varied assessment strategies. Student placement is based on academic ability, rather than chronological age, ensuring students are challenged each day. Students are encouraged to take an active role in their education and master core content and the skills necessary for success in the 21st Century. Technology integration and project-based assessments are critical components of Highland Tech’s rigorous model. 

  • Not one and done approach, focused on student Mastery.
  • Time bound, but a lot of flexibility.
  • Real-world project based learning.
  • Rubrics at every level.
  • Takes some time for kids, teachers and principals even to get used to it.
  • Lots of misperceptions in the community.
  • Reinventing Schools Coalition RISC
  • Different Levels - Standards and Rubrics
  • Kids can be in 8th grade math and be in 10 grade ELA.
  • Require up to Alg. II/Trig in math at Highland Tech.
  • Integrate levels as much as possible.
  • Paying attention to outliers.
  • Variety of assessments qualify for standards. Not just the paper-pencil type.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

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Piper is the principal of Draper Elementary in Draper, UT. She has been a long-time friend and mentor to me, personally, and has helped me learn so much over the last few years.

  • ELA in English and Math in target language
  • Teachers more intentional in working together on content between languages.
  • MobyMax to supplement schoolwork. Reflex Math to focus on computation skills.
  • What she’s doing is working because Draper Elementary ranked 22 in the state in math.
  • How you ensure good instruction is taking place when you don’t speak the target language?
  • Anyone should be able to understand topic in the classroom when they are in the target language.
  • Good instruction on Steroids.
  • 9 tenets of instruction from State of Utah
  • Listen.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Download Paperless Principal.  

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Piper is the principal of Draper Elementary in Draper, UT. She has been a long-time friend and mentor to me, personally, and has helped me learn so much over the last few years.

  • Dual immersion schools - what is the process, and what challenges are unique to you?
  • 200 dual immersion schools in the state, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, French
  • What barriers are there to having native speakers come teach in America?
  • A/B schedule at elementary level.
  • Teachers come from mainland China and local areas.
  • Immersion teacher and non-immersion teachers and culture issues.
  • Personalizing issues with culture.
  • Specials to integrate the two cultures.
  • Dragon Training
  • Seeking input to learn what was important to the students, faculty, and parents.
  • Blanket monkey.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Download Paperless Principal.  

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Henry Turner is a fantastic principal doing some great things at Bedford High School outside Boston. He blogs at Leadingtolearn.

  • Implementing iPad initiative.
  • Focus on creating iPad content.
  • Fundraising
  • Upstander anti-bullying program. Facing History in Ourselves.
  • Asking curious questions.
  • Kids create public service announcements with their iPads.
  • Achievement gap strategies.
  • Data teams
  • Putting kids in levels, but not tracking them.
  • Conversations and district support.
  • The Calculus Project.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Download Paperless Principal.  

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Henry Turner - Principal of Bedford High School outside Boston.

  • Site visits is where the interview teams comes to the school to meet with the teams that work with the principal.
  • Tips to prepare.
  • Choose a diverse group of people.
  • Avoid some pitfalls: lack of preparation, only asking rockstars.
  • How to prepare people for the visit: Announce early to community.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

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Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 88_SIte_Vists_with_Henry_Turner_Transformative_Principal_088.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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This week Geri Parscale came to visit us in Kodiak and teach us about PLCs. The teachers walked away energized and excited. On Twitter she is @ParscaleG.

In this episode she talks about PLCs and culture. PLCs are a way of life, not a program, and that is what I have always enjoyed about the PLC approach.

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Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 87_Establishing_PLCs_with_Geri_Parscale_Transformative_Principal_087.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:51pm MST
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Today I am joined by Theresa Stager and Jessica Johnson who talk about their book “Breaking out of Isolation”.

  • After the sad end of the Practical Principals podcast with Melinda Miller, Theresa and Jessica and Jethro all started a podcast at the same time.
  • Being connected sometimes makes you feel isolated.
  • On being a student again.
  • Fixed vs. growth mindset.
  • We are still in the middle of learning how to be connected.
  • You must always watch what you are saying and be cautious of what you are saying.
  • Connected Educator Series
  • How you can break out of isolation:
    • Jump on Twitter
    • Join #principalPLN and create your own personal little mentors.

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Bob Dillon Twitter Web Site is the Director of Technology and Innovation for Afton School District. He has been a middle school principal for 15 years in three different places and currently helps many other principals improve their practices.

  • Join the PrincipalPLN Voxer group
  • 1st order change - simple, fixit types of problems, typically exciting that help people feel good about things, but don’t really move the needle in improving a school.
  • 2nd order change - moving from management to leadership. Changes that will last after you are gone. People start to feel like they are part of a special organization. Sometimes it is messy, people don’t know how things will play out.
  • Doug Timm Principal in Delaware.
  • Need to focus on what matters in the long term.
  • 1st order change - painting over water stain on a house you just bought.
  • 2nd order change - taking off the drywall and cleaning (or replacing) studs and insulation.
  • Playing the short and the long game.
  • Higher-level conversations
  • Difficulty of dealing with minor problems.
  • If you are working hard daily, people will be more likely to give you a break.
  • Build up key communicators in the building.
  • Trust your teachers to say things in a way that you know will be beneficial.
  • People need to hear the same in multiple ways.
  • How to help teachers be comfortable taking risks.
  • Need to scaffold to the higher level of risk-taking.

Part 2

  • Director of Innovation. My role is to keep the system lubricated.
  • Keep technology systems moving at a fast rate. Jump technology ahead.
  • Looking for other places that slow growth and inhibit innovation.
  • Empower the teachers that are moving forward and working hard.
  • Most of the rest of my career I will have jobs that don’t exist yet.
  • Important to change mental model of where and how kids learn.
  • Our teachers get better when they tell our story.
  • If it is not your strength to share, allow it to be the power of your students and allow them to share.
  • Give kids a voice.
  • Authentic audience raises the quality of work.
  • Book Ethic of Excellence
  • How are you contributing to Education beyond this school?
  • It is about being humble, and knowing you don’t have all the answers. If I want other people to help me, I need to help other people.
  • What prevents teachers from contributing?
  • Powerful connecting to other schools. Bettendorf High School and their partner school learning from each other. Doc Seacrist St. Joseph in Missouri(LINK)
  • Why Jimmy Casas continues to be a principal.
  • Leadership
  • K–1–2 Makerspace about the philosophy of allowing kids to grow creativity and problem solving.
  • Create, make, design for empowerment, engagement.
  • Helping kids become solution makers.
  • How you can be a transformative principal: Go read something that doesn’t have to do with education with your principal hat on. Lateral capacity building. Brendan Hufford
  • Entreleadership Podcast
  • Chris Locurto Show

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Bob Dillon Twitter Web Site is the Director of Technology and Innovation for Afton School District. He has been a middle school principal for 15 years in three different places and currently helps many other principals improve their practices.

  • Join the PrincipalPLN Voxer group
  • 1st order change - simple, fixit types of problems, typically exciting that help people feel good about things, but don’t really move the needle in improving a school.
  • 2nd order change - moving from management to leadership. Changes that will last after you are gone. People start to feel like they are part of a special organization. Sometimes it is messy, people don’t know how things will play out.
  • Doug Timm Principal in Delaware.
  • Need to focus on what matters in the long term.
  • 1st order change - painting over water stain on a house you just bought.
  • 2nd order change - taking off the drywall and cleaning (or replacing) studs and insulation.
  • Playing the short and the long game.
  • Higher-level conversations
  • Difficulty of dealing with minor problems.
  • If you are working hard daily, people will be more likely to give you a break.
  • Build up key communicators in the building.
  • Trust your teachers to say things in a way that you know will be beneficial.
  • People need to hear the same in multiple ways.
  • How to help teachers be comfortable taking risks.
  • Need to scaffold to the higher level of risk-taking.

Part 2

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

David Long, CEO of My Employees. Started the company from
Author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager.. This book is amazing, and I learned a ton from talking to David. He is a businessman, and not an educator, but he is really on point here.

  • Top 1% in all three industries he has participated in, so topics relatable to all industries.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • It’s not just plaques for employee recognition.
  • It is normal to procrastinate, forget, or otherwise delay awards and recognition for employees.
  • Great intentions last only 3 months.
  • Recognize 2 people from each department.
  • 20% or higher growth per year because of this employee recognition.
  • Employee recognition is the greatest way to get people to buy into your vision for the school.
  • Teachers will only be successful if the kids are successful, so we need to make our teachers and kids successful.
  • Metrics for schools: Don’t want it to be a popularity contest!
  • Measure what you are already using.
  • Recognition has to be administered every 7–10 days.
  • Employee recognition reminder chart. - Digital Version Recognize everyone 3 times a month!
  • If you can’t find something to recognize them for, you’re dropping the ball as a leader.
  • We do not outgrow the desire to be shown that we are significant.
  • If teachers don’t feel like they are part of the team, they want to leave you.
  • Two reasons people want to leave your school: 1) Not getting recognition or 2) the leader is forcing them to work with incompetent people.
  • You have to show the teachers that they matter.
  • People will listen to you because you care.
  • You will lose good people sometimes if you focus on them
  • Many employees receive no recognition for months at a time.
  • Find as many metrics as you can.
  • Demotivator: not using metrics to determine employee recognition, i.e., If someone comes in late and leaves early every day, and you reward that person.
  • Don’t make recognition about “It’s this person’s turn.”
  • 80/20 rule. Recognize top 20% of each department.
    Part 2

  • Student engagement surveys for teachers. Simplistic questions: How well do you feel the teacher teaches…? How well do you feel your teacher encourages you…? (What would be good)
  • Interview and assess what the kids are getting from their teachers.
  • Metrics he uses: Dollar/ticket, renewal sales, how many calls they answer, answering the phones by the third ring,
  • Kaizan - continuous improvement, monitoring something causes the production of it to increase by 10 percent.
  • TEDxCSDTeachers - increase attendance by 10%.
  • shoutoutcards.com - stubs or something to remind you of what someone did well.
  • Let your people shine.
  • Book clubs - teach your teachers how to improve their lives - personal development, not books related to our profession.
  • Dr. Tony Zeiss - 12 Essential Rules for Becoming Indispensable
  • Book clubs help teams that don’t usually work together work together.
  • Side note: teach kids how to use money and have their money spent effectively.
  • What can principals do? Use the recognition chart to make sure you are checking in on your teachers.
  • Invest in your own education, learn how to be a better principal, teacher, speaker, etc.
  • davidlong@top10manager.com
  • 800–489–0230
  • Buy the hardback copy, get the kindle version free by emailing Copy of workbook from the
  • “You’re impacting lives every day, or you’re not!”

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 082_Start_Book_Clubs_with_David_Long_Transformative_Principal_082.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

David Long, CEO of My Employees. Started the company from
Author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager.. This book is amazing, and I learned a ton from talking to David. He is a businessman, and not an educator, but he is really on point here.

  • Top 1% in all three industries he has participated in, so topics relatable to all industries.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • It’s not just plaques for employee recognition.
  • It is normal to procrastinate, forget, or otherwise delay awards and recognition for employees.
  • Great intentions last only 3 months.
  • Recognize 2 people from each department.
  • 20% or higher growth per year because of this employee recognition.
  • Employee recognition is the greatest way to get people to buy into your vision for the school.
  • Teachers will only be successful if the kids are successful, so we need to make our teachers and kids successful.
  • Metrics for schools: Don’t want it to be a popularity contest!
  • Measure what you are already using.
  • Recognition has to be administered every 7–10 days.
  • Employee recognition reminder chart. - Digital Version Recognize everyone 3 times a month!
  • If you can’t find something to recognize them for, you’re dropping the ball as a leader.
  • We do not outgrow the desire to be shown that we are significant.
  • If teachers don’t feel like they are part of the team, they want to leave you.
  • Two reasons people want to leave your school: 1) Not getting recognition or 2) the leader is forcing them to work with incompetent people.
  • You have to show the teachers that they matter.
  • People will listen to you because you care.
  • You will lose good people sometimes if you focus on them
  • Many employees receive no recognition for months at a time.
  • Find as many metrics as you can.
  • Demotivator: not using metrics to determine employee recognition, i.e., If someone comes in late and leaves early every day, and you reward that person.
  • Don’t make recognition about “It’s this person’s turn.”
  • 80/20 rule. Recognize top 20% of each department.
    Part 2

  • Student engagement surveys for teachers. Simplistic questions: How well do you feel the teacher teaches…? How well do you feel your teacher encourages you…? (What would be good)
  • Interview and assess what the kids are getting from their teachers.
  • Metrics he uses: Dollar/ticket, renewal sales, how many calls they answer, answering the phones by the third ring,
  • Kaizan - continuous improvement, monitoring something causes the production of it to increase by 10 percent.
  • TEDxCSDTeachers - increase attendance by 10%.
  • shoutoutcards.com - stubs or something to remind you of what someone did well.
  • Let your people shine.
  • Book clubs - teach your teachers how to improve their lives - personal development, not books related to our profession.
  • Dr. Tony Zeiss - 12 Essential Rules for Becoming Indispensable
  • Book clubs help teams that don’t usually work together work together.
  • Side note: teach kids how to use money and have their money spent effectively.
  • What can principals do? Use the recognition chart to make sure you are checking in on your teachers.
  • Invest in your own education, learn how to be a better principal, teacher, speaker, etc.
  • davidlong@top10manager.com
  • 800–489–0230
  • Buy the hardback copy, get the kindle version free by emailing Copy of workbook from the
  • “You’re impacting lives every day, or you’re not!”

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Brian Edmister is the principal of Genesee Valley Elementary School in Genesee Valley New York.

Brian was a fellow participant of the Model Schools Conference.

  • Attended many different colleges to complete his degree.
  • Design your own session.
  • Standards based grading.
  • Must create your culture before you change anything.
  • When you create a grade, you create a label.
  • Giving the kids a chance to be in charge of their own learning.
  • Schools Attuned
  • Giving teachers permission to fail at something.
  • 1 page of all academic, 1 page of social development on report card.
  • Levels of access can be unlocked with badges for showing digital citizenship.
  • Robot Farm
  • Allowing kids to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Communication build trust.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Build culture.

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Kyle Palmer is the principal of Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Liberty, MO. Kyle was a presenter at the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta, GA. Here are the handouts from his session: Presentation and PDF

  • It’s about relationships, not programs.
  • Transformed school in last year.
  • Competition with others helps him be better.
  • Let’s not change the world, let’s just do our best.
  • Fostering belief in staff.
  • Growth mindset.
  • Katie Lawson, principal extraordinaire.
  • Need to know the “why” behind everything.
  • The Art and Science of Teaching
  • Angela Rosheim - Genius hour in the library, received grant of $8,000 of $10,000 of available resources, makerspace.
  • Focusing on being ready for the future.
  • Project Lead the Way - STEM Solution for schools.
  • Moving away from the sage on the stage mentality.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Looking into yourself first, before looking at others.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Today I am speaking with Ron Fortunato, President of Trillium Learning and employee of NASA AMES research center. Listen to learn how you can get more information about to get your students more engaged in REAL projects!

  • Project-based vs activity-based projects.
  • Coupling students with real-life working projects.
  • If students are able to keep up with the real-world work, they are given an opportunity to be at the table.
  • Relationships with NOAA, NASA, and other institutions.
  • Identify real problems, and get students involved in those projects.
  • How Ron got involved with NASA.
  • Winning a proposal with NASA: Pick a project they would have done.
  • Meeting with the scientists that put Viking on Mars.
  • How predicting earthquakes works.
  • First earthquake sensor ever created installed in Kodiak.
  • Real world projects cross many disciplines.
  • “We don’t learn a darn thing when we do something right!”
  • Rapid prototyping process - iterate and learn piece by piece.
  • How students have actually discovered that earthquakes were coming with up to 48 hours notice.
  • NASA gave actual reviews to high school students.
  • Life-saving potential of predicting earthquakes is very important.
  • Kodiak, Ketchikan, Craig, Copper River, and Old Harbor have the earthquake systems installed.
  • Tasks and organizations for students are similar to tasks given to scientists.
  • NASA Directors sit in with students on status reviews.
  • Other projects kids can get involved with. Nano-agriculture
  • It looks like chaos at first, but then it becomes transformative.
  • Challenges of doing real-time and real-world project-based learning.
  • Teachers need to adapt to this new way of doing things.
  • School board has to support the project.
  • Build a foundation so the entire district can participate. Ramp Up!
  • How to make it for more than just the gifted or smart kids.
  • 6th grade class suggesting how to improve the sensor.
  • The process of learning how to learn.
  • Trainer of Trainers model.
  • You move at the speed you can go.
  • Contact Ron
  • What to do to start: Look at local organizations and what problems they’re trying to solve.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 78_Ramping_Up_Real_PBL_with_Ron_Fortunado_Transformative_Principal_078.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Today I am speaking with Ron Fortunato, President of Trillium Learning and employee of NASA AMES research center. Listen to learn how you can get more information about to get your students more engaged in REAL projects!

  • Project-based vs activity-based projects.
  • Coupling students with real-life working projects.
  • If students are able to keep up with the real-world work, they are given an opportunity to be at the table.
  • Relationships with NOAA, NASA, and other institutions.
  • Identify real problems, and get students involved in those projects.
  • How Ron got involved with NASA.
  • Winning a proposal with NASA: Pick a project they would have done.
  • Meeting with the scientists that put Viking on Mars.
  • How predicting earthquakes works.
  • First earthquake sensor ever created installed in Kodiak.
  • Real world projects cross many disciplines.
  • “We don’t learn a darn thing when we do something right!”
  • Rapid prototyping process - iterate and learn piece by piece.
  • How students have actually discovered that earthquakes were coming with up to 48 hours notice.
  • NASA gave actual reviews to high school students.
  • Life-saving potential of predicting earthquakes is very important.
  • Kodiak, Ketchikan, Craig, Copper River, and Old Harbor have the earthquake systems installed.
  • Tasks and organizations for students are similar to tasks given to scientists.
  • NASA Directors sit in with students on status reviews.
  • Other projects kids can get involved with. Nano-agriculture
  • It looks like chaos at first, but then it becomes transformative.
  • Challenges of doing real-time and real-world project-based learning.
  • Teachers need to adapt to this new way of doing things.
  • School board has to support the project.
  • Build a foundation so the entire district can participate. Ramp Up!
  • How to make it for more than just the gifted or smart kids.
  • 6th grade class suggesting how to improve the sensor.
  • The process of learning how to learn.
  • Trainer of Trainers model.
  • You move at the speed you can go.
  • Contact Ron
  • What to do to start: Look at local organizations and what problems they’re trying to solve.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

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This is my second interview with Will Parker. Will wrote a book called Principal Matters: the motivation, courage, action, and teamwork needed for school leadership, and so we talk about his wisdom that is contained therein. Go ahead and buy it.

I interviewed Will in Episode 24 of Transformative Principal.

  • A little discussion about technology.
  • Some information on his book.
  • How to make decisions.
  • Write things down when they are still fresh so you know how to do it next time.
  • Write processes down now so that you have them next time.
  • Make a list and prioritize.
  • How to delegate effectively.
  • Importance of taking time off to recharge.
  • The power of good mentors.
  • Writing a letter of resignation.
  • How to live without putting out fires all the time!
  • Give instruction on the front end to make expectations more effective.
  • Great teachers teach with both sides of their brains at once.
  • More about KRAs (which we spoke about in Episode 24).

Part 2

  • Dealing with difficult people.
    • Make sure you are not the difficult person.
    • Seek to understand before being understood.
    • Be firm but friendly.
    • Change your posture or use humor when appropriate.
    • Agree to disagree.
    • Consider bringing all parties to the table.
    • What can I do to help you?
    • Sometimes it is inevitable to have difficult conversations.
  • Communicate privately with staff members when there is a difficulty.
  • Big fan of just being honest.
  • Talk straight with each other.
  • Relationships are so important for every teacher and staff member.
  • “It’s not an issue of me and you, it’s an issue of you and you.”
  • Buy his book!

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Principal Matters with Will Parker Transformative Principal 075

 

This is my second interview with Will Parker. Will wrote a book called Principal Matters: the motivation, courage, action, and teamwork needed for school leadership, and so we talk about his wisdom that is contained therein. Go ahead and buy it.

I interviewed Will in Episode 24 of Transformative Principal.

  • A little discussion about technology.
  • Some information on his book.
  • How to make decisions.
  • Write things down when they are still fresh so you know how to do it next time.
  • Write processes down now so that you have them next time.
  • Make a list and prioritize.
  • How to delegate effectively.
  • Importance of taking time off to recharge.
  • The power of good mentors.
  • Writing a letter of resignation.
  • How to live without putting out fires all the time!
  • Give instruction on the front end to make expectations more effective.
  • Great teachers teach with both sides of their brains at once.
  • More about KRAs (which we spoke about in Episode 24).

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 75_Principal_Matters_with_Will_Parker_Transformative_Principal_075.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Today I am interviewing Assistant Principal, Entrepreneur, Father, and Hot Mess Brendan Hufford (Twitter).

Thea Bowman Leadership Academy - only successful school in Gary, Indiana.

OKkimonos.com and Entrepreneurs and Coffee Podcast are a couple side gigs that Brendan has going on.
* Gary, Indiana is a struggling city, but full of amazing people.
* Showing trust to students
* Leading with trust - people want to give back trust when you give it to them.
* It’s not as easy to build relationships as an admin than it is to build relationships as a teacher.
* If you care about the students, they’ll do what you need them to do.
* When you get frustrated, your care is the first to go away.
* Kids aren’t afraid of things happening in the school that make them unsafe, they are likely afraid of things happening on the way to or from school that make them feel unsafe.
* Resting vs. sleeping.
* Getting up at 3 am helps him be his best.
* Need to teach entrepreneurism to help US compete globally.
* The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
* College vs. Entrepreneurism.
* College Bubble is going to Burst - College is a great chance to mature, party, and have fun. If you want to go to college for an actual education, you are overpaying.
* Entrepreneurism is not for everybody.

Part 2

  • Working as a first grade teaching assistant.
  • There is no better gift you can give a human being than self-education.
  • Teaching kids how to be entrepreneurial could be almost as important teaching them to read.
  • Can’t do education just as a paycheck.
  • Pushback when innovating.
  • Using Twitter for real purposes.
  • Transparency at Buffer
  • If you want to learn something, spend 0 time focusing on your own industry.
  • Free tools at Brendan’s website.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Today I am interviewing Assistant Principal, Entreprenuer, Father, and Hot Mess, Brendan Hufford (Twitter)!

Thea Bowman Leadership Academy - only successful school in Gary, Indiana.

OKkimonos.com and Entrepreneurs and Coffee Podcast are a couple side gigs that Brendan has going on.
* Gary, Indiana is a struggling city, but full of amazing people.
* Showing trust to students
* Leading with trust - people want to give back trust when you give it to them.
* It’s not as easy to build relationships as an admin than it is to build relationships as a teacher.
* If you care about the students, they’ll do what you need them to do.
* When you get frustrated, your care is the first to go away.
* Kids aren’t afraid of things happening in the school that make them unsafe, they are likely afraid of things happening on the way to or from school that make them feel unsafe.
* Resting vs. sleeping.
* Getting up at 3 am helps him be his best.
* Need to teach entrepreneurism to help US compete globally.
* The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
* College vs. Entrepreneurism.
* College Bubble is going to Burst - College is a great chance to mature, party, and have fun. If you want to go to college for an actual education, you are overpaying.
* Entrepreneurism is not for everybody.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 73_Trusting_Students_with_Brendan_Hufford_Transformative_Principal_073.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:18pm MST
Comments[0]

Today, I am honored to interview Anne Beninghof Twitter. Anne is an expert at coteaching and consults with districts about it.

In this episode, we talk about the following:

  • What is coteaching?
  • How little things become problematic
  • Paraprofessionals in the classroom
  • Resources on her web site
  • How to introduce teachers to the idea of coteaching
  • Choosing partners
  • Youtube Channel
  • Needs for teachers working together: Flexible personalities, common planning time, common philosophies about teaching and behavior management.
  • Expectation about actually using planning time.
  • Try to avoid a divorce in the coteaching relationship
  • Co teachers Need a coach.
  • Specific structures and procedures help coteaching partnership
  • Tap into teachers’ unique skill sets
  • One-minute formative assessments
  • 65% of class time spent in something other than whole group
  • Last couple minutes specialist takes lead
  • Parallel grouping
  • Professional learning & communication is a constant
  • 9 models of coteaching.
  • Duet model
  • Parallel model
  • Lead and support model
  • Other 7 models are ingredients
  • Don’t let students play one teacher against another
  • Ratios: no more than 30% of students on IEPs
  • Plan approach for talking to parents about coteaching model.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Today, I am honored to interview Anne Beninghof Twitter. Anne is an expert at coteaching and consults with districts about it.

In this episode, we talk about the following:

  • What is coteaching?
  • How little things become problematic
  • Paraprofessionals in the classroom
  • Resources on her web site
  • How to introduce teachers to the idea of coteaching
  • Choosing partners
  • Youtube Channel
  • Needs for teachers working together: Flexible personalities, common planning time, common philosophies about teaching and behavior management.
  • Expectation about actually using planning time.
  • Try to avoid a divorce in the coteaching relationship
  • Co teachers Need a coach.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 71_Co_Teaching_with_Anne_Beninghof_Transformative_Principal_071.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Today, I am talking with Brad Gustafson @GustafsonBrad, principal of Greenwood Elementary School #GWGreats. I’ve been a follower of Brad’s blog for a long time. He is inspiring and helps me want to be a better principal. I hope you learn a ton from him, just like I have.

In this episode we talk about:

Part 2

  • Teachers are talented.
  • Failure - Moodle forums research
  • Monthly theme - optional vs. required.
  • Transparency builds trust
  • Teachers do great things no matter what, either openly and transparently or behind closed doors.
    *Invest in digital connections to deep your learning.
  • Educational malpractice to limit learning based on what we refuse to learn.

WorkflowED podcast

Earning Freedom Podcast

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 69_Mobile_Makerspaces_with_Brad_Gustafson_Transformative_Principal_069.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

I had the great opportunity to interview Michael Santos this week. He is a former convict who spent 26 years in prison for running drugs. He says he never touched the drugs, but organized other people to do it. Pretty amazing story.

Michael has a podcast out, now as well. He pipes it into the prison system to help people learn to change.
You can learn a little bit more about Michael here:
PBS NewsHour (7-minute profile)
NBC Bay Area Proud (5-minute profile)
San Francisco Chronicle (Front-page profile)

We talk about the following:

Comments[0]

I had the great opportunity to interview Michael Santos this week. He is a former convict who spent 26 years in prison for running drugs. He says he never touched the drugs, but organized other people to do it. Pretty amazing story.

Michael has a podcast out, now as well. He pipes it into the prison system to help people learn to change.
You can learn a little bit more about Michael here:
PBS NewsHour (7-minute profile)
NBC Bay Area Proud (5-minute profile)
San Francisco Chronicle (Front-page profile)

We talk about the following:

Direct download: 67_26_Years_in_Prison_with_Michael_Santos_Transformative_Principal_067.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Mr. Gregory Leavitt is the principal of Draper Park Middle School in Draper, UT. Draper Park has experienced some great success recently as a top-scoring school in the state in Math, ELA, and Science. He was the 2013 Canyons District Administrator of the Year Award Winner.

In this episode we talk about the following:

Cross Curricular Teaming and PLCs.

  • Agenda consists of activities, common vocabulary, student problem solving, and team activities and celebrations
  • Vocabulary is a powerful way to connect content areas.
  • How he reviews all 9 PLC teams’ notes.
  • Consistency as key to long-term success.
  • How they use a Friday late start collaboration time.

Subject Area Teaming and PLCs

  • Large focus on data
  • Common Formative Assessments
  • Bringing everybody up, instead of comparing for comparison sake.
  • Easy to take big end-of-year test when you are assessing for mastery to the standards all throughout the year.
  • No need for a big push at the end.
  • Nothing fancy, just some Google Docs that are shared between the team.

Standards-Based Grading

  • 100% of grades are based on assessments, what the kids can actually demonstrate as mastery.
  • Rick Wormeli - “Fair Isn’t Always Equal”
  • Objective Tracker, student-reported grades, and success.

How you can be a transformative principal:

Pick one thing that you can sustain for the next 5–7 years and stick with it.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 66_Trust_with_Gregory_Leavitt_Transformative_Principal_066.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Mr. Gregory Leavitt is the principal of Draper Park Middle School in Draper, UT. Draper Park has experienced some great success recently as a top-scoring school in the state in Math, ELA, and Science. He was the 2013 Canyons District Administrator of the Year Award Winner.

In this episode we talk about the following:

Cross Curricular Teaming and PLCs.

  • Agenda consists of activities, common vocabulary, student problem solving, and team activities and celebrations
  • Vocabulary is a powerful way to connect content areas.
  • How he reviews all 9 PLC teams’ notes.
  • Consistency as key to long-term success.
  • How they use a Friday late start collaboration time.

Subject Area Teaming and PLCs

  • Large focus on data
  • Common Formative Assessments
  • Bringing everybody up, instead of comparing for comparison sake.
  • Easy to take big end-of-year test when you are assessing for mastery to the standards all throughout the year.
  • No need for a big push at the end.
  • Nothing fancy, just some Google Docs that are shared between the team.

Standards-Based Grading

  • 100% of grades are based on assessments, what the kids can actually demonstrate as mastery.
  • Rick Wormeli - “Fair Isn’t Always Equal”
  • Objective Tracker, student-reported grades, and success.

How you can be a transformative principal:

Pick one thing that you can sustain for the next 5–7 years and stick with it.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Mr. Gregory Leavitt is the principal of Draper Park Middle School in Draper, UT. Draper Park has experienced some great success recently as a top-scoring school in the state in Math, ELA, and Science. He was the 2013 Canyons District Administrator of the Year Award Winner.

In this episode we talk about the following:

Cross Curricular Teaming and PLCs.

  • Agenda consists of activities, common vocabulary, student problem solving, and team activities and celebrations
  • Vocabulary is a powerful way to connect content areas.
  • How he reviews all 9 PLC teams’ notes.
  • Consistency as key to long-term success.
  • How they use a Friday late start collaboration time.

Subject Area Teaming and PLCs

  • Large focus on data
  • Common Formative Assessments
  • Bringing everybody up, instead of comparing for comparison sake.
  • Easy to take big end-of-year test when you are assessing for mastery to the standards all throughout the year.
  • No need for a big push at the end.
  • Nothing fancy, just some Google Docs that are shared between the team.

Standards-Based Grading

  • 100% of grades are based on assessments, what the kids can actually demonstrate as mastery.
  • Rick Wormeli - “Fair Isn’t Always Equal”
  • Objective Tracker, student-reported grades, and success.

How you can be a transformative principal:

Pick one thing that you can sustain for the next 5–7 years and stick with it.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

  • Tech Club at Jason's school.
  • You can never have enough clubs or strong electives at your school.
  • What kinds of activities can put kids out in front?
  • DJ-ing the school dance.
  • How to start clubs - Just ask the kids!
  • Staple clubs - tech, video announcements, music, Minecraft club, etc.
  • It is ok to have just a few kids at each club.
  • How to have clubs that are flexible (teaching chess vs playing chess).
  • About Jason Bodnar's podcast
  • Jeff Bradbury
  • Matt Miller and his appearance on Jason's Podcast
  • You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
  • Being on Twitter can get you jobs!
  • How to be a transformative principal. Open reflection and transparency.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 61_Being_Silly_with_Jason_Bodnar_Transformative_Principal_061.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Jason is an assistant principal at a middle school who taught for 9 years as a science teacher at the high school level. After working with Assistant Superintendent on 1:1 initiative and creating his own classroom, he realized that he was able to see education in a different light, and chose to go into administration.

  • Having a say in what is going on in your classroom can only lead to good things.
  • How he gives teachers autonomy in what they are doing.
  • Helping teaching find a way to try something new without fear of failure.
  • No matter how old you are, there are people older and younger that are smarter than you.
  • It’s not that you don’t like science, it is that the instruction you have had has not reached you.
  • What makes people great is having a knack for giving students a strong voice.
  • Differences between working with high school and middle school students and staff.
  • If you’re trying new things and doing what’s best for students, you’re going to be successful.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Download Paperless Principal.  

Direct download: 60_Being_Humble_with_Jason_Bodnar_Transformative_Principal_060.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Sue Szachowicz was a student, teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Brockton High School.

Article about the success of Brockton High School. New York Times article. Letters to the Editor.

State Tests started in 1993 in Massachusetts and the school was living in denial of whether or not the state would deny a diploma based on the state test. Why would a student continue going to school if they know they are not going to get a diploma?

  • How to create a sense of urgency when it doesn’t seem like there is one.
  • Front page of the Boston Globe in 1999, failing our kids.
  • Is this the best we can be?
  • Creating a restructuring committee - meeting over the summer.
  • Looked at the released test questions.
  • Major Fail - Shakespeare Focus
  • It can’t be about a test.
  • What are the skills kids need to be successful on this test AND what are the skills kids need to be successful in their classes AND what are the skills kids need to be successful in their lives?
  • Answer to these questions led to a school-wide literacy initiative.
  • What is missing from your class, and what do we need to say differently so it passes the 7–11 test?
  • Skill is the centerpiece, context is the supporting element.
  • How do you bring literacy to life in the classroom.
  • Wanted to pick something that was easily measurable in all content areas.
  • Active reading, followed by writing a response to the reading.
  • Writing is thinking.
  • Teachers taught other teachers how to implement writing process.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Download Paperless Principal.  

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Bill Daggett is the founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education. He has worked all over the world helping schools improve and currently hosts the model school conference which showcases the 40 top performing schools in the country.

  • Other nations were doing some things better than us, but not everything. One thing we do much better is educating ALL students.
  • No nation in the world that would do what public education was doing for my family.
  • Spoke in 29 nations in 2 years.
  • Pulled company back to focus on America.
  • Carefully interviews people who need help, and mentor the schools to help them.
  • 5,000 - 8,000 people at Model Schools Conference in June.
  • Teaming is important. We have created artificial silos that don’t help students learn in real-life situations. School
  • Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships for ALL students
  • Schools are organized for ease of the teachers, not students.
  • Schools are organized for the top 1/3 of the students.
  • Want to motivate kids? Better make it relevant for them.
  • Interdisciplinary teams.
  • To start find two people who are willing to work together and go from there.
  • Build your master schedule around them.
  • Takes about 3–5 years for these initiatives to work.
  • We need the common planning period between disciplines.
  • Gotta pick the battles you are going to fight.
  • That’s too revolutionary and revolutionists get killed.
  • Breaking staff into thirds - Lunatic Fringe (let’s do every new initiative), Realists (I need some data to change first), Over My Dead Body (I’m not changing for nothing!). And it is not always broken down into even thirds.
  • Just leave the bottom third alone. Spend your time and resources on the top third.
  • Took 7 years working with that district for Brockton High School to start changing.
  • Teachers need an ongoing network of people beyond their own building.
  • Running Interference: Find ways to unlock teachers potential and remove roadblocks (state regs, parents/kids, union).
  • Get parent advocates. Talk to the parents of students who are doing a really great job. Get that parent to run for school board. Over time, it grows.
  • Public education has been around for a long time, you won’t change it overnight.
  • Measure what matters.
  • Academic Tenacity - do kids feel school is relevant? Do they feel safe? WE Surveys help find out if kids feel connected to school.
  • Do students and teachers agree that what is being taught is relevant?
  • Student and parent engagement are important.
  • Content, Methodology, Academic Tenacity, Parent/Community. We are so hung up on Content, that we can’t get to next three items. High performing schools don’t begin with content, they begin with getting the kids engaged.
  • Culture trumps strategy.

Join the Transformative Community on Slack

 

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards Use code TRANSFORMATIVE to save $10

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards Use code TRANSFORMATIVE to save $10!

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

Comments[0]

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  

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Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

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Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

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Show notes and listener survey on http://transformativeprincipal.com

Direct download: 47_Mastery_Learning_with_Ken_Daly_Transformative_Principal_047.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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Show notes at http://transformativeprincipal.com/ken-daly. Please take the listener survey at http://transformativeprincipal.com

Direct download: 46_Innovation_Team_with_Ken_Daly_Transformative_Principal_046.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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Show notes at http://transformativeprincipal.com

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Technology Workflows with Mike Rogers Transformative Principal 043

Mike is a principal of a pre-K–8 school. He is a great principal and also really great at using technology in unique ways. You can follow him on Twitter (@Techedvance). Spending a few minutes on his web site will teach you a ton about how to use technology to improve your professional practice.

  • Turning off the red badge for email notifications. Blog Post
  • Classroom Walkthroughs with Drafts
  • The Drafts app.
  • Dealing with things that come up through the day (do it now, or save for later).
  • Mac Power Users Podcast appearance.
  • Plain text notes held together by Dropbox is Byword, NVAlt, Fantasical all make him a better leader.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Find one way that you can use technology to do your job. If you carry around a smart phone and you can’t answer the question, how does my phone help me be a better principal, make it a goal to find out how it does help you do your job.
  • What keeps him inspired: The things in my office that remind me of my faith and my daughter starting in preschool at my school.

Sanebox

Sponsor: Sanebox

Web Site

Transformative Principal on Stitcher

Refer A Principal

Best Tools for Busy Administrators Survey

Direct download: 43_Technology_Workflows_with_Mike_Rogers_Transformative_Principal_043.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
Comments[0]

Learning Whenever You Can with Mike Rogers Transformative Principal 042

 

Mike is a principal of a pre-K–8 school. He is a great principal and also really great at using technology in unique ways. You can follow him on Twitter (@Techedvance). Spending a few minutes on his web site will teach you a ton about how to use technology to improve your professional practice.

  • How Mike got into administration.
  • The difference between public schools and private (religious) schools. Doing more with less. Relying on fundraising.
  • We need to strike the right balance between instructional leadership and all the other stuff we are tempted to spend our time on.
  • The most important aspects of Mike’s leadership.
  • There is a little more flexibility in how things are done in the private school, and they are able to meet the needs differently.
  • How to challenge teachers to do better.
  • Hiring makes a huge difference.
  • We give teachers tools and an opportunity to learn on their own, share with their colleagues and grow.
  • What kind of people Mike is looking for as teachers: What is it about this age group of students that makes you want to teach them?
  • Systematic Podcast appearance
  • Mac Power Users Podcast appearance.
  • Why Mike likes to share what he is learning and doing.
  • The podcasts Mike listens to: 5by5 network (MPU, Back to Work, Systematic). Out of School, 99 percent invisible, Workflowing.

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Part 2 of my interview with Colin Andrews.

  • How Colin hires great teachers
  • Colin doesn’t ask any interview questions, he just listens to his VPs ask all the questions.
  • An online form for parents to fill out student’s absences.
  • How Colin inspires people to be the best they can be and ensure students have global, authentic connections.
  • Sister schools in China, Korea, Japan, mainland USA and Kodiak, AK.
  • How he gets connections with other schools in the country.
  • How he took the school from $800 in the bank when he started to $200K for materials and PD.
  • Global connections so kids can think about how to talk to kids across the ocean.
  • Goal to connect each class to two overseas classrooms.
  • Picks books relevant to his locale’s native culture and other native cultures in the other schools and share them with the students.
  • How Colin started connecting with the schools he partners with now (No mention of Twitter!)
  • How to be a transformative principal: Open doors for other people. “Give it a Go”
  • What keeps him going: his grandchildren.
  • Connect with Colin

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Direct download: 41_Give_it_a_Go_with_Colin_Andrews_Transformative_Principal_041.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:13am MST
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Jordan Collier, the principal of Central Arkansas Secondary School is an amazing principal. We barely scratch the surface of what he is doing in this first part of the interview!

  • Jordan shares how powerful this podcast has been for him, especially the interview with Sam LeDeaux
  • How it is different at a religious school compared to a public school.
  • Discipline issues at a private christian school.
  • Using Bible study time to work on issues with students.
  • Telling the story of @CACMustangs. How the students get in on telling the story.
  • Mustang Missions. - Helping kids serve others, love them, and be there for others.

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Direct download: 38_Being_Positive_with_Jordan_Collier_Transformative_Principal_038.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:57pm MST
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Part two of my interview with Sam LeDeaux. You’re going to love it. Here is his blog

  • How to balance the need for caring about the teacher with meeting the demands of the state and evaluation system. Evaluation in two simple steps
  • Perspective of evaluation “your performance” vs. “service to kids”.
  • I want teachers to invite me in for lessons that could go any way and possibly be really different.
  • Leaders, strive to be the weak link
  • How Twitter has changed his practice. Parents want to observe the classroom to ensure they like what is happening only when you are not transparent.
  • Dedicating entire days to being in classrooms, while still managing requirements of his job. The more I am out and about, the less things there will be that pin me in my office. Goal: 8 full days in the class per month.
  • Sharing what he learns and fails at with the staff.
  • Inspiring Twitterers: @gcouros @justintarte @8amber8, chats, and anyone who is willing to share something is really inspiring.
  • How to be a transformative principal: be patiently perseverant.
  • What inspires him: his son, is he meeting his son’s expectations for school, because all his students are his sons and daughters!

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Direct download: 37_Evalution_with_Caring_with_Sam_LeDeaux_Transformative_Principal_037.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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Sam LeDeaux is a principal at a K–5 school in metropolitan Chicago. His forté is working well with his parents and staff.

  • 62 staff members and 869 parents working together to make things happen!
  • Learning that people “somewhere” doing things were actually people who were doing these things right around him.
  • Twitter and Social networking have been incredibly transformative and empowering. [#mannschool](https://twitter.com/MsKCairns/status/497443796661960704)
  • Transparency is what makes him effective.
  • Parents suggest and respond to ways to make his school better through social media.
  • We can grow in ways that we never before thought was possible.
  • Continuous sharing and positive collaboration makes technology transformative.
  • You don’t need to have common planning periods to have time to collaborate.
  • How to balance the difficult issues with being transparent.
  • It is not about personal performance, it is about service to kids.
  • When it is seen as a personal attack, you shut down when you are evaluated. When you see it as improving service to kids, you don’t get upset.
  • Peer observations - invite and show the value.
  • We do not let schedules get in our way of improving and service to students.
  • What is the purpose of peer observations?
  • Evaluations should be about growth.

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5 Things to ROAR about with Shawn Davids Transformative Principal 035

Shawn is a principal in British Columbia and is doing some amazing things with technology at his school, including having kindergartners use iPads to create amazing projects. In this interview, we discuss the following:

  • What Shawn is most excited about relating to technology in his school.
  • Why do we use technology in schools?
  • Learning as scaffolding and focusing on learning first, and technology second.
  • Blended learning as having digital and physical tools in front of the student at the same time.
  • Powerful for learning are situations that capture what a student is thinking.
  • Shawn’s role as principal to teachers regarding technology in the school: Permission to try, permission to fail.
  • How to gain trust from your faculty. We are in a relationship business.
  • They need me to support them when they need support and challenge them when they need to be challenged.
  • Reflecting in front of your teachers and being vulnerable in front of them.
  • H/T to @ChrisWejr about 5 things to roar about blog posts.
  • Positive blog posts went from no big deal to students finding those positive events in the school.
  • Key elements to 5 things to roar about posts: celebrate success (student and staff successes) and give parents an idea of what learning looks like in our school.
  • What can we do to be a transformative principal? Mindset, tell the story of your school and do it wherever you are comfortable.
  • What reminds him about why he is doing this great work? For his own kids.

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The second half of my interview with Dr. Briscoe, the new superintendent of Canyons District.

  • The strengths of Canyons school district.
  • The importance of the involvement of families.
  • We should try to do what we are doing even better. Teacher and principal input needs to be truly valued.
  • Making sure everyone in the organization feels valued.
  • Honoring the past before you build for the future.
  • Principal qualities Dr. Briscoe is looking for: having a vision compared to implementing a vision. Humility. Accessible and visible. Patience. Admit mistakes. Regardless of the other person’s opinion, you need to respect the person and take their opinion or concern seriously.
  • Focus on the vision and goal of your school, just take the time to meet with people and explain your rationale.
  • Most of the time, if you explain what you’re thinking, the people who disagree are OK with your decision, even if they don’t agree with it.
  • Don’t ask people for their input if you have already made your decision.
  • How to deal with taking the hits: exercise, without your health, you can’t do anything.
  • The importance of being recognizable. Walk up and introduce yourself to people out and about, and ask them if they have school-age kids.
  • A school leader is a leader in the community. You must get out and meet with local clubs and groups.
  • The benefit of being from a small district and being involved in every department in the district.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Take a risk!
  • What is in his office to keep him motivated? A poster that says, “If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t enjoy the view.”

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My (former) school district recently hired a new superintendent, and I was able to sit down and chat with him. I think he is just what the district needs and I am really excited for what he will bring to the table. We talked about the following:

  • Where Dr. Briscoe got his start in education and in administration
  • His diverse experience as a leader of schools that were from incredibly high-achieving to greatly struggling.
  • Engaging in the community by being involved in community issues (building new police station, hospital, etc.)
  • The political struggles that lead Dr. Briscoe to retirement from his school district.
  • Why he felt like Canyons School District was a good match for him.
  • Why it is so important to be out and about and seen.
  • How to build trust. Time.
  • What happened in the past, is in the past. Let’s not worry about it.
  • The culture he wants to create: Trust & Collaboration.
  • Honoring the past.
  • How he measures the success of his superintendency, not to be confused with his job description.
  • Why that measure of success is so important.

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My wife and I decided that we wanted an adventure a few months ago, and so we started looking around for principal positions that would be new and different for us. 

 

We found one! 

Direct download: DV-2014-07-19-211408.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:24am MST
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This second interview with Bob Sonju is really great. You will enjoy every minute of it! We talk about the following:

  • How to deal with cynical stakeholders.
  • Why people need to be ready to change to make things better.
  • How to make a good school even better.
  • Why you wake up with panic attacks in the middle of the night as a transformative principal.
  • The best time to change education was 20 years ago, the second best time to change education is today!
  • The excuses we make to not make changes.
  • There is no such thing as an optimal time to make changes, but we need to have a sense of urgency.
  • The state of Utah lost 19% of students (that didn’t graduate with a diploma). That is 1 in 5 kids! Unacceptable!
  • If you don’t find a better way… You fall back to how you did it before. We need to focus on using research-based best practices to help our students.
  • The importance of the Professional Learning Communities and Response to Intervention.
  • We don’t need to find new things, we just need to get good at PLCs and RTI.
  • There is no quick fix for schools.
  • We need to remove the things that
  • A super quick overview of PLCs and RTI in case you aren’t familiar with them. Based mostly on the work of DuFour and Eaker in Learning by Doing
  • What a principal can do to be a transformative principal today: Identify the research that drives your day-to-day work and recognize the sense of urgency we have to ensure that learning is not optional.
  • What he has in his office or a story: Simplify and focus. Story about teacher telling him that he is right in pushing forward.
  • How to get ahold of him (He is not on the Twitter, but he is willing to help you by giving his email address. Bob [dot] sonju at wash.k12.ut.us)

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Direct download: 32_PLCs_and_RtI_with_Bob_Sonju_Transformative_Principal_032.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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Bob Sonju is the Director of K–12 Learning in Washington School District in Southern Utah.

In this first part of the interview, we discuss the following:

  • A little about Bob’s history and what he learned to help him become prepared for being a transformative principal.
  • Bob focuses on making sure all students are doing their best, not just particular subgroups.
  • What prepared Bob to be a principal: being a coach and a special education teacher.
  • What barriers prevent a school from being ready for change.
  • Three fundamentals that are needed to change:
    1. Why do we exist
    2. Describing a perfect school
    3. What are we going to do to make sure we get there!
  • Conversations about structural change take time and informal and formal conversations with teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders.
  • All the voices have to be in the room!
  • Establishment of norms are critical for the success of our school, and while we want to hear everyone’s concerns, we will move forward with the will of the group.
  • The norms for Bob’s schools.
  • The need for “critical friends”.
  • How he deals with the fact of hearing that he is doing something wrong.
  • One of the best interview questions: “Anticipate a mistake you are going to make, and how you will resolve that!”

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My second part interview with the great Alice Peck. In this episode we focus on her new assignment as a principal of a Title I school in our district.

  • What is Alice going to take with her to her new Title I school?
  • What is Alice anxious about in going to her new school?
  • Why Alice is excited about change.
  • “If you’re not nervous, you probably shouldn’t be doing this!”
  • How Alice is going to overcome her fears.
  • “The greatest way to overcome fear is to face it and address it!”
  • How Alice will deal with building trust as fast as she can. Hint: you can’t speed up trust.
  • The importance of visibility as a school leader.
  • Modeling the kind of work ethic she wants her staff to have.
  • What advice does Alice have to be a transformative principal? Surround yourself with smart people.
  • What helps Alice focus on what is most important? (I forgot to take a picture before I left her office! I’ll see if you can send me one.)

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Doug Robertson (Twitter) teaches 3rd grade in Southern Oregon.

Here’s his blog or media empire homepage.

Youtube Channel

Facebook Fan page

He is the author of “He’s the Weird Teacher” (paperback) (Kindle edition).

I interviewed Doug because I read his book and was really fascinated by it. I have learned that not everyone teaches the same way (DUH!). But, also, our own life experiences have taught us and shaped us into the people we are today. To be a great teacher, you don’t need to be like [Enter Great Teacher’s Name]. Doug and every excellent “popular” or famous or movie teacher have two things in common:

  1. A strong desire to be your own person, regardless of the status quo or anybody else’s judgments.
  2. A passion to help kids learn.

As part of this podcast, I want to start interviewing master teachers who are really great at what they do. I am especially interested in teachers that are great at making their kids enjoy class and learn life lessons, not just making sure they are acing the tests. ;)

Notes from my conversation with Doug:

  • He used to teach in Hawaii, so we talked a little about that before the official interview started, but it was fascinating, so I included it.
  • Teaching is a performance art
  • Acting vs. Teaching.
  • Importance of trust in teaching.
  • What happens in my classroom happens because I want it to.
  • To Principals: You hired me to do my job, now let me do it.
  • Chris Hardwick
  • How he takes away the opportunity to make excuses.
  • How swimming helped him learn to stop making excuses.
  • Why you can’t keep complaining without doing something to fix it.
  • It is OK to vent about kids. “But, my kids don’t give me much to complain about.” (That is because if they did, he would take responsibility for it!)
  • “My classroom is noisy because it has to be noisy.”
  • “My students are weird, what am I doing to make them weird.”
  • I give two cents on why I like a noisy cafeteria.
  • Some discussion on the term “digital native”.
  • We should call what we do “Practicing Education” just like lawyers practice law and doctors practice medicine.
  • How being a good teacher and establishing the basics allows us to know how we can change things up as we go along.
  • What kind of an environment does Doug need to thrive? Trust!
  • How trusting students is an extension of the trust from administration.
  • Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire by Rafe Esquith
  • How to have your own style. Don’t teach like someone else. Teach like yourself.
  • Some kids don’t respond well to the style of Doug’s teaching.
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What Makes it all Worth it with Chris Wejr Transformative Principal 022

 

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In this second part of my interview with the amazing Chris Wejr, we go deeper into the ideas of student discipline and learning. We also discuss some other cool things that are happening at his school.

  • Punishment. How to approach it correctly.
  • How do we help students with disabilities.
  • How to deal with parents of victims that are upset that there are not visible consequences for misbehavior.
  • If we don’t teach this child, he will continue doing this.
  • Following up with parents a couple weeks after an incident to ensure it is not still happening.
  • Restorative practices - should be tied to negative behaviors.
  • Finding opportunities for kids to serve others.
  • Be proactive to find opportunities to prevent problems that may arise.
  • FedEx Prep - giving teachers time to be innovative and productive on their own with their own passions.
  • Advice for being a transformative principal. “It comes from the teachers, of course. I can’t transform something in a classroom.”
  • Something in his office that motivates him. I asked him to send me the picture of him with the paddle.
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I was super excited to interview Chris Wejr. He is one of those principals that I have been following for a long time and his take on discipline and behavior is inspiring.

  • Moving from a lower SES school to a higher SES school.
  • If kids are driven by rewards, then they are across all areas.
  • It is very easy to go too far with rewards, and focus only on providing rewards for kids to “get us through the day.”
  • The problem with determining how to properly implement PBIS.
  • The complexities of correcting a student’s behavior by giving them a reward when they behave correctly.
  • How important it is to have sense of belonging to help students avoid negative behaviors.
  • Strategies to help students who struggle with negative behavior overcome those struggles.
  • It sometimes takes 2 years to get kids to overcome their struggles.
  • How to buy yourself some time to make decisions and help get through the day to make sure you help kids who are struggling.
  • The bouncy ball trick that worked for me every time after I interviewed him.
  • The difference between a program and a system.

This is a great interview. Chris is amazing!

Direct download: 21_Positive_Behavior_with_Chris_Wejr_Transformative_Principal_021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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Making sure the Brand Experience Matches the Brand Promise with Tony Sinanis Transformative Principal 020

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  • Why are we going to let other people tell our story?

  • What they believe in.

  • Every choice they make is thoughtful.

  • How Tony shares his story daily.

  • Storify - An example of how Tony uses Storify.

  • Cantiague Hashtag

  • Video updates

  • Touchcast app

  • How he shifted brand management from him to the staff and the kids

  • How to make sure the brand experience matches the brand promise. For example, here is an exchange between Tony and someone who knows what his school’s brand promise is:

  • Transparency has changed the relationship between the school and community.

  • PTA meetings have taken a new direction since they are so open.

  • Build it from the inside.

  • Faculty Enhancement opportunities instead of faculty meetings

  • How to be a transformative principal like Tony.
    1. It’s not about you!
    2. Stay current on research.
    3. Don’t take yourself too seriously, but take the work you do seriously.
  • What he has in his office to keep him focused on how to be the best principal he can be.

  • Jericho Schools

You have to make sure the brand experience matches brand promise As the principal, you need to be learning the most.

Direct download: 20_Making_sure_the_Brand_Experience_Matches_the_Brand_Promise.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm MST
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A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of interviewing Tony Sinanis. Little did I know, that he would be named the New York Elementary Principal of the Year! So, I interviewed him before he was famous. Tony Twitter is a great principal and one who is eager to share what he is doing well. He is also incredibly humble and self-aware. I hope you enjoy his interview. I sure learned a lot from him. Here is his BrandED podcast

  • Tony discusses his background and how he is a first-generation college graduate, and not only that, he is working on his PhD and already has two Masters!
  • Tony still keeps in contact with his first year’s class. Wow!
  • Moving into his first school. Tony’s humility recognizing that he wasn’t the right fit for the school.
  • Separating Tony the principal from Tony the Person.
  • Recognizing that his cultural perspectives that were wrong for his school.
  • The difference between white guilt and recognizing differences.
  • Education is more than just the Common Core and High-Stakes Testing. We are disconnected from what the real world is.
  • We try to make kids fit into this little box, totally discongruent to how the world works.
  • He calls himself the Lead Learner, not the principal, because there is a real difference between the two.
  • How Cantiague gives voice to the students.
  • He demonstrates his learning whenever he can. He pushes himself out of his comfort zone as often as he can.
  • The post about the term Lead Learner by Pernille Ripp
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It is about Relationships with George Couros Transformative Principal 018

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I had the great pleasure to attend (and present) the UCET (Utah Coalition for Educational Technology) Conference this last Thursday and Friday. While it was a lot of fun, it was also ver powerful and transformative for me. I solidified some educational philosophies and had some time to actually think about what I am doing every day and how I am inspiring (or not) my teachers. George’s keynote was very inspiring, but it was also practical, and I love practical presentations. I loved meeting George after following him for so long. This was a great interview.

One thing that was really awesome was that he made me wait a few extra minutes to ensure that he had gone through and read every single tweet about his keynote, and replied to those that he felt needed a response. it was amazing to hear him say three or four times, "Just a minute, I need to get through all these tweets. There were a ton of tweets!" 

  • His keynote called “Innovate! Create! Voice!” and what he was trying to communicate with that.
  • The importance of creating and sharing with others.
  • How he encourages teachers and principals to create and share.
  • What the remix culture is about.
  • Why it is important to focus on what is really helping kids.
  • What it means to be a school teacher.
  • If you don’t know what a hashtag and twitter are, you are illiterate. Why does George believe this?
  • How you can leverage your network to make things happen.
  • Why Twitter is about learning and sharing.
  • How do we do things when our leaders aren’t on board, yet?
  • We need people who are willing to push.
  • The one thing you can do to be a transformative principal.
  • Connected Principals ([#cpchat](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cpchat)) and how to get in touch with him (follow him on Twitter: @gcourous)
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I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Fidel Montero, the principal of Alta High School (Twitter) in Sandy, Utah. Fidel is inspiring from the first moment that you speak with him. He is incredibly smart, very caring, and wants students to be the most successful people they can be. Here is his TEDxCSDTeachers talk: Care. This is part two of my interview with him. I hope you enjoy it. We barely scratched the surface of what makes him transformative.

  • How he counsels teachers and puts them in their areas of strength.
  • How he evaluates himself and the initiatives he implements.
  • How he delegates and guides the implementation of his vision.
  • Michael Barber - Deliverology
  • Some missteps the school took as they rolled out some new initiatives.
  • How he responds when people complain about being overworked.
  • How he gets feedback from teachers.
  • What you can do to be a transformative principal. The President’s Club
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I had the great pleasure of speaking with Fidel Montero, the principal of Alta High School (Twitter) in Sandy, Utah. Fidel is inspiring from the first moment that you speak with him. He is incredibly smart, very caring, and wants students to be the most successful people they can be. Here is his TEDxCSDTeachers talk: Care

  • The Doctoral research that Fidel conducted for his degree in urban school management.
  • Parents pick up on who is being supportive, regardless of whether or not they spoke the native language of the parents.
  • The demographic shift that Utah is currently experiencing, and why he wanted to conduct his research in Utah.
  • Specific strategies for engaging and supporting Latino families in your school.
  • Microagression
  • The balance of talking about race when your race is either the same as your demographics or different.
  • How including multicultural families in your school and recognizing their heritage and history actually encourages them to feel more pride in your country.
  • His work with Greta Pruitt in Los Angeles Unified School District to teach parents to work together.
  • His thoughts on School Improvement versus CSIP plans.

Thanks for tuning in! Have a Good Life.

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Show Notes

Andy Greene is a transformative principal at Candlewood Middle School. We talk mostly about professional practice and professional development. Andy is a master at these two things. I learned so much from Andy, and I am so thankful he took the time to speak with me.

Here are some bullet points from our discussion:

  • How he ensures that teachers are continuous learners

  • How he ensures that faculty meetings are like miniature college courses.

  • How he uses backwards design for his faculty meetings.

  • How he ensures that teachers come to faculty meeting and make sure that they all get something out of it.

  • Mission and Vision Document

  • Professional Expectations Document

  • How he helps everyone see they are a member of a team.

  • What it means to bow low.

  • This:

  • How he has hard conversations with teachers and balances that with positive feedback.

  • When he decides to divulge information to teachers about how they are perceived.

  • The importance of having staff that can tell you how things are really playing out among the staff.

  • The intentional things Andy does to make sure his staff feels that they are in a comfortable learning atmosphere.

  • Seek first to understand before being understood.

  • How Andy would approach a staff that he needs to “clean up.”

He sent a bunch of stuff over to me, and sharing is caring, so here it is for you. First, he sent two files that I read from in the interview:

Expectations 2014 (Word Doc) - This document goes over the expectations he has for the staff at his school. Updated as often as needed, and discussed just as often. There are some great gems in this document.

Mission and Values (Word Doc) - This document discusses what the mission and values of Candlewood Middle School are. Again, there is some great information here.

PLCs (Word Doc) - We didn’t get a chance to discuss this document, but it includes a lot of great information about PLCs and some great quotes to get people thinking about them.

The following are emails that Andy sends out to his staff after each mini-university-course faculty meeting. You can tell that he spends time thinking about what to say to his staff, how to motivate them, and encourage a culture of learning. He pretty much never lets up.

An example of a “post-discussion” faculty meeting conversation

    Good discussion on objectives yesterday…[refer to the packet from yesterday for other examples]

A personal example to help clarify!

Faculty Meeting

Big Idea For the Year-Staff will understand that standards are not curriculum: curriculum needs to reflect best practice and user needs while also honoring standards. Essential Question-What is understanding? What follows for curriculum and unit writing? Faculty Meeting Instructional Objective-At the end of the meeting, staff will be able to identify the three types of “learning” for their upcoming unit: acquisition, meaning-making, and transfer.  

Other example

Big Idea: Student should understand that good readers employ specific techniques to help them make meaning of what the text says.

Essential Question-What do good readers do, especially when they don’t comprehend a text?

Lesson Instructional Objective-Student will be able to use identify the two persuasive techniques the author employs in  _____.

Let’s continue the discussion! A reminder…please have a manila folder for each faculty meeting so you can keep the handouts that are given out… Yesterday, there was a packet that we did not have a chance to get to but we will use it in October. To save paper, I do not want to make other copies!

Thanks

Andy

Another example of CC vocabulary for all classes…

Good Morning,

As I start to look at some of the assessments that faculty members are sending in, I want to encourage everyone to use the verbs we have discussed not only as you ask student questions in class, but how you frame your questions on assessments.   Here are some suggestions:

  • Instead of saying “Which inequality is represented in the graph below,” add the word “Evaluate” at the start of the sentence [e.g., “Evaluate which inequality is represented in the graph below, and pick the best response from the choices listed.”

  • Instead of saying “Which is the best title for the series of maps at right,” add the word “Suggest” [e.g.,  “As you look at the graph to the right, what would you suggest would be the best title from the choices below.”

  • In music, tech, art, LOTE, etc, use sentences such as “What conclusion can you draw from the information presented?” “In measures 15–20, cite the key signature and dynamic levels.” “Summarize the information regarding the best tool for this particular job and explain why it is the one you would recommend.” “Distinguish between the choices below; which country is considered to be the birthplace of the Spanish language.”    I encourage everyone to plan your lessons keeping the vocabulary words “upfront and center.”

(:

Andy

Cognitive/Conative

Per our discussion at the faculty meeting…

Whenever you can integrate the cognitive and the conative skills identified below into your unit plans, please do so. In addition to the vocabulary terms we have discussed, these are skills that every teacher can incorporate [where applicable]. Use your creative juices to determine where-in your content area-these would work best.

Cognitive skills are traditionally defined as those needed to effectively process information and complete tasks.  Cognitive skills are required for tasks involving retrieval, comprehension, analysis, and utilization of knowledge.  The majority of the practice standard skills from the CCSS are best classified as primarily cognitive in nature.

Conative skills are traditionally defined as the skills that allow a person to examine his or her knowledge and emotions in order to choose an appropriate future course of actions.  A useful way to think about conative skills is in terms of interacting with others and controlling oneself.

Within the framework, Marzano and Heflebower (2012) identified specific classroom strategies that teachers can employ to teach cognitive and conative skills in their classrooms.  This category included key words and phrases such as:

  • Construct arguments
  • Develop ideas
  • Build on others’ ideas
  • Integrate information
  • Respond to others’ arguments
  • Compare arguments
  • Explain flaws in arguments
  • Decide if arguments make sense
  • Decide if arguments are correct
  • Determine domains to which an argument applies
  • Clarify arguments
  • Improve arguments
  • Draw conclusions
  • Justify conclusions

To help teachers address this category of skills, we identified three specific cognitive strategies from the Marzano and Heflebower (2012) framework:

  1. Generating conclusions
  2. Identifying common logical errors
  3. Presenting and supporting claims

Another category of practice skills that we identified was perspectives.  This category included key words and phrases such as:

  • Points of view
  • Open-minded
  • Divergent cultures, experiences, and perspectives
  • Varied Backgrounds
  • Collaborate
  • Interact with others
  • Reflect
  • Step back
  • Shift perspective
  • Different approaches

To help teachers address these skills, we identified four specific conative strategies from the Marzano and Heflebower (2012) framework:

1. Becoming aware of the power of interpretations 1. Taking various perspectives 1. Interacting responsibly 1. Handling controversy and conflict resolution

In effect, we selected specific classroom strategies for each of the categories of practice standard skills that we identified in the CCSS.

Cognitive Strategies

Teachers can use the following ten strategies in the classroom to embed the cognitive strategies found in the ELA and mathematics practice standards into instruction:

1. General conclusions 2. Identifying common logical errors 3. Presenting and supporting claims 4. Navigating digital sources 5. Problem solving 6. Decision making 7. Experimenting 8. Investigating 9. Identifying basic relationship between ideas 10. Generating and manipulating mental images

Andy

Visible Learning…

Expert teachers can identify the most important ways in which to represent the subject that they teach.

In Visible Learning, it was shown that teachers’ subject-matter knowledge had little effect on the quality of student outcomes!  The distinction, however, is less the ‘amount’ of knowledge and less the ‘pedagogical content knowledge’, but more about how teachers see the surface and the deeper understandings of the subjects that they teach, as well as their beliefs about how to teach and understand when students are learning and have learned the subject.  Expert teachers and experienced teachers do not differ in the amount of knowledge that they have about curriculum matters or knowledge about teaching strategies but expert teachers do differ in how they organize and use this content knowledge.  Experts possess knowledge that is more integrated, in that they combine the introduction of new subject knowledge with students’ prior knowledge; they can relate current lesson content to other subjects in the curriculum; and they make lessons uniquely their own by changing, combining, and adding to the lessons according to their student’s needs and their own teaching goals.

As a consequence of the way in which they view and organize their approach, expert teachers can quickly recognize sequences of events occurring in the classroom that in some way affect the learning and teaching of a topic.  They can detect and concentrate more on information that has most relevance, they can make better predictions based on their representations about the classroom, and they can identify a greater store of strategies that students might use when solving a particular problem.  They are therefore able to predict and determine the types of error that students might make, and thus they can be much more responsive to students.  This allows expert teachers to build understandings as to the how and why of student success. They are more able to reorganize their problem-solving in light of ongoing classroom activities, they can readily formulate a more extensive range of likely solutions, and they are more able to check and test out their hypotheses or strategies.  They seek negative evidence about their impact (who has not learnt, who is not making progress) in the hurly-burly of the classroom, and use it to make adaptations and to problem-solve.

These teachers maintain a passionate belief that students can learn the content and understandings included in the learning intentions of the lesson(s).  This claim about the ability to have a deep understanding of the various relationships also helps to explain why some teachers are often anchored in the details of the classroom, and find it hard to think outside the specifics of their classrooms and students.  Generalization is not always their strength.

The results are clear:  expert teachers do differ from experienced teachers – particularly in the degree of challenge that they present to students, and, most critically, in the depth to which students learn to process information.  Students who are taught by expert teachers exhibit an understanding of the concepts targeted in the instruction that is more integrated, more coherent, and at a higher level of abstraction than the understanding achieved by students in classes taught by experienced but not expert, teachers.

Andy

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Sanebox

 

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Transformative Principal on Stitcher

 

Refer A Principal

 

Best Tools for Busy Administrators Survey

 

In this second part interview, Sharyle and I discuss the following:

 

  • Community helping out those who need it.
  • What the best parts are of having a new intern every year.
  • She answers the question of how to be a transformative principal. Look at the big picture.
  • She answers the question of what is in her office that inspires her. Then we talk about all the great ways she has involved her community in her travels, and how she gets them to see the big picture of helping others.
  • Because she is so involved in her community, she knows what skills and
  • Partnership with Apa Sherpa Foundation and Healthy Draper. Article about Apa Sherpa’s retirement
  • Going to Peru and involving the whole school.
  • Going to Africa and involving the community and school.
  • How she convinces parents and her community to get on board with her ideas.
  • How she connected Meet the Masters art program with music and dance.

 

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Sponsor: Sanebox Avoid email insanity. Start saving time by using Sanebox which acts as a personal secretary, keeping all the unimportant emails from interrupting my day. I get an email digest of all the emails that I missed during the day at a time when I choose. I love Sanebox and I think you will, too!

I’m really excited about this interview with Eric Sheninger@NMHS_Principal.

Eric goes over the 7 pillars of Digital Leadership in his new book:

  • Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Branding
  • Student Engagement/Learning
  • Professional Growth/Development
  • Reenvisioning Learning Spaces and Environments
  • Opportunity

Eric talks about how his school’s journey and how that can be a template for changing from a mandate-driven school to one of empowerment.

Our conversation includes the following:

  • How social media has changed and pushed his view of the world.
  • What we don’t know we fear.
  • Why it is important to give students a voice.
  • How to get students to be the focus on the essential skill sets.
  • How to make learning for students applicable to their (and our) real lives.
  • How to change midstream from one way to do things to how he does them now.
  • We need to be the lead learners.
  • How to get all teachers on board with a vision (hint: it is all about mindset).
  • How he gives his teachers autonomy in what they are doing in their classrooms.
  • How making learning fun contributes to higher scores, graduation rates, and college graduation rates.
  • What you can do to be a transformative principal today. Get on Social Media and don’t reinvent the wheel.
  • What motivates and inspires him. His students. He has pictures on his walls in his office that help him focus on what is most important.

Eric talks about how he pulled 5 teachers aside in 2009 to instill his vision in their minds. He joined Twitter in March 2009, and so he really did have a change of heart. He shows that when he learns something new, he knows that it is important to implement it and change his life.

Have a Good Life.

Eric's Book Summary:

It’s time for the next generation of leadership. Digital leadership is a strategic mindset and set of behaviors that leverages resources to create a meaningful, transparent, and engaging school culture. It takes into account recent changes such as ubiquitous connectivity, open-source technology, mobile devices, and personalization to dramatically shift how schools have been run and structured for over a century.  Leading in education becomes exponentially powerful when using technology to your advantage.



Eric Sheninger—“Principal Twitter”—shares his Pillars of Digital Leadership to help readers:

• Transform school culture by initiating sustainable change
• Use free social media tools to improve communication, enhance public relations, and create a positive brand presence 
• Integrate digital tools into the classroom to increase student engagement and achievement 
• Facilitate professional learning and access new opportunities and resources

The time is now, whether you are a building level or teacher leader, to boldly move schools forward in the digital age.

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In this episode I have the great opportunity to interview Melinda Miller (@mmiller7571). I have followed her for a long time on Twitter, and I loved the podcast she did with @ScottElias called Practical Principals. That great podcast partly inspired me to start this podcast. I still haven't found a podcast that talks about the real issues that are facing to

Our conversation covers these topics:

  1. Positive intentions - how she approaches teachers who need to be corrected.
  2. Turnover and how she gets great people to come to her school.
  3. Her quick-start personality and how she shares results of her evaluations with the teachers.
  4. Adaptive schools trainings were conducted at her school, and here is more information about it.
  5. How she uses Twitter for her own learning and how she teaches others, she is a Twitter grandmother according toSpike Cook.
  6. How she uses Pinterest to help her teachers.
  7. Using a Voxer group of principals to talk a little more privately about topics that are
  8. Jethro's Twitter failure when he was a teacher.
  9. What is one thing a principal can do to be a transformative principal like you are?
  10. What is something in her office that is meaningful to you?

She has a lot of great information on her blog. If you read blogs by principals and you aren't reading hers, you are missing out.

Have a Good Life.

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Flipped Faculty Meetings, Technology, and More with Melinda Miller - Transformative Principal 010

In this episode I have the great opportunity to interview Melinda Miller (@mmiller7571). I have followed her for a long time on Twitter, and I loved the podcast she did with @ScottElias called Practical Principals. That great podcast partly inspired me to start this podcast. I still haven't found a podcast that talks about the real issues that are facing to

Our conversation covers these topics:

  1. How she gets teachers on board with technology.
  2. How she allows teachers to filter out what she says and when.
  3. She gives her thoughts on requirements for teacher's blogs, which are a requirement for her.
  4. How Melinda deals with the roadblocks of implementing new things (including technology).
  5. How she knows how hard to push her teachers, and what to focus on when she is pushing her teachers.
  6. How she allows her faculty to talk to her about when she is pushing too hard.
  7. How she implemented 1:1 Chromebooks in 4th grade when a bunch of other stuff was coming down the pike.
  8. How she prepares for the beginning of a new school year. (And here is the ASCD article on her flipped faculty meeting.) Keep your flipped faculty meetings short, to the point, and give teachers plenty of time to look at the information.
  9. Most important tip for starting flipped facutly meetings.
  10. How important it is to have video or audio to help people not misunderstand what they are doing wrong.
Direct download: 10_Transformative_Principal_010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am MST
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In this second part of the interview, I am priveleged to talk with Doug Hallenbeck. Doug was recently named the Assistant Principal of the year from the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals. Doug has worked under four really great principals and he shares some great insight about how to be an amazing assistant principal.

I wanted to interview Doug because he has a great story. He is a thoughtful, caring, and transformative leader. He has been a guiding force in our district since its inception. We are very fortunate to work with him.

In this second part of the interview, Doug discusses:

  • How to attract and retain great talent.
  • A nice little side discussion about general trends in teaching hiring.
  • His advice for an assistant principal to be a transformative assistant principal like him.
  • What special thing he has in his office.
  • His experience discussing education with Chinese educational leaders.
  • How he makes parents feel good when their kids get in trouble.
  • What he suggests APs should do to be transformative Assistant Principals.

Here is more information about the Tier 2 retirement in Utah

You'll really enjoy this interview with Doug. He is amazing.

Let's make sure to give him a few hundred more followers on Twitter. He is @Hallen100.

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_009_-_Doug_Hallenbeck_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am MST
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In this second part of the interview with Jeff Paul, we will learn about:

  • How he handles the stress of being a principal
  • How you can be a transformative principal
  • Why you should follow the people below on Twitter
  • The special thing in his office

Jeff says these are the twitter accounts to follow:

@williamparker, @KleinErin, @principalspage (MichaelSmithSupt), @ToddWhitaker, @educationweek, @NMHS_Principal (Eric Sheninger), @drjolly (Darin Jolly), @principalJ, @andyrgreene.

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_007_-_Jeff_Paul_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am MST
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Jethro is joined by Jeff Paul (@okprincipal), principal of Smith Elementary, where he had the unique opportunity to take over for a principal who had been there for the previous 25 years! 

In this part of the two-part interview, Jeff talks about the challenges and positives associated with his unique situation. He also talks about the evaluation system his district recently started. 

I hope you enjoy this. Please tweet, post on facebook, or email to share it with your principal friends. 

Also, if you have someone that you think is a transformative principal, please let me know who they are by emailing me at jethro.jones@gmail.com. Or you can hit me up on twitter @jethrojones

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_006_-_Jeff_Paul.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am MST
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Sandra is a great principal at Sandy Elementary. She has received numerous awards in her 7 years as an administrator:

  • Community Leader of the Year 
  • Rookie of the Year 
  • Distinguished Principal of the Year 
  • CITES Recognition 
  • National Board Certified Teacher

And, she is pretty much always being praised and recognized by her peers. I am fortunate to be able to work with her.

Here is Sandy’s web site and Twitter.

Big Goals: Wants to make people feel like they are at home-that her school is a family. Wants to be with the children as much as possible. Wants to provide a holistic education, especially to her disadvantaged students.

It is interesting to hear that she strives to really know her students, but is ok with not knowing every student’s name. I find this fascinating. In the last episode, Dr. Villar was very focused on knowing every student’s name. I don’t know that either way is the best method, but I do believe that their intent is the same. They both want their students to know that they are cared for and feel safe. That is what matters.

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_005_-_Sandra_Dahl-Houlihan.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am MST
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In this second part of the interview with Bernardo Villar, we will learn about the following:

  • How Dr. Villar communicates with parents enough that they miss his communication when he leaves a school.
  • Twitter and Facebook
  • How Dr. Villar acknowledges the positve in every teacher and every student...
  • ...which leads to improved student behavior. 
  • What you can do to be a transformative principal, according to Dr. Villar
  • A focus on making sure every student feels comfortable in his school. 

Thanks to our sponsor: Paperless Principal

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_004_Bernardo_Villar_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:05am MST
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Transformative Principal 003 Bernardo Villar Part 1

This great interview with Bernardo Villar is broken up over two episodes. I hope you enjoy it. It was a great interview for me. 

Bernardo Villar is the principal of the Title I school Vae View Elementary in Layton, UT. In this interview, you will learn about the following ways Dr. Villar is a transformative principal:

  • Word of the year: rigor
  • How to get teachers to ask for help
  • How to not be defensive
  • How to ask for help and thus generate buy-in
  • How to run data team meetings
  • How to create an environment that invites students and parents to be a part of the school community. 

Thanks again to my sponsor: Paperless Principal

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_003_Bernardo_Villar.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:28pm MST
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Transformative Principal 002 - Interview with Sondra Jolovich-Motes Part 2

Jethro interviews Sondra Jolovich-Motes, principal of Dee Elementary in Ogden School District. 

Here is some background information about Dee Elementary: 

Dee Elementary, formerly dead last, sees huge gains in reading scores

Ogden schools see dramatic spike in student proficiency scores

Dee Elementary school grade

Links that JM talks about:

 Teaching Channel is one way JM helps teachers identify where they can use some help. 

 Annette Brinkman did some work with JM and Dee Elementary.

 University of Virginia Turnaround School Program

Books: 

Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction

Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools

Sponsor: 

http://paperlessprincipal.com learn how to be a paperless principal. Remove clutter, streamline your processes. 

Direct download: Transformative_Principal_002.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm MST
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Jethro interviews Sondra Jolovich-Motes, principal of Dee Elementary in Ogden School District. 

Here is some background information about Dee Elementary: 

Dee Elementary, formerly dead last, sees huge gains in reading scores

Ogden schools see dramatic spike in student proficiency scores

Dee Elementary school grade

Links that JM talks about:

 Teaching Channel is one way JM helps teachers identify where they can use some help. 

 Annette Brinkman did some work with JM and Dee Elementary.

 University of Virginia Turnaround School Program

Books: 

Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction

Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools

Sponsor: 

http://paperlessprincipal.com learn how to be a paperless principal. Remove clutter, streamline your processes. 

Direct download: TP_001a.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30pm MST
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Transformative Principal 000

Welcome to the Transformative Principal. In this first episode, I share my TEDxCSDTeachers talk from November about increasing our average daily attendance to 96% by doing one simple thing! 

Enjoy. 

Have a Good Life.

Direct download: transformative_principal_000.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:17pm MST
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