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Wallace Foundation aims to help school leaders get better, donates $30 million

Wallace Foundation aims to help school leaders get better, donates $30 million | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Wallace Foundation gives $30m to 14 districts, including D.C. and Prince George’s County
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Assistant Principal
Leadership concepts for Assistant Principals, other school leaders, and those interested in leading others. Follow me on twitter @APInsight
Curated by Nancy J. Herr
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4 Questions That Will Change the Way You Lead

Ready to help yourself (and your team) deliver breakthrough results? Ask these four questions to change your idea of what it will take.

Via Mark E. Deschaine, PhD, Dean J. Fusto
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21 Unmistakable Traits of a Heart-Centered Leader

21 Unmistakable Traits of a Heart-Centered Leader | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it

So, what does it take to be a heart-centered leader? If the following 21 traits sound familiar, you may be well on your way to a form of leadership driven by the principles of authenticity and integrity rather than the pursuit of profit at any and all cost.


Via Patti Kinney
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

These traits are particularly appropriate for school leaders. 

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Principal: 'I have asked my staff to focus on two things this year: equity and alignment to the Common Core standards.'

Principal: 'I have asked my staff to focus on two things this year: equity and alignment to the Common Core standards.' | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it

"I have asked my staff to focus on two things this year: equity in the classroom and deepened alignment to the Common Core standards."


"The “trick” in the 2014-2015 school year is for our school to understand that the adopted standards inform an aspect of our students experience of their educational path, but that the whole journey has to be devised, created, and implemented by our team. We could make that journey single-minded and not embrace the diversity within our community or we can make that journey a robust one; one that pauses for clarity, embraces difficult conversations, and encourages the development of cultural competencies in all of our community members."


Via Mel Riddile
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Practitioner's account of the challenges he faces and how he perceives changing mind sets 

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Mel Riddile's curator insight, November 23, 8:38 AM

Principal: "I have learned the most difficult thing to do as a leader is shift mindsets. I am charged with shifting our staff’s mindset"

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A Leadership Rule Every Boss Should Know

Great leaders are role models for building strong relationships. This rule of thumb makes relationship-based leadership easy.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

We all know that we should model the behavior we want to see. This article provides a scientific basis for why we should do this.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, November 17, 1:00 PM

It is interesting and good to see Gottman's research and work making its way to a broader audience. Relationships are at the core of working with people. We need to do more than pay lip service to this point.

 

@ivon_ehd1

Sally Cornan 's curator insight, November 18, 4:40 AM

Donnez l'exemple

Sally Cornan

www.dailyenglish.fr

Tony Adams's curator insight, November 23, 3:22 PM
This is really interesting. Have you ever wondered why it is that people mimic their role models? The notion of "mirror neurons" is intriguing - it means that we can build strong relationships through practising positive behaviours, whilst destroying relationships through negative behaviour. But the really neat thing is that our behaviour helps relationships between our team members. "Similarly, it's common knowledge that a great leader is always good at building strong relationships, not just between him- or herself and individual team members, but also between the team members themselves.""Put another way, a leader who's good at building relationships acts as a role model to show team members how to build better relationships between and among themselves. The result is a cohesive team that's easy to lead."When it all boils down, act in a positive way and your audience will respond positively. Simple.
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Strong leadership goes beyond the merely cosmetic - The National

Strong leadership goes beyond the merely cosmetic - The National | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
We all have the potential to be a leader whether it's setting up a innovative new company, taking charge in the workplace or introducing social change that benefits our community.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

"Be the change."  A hallmark of real leadership is that behind the passion and energy, the leader walks the walk.

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15 Magic Things Great Leaders Say Every Day

According to author Frank Sonnenberg, character matters. Reveal your true character through the words you say to your employees.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Born in humility , these phrases should become part of you leadership dynamic. 

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18 Things Great Principals Do Differently

18 Things Great Principals Do Differently | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it

Via Grant Montgomery, Dean J. Fusto
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Nice info graphic

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Christmas stricken from school calendar after Muslims ask for equal treatment

Christmas stricken from school calendar after Muslims ask for equal treatment | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Md. county officials voted to remove all religious holidays after requests to include the holy day Eid al-Adha.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

In a rush to be inclusive, has this district succeeded only in alienating most of its stakeholders?  What is your district doing when requests for additional religious holidays are made? 

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Professional development takes off on Twitter

Professional development takes off on Twitter | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Twitter has become the new education conference—and it’s in session all day, every day of the year, some educators now say.

Principals, teachers, tech experts and other educators have created dozen
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

From  general education  PLNs to specific grades or content, there is a twitter  community waiting for you and it's worth your time and effort to participate. 

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Districts to go Virtual for Online Snow Days

Districts to go Virtual for Online Snow Days | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
A slate of Kentucky districts have received waivers allowing them to offer virtual instruction on snow days up to 10 times a year.

Via EDTC@UTB
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

An innovative option to extending the school year, virtual school days are being put in place by a number of states. Districts who habitually close school for more than a day or two a season can instead provide instruction so a day won't be missed. Kentucky's plans are discussed here.m

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EDTC@UTB's curator insight, November 5, 11:42 AM

Unfortunately, "Students who do not have adequate Internet access at home will receive hard copies of any assignments."


Usually, classes are cancelled with little or no prior notice. Kids without internet or computers at home may be left out in the cold.

online4ed's curator insight, November 6, 12:24 PM

This has been coming for years! What does it mean to teachers and students?  Thoughts? 

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14 Tips for Better Relationships with Administrators, Parents, & Support Staff

14 Tips for Better Relationships with Administrators, Parents, & Support Staff | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
In this post, I unpack how teachers can build better professional relationships with a few key adult types in most school buildings.

Via Patti Kinney
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Although aimed at teachers, thsee steps can help administrators to deal with a variety of stakeholders. 

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Are you a leadership lightweight?

Are you a leadership lightweight? | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it

A "Lightweight", the Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us, is "one of little consequence or ability". Thankfully, it’s quite uncommon for a leader or manager to be a lightweight in every aspect of their job. But none of us are perfect: all of us have blinds spots and areas where we need to raise the bar (sometimes a long way) to improve the quality and effectiveness of our work.

The first step in setting out to address these areas and becoming more relevant is to know what you don't know. So here are five common pitfalls that can keep you stuck in the lightweight division.

1. Blaming others for a lack of results
It's annoying, frustrating yet surprisingly common to hear leaders or managers complaining about and blaming external forces for their inability to deliver results. It might be the economy, the government, the weather, the competition, the time of year, the inventory, the shareholders or their boss, but it is invariably an excuse.
Assuming the role of victim or martyr is a convenient way to take the focus off your own failures, inefficiencies, lack of success and lack of strength and/or courage to step up.

The Antidote: Your internal decisions are what determine your success and effectiveness, not external forces. Better to look at one's face in the mirror than stare out a window. In reality, you can control about 80 per cent of what gets in your way and decide whether and how you will react and respond to it. So focus on the things you can control rather than the minority of factors that you aren’t able to influence.

You can control things like your attitude, work ethic, how and where you spend your time, effort and energy, and with whom you spend it. Equally, whether you approach and carry out everyday tasks honestly and responsibly is entirely up to you.

Until a leader or manager has mastered these aspects of their job (and their self) and moved out of the quicksand of martyrdom and victimhood, excuses (not reasons) will remain part of their DNA as lightweights.

2. Being reluctant to hold others accountable
Another thing you can control as a leader or manager is accountability - the key to creating the (healthy) pressure, energy or tension to perform the tasks required to sustain organizational culture and produce results.
The Antidote: One of the most fundamental tasks of any manager is having the courage and strength to set clear expectations and make sure they're stretching their employees (and themselves). Without clear expectations, holding people accountable for results is an impossible and often unpleasant experience for everyone involved.

It’s also important that there are consequences if established behavior and performance standards are not met. If there are no consequences for failing to meet defined goals and targets, you are simply perpetuating deficient behavior.

3. Making easy, popular, convenient (and wrong) decisions
Some managers would prefer to derailing their team or their entire organization rather than take difficult decisions that will prove unpopular or rock the boat. That can be a fatal weakness. If a leader or managers lacks the fortitude and the psycho/emotional strength to make hard choices, it may serve them, and others, well to consider moving out of their current position and explore opportunities that are more in sync with their skills and capacities.
The Antidote: Quality and excellence do not come as a result of making decisions because they're easy, popular or convenient. Excellence only comes about as a result of decisions being taken that are right, irrespective of whether they are costly, difficult, uncomfortable or inconvenient.

The more uncomfortable a decision feels and the more discomfort a leader or manager experiences in making a choice, the more likely and probable the potential is for actualization of growth. Spending valuable time hiding in denial or searching for ways to avoid the discomfort or pain of change is a lose-lose situation. Neither the individual nor the team or organization will experience real growth.

4. Being too self-reliant
No one is indispensable to their organization - no one! Relax, you may be good, but, you’re not that good! As General de Gaulle observed, "The graveyard is filled with indispensable men.” And I might add, "Remember the window-washer (on the high-rise building) who stepped back to admire his handiwork." Disaster.
The Antidote: The single biggest obstacle to building a healthy team or organization is ego. Few things will undermine a leader more quickly or more comprehensively. Managers with an inflated sense of their own importance often unknowingly or unconsciously perpetuate a cycle of psychopaths and sycophants. They create fear, stifle engagement, undermine morale and encourage the best and the brightest to lose interest and, worst of all, leave.

An effective leader is one who empowers others. They find ways to make their people less, not more, dependent on them. In fact, the greatest measure of a leader or manager's supervision is not how people perform while they're micro-managing their work, but how well folks perform when they're not around.

5. Keeping the wrong people for too long
Every manager will, from time to time, find themselves confronted by someone who is either so unsuited to their job or so incompetent that even if they do improve to a degree, they'll never reach the level of performance required from them.
It’s no good trying to make allowances in this situation or to try to make that employee not good, better or best, but just "not bad". Excellence can’t be achieved by mediocrity, by a group of people who are "not bad".

The Antidote: It’s a sad fact that if you continue to invest energy and resources in below-average individuals and see no real upturn in their performance, you're wasting your time. The situation isn’t just unhealthy for the manager, but it is giving the incompetent employee a false sense of security, hope and stability. You may also be robbing your high-potential people of the support and attention they need to move from already-good to ‘great’.

In these circumstances, you need to find a way to honestly, yet compassionately, cut your losses and redirect your resources to your current and potential solid performers.

Questions to Get you Started
While there are certainly more genes in the DNA of lightweight leaders, these five questions are a good starting point.
What outside conditions are you prone to blame for your organization or team's lack of results?
Whose behavior must you put into check with an effective coaching conversation (with consequences attached) to turn around poor performance? What are you waiting for to initiate this conversation? Do you need to have this conversation with yourself?
Which of your people have you made less dependent on you by broadening their latitude and discretion?
What more can you do to make people more capable while you free yourself up to spend more time on high-leverage tasks?
Do you have a "project" on your team who continues to hover at a below-average performance level with no sign of an upward trend? How much more time and money will you invest in this rescue mission? And why?
There is no crime in discovering or admitting that you’re a lightweight. The crime is the reluctance to do the work needed to move up into an altogether heavier class.


Via Linda Holroyd
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

What is valuable here is that the author not only identifies roadblocks to leadership success, but provides the "antidote" to each faux pas.

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Linda Holroyd's curator insight, October 20, 6:36 PM

Have the courage to evaluate for yourself if you're a lightweight and the strength to do something about it, if you choose to.

NASSP Center for New Principals's curator insight, October 26, 10:19 PM

Any principal could make these mistakes, but it is particularly important for a new principals to not get established as someone who does any of these regularly.  They are traps to work to avoid!

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Why Superstars Struggle to Bond with Their Teams

Why Superstars Struggle to Bond with Their Teams | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
And what to do about it.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

An interesting study that you should apply to yourself as you move into leadership positions and to those you lead. If you find yourself always pointing to the same  few staff members as exemplars, you should take into consideration how that attention affects their relationships with their peers. 

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, October 27, 4:12 PM

I found in School we did not want those who were high-achievers. We wanted those who followed the party line and worked according to the boss' dictates.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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5 Things to Share With Your Teachers About Educational Technology

5 Things to Share With Your Teachers About Educational Technology | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
We know that technology has changed education and it is only going to continue to do so. Teachers will not only accept these changes in technology, but will embrace them if they feel confident in the learning experience....
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Some advise for getting late adopters on board. 

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7 Books Every Leader Should Read, RE: Harvard Business School Professor

7 Books Every Leader Should Read, RE: Harvard Business School Professor | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Max Bazerman, an author and business psychology professor, came out with 7 book recommendations for leaders.

Via Bonnie Hohhof, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD, Dean J. Fusto
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Perhaps something to add to your wish list! 

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The 10 Principles Of The Future Manager

The 10 Principles Of The Future Manager | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Following up on my post around the 7 Principles of The Future Employee, I wanted to share another concept which is the 10 Principles of The Future Manager. When it comes to the future of work it’s not just employees that are changing, managers are also having to change the ways [...]
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A Leadership Secret For Today’s Distracted Leader

A Leadership Secret For Today’s Distracted Leader | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
When you’re in the room, be in the room. Here's why it is so important to be absolutely authentic in everything you say and do.

Via Anne Leong
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Excellent article for leaders in all fields. Like being a good listener, being in the room means you are honoring the people in your life. It helps both professional and personal relationships.

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What it really means to be a public school educator today

What it really means to be a public school educator today | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Assistant principal: " Is anyone in Silicon Valley paying for their own office supplies? I can assure you they are not."

Via Patti Kinney
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

This is a synopsis of an eloquent reply to Time magazine's cover story on bad teachers. As practitioners we know the majority of our  staff are not rotten apples. With ever more mandates and stressors out upon teachers, we leaders must work to ensure the few bad apples don't spoil the rest of them.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, November 15, 6:15 PM

Teaching is an important vocation. It is a calling. Without it, perhaps we would not have Silicon Valley.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Engaging Your School Community Through Social Media

Engaging Your School Community Through Social Media | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
A school leader shares his strategies for connecting his community via the school website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WeChat, and staff blogs.

Via Suvi Salo, Ivon Prefontaine
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Social media is becoming our new communication method. Here are some tips on getting started in a number of formats. 

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, November 14, 7:22 PM

When teachers and School managers use social media well and thoughtfully, they have the potential to get the message out. Social media combines with more traditional media to support information distribution.

 

@ivon_ehd1

Halle Aux numeriques.com's curator insight, November 19, 9:45 AM

http://www.halleauxnumeriques.com

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An AP scenario: Mom says offensive question about "bootie" went too far

An AP scenario: Mom says offensive question about "bootie" went too far | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
A Charlotte mother is expressing concern after a class assignment she considers offensive was given to high school students. Some say it has racial undertones.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

If you are in a school leadership position, chances are you've dealt with a situation like this. If you haven 't, you will. It is just this type of situation that can get out of hand and cause havoc with your public relatIons.  Obviously, prevention of offensive material is the best route, but it is not always obvious what might be offensive. A strong relationship with your parents is a great place to start and can help you get past misunderstandings. So can a little humility.

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How Showing Vulnerability Makes You A Better Leader

How Showing Vulnerability Makes You A Better Leader | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
What you may think is a weakness can actually be a sign of strength. Why showing you're human can actually help your career.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Part of shared leadership means you don't have to be the expert on everything, you don't have to hide flaws in your system. You can admit you or your school are vulnerable and get your staff to help problem solve. 

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Grades and Attendance in Middle School Are Key Indicators for Later Success

Grades and Attendance in Middle School Are Key Indicators for Later Success | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
A new report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research finds grades and attendance are better indicators of high school and college success than test scores.
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

We all know you can't teach them and encouraGE them if students don't come to school. This article talks about the importance  of middle school in setting students on a path to success. 

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New Educational Technology + Old Pedagogy = No Significant Difference

New Educational Technology + Old Pedagogy = No Significant Difference | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
I’d be the first to admit that when presented with shiny new technology, I am predisposed to expect that the new technology will perform better than the old.  New smart phones for the past six year...

Via David W. Deeds
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Unless we learn how to use new technologies appropriately no gain in student learning should be expected. 

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David W. Deeds's curator insight, November 5, 11:18 AM

A lot of folks don't get this...yet. ;)

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, November 5, 12:46 PM

Thoughtful and caring pedagogic practices are at the heart of teaching and learning not the latest fad.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Why I’m a Principal, Not a Statistic

Why I’m a Principal, Not a Statistic | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it

As October, National Principals Month, comes to an end, I cannot help but to reflect upon what led me into the principalship.  As a twenty-one year old African American male, I could have very easily become a statistic. Five months after graduating from IUP in rural Pennsylvania, I was shot and left for dead on a football field in Philadelphia.


Via Patti Kinney
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Squeezing in an inspirational article at the very end of Principals Month. Every now and then it is important to remember what brought us to leadership.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, October 30, 11:41 AM

Principals do have an influence on teachers. What is sad is they exert that influence poorly as evidenced by the numbers that leave the profession. The challenge is creating empathic relationships between teachers and principals.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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10 Ways To Reduce Email And Reclaim Productivity

10 Ways To Reduce Email And Reclaim Productivity | Assistant Principal | Scoop.it
Email use is on the rise. Daily, people on all rungs of the corporate ladder, entrepreneurs, and those working from home complain about the number of emails they receive. They tell me how much work it is for them to ... Read More
Nancy J. Herr's insight:

Part of your time management puzzle is how to efficiently handle e- mail. These tips can be very helpful. 

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