Are You Going to Fish or Cut Bait?

A lure has been defined as “anything that attracts, entices, or allures” (Trevor Kugler). As a teacher, what do you use to lure your students in to the lesson you are teaching?

“Lures” is  (c) 2006 David Huang (click photo for link).  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#).

© 2006 David Huang. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#15).

A teacher must have a tackle box full of attention getting lures for many different types of students.

8 Qualities of Effective Principals

Research consistently shows that the most important person in the measured success of any school is the principal.  But what makes a good principal?  My conversations with people about this topic have produced as many questions as answers.

© 2008 Eric E Castro. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#14).

© 2008 Eric E Castro. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#14).

Do you know what you think to be the model principal?  Perhaps a conversation with this person will let you know that you have jumped to a conclusion.  Better yet, the person may say to you, “I feel totally inadequate for this job.  I am just struggling to find my way forward.”

Qualities of Effective Principals (Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2008)

What makes an effective principal?  So many answers could be given to this question, but this book provides solid insight into the topic.  Christian school administrators would do well to read and understand the content of this book.  Be sure to check out Edward’s post from February 25, 2014, which mentioned this book.

5 Keys to Effective Staff Development

If we fail to plan, the ole’ sayin’ goes, we are planning to fail.  That may not be a polished way of saying it, but it is an undeniable truth.  Planning does not insure success, but failing to plan makes failure a near certainty.

This photo (click photo for link), “Traditional Professional Development” is copyright (c) 2012 Jen Hegna and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode).

© 2012 Jen Hegna.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#13).

So, you thought that February was for lovers, focused on Valentines’ Day.  That’s fine, but February should also be for planners.  Administrators find that planning is a continuous activity.  So let’s think about one aspect of planning that should be on your radar right now.

7 Common Mistakes Teachers Make

While reviewing some research on the qualities of effective teachers, I ran across a list of mistakes that commonly occur in the classroom.  Because research reinforces what we know from experience–teachers are the key component in the education process–avoiding these mistakes can improve the quality of learning in any classroom.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53326337@N00/5788246517/in/photolist-9Puh2K-8qLYhm-9JVxEw-c8nwXb-ceeBos-avESbn-8bDauo-8uWn7e-eicKdU-cLajU1-7zJ8MU-c8AHSh-d1e3ib-eka7sH-adqBdh-akur6V-8CgiUs-7Qe7mB-8iZ4ZX-9fm5Ao-8bzYDF-8j3ix7-f4D2YR-aLUG7D-8aWgeM-8bL2YD-9rqbJJ-9LpGaV-9rnV8U-7CuxE8-8j3ivY-8Sw4MZ-9WwS87-hZmnAE-8bPiCG-aU7aFX-aREFRV-7X53LK-95YucQ

© 2011 Quinn Dombrowski.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#12).

As a young teacher, I was committed to helping my students progress and learn.  Nothing encouraged me more than to see the class mean score rise on a test.  And a smile certainly came to my face when a struggling student “got it.”

Help! My Principal Said a Dirty Word!

You know what word I’m talking about.  It may not be a four letter word, but it might as well be for all the nervous sweating it causes each time it passes our principal’s lips.  That’s right.  O-B-S-E-R-V-A-T-I-O-N.  Admit it, teachers.  Your mouth went dry just reading the word.

This photo (click photo for link), “Silence” is copyright (c) 2013 Rebecca Barray and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode).

© 2013 Rebecca Barray.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#11).

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that teachers, who make their living standing up in front of a group and communicating all day, go into panic-mode the minute an administrator sets foot in their classroom?  Even veteran teachers breathe a sigh of relief when the door closes on the process.

Creative Tension

Leadership often seeks to minimize tension within an organization.  As a result, organizations often become complacent and both leadership and employees gravitate toward the status quo.

This photo (click photo for link), “Vision of Eyechart with Glasses” is copyright (c) 2011 Ken Teegardin and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode).

© 2011 Ken Teegardin.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#10).

The old model for breaking out of the doldrums called for “leaders to think and others to act.”  This top down leadership model has dominated in many organizations for years, in spite of its ineffectiveness.  Successful leaders, however, will learn to call upon the collective genius within their organization.  These leaders will develop learning communities that will revolutionize the status quo.

Transforming School Culture

The reason:  Improvement in the quality of schooling can only occur at the local school.  And, improvement demands a change in the culture of the local school.  Any effort to improve a local Christian school must address competing assumptions and beliefs among the staff.

Anthony Muhammad, 2009.  Transforming School Culture:  How to Overcome Staff Division.  Solution Tree Press:  Bloomington, Indiana.

Anthony Muhammad, 2009. Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division. Solution Tree Press: Bloomington, Indiana.

The Problem

Changing the culture of a school is a difficult concept to understand and even more difficult to embrace.  Why?  Because cultural change requires altering long-held assumptions, beliefs, and habits.  Yet current research establishes the fact that there is great hope in modifying the culture of a school.

How to Hire a Humanist

One of the most important duties of the school leader is to serve as the “gate keeper” of the school family.  Admission decisions must be in keeping with the school’s mission.  But the keeping of the gate does not apply only to student admission; the school leader must also hire well.

This photo (click photo for link), “Now Hiring” is copyright (c) 2012 Nathan Stephens and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode).

© 2012 Nathan Stephens.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#9).

My friend, Scott Barron, says that strong school heads–hire well, fire well, and raise funds.  Although a simplistic approach, the fact is that effective school leaders must hire well.  Hiring well can prove to be a challenging task.  Is the teacher qualified?