December 2008 Archives

We’ve moved! LeaderTalk began in February 2007 as the first group blog BY school leaders FOR school leaders. Since then it has become "the place to go" for insightful, thoughtful, reflective commentary about what it means to be a P-12 administrator today. LeaderTalk expresses the voice of the administrator, a voice that often goes unheard in this era of school reform. LeaderTalk’s move to this new location is a joint venture between CASTLE and Education Week. We look forward to expanding our conversations to new audiences and to interacting with new readers. If you’re unfamiliar with...


Cross Posted at changinghighschools.blogspot.com I have unfortunately had to have some surgery that has put me in the position of having too much time on my hands. With that comes plenty of time to think about 'stuff'. Having the personality that I do, while I can ponder my next vacation, reminisce about events of the past year, and even count my blessings, it doesn't take long before my thoughts come back around to my work. It is a huge part of my life and dedicate an enormous amount of time to work and work-related activities. When I think ...


I'm guessing that most of us are in the middle of some type of holiday break right now with several days off from school. Or without staff and students for those of us who still plan on going into work. If you are anything like me, the days have been filled with the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, driving, eating, drinking, talking, laughing and then probably a repeat of many of those same activities over and over. It's now a few days before the New Year. 2008 is almost over. I tend to get reflective this time ...


As each year comes to a close, I look forward to the year end "Best Of" lists that crop up across my network. It gives me an opportunity to catch up on things I've missed since I can never actually keep up these days with the abundance of information being shared. Here's a list of a few that came my way in recent days. Jane Hart's 100 Great Articles about Learning Tools and Technologies in 2008 - Jane Hart puts together a great series of lists throughout the year. From her Jane's Pick of the Day or the Top 100 ...


Loading... Glenn Malone [cross-posted at the old LeaderTalk blog (including comments)]...


I would like to recommend a book for administrators, teachers, students, and parents to read. Stephen Covey has recently published The Leader in Me. This book describes the work of schools across the world to implement the leadership skills that originated from Covey's well known book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The book also helped me connect the habits with the seven categories of the Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. This was of interest to me since our school system has worked to deploy the Baldrige criteria for over 6 years and was recently recognized as the 2008 Baldrige ...


It is a rainy Christmas Day in San Diego and I am not thinking about gifts a much as I am thinking about how children are gifted… And how we have tried so hard for so long to defy NCLB’s gravitational pull toward the homogenization of our curriculum by stubbornly celebrating the multiple intelligences… And how we might be even more effective when we return to school in January if we can continue to recognize the many ways that children can be gifted. Or intelligent. And how we so casually recite the 7 intelligences as if we were naming...


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As we pause to celebrate with family and friends, this time of year naturally lends itself to the reflection necessary for a promising 2009. My post this month contains 5 professional resolutions for the new year. I encourage you to pick one and make it your own. In thinking about this post, I was reminded of the core definitions of resolution and resolve. There's no way around the words solution and solve in this thinking. While resolutions seldom seem to really solve a problem or provide a solution, I believe the collective impact of ...


After about a decade of being an instructional technology advocate from central office/state dept/university levels, I'm a year-and-a-half into my new career twist: school-based leadership. One thing I bring to the new job focus is the old job skillset. So, when it was time for our school to write our new school improvement plan...what better way then to leverage some of the tools I've learned along the way? We started with a wiki to gather the brainstorms of the various teams, departments, individuals, etc in the school. Though most on staff had never used one before, I ...


One of my proteges (oh, how I love to use that term when referring to those I mentor) is taking an administrative class with an assignment of MUST READ books for principals, future principals. Anyone have a list they think must be among those reads. I have already started a list from books already mentioned on Leadertalk.org. But, please reiterate and add others if you are willing to help? Jan Borelli [cross-posted at the LeaderTalk blog (including comments)]...


It’s not a great picture. At least artistically speaking. There are eight of our students and only Brandon even looked at the camera. The lighting, such as it is, is purely accidental. If you didn’t know the subject you would click past it and move on. But we can’t. We know the subject. And we know how they came to be sitting in the courtyard there in the shadows of those majestic buildings. For us there is tremendous symbolism in that picture from UCLA. So let me ask you, as an educator, when did you first know...


Nail it down. That is, if you want to still have it at the end of the day. The frenzy of the season and the state of the economy has trickled down to the youngest consumers. The season of “must have it” has yielded to “just take it.” Morals and values are being unwrapped quicker than any gifts under the tree. A few examples… I had a nice big bag of Hershey’s dark miniatures, not just the Special Dark, mind you, but Krackle dark and Mr. Goodbar dark, on my desk the other morning and it just disappeared....


"At work do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?" This is one of the 12 questions that the Gallup Organization uses to measure "strong workplaces". We've all experienced those times when we were successful and enjoying our work because we're focusing on using our strengths. Why is it that Gallup's research shows that only 12% of workers answer "most of the time"? What would the individuals in your organization say to this question? Years ago I read Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and the late Donald Clifton and I was hooked on ...


I was having a discussion with a principal who was talking about the classroom walkthroughs that her district leadership was emphasizing. She asked my help with a concept and I in turn am asking Leadertalk bloggers and readers. Here's the question (I'll outline the context below the question) What do you look for when you are making your classroom walkthroughs? Here's the context. Her district has a prescribed methodology for conducting walkthroughs. I know there are multiple different rubrics and methodologies for conducting walkthroughs. I am certain that there are disciples and evangelists for each and I am not asking ...


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