That’s right LYS Nation, our daily conversation is three years old today. It alternately feels like we just started this yesterday and that we have been doing this forever. I have to admit when I started writing three years ago I had no expectations and no idea where this would take us. My biggest fear was that I would have writer’s block after the first two weeks. Fortunately, the blog struck a cord with you (the reader and practitioner) and the LYS Nation was born. Writer’s block has yet to be an issue because the LYS Nation quickly stepped up and took over the topics of discussion. And as I regularly remind you, it is much easier and rewarding to participate in a dialogue than support a never-ending monologue. I thought it would be fun to re-visit the first post I wrote for the blog, and yes, exactly three years later, I’m dashing this off right before I hit the road to visit another school. Thank you for another great year and who knows where we’ll go in the upcoming year. Getting Started: An Introduction (February 16, 2009) Here I am sitting in another airport terminal at 6:00 in the morning. I wish I could say that this was unusual, but it’s not. I’m now a school road warrior. For the past 5 (now 8) years I have lived on the road, 3, 4 and too often 5 nights a week. Going where schools and principals have needs and problems that they need help with. There are some perks. Because of the travel points I’m a Hilton Diamond member and a Continental (now United) Elite member. This means on a big jet and in a big city, I get upgraded. That happens a couple a times a month, but most of the time I’m on a small plane going to a small town. I also get a lot of free Southwest Airline tickets. Congratulations! You fly a lot. Do you want to fly some more? I’m not complaining. I’m just making the case that I have seen a lot, worked with a lot of principals and schools, and have fixed a lot of problems. All of that to say, that what I’ve seen, what I’ve learned, and what I do may be useful out there. I have observed that school leaders for the most part live on islands. Islands that have been built by isolation, misinformation, wishful thinking and/or petty jealousies. Hopefully, I can help get some of you off the island, or at least make the island more hospitable. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write about school leadership and school operations. The focus will mostly be on improvement and what works. But I’ll also write about the tools that I find useful, books that I have read, conversations that I have had and respond to your comments. Who knows where this will go, but I hope that every once in a while, you’ll find something that is useful to you, your school and/or your staff. Time to board now. Off to another city and another school. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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