Top LYS Tweets – May 20, 2019

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   You did not wake up this morning to be mediocre.(By…

Improving Adult Practice

You read yesterday’s post, “The Quick Way to Improve Schools.”   Now you are thinking, “Ok, makes since. If I want to improve the performance of my school, I have to improve teacher practice in every classroom.”   How hard can that be?   Only the hardest thing ever. Because to change teacher practice in…

Don’t Be The Limiting Factor

I was recently talking to a good, young Principal whose campus is beginning to separate itself from its peers. This is a Title I campus that is now outperforming a number of non-Title I campuses in the area. The campus is buzzing and there is a new feeling of HOPE spreading throughout the staff and…

Managerial Efficiency / Leadership Failure

It should go without saying, but sadly, common sense is not common practice…   If you are in a leadership position and your staff is attending training, you have to attend and participate. At the campus level, this means that the Principal, Assistant Principals and Instructional Coaches attend teacher training.  At the district level, the…

What Proactive Instructional Leadership Looks Like – The Raw Numbers

The critical step in becoming an effective instructional leader and an expert in pedagogy is observing a LOT of instruction. I constantly point this out in presentations, trainings, writings and conversations. The bottom line is that the instruction leaders that consistently visit classrooms separate themselves from instructional leaders that do not. There is no short…

A PLC of 1, Isn’t

Blog Post – A PLC of 1, Isn’t I see this a lot in small schools, which means I see it a lot since small schools are more common than large schools.   As instructional leaders, it is hammered in to us that we should do everything possible to reduce the number of teacher preps.…

Great Isn’t An 8:00 to 4:00 Job

Recently, I was talking to a teacher that is applying for an Assistant Principal position. Her question, “Are there any “great” schools in XYZ School District.”   I said there were a couple of good schools but only one great school remaining in the district (which I named).   Her response, “I’m not applying to…

Principals, You Really Need To Think About Spring Sports

It’s too late now, but this is the absolute right time to fix this for next year.   Multiple times a week I’m on a secondary campus. And without fail, during the Spring, I’m greeted with the same welcome… “Glad you’re here. Just want to let you know that we have a lot of subs…

I Have A Big Problem With Hypocrites

A half kudo to the Waco Independent School District School Board.   They recently accepted the resignation, with a partial contract buy-out, of their Superintendent.  The buy-out is why I’m subtracting half of the kudo.   The Superintendent was busted with pot in his car during a routine traffic stop. Once busted, the Superintendent began…

The Hater

If you lead long enough, you will attract at least one Hater.  The Hater is different than the anonymous critic. They want you to know who they are, because they derive pleasure from actually getting you to engage.  Don’t engage.  Logic won’t convince them that they are wrong. Your good deeds won’t convince them of your character.…

The Anonymous Critic

The scourge of the field-based leader (in schools, think Assistant Principal and Principal) is the anonymous complaint. It will make the field-based leader question what she is doing and throws weak, rear echelon managers into a tizzy.   Which is exactly the goal of the anonymous complainer.   Lacking both a spine and a legitimate complaint, the…

You Don’t Get Credit For The Unicorns

As educational leaders (at all levels), we all make the same mistake. We present some THING to our staff and let the staff know that we want the THING implemented. Then we go back to doing our vital and important leadership tasks.  A little later, we circle back to see how the THING is going.…

A New Name For Bad Practice

Here’s a friendly warning / piece of advice for Principals. I’m on campuses across the country, multiple times a week. Every campus is a “Something” campus. PBIS, Avid, Balanced Literacy, High Reliability, Common Core, TRS, etc. etc. It’s their program. The campus has spent significant time, money, and energy on training so the staff can…

A Reader Asks… Coaching Questions

A LYS Campus Leader asks the following: JD,  My campus is about to tackle its first ever round of teacher coaching based on PowerWalks classroom observation data. I would feel more confident with some extra questions to be able to use in our coaching sessions. Do you have any suggestions?   Dr. Jim Davis Response First,…

Some Typical District Problems With Formative Classroom Observation Implementation

A lot of districts are trying to get on the Formative Classroom Observation bandwagon with good intentions… and a lot of bad practice.     For example, at the District Administrator Meeting, some well-intentioned Assistant Superintendent or Superintendent will show a list of the observation data the campuses are self-reporting. Usually, this is rank ordered,…

Top LYS Tweets – December 10, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   Principals have no excuse not to be visible, present and…

President George Herbert Walker Bush

George H.W. Bush, the careful and pragmatic manager of the Cold War’s final dramas, had nearly every tool a great president needs. He had fire and drive, which are indispensable to a great statesman. From his glamorous youth through his momentous single term as 41st President of the United States, Bush was consumed, in the…

George H.W. Bush was a Texan, a Patriot, and an Underrated President

George Herbert Walker Bush spent but four years in the Oval Office as America’s president, but as we mourn his passing Friday at age 94, the pain of that loss is leavened by the increasingly shared conviction that his career before, during and after the White House looms as large as that of any public…

Athletic Director / Athletic Coordinator / Head Coach Accountability

Note to the Reader: I write this as a product and supporter of school athletic programs.   Yesterday, we discussed, “The SUPPLEMENTAL School Athletic Program.” As every coach will point out, “…School athletics is about more than wins and losses. A good school athletic program is about building students of character…”   I agree.  …

The SUPPLEMENTAL School Athletic Program

Note to Readers: I write this as a product and supporter of school athletic programs.   I’m on campuses, across the country, every week. Every week I witness the operations, activities and schedules of secondary schools impacted, adjusted, and circumvented by the needs of the athletic program and coaching staff.  This is done without question. …

A Reader Asks… Proof My Resume

A LYS Assistant Principal requested that I proof her resume prior to applying for a Principalship. The following are the notes I sent back to her.   First, there is nothing overtly wrong with your resume.   There are about as many formulas for the “right” resume as there are job openings, but it all…

ROAD TRIP!!!! The LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy

The LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy starts tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you get there by foot, bike, car, train or plane… Get there! Forgot to register? Pretend like you did and just show up. We’ll find a seat for you. See you in San Antonio!   Think. VOTE. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations:…

Start Packing… The LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy

Just three days away.  See you in San Antonio! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: LYS / TASSP Leadership Symposium (Keynote); AMLE National Conference; AIE Conference; ASCD Empower19 Conference  Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

Just 5 Days Away – The LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy

We Added More Seats! Due to demand, another 25 slots are available for the LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy in San Antonio, Texas.  This October 14th and 15th join K-12 school leaders from across the country as we focus on how to lead schools that maximize student opportunity. Can’t wait to see you there! Think.…

When is the Best Time to Change

School leaders often ask me when the best time is to change. The answer is easy.   1.As soon as you realize that something isn’t working.   Once you realize something isn’t working, change.  To do otherwise is to willingly allow the organization to at best, waste effort, and at worst, self-inflict harm.   2.Or,…

Leadership Immersion Opportunity

With School Leaders… For School Leaders… By School Leaders San Antonio, Texas in Three Weeks!!! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: LYS / TASSP Leadership Symposium (Keynote); AMLE National Conference; AIE Conference; ASCD Empower19 Conference Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

Leadership Built, Leadership Honed

Join The LYS Nation in San Antonio, Texas on October 14 and 15, 2018 for the best school leadership training this Fall! Open to all levels of schools leaders from anywhere in the country!! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: LYS / TASSP Leadership Symposium (Keynote); AMLE National Conference; AIE Conference; ASCD Empower19…

Chronic Misbehavior

I was recently on a campus where I observed the following;   A chronic and wide-spread tardy problem.   Chronic and wide-spread unpreparedness for class. Simply showing up with assigned readings not being completed, notebooks forgotten, and nothing to write with or on.   Wide-spread personal use of cell-phones for entertainment purposes during lectures and…

Balance

A young campus administrator asked me, “How do you find balance in your life? Balance between career, family, relaxation, etc.?”   This is a good question with a harsh answer.   I replied, “Before I answer, I need to know if you want to be great at something?”   He said,“Yes, I want to be…
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