Response to Barriers – The Complete Series

Based on reader requests, here is the entire Response to Barriers Series, edited as one post.   This short essay will address seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership.   The Response to Barriers – Ignorance   The first barrier to changing instructional practices is ignorance, meaning that there…

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…

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…

Top LYS Tweets – December 4, 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.   Without realizing it, we sort students into groups of leaders…

Top LYS Tweets – November 12, 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.   Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get from…

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,…

Don’t Waste Your Honeymoon

A bunch of you are going to get a promotion over the summer: Teacher to Assistant Principal; Assistant Principal to Principal; Principal to Assistant Superintendent; Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent.   When you get that promotion, some well-meaning peer or mentor is going to give you some real bad advice.  They are going to tell you…

The Best Time to Change

I recently met with a principal that I mentor.  She had identified some long-standing processes and procedures that were ineffective and impairing campus performance.  Her question, “When is the best time to make the change?” My answer, “Now.” “But won’t that be disruptive?” “Yes.” “Then shouldn’t I wait?” “No.” What is the value in prolonging…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of June 28, 2017

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of June 18, 2017 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. 1. Stay focused on student need. As student…

Changing Habits is Hard

It is not easy to change a habit in general.  In the classroom environment, it is darn near impossible.  Between unchanging environmental cues, tenure, and stress the habits of teachers are cemented into place. So, expecting teachers to change a practice because we told them to is naïve. Believing that threats and memos will get…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of April 16, 2017

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of April 16, 2017 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. 1. You’re bigger than the short-term issues that…

The Glorious Sound of Gritching

Too many school leaders (from Principal to Board Member) have an unrealistic view of the human condition.  They mistakenly believe that the best indicator of effective and productive staff is the lack of complaints.  This would be wrong. Today’s educational arena is in constant flux.  Standards change, accountability increases, the knowledge base expands, practices evolve,…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of June 12, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of June 12, 2016 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. 1. Not sure how many times it needs…

Top Tweets From the Week of February 7, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of February 7, 2016 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. 1. Every generation must reinvent and reinvest in…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of November 16, 2014

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of November 16, 2014. 1. The reason we look at data is to…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of June 1, 2014

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of June 1, 2014. 1. Congratulations to LYSer, Mary Paul! She is the…

Top LYS Posts From the Week of March 2, 2014

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of March 2, 2014. 1. If your decisions as a school leader always…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of December 29, 2013

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of December 29, 2013. 1. When it comes to improving your school, the…

A Reader Writes… Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game – Part 1

In response to the 6/26/13 post, “Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes SC, This post was brilliant.  Will schools do it? SC Response Thank you.  But to answer your question, for 98% of the high schools in the state, “No, they will not do this.”   This schedule is…

Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game

There are way too many educators celebrating because of the passage of HB5.  As if it changes something.  It does not.  Funding has not been restored to previous levels and nothing has changed on the testing front.  All the tests that are kicking schools in the teeth are still there.  The only tests that are…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of April 21, 2013

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of April 21, 2013. 1. For all we know, STAAR may be using…

A Reader Writes… Advice for the First Year Principal – Reboot 1

In response to the 7/18/2010 post, “Advice for the First Year Principal,” a reader who was browsing the LYS Blog archives writes: I disagree with #3. I work at a school for a new principal with whom I have a good working relationship (This is possibly due to the nature of my position). Our teaching…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of January 20, 2013

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of January 20, 2013. 1. Ms. Bracken (Hines ES) hit for the cycle…

MLK Jr. Day

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5  Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus…

A Reader Writes… Happy and Thriving – Part 2

In response to the 10/9/12 post, “Happy and Thriving – Part 1,” a LYSer writes: SC, You know, the whole dynamics of leadership and teacher culture is complicated. One of the schools in my district is seemingly calm and friendly to the casual observer, but below the surface it is among the worse I have…

PowerWalks Hero Schools Comments

After reading the 11/1/2011 post, “PowerWalks Hero Schools (October 2011),” a number of you sent in comments. Below is a representative sample. “I’m fired up, I personally visited twenty classrooms today.” “There’s no need to fear, a PowerWalker is here.” “We just missed the Hero mark. You can pencil us in on the November list.”…

A LYS Superintendent Shares… Fundamental Change

A LYS Superintendent shares the following report from a campus: SC, This note just made my day. We have completed our third module of the fundamental five. I have noticed a difference in my teachers’ room arrangements and they appear to be working in the power zone more often. I have heard comments like, “I…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of July 17, 2011

So you have been thinking, “This Bootleg Technology idea sounds intriguing, but why should I go through all the hassle when I have so many other things on my plate this year, such as accountability, budget, and staff reductions?” Why? Because bootleg technology addresses all three of those issues and more. As it relates to…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of May 8, 2011

Last night, we were at a neighbor’s house visiting. They had just purchased new I-Pads and were giving their old ones to their grandchildren. They were going on and on about how easy they are to use, how much they use them, and the different things they use them for. Their question to me was…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of April 10, 2011

Technology is changing by the minute. The rule use to be that the brand new laptop computer you bought today was already six months obsolete. Now laptops are obsolete. Just this week, while I was a passenger in a vehicle driving 70 miles an hours on a freeway between cities, I used my USB cellular…
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