Smooth Operators

Recently I was talking to some aspiring campus administrators when one of them asked me, “How do effective leaders monitor the learning environment to ensure smooth operations?” This is a good question with a multifaceted answer.  And here is the short version of my response. 1. The leader needs to possess and maintain a good…

Smooth Operators

Recently I was talking to some aspiring campus administrators when one of them asked me, “How do effective leaders monitor the learning environment to ensure smooth operations?” This is a good question with a multifaceted answer.  And here is the short version of my response. 1. The leader needs to possess and maintain a good…

Lesa Cain Adds… Principal Coaching

Regarding the two previous posts, “Principal Coaching – The Low Performing Campus” and “Principal Coaching – Upset Parent and Community,” I am going to point out that what Sean lined out are research-based improvement processes.  I would like to add my thoughts on how to get this done. Understand this is a coaching relationship. To…

A Reader Asks… Principal Coaching – Upset Parents and Community

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, I loved the coaching notes you shared in today’s post (Principal Coaching – The Low Performing Campus).  I have a principal I’m going to work with this year, but for a different reason.  The issue on this campus is upset parents and negative feelings on the culture…

Top LYS Tweets form the Week of March 26, 2017

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of March 26, 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. Want to know what a church believes?…

Our Common Instructional…

As I visit and work with campuses across the country, it is quite clear that we have a Common Instructional Language.  Educators use the same words; rigor, PLC, assessment, PowerWalks, Lesson Frame, etc. What campuses do not have is a Common Instructional Expectation.  Yes, we say the same thing, but when we see the same…

Five Principal Hacks

A couple of Old School LYSers were recently talking about things we should share with rookie principals. Here are our top five hacks. 1. Get in the classrooms, EVERY DAY. 2. Talk about instruction more than anything else. 3. Attend (for the entire time) and participate in every training that is provided for your staff…

Transparency and Trust

Recently, I was presenting to a group of campus principals on the importance of transparency in leadership practices.  How we must be clear and redundant in our communications of our expectations, procedures, policies and even daily schedules. The daily schedule statement created a little unrest and one principal shared, “I can’t agree with that.  If…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of January 3, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of January 3, 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. “Education truly matters … because in the…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of October 25, 2015

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of October 25, 2015 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. Did you talk to a teacher today?…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of March 1, 2015

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 1, 2015. 1. Why is there even a doubt which high…

A Reader Asks… Another Formative Observation Question

A LYS campus instructional leader asks the following question: SC, I forgot to ask you to weigh in on the other question that we are arguing about. Can we use the data we collect on the quick walk-thru’s for a teacher’s summative evaluation? SC Response I’m glad you asked that question.  Let be very clear…

A Reader Asks… A Formative Observation Question

A campus instructional leader asks the following question: SC, There has been some debate in our district on what to do with formative observation data. We are leaving it up to you to provide some clarity. What are the pros and cons of letting the teachers see their individual walk-thru data sheet?   SC Response Good…

Buy In?

It is regularly reported that some initiative on a campus failed because there was no “Buy-in.”  I’ve been doing this a while, and I believe this concept of “buy-in” is overrated. As a school leader, here is what I believe in: 1. I believe in communication.  2. I believe in clear purpose and intent. 3.…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 17, 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 August 17, 2014. 1. “The great news is that the BEST days…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 3, 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 August 3, 2014. 1. Congratulations to LYSer, Jeff LaCoke! He is the…

Lesa Cain Writes… Summer Thinking for School Leaders

The following is a letter that LYS Coach, Lesa Cain, recently shared with the Principals she works with. As you go about your summer activities, hopefully resting, traveling and generally rejuvenating yourself after the year, I challenge you to think about the year ahead and to be prepared to communicate the following with anyone who…

A Reader Writes… Top Tweet List

In response to the 6/16/14 post, “Top LYS Tweets From theWeek of June 8, 2014,” a LYS Principal writes: SC, Great set of tweets! I often send your list to my staff. They may not all follow the blog but I think all can benefit from your top list of tweets. I also print them…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of June 23, 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 June 23, 2013. 1. Congratulations to LYSer, Ron Roth! He is the…

A Reader Writes… Talk to Your Staff – Part 1

In response to the 3/8/13 post, “A Coaching Note… Talk to Your Staff,” a LYS Principal writes: Thank you, Lesa. Great advice… and a great reminder. I am not sure it’s always fear that keeps us from talking to staff. Sometimes it’s sheer numbers of people and volume of details a principal deals with in…

A Principal Asks… The Power Zone

A LYS Principal asks the following: SC, First, thanks so much for the post on Friday (5/13/13), “On the Edge of Insight.”  It couldn’t have come at a better time!  We are having our 2-day Campus Improvement Planning this week, and Fundamental 5 implementation is one of the things we will be discussing.  I am…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of May 5, 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 May 5, 2013. 1. Today is all about student engagement. Quite simple,…

A Reader Writes… Consolidation – Part 3

In response to the 8/16/12 post, “Consolidation – Part 2” a LYS Superintendent writes: SC, Great response. I love your answer, but how do we overcome this dilemma and expose the far right’s agenda and their hijacking of a political party to the public?  After witnessing the 15% rule fall this past spring it looks…

Top Tweets From the Week of June 24, 2012

Here’s an idea for next year.  Direct marketers know that when it comes to response rate vs. cost, e-mail is the way to go.  So drop the snail mail, at least initially. Start e-mailing progress reports, discipline notices, reports cards, newsletters, etc.  For anything that requires a piece of paper, stamp, or hand delivery by…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of May 29, 2011

The United Nations recently announced that access to the internet is a human rights issue. Which makes sense. The internet is the world’s most powerful communication tool and the largest, most accessible library and research engine in the history of mankind. To limit access to both knowledge and others is the hallmark of authoritarian regimes.…

A Reader Writes… (Poisonous Staff – Part 5)

In response to the 12/2/2010 post, “Poisonous Staff – Part 3,” the original writer sends in another update:For yet another follow up, my relationship with the faculty member I first wrote about is now quite strong. In fact, I see the beginnings of a good administrator in this person. If your principal is getting push…

A Reader Writes… (Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 15)

In response to the 11/8/2010 post, “Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 3,” a Principal writes: It’s called grading at soccer practice, ballet practice, reading together as an example of someone enjoying a book, or like my best friends’ mom said, “bury me in my natural position…behind the wheel of a car.”…

A Reader Writes… (Poisonous Staff – Part 1)

In response to the post, “Poisonous Staff,” a reader writes: SC, I was sitting here reading today’s blog and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The teacher that the person is writing about could easily be any number of teachers on my campus. We have some that think they are above doing what…

A Reader Asks… Poisonous Staff

A new LYS Principal asks: SC, I have a teacher who is average to maybe a bit below average. But she thinks she is above average. She is not doing the kids a lot of good, but nor is she particularly harmful to kids at this early stage in a new LYS district. However, she…

A Reader Asks… Interview Prep

A reader asks: “SC,I have an interview for a principalship next week. As part of the interview process, they have asked me to outline my plan for the first 90 days, if they hire me. Since I’m going to get this job, I don’t want this to be an empty exercise. Any ideas on what…
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