The 5 Year Plan

I had a non-LYS Assistant Superintendent tell me once, “Do you know what the problem is with you guys? You don’t have 5 Year Plans. You LYSers are too short-sighted.”  He was telling me this as part of his explanation for why his non-improving schools were actually doing better than the improving LYS schools. So,…

Principal Words of Wisdom – Planning Time

Here is a great piece of advice from Dale Martin, an old school LYS Principal. Finding planning time for teams of teachers is always a zero-sum game. Either it is after school or off-contract, which is tough on the teachers (if no pay) or tough on the budget (if paid).  Or you have to take…

Does Your Campus Have an Induction Plan

It always amazes me how often campus operations and practices are left to chance. We hire staff and then hope that thru luck and osmosis, the new hire will know what to do.  There is a better way.  Implement a new hire induction program. Why? Because an induction program ensure that new hires integrate successfully…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of June 25, 2017

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of June 25, 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. Lousy leaders spend too much time imposing…

A Check List for School Improvement

The Quality of Delivered Instruction Is No Longer Enough. I’ll repeat that. The quality of delivered instruction is no longer enough to ensure adequate student performance.  But why?  The brutal, yet consistently ignored truth is that the expert delivery of the wrong content will not produce improved student performance.  Which means that student success is…

A Problem with the Multi-Year Plan

Recently I was consulting with a campus that faces a high turn over rate, year after year. Central office is demanding that the campus produce a 5-year improvement plan. Campus leadership was attempting to make reality fit into a district template.  What I explained to the Principal is that on his campus he is going…

What About T-TESS

A lot of educators have asked me what is my opinion on T-TESS (Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System).  My general response is that it is much ado about nothing.  But I also realize that is a “cynical old man” response, which really says nothing.  So here is my honest critique. Overall, T-TESS a better…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of February 28, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of February 28, 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. I will vote in support of public…

A Reader Asks… Unit Lesson Plan Options

A LYS Principal asks the following: SC, My district’s new “improved” policy states that teachers may only be required to provide a unit or weekly lesson plan. Do you know of a good lesson plan template that meets these restrictions? SC Opinion (NOT A RECOMMENDATION) The unit lesson plan is darn near leadership sanctioned instructional…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of November 29, 2015

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of November 29, 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. As a leader, if you are not…

Field Notes From The Fundamental 5 Summit – Part 2

Last week, the 3rd Annual Fundamental 5 Summit was held in Austin, Texas. Over 300 educators from across the country attended and participated.  Here are some more of the highlights of from the Summit, as reported on Twitter. Planning practices need to focus on the “How,” not the “What.” (By @ptpeabody) The closing gives teachers…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Framing in the Self-contained Classroom

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, The training that you provided this past summer was great and our staff has worked this semester implementing the Fundamental 5.  With that implementation, we some have questions.    What is the best way to manage “We will” and “I will” statements for grade levels that are…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of April 20, 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 April 20, 2014. 1. “In education, goals are only reached through a…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of January 5, 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 January 5, 2014. 1. “Winging it” is not a plan and a…

A Reader Writes… Staff Meetings With a Dash of Common Sense – Part 2

In response to the 10/18/12 post, “Staff Meetings With a Dash of Common Sense,” a reader writes: SC, Period by period faculty meetings were the norm for me as a principal, including before and after school in case a teacher had an ARD, parent meeting, or some other conflict during the day so they had three…

A LYS Principal Asks… Team Planning

A new LYS Principal asks the following: SC, What template do you suggest for a team planning agenda / method? SC Response Entire books and training seminars have been devoted to your deceivingly simple question.  Though well meaning, the advice given in most of those are woefully out of touch with the reality of running…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of February 12, 2012

This week, in the midst of conducting over fifty classroom observations (a normal occurrence), I realized something. There is a huge difference between traditional technology and bootleg technology. Traditional technology is expensive, intrusive and teacher–centric. Everyone gets expensive, but by intrusive I mean its use requires the subtraction of another activity (there are only so…

Quick Hitters from the LYS Nation – Part 2

I’m continuing the end of the school year house cleaning. Here are some more quick comments from the LYS Nation. If you happened to miss the original post, go back and check it out. In response to the 5/3/2011 post, “Remember the Main Objective is to Drain the Swamp” readers wrote: 1. Great post. I…

Yes, I know the Hours are Long

I was recently working with a group of special education teachers at an alternative school. My purpose, to help them better organize their instructional day to make them more effective and increase student performance. Of course this was going to require a little extra time in the short run, as they learned to plan differently.…

A Reader Writes… First Week of School Observations

“From previous experience with setting up for meetings, I was told to plan for more, set up for less and build for success. If I expected fifty people to show up, set up for forty and look like you are building beyond expectation. Of course, you were supposed to plan for seventy-five and adjust your…

First Day of School – Report 6

Yesterday, I talked to principals of three of the schools that I recently began working with. All three had the variation of the same story. On the second day of school, they sat in on grade level / content area planning sessions. Quickly realizing that no one intended to do any actual planning, they jump…

A Reader Writes… (Fear – Part 3)

In response to the post, “Fear,” a reader writes: “I simply don’t trust anyone who is not afraid. The person who is claims to be not afraid is either not truthful, is a psychopath, or has not experienced enough real, tough situations to have enough sense to be afraid. All three of those scenarios make…
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