Misalignment of Expectations

School leaders, here is some prep work you need to do in order to have some strategic, purposeful conversations with individual staff members prior to the school year getting away from us.   Make a list of the students who failed last year’s content specific state accountability tests and/or the district’s end of the year…

Know Your “WHY” – School Version

There is a lot of time and energy being spent on finding your “WHY” as an organization. I’ve thought a lot about it myself, for a number of years.  Here is my current thinking…   The finding your “why” is important for most enterprises. I need a “why” I build, transport and/or sell widgets.  …

In Defense Of Lesson Plans

There is some buzz building among principals to stop requiring teachers to turn in lesson plans. Lots of reasons why people think this is a good idea. Most of them seem rational and logical.   They are all wrong.   For example, I heard a principal say out loud, “I don’t want my teachers spending…

Don’t Junk Up The Field

In sports, the field (or court, gym, course) is nearly sacred. Great care and attention are expended to make sure that it is maintained in near pristine condition to ensure that the game is enhanced and optimized when it is being used.  Broken equipment is not stored on the field. Equipment for other sports is…

Top LYS Tweets – August 5, 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.   “On the surface of it, school choice sounds like a…

Who’s Room Is It

This is the time of year when teachers start setting up their rooms. Too often, what appears to be set up is a themed living room / kitchen combo. You know, the classroom with a teacher recliner, family pictures, coffee pot, microwave and two content related posters.   Just know that when you do this,…

Top LYS Tweets – July 29, 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.   Take care of the tiniest detail, because the little details…

Top LYS Tweets – July 15, 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.   “Our public schools are not “charity.” Their budgets are not…

Top LYS Tweets – June 24, 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.   Zip Codes—the best indicator of school quality in most American…

Top LYS Tweets – June 17, 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.   Having gone to school doesn’t make you qualified to debate…

Top LYS Tweets – June 10, 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.   “An important step toward curbing the privatization of education will…

Top LYS Tweets – June 17, 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.   Having gone to school doesn’t make you qualified to debate…

Texas State Representative Jonathan Strickland Is A Genius

Quote: Leftists have overtaken much of our public education system. It’s been their plan all along. They want our children’s hearts and minds. Ultimate control. -J. Strickland (R – Texas Legislature)   Let’s dissect Representative Strickland’s claim.   For the past 20 years, Texas teachers have overwhelmingly voted for Republican candidates. So, calm down, Johnny.…

Top LYS Tweets – May 13, 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.   School administrators, the craft has evolved over the past 20…

A Reader Asks… Power Zone in the Choir Room

A LYS campus leader asks the following:   SC, This one has stumped us, so we’re leaving it up to you to clarify. Our choir teacher is playing the piano while the students are singing.  Is he considered to be in the Power Zone?   SC Response That’s a good one. My answer…   It…

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.…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Closure in a Performance Classroom

A LYS Teacher asks the following: SC, I have a particular question about Fundamental 5 and Framing the Lesson. I have been teaching now for 20 years, and this year is the first time I have taught with the objective in mind and not with the lesson in mind.  I am finding greater success and am…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Closure

A teacher asks the following question.   SC,   My fellow teachers and I have a question. Our district is focusing on Lesson Closure. Administration states Lesson Closure must occur at the end of class… Period.   As math teachers, it makes sense for us to do the “I will” or Lesson Closure at the…

Teacher Pay And The Slow Death Of Small Towns

30 years ago, small towns across Texas were doing a whole lot better than they are today.   And 30 years ago, small town teacher salaries were on par with (and in a number of cases) better than suburban and urban teacher salaries.   Today’s question… Are these two facts related?   The answer, absolutely.…

Top LYS Tweets – April 15, 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.   Only 5% of praise statements from teacher to student are…

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…

A Reader Asks… Fundamental 5 Resources

A teacher asks the following:   SC,   I’m a teacher looking for resources to implement better Fundamental Five. Can you point me in the right direction?   SC Response I have a couple of suggestions. With resources, three are immediately accessible to you.   There is the book, The Fundamental 5. It is available…

Top LYS Tweets – April 8, 20

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.   If you are not regularly talking to your people, you…

Pacing Matters

Every year, I talk to principals and teachers that complain about having too much to teach and state test scores that don’t improve, even though the quality of delivered instruction is seemingly improving.   This can actually be the case.  There are two factors at play with state testing. Has all the required content been…

Top LYS Tweets – April 1, 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.   This 5th grade teacher gets it: “We can’t fund two…

The RTB Series – Conclusion: Review of Barriers and Interventions

Today we will complete our discussion of the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. To review, the primary barriers are:   Ignorance Lack of Training Habit Choice Fear Helplessness Obstinance   Below, I have built a chart listing some potential interventions for each barrier.  I hope you find…

The RTB Series – Part 7: Response to Obstinance

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 7 in The Response to Barriers Series – Obstinance.   The obstinate teacher just refuses to do “it;” whatever “it” may be.  As a…

The RTB Series – Part 5: Response to Fear

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 5 in The Response to Barriers Series – Fear.   Fear is a tremendous barrier to change, especially in education. If you look at the…

Top LYS Tweets – March 4, 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.   Coach Busch (RISD) just earned a high-yield superfecta and a…

Top LYS Tweets – February 25, 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.   “With profit as a motive in Oklahoma’s school choice movement,…
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