Do Everything You Can to get Financially Secure

A little financial advice for those new to our profession.   Back when I joined the profession in 1990, I knew I was trading a higher private sector salary for guaranteed benefits and a guaranteed, but modest retirement income. These were extrinsic factors that were offset by the intrinsic rewards of serving my community and…

Top 10 LYS Tweets – March 6, 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.   Public schoolteachers are our children’s first responders. They should be…

(Sound of Trumpets) Release the Pizza Delivery Drivers!

As we previewed earlier this month, for the PowerWalks Schools in the Houston area, Papa John’s Pizza is stepping up to recognize and support teachers and campus leaders who are going above and beyond to improve their craft.   Teachers who earn a Powerful Practice Notice during a PowerWalks observation will receive a coupon for…

Top 10 LYS Tweets – February 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. 1. God and Mother Nature are no match against the political…

The PowerWalks / Papa John’s Pizza Pilot Project

This is awesome. For the Houston area PowerWalks schools, Papa John’s Pizza is stepping up to recognize and support teachers and campus leaders who are going above and beyond to improve their craft. Teachers who earn a Powerful Practice Notice during a PowerWalks observation will receive a coupon for up to 50% off their next…

No Walk-Thru’s… No Real Time Problem Solving

Last week I was on a campus that is doing OK. Not great, but not bad. School is going on, students are doing work. And, like all campus leaders, the administrators are running around the building like firefighters… Putting out little fires all day long.   But, what they are not doing is faithfully getting…

Top LYS Tweets – February 5, 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.   February 5th is the deadline to register to vote! Get…

A Reader Writes… Keep Doing What You Do

A LYS Assistant Superintendent writes: SC, I know that you probably get emails with positive comments cheering you on all the time, but keep up the great work.  I love what you are doing for education! SC Response Thank you! Though it doesn’t happen all the time (see yesterday’s post), the vast majority of the…

Locus of Control

Do you have an external or internal locus of control? Meaning, do you see what happens be driven more by what is done to you or what you do?  This has nothing to do with intelligence. Your locus of control drives how you see the world and how you react to it.  Let’s look at…

Fundamental 5 and Teacher Evaluation Alignment (PDAS)

Yesterday, I wrote that implementation of The Fundamental 5 should not be used for a teacher’s summative evaluation.  Instead, administrators should use the observed implementation of The Fundamental 5 for teacher formative assessment, feedback and coaching.  Essentially supporting a teacher in the honing of daily craft to make summative evaluations less stressful and more rewarding…

PowerWalks Hero Schools (December 2014)

In furtherance of a LYS Nation tradition, we will take this time to tip our caps to the campuses that have embraced the most important step in creating and maintaining an action oriented professional learning community.  These are the campuses that have conducted an extraordinary number of formative classroom observations in a given month. In…

PowerWalks Hero Schools (November 2014)

In furtherance of a LYS Nation tradition, we will take this time to tip our caps to the campuses that have embraced the most important step in creating and maintaining an action oriented professional learning community.  These are the campuses that have conducted an extraordinary number of formative classroom observations in a given month. In…

A Reader Shares… The Power of Teacher PowerWalks

A LYS Principal shares the following: LC, I just had to write and say thank you for your leadership and advice!  I have taken more than 10 teachers on PowerWalks with me so far and have had some great short but meaningful debriefings (if that’s really a word!) about what we observed in classrooms.  Then…

Getting Ready for Kickoff

The following is a note that LYS Coach, Lesa Cain, sent to the Principals that she works with: LYS Principals, I am thinking about you as you get back to work and nail down plans for the upcoming adventure!  As you prepare to kick things off in a new school this year I just wanted…

It Seems That CSCOPE is the Root of All Evil (Part 2 of 4)

Note: CSCOPE is a vertically aligned scope and sequence used by hundreds of school districts. Today is Part 2 of our examination of the arguments of the Anti-CSCOPE loonies.  To be clear, I would like to point out that I do not confuse the Loonies with reflective professionals who work with and around a useful…

A New LYS Principal Asks… Fundamental 5 Targets

A New LYS Principal asks the following: SC,  Attached you will find our PowerWalks data. We will significantly improve the number of walk-thru’s we will perform for the remainder of the year as I purchased an iPad2 for each of our assistant principals (they love the PowerWalks system). I am also breaking down each of…

A Reader Writes… Stupidity Masquerading as Reform – Part 1

In response to the 11/9/11 post, “Stupidity Masquerading as Reform,” a LYS Teacher writes: SC, You are so right on the importance of observing strong, effective teachers.  I think that it provides invaluable information for administrators as they guide struggling teachers.  Also, I always enjoyed the feedback from my observations.  It was great to be…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of May 6, 2012

Recently, I was talking with some school leaders and our conversation turned to bootleg technology.  The concern of the group was that many teachers seemed to be missing the point. The point being that bootleg technology isn’t there as a substitute for something we already do, it should be used to enhance and supplement classroom…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of March 25, 2012

More schools are considering the move to e-readers over textbooks. The benefits are many. Less weight, less cost, convenience, just to name a few. But I have been trying to come up with a reason why this shift would not be a good idea. And then it hit me. With an e-book you can’t highlight…

Foundation Trinity – PDAS Alignment

Here is the next LYS coaching alignment tool. Over the next few posts I will show the alignment between LYS doctrine and state requirements. Now up, the alignment of the Foundation Trinity to the Texas PDAS. When we implement our Common Scope and Sequence, there is a positive impact on the following PDAS domains: Domain…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of December 4, 2011

“Students with access to educational materials on smart phones study about 40 minutes longer each week” (StudyBlue). How is that for a quote? When I ask secondary teachers what are the main hindrances to campus academic performance, the consistent answers are: A. The students don’t turn in homework. B. The students don’t study. C. The…

A Reader Writes… Assessment vs. Benchmark – Part 2

In response to the 11/17/2011 post, “Assessment vs. Benchmark – Part 1,” a reader writes: SC, One year on my grade level, in my content, we spent 25 instructional days (out of a total of 172) on district and state tests. It is a shame that the time for instruction is wasted. Any competent teacher…

A Reader Asks… How Long for an Observation

In response to the 11/3/11 post, “ A Reader Asks… PowerWalks and Fundamental 5 Support,” a reader asks: SC, How long should a person conducting a PowerWalk stay in the classroom to get an adequate idea of the instruction? SC Response This is a great question. But before I answer, I’m have to lay out…

A LYS Teacher Submits… Jeanette Nelson, Our LYS Coach

A new LYS Teacher submits the following: I just want the LYS Nation to know what a wonderful job our LYS Coach, Jeanette Nelson, has done on our campus. I cannot tell you how wonderful our training sessions have been with Jeanette. She’s informative, practical, makes the training exciting and worth our time. It is…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of November 27, 2011

I walked into a high school social studies class room last week and what I saw was all the confirmation that anyone would need if they were considering letting students use bootleg technology in the classroom. There were four desktop computers in the room, but they were essentially useless because the district Internet access has…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of October 30, 2011

The Pew Research Center reports that two out of five cell phone users have downloaded an app. The most popular downloaded apps are used for gaming, information, communication and personal knowledge. What this means is that people with cell phones (now a majority) are increasingly customizing their phones to meet needs far beyond making phone…

A Reader Asks… PowerWalks and Fundamental 5 Support

A LYS Principal asks, SC, Is there a site or a group of contacts where we, as people that are using Power Walks and attempting to implement The Fundamental 5, can go to share ideas and/or ask questions to those who are also doing one or both? Specifically, I am looking for some advice on…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of October 23, 2011

As many of you know, I spend well more than half my work time on campuses, watching, training and talking to educators at all levels of competency, capacity and success. One thing that I am observing all to often is innovative, energetic and engaging teachers having to hide their new practices and tools. Most likely,…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of October 9, 2011

The latest roadblocks I have heard in regards to the use of bootleg technology in classrooms are variations of, “Well, not every student has a device,” and “We don’t want to be unfair or make kids feel bad.” When I hear comments like that, I know why the school is struggling. Those comments are indicators…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of October 2, 2011

Our bootleg technology conversation is dramatically different (if it exists at all) without the presence of Steve Jobs. With bootleg technology have a tool that is beyond the realm of imagination for prior generations of educators. We just have to figure out how to use it. A number of you in the LYS Nation are…
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