Top LYS Tweets from the Week of June 26, 2011

The biggest argument I get against the use of bootleg technology in the classroom revolves around students misusing the tools and access. “What if they cheat? What if they call, text, IM or e-mail their friends? What if they view inappropriate material?” All of these are valid issues and concerns, but they are not reasons…

A Reader Writes… (Ignorance or Worse – Part 1)

In response to the 4/20/2011 post, “A Reader Submits… Ignorance or Worse,” a teacher writes: It sounds like the writer is describing “a good ol’ boy” district, which is a big problem in education, in my opinion. I think that we would be better off with some kind of civil service promotions for administrators than…

The Big Easy Writes… (My Property Tax Appraisal – Part 1)

In response to the 4/15/2011 post, “My Property Tax Appraisal – Part 1,” The Big Easy writes: As I see it, part of the problem is that: 1. A large percentage of the population is in the “baby boomer” category. 2. Baby boomers, and many others for that matter, have little connection to education, much…

A Reader Writes… (More on PLC’s – Part 2)

In response to the 6/16/2011 post, “More on PLC’s – Part 1,” a reader writes: I couldn’t disagree with the writer more…You have missed the point of PLC’s. Because accountability is moving so fast you can’t NOT to embrace PLC’s. It is about creating a culture of professional collaboration to improve practice. The Fundamental Five…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of June 19, 2011

Since I have been publicly advocating for the increased use of bootleg technology in schools, I have been getting some questions concerning internet filters and blocked web sites. The answer to most of these questions are addressed in an article written by Tina Barseghian, “Straight from the DOE: Dispelling Myths About Blocked Sites” (April 26,…

A Reminder From the Ol’ Ball Coach

The following is a summer checklist from the Ol’ Ball Coach. Since the LYS Nation represents the hardest working educators in the land, I thought I might need to remind you of your agenda for the next month: 1. Relax 2. Take some time for friends and family 3. Take some time for yourself 4.…

A Reader Writes… (More on PLC’s – Part 1)

In response to the 6/9/2011 post, “More on PLC’s,” a LYS Principal writes: It occurs to me that teams, or PLC’s, are useful for keeping faculty focused on the goals and direction established by the instructional leader. It is also clear to me that PLC’s are useful for monitoring student progress and keeping student performance…

The Same Question From Three Different Perspectives

I recently had three (almost back to back) conversations with three different educators that revolved around the same theme – what’s next? A LYS teacher, who has been working very hard to integrate the Fundamental Five into her daily practice asked what she should work on next year. My answer, the Fundamental Five, but with…

Just a Few More Comments on the Fundamental 5

First of all, Laird and I have been humbled by all of the calls, e-mails and texts congratulating us on the book. Thank you very much for all of the kind words. Second, because of the LYS Nation after just one day the book shot up to number 18,526 on Amazon’s best seller list. Look…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of April 17, 2011

I’ll keep it short and to the point today. Bootleg technology is the real answer to 1:1 computing, stretching limited budget dollars, and keeping classrooms relevant in an ever-changing world. Now for the LYS’ers in Texas, go kick the last TAKS week square in the teeth. A number of you in the LYS Nation are…

A Reader Submits… Ignorance or Worse

An LYS Principal submits: SC, This is from one of my AP’s at my last school. This is why teachers need to feel stressed and why accountability is a good thing. Sean, it hurts me than you could know to see that what my team worked so hard to build being utterly destroyed. “The lead…

A TAKS Reminder From the LYS Elementary Coaching Team

LYS Coaches Lesa Cain and Barbara Fine share the following: The first round of TAKS (for Elementary and Middle School) is in the books. Some of you improved and some didn’t, but it is time to focus on what really counts for your accountability – the 2nd round. Those of you that we had the…

A Reader Writes… (My Property Tax Appraisal – Part 1)

In response to the 4/8/2011 post, “My Property Tax Appraisal” a reader writes: You’re my hero!! SC ResponseThank you. Right now, my heroes are the campus administrators and teachers who continue to work harder than ever while politicians and the public treat them like they are thieves and leaches. Is this a case of people…

A Reader Writes… (What Are You In Charge Of – Part 2)

In response to the 2/7/2011 post, “What are You in Charge of,” a LYS Principal writes: I saw Dr. Jenkins operation frequently last year, as I used to work in that district. It is a smooth operation. John gets a lot of criticism for his unapologetic use of the LYS discipline approach, but after viewing…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of April 3, 2011

I was talking to some teachers this week that reported that it is still policy and practice in their district to confiscate cell phone and charge $25.00 for their return. I wish that I could say that this is an isolated case, but it is not. Instead of embracing a chance to introduce real world…

The Awesome Work of a LYS Assistant Principal

Check out the great video that LYS Assistant Principal (and former LYS and Game On! Teacher) Kenneth Henry made with the students on his campus Holmsley Elementary. Make sure you check out the end credits. If you aren’t pumped up (and choked up) by the end of the video, then at the very least you…

A Reader Writes… (What Are You In Charge Of – Part 1)

In response to the 2/7/2011 post, “What Are You In Charge Of,” the Ol’ Ball Coach writes: Great advise from an up and coming campus leader. I hope the following can give you “Life Changers” (known to the world as teachers) a little calm and peace.1. God, give me the serenity to accept the things…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of March 27, 2011

Since I’ve started my “Embrace Bootleg Technology” enjoinders, when I am on campuses people are starting to show me the little things they are trying to do. That’s the key. Start trying little things. Bootleg technology will change the way we do business, but not overnight. Just think, 20 years ago we all carried extra…

School Reform Agenda

I am an education reformer. I have been since the first day that I stepped into the classroom. But my work is not fueled by the idea that schools do a bad job and that educators are lazy. My work is fueled by the understanding that educators are hard working people who’s biggest challenge is…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of March 20, 2011

1:1 computers is the stated goal of a lot of schools right now. I would argue that is that is your goal that you are looking in the wrong direction. Instead, I believe that the goal should be 1:1 connectivity. Every student with on-line access with some sort of device. In fact, I would not…

A Reader Writes… (Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 23)

In response to the 1/5/11 post, “Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 19” a LYS Superintendent writes: Sean, Perhaps a better a way to say “leadership is a form of manipulation” is to quote John Maxwell’s Second Irrefutable Law of Leadership: “The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing…

The Wealthy Educator

I’ve been listening to the rhetoric about the outrageous pay that educators earn. Now I have worked in and with schools all over the country for over twenty years and I’m trying to recall all of the “rich” educators that I have met. Done. Interesting, every “rich” educator that I have met either became wealthy…

A LYS Principal’s Open Letter to the Governor

The following was written by LYS Principal, Dr. Jerry Burkett. Governor Perry, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to my school. I am fortunate to lead a mid-sized elementary school in North Texas that is poised for greatness this school year. Although this is only my first year to lead my school,…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of March 6, 2011

Have you embraced bootleg technology? Consider this your weekly reminder. And for those of you on Spring Break this week, this is the perfect time to explore the ever evolving world that you can access through your smart phone, tablet computer, or other hand held connected device. A number of you in the LYS Nation…

A Reader Writes… (Grading Policy – Part 1)

In response to the 1/12/11 post, “Grading Policy,” a reader writes: Yes, we should put more weight on assessment scores than on teacher created work, IF the teacher created work is not in alignment with state accountability standards. The teacher is doing a disservice to the students by having them do non-aligned work, If, on…

A Reader Writes… (Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 22)

In response to the 1/5/11 post, “Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 9,” a LYS Principal writes: As someone who has worked with Sean Cain and LYS since I was a rookie assistant principal, there were many times that I felt frustrated, angry, and ready to give up. However, I was able…

We are Our Own Worst Enemy

I was talking to some principals from a union state. The discussion centered on the rapid and continuous improvement of LYS schools. They were tracking with me, until I mentioned our process of observing and supporting classroom teachers. I was almost speechless when they informed me that by district and union policy, principals could only…

A Reader Writes… (Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 21)

In response to the 1/5/11 post, “Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 9” a LYS teacher in West Texas writes: When I started teaching in 1994, I had no children of my own, and I gladly joined committees, sponsored groups and overnight trips, and took on other responsibilities in addition to spending…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of February 27, 2011

LYS Nation, have you embraced bootleg technology? Consider this your weekly reminder. Pull out your smart phone and ask yourself, “How can I better use this incredible tool to improve campus operations and student learning?” The first step is to get more comfortable with the device. Sure, you are already using it to manage your…

A Teach In?

There is way too much coverage of educators abandoning their classrooms and schools to make their point. The message of their actions is not helping their cause, “I’m important and to prove it, I will take an instructional day from children.” As an educator who can count the number days of work I missed on…
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