Connected Principals Posts

The term “world class education” has been something that I have heard several times this summer in my travels, and I appreciate so many teachers, schools, and districts setting the…

Read More A World Class Education?

The term “world class education” has been something that I have heard several times this summer in my travels, and I appreciate so many teachers, schools, and districts setting the bar high for themselves.  When the highest expectations that are set upon you are from yourself, the chance of disappointing others becomes minimal. In a … [Read more…]

Read More A World Class Education?

I’m a learner. I LOVE to read. Obsessively. Insanely. Annoyingly. (like in the shower annoying.) Conferences fill my bucket. My voxer conversations with my principal peeps are treasured times of reflection, growth, and PUSH. It’s easy for me to operate that way. How do YOU grow? The days are long but the years are short. […]

The post Last #askanadmin! #13: So I’m the principal…but how do I KEEP getting better? appeared first on Love, Learn, Lead.

Read More Last #askanadmin! #13: So I’m the principal…but how do I KEEP getting better?

I’ve noticed a group of principals trending on Twitter lately using the hashtag #dadsasprincipals. And my friend Daniel Bauer recently interviewed a group of these dedicated dads at last month’s National Principal Conference. You can hear their talk here. These dads have picked up on the #momsasprincipals movement they saw happening among their female colleagues, […]

Read More PMP:077 Four Tips for #DadsAsPrincipals

My good friend AJ Juliani, co-author of the book “Empower“, with John Spencer, is about to start a Genius Hour Master Course.  His passion for this topic and his ability to share his enthusiasm has made a significant difference with so many educators.  I am reposting this from last year as many loved the opportunity … [Read more…]

Read More 10 Reasons to Try Genius Hour This School Year

I came across this interesting article on parents.com, titled, “Goodbye to Grades? Mastery-Based Learning Is Becoming the New Standard“, and thought it was great that an outside education site was…

Read More Focusing on Mastery Over Marks

I came across this interesting article on parents.com, titled, “Goodbye to Grades? Mastery-Based Learning Is Becoming the New Standard“, and thought it was great that an outside education site was talking about changes in education in mostly a positive way. Some swear that learning based on mastery instead of grades, or a “one size fits … [Read more…]

Read More Focusing on Mastery Over Marks





Communication is one of the toughest things about leading. You work constantly to improve your verbal, written, and interpersonal skills. You strive to communicate strategically, systematically, and with empathy. You recognize the importance of effective communication with your team, your parents, your community. And yet, the effectiveness of your communication falls flat. It happens to everyone.



One thing that can always be better in just about every organization is communication. I know I need to continue to grow in this area. Clear communication is essential in personal relationships, in classroom settings, and across the entire school community. 



Regardless of whether you are a principal, a teacher, or have another leadership role in your school. You can become a better communicator. It’s something we should always strive to improve. When we are clear with our message and more understanding as listeners, it builds positive culture and improves the learning environment.



One of the most important things for effective communication is situational awareness. Our message is really not about us. It’s about meeting the needs and expectations of others. We have to communicate with the audience in mind, if it’s 1 or 100. It’s important to adapt to the situation and communicate in a way that will meet others in a productive and positive manner.



Let’s be clear, our communication is one way we influence others. Our communication should seek to lift up others, help them be stronger, and ultimately help them exhibit leadership qualities that are helpful to the mission. Sometimes this involves delivering hard truths, setting boundaries, and standing firm. 



As I write this post, I am reminded how much I need to review these principles. I often fall short in communicating effectively and want to continuously strive to improve these skills.



1. Listen more, talk less



Effective communication is not just broadcasting a message. It’s not saying more and saying it louder. Great communicators are great listeners. They really try to understand the perspective of others. They initiate dialogue. Dialogue involves sharing meaning in the conversation. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is full agreement. It just means that both parties are listening with empathy and really trying to understand each other and find areas of common ground.



2. Reach out.



Even though I try to be visible throughout our school, sometimes I find I’m talking to the same people over and over. I need to make sure that I’m communicating regularly with everyone. The same thing can happen in the classroom. It’s easy to engage outgoing students or teachers who are talkative. But it’s important to connect with as many people as possible. 



3. Never miss a chance to share the message



Look for opportunities to share your key message. What is the vision of your classroom or school? What is the focus? Too often we only focus on the ‘why’ behind our work at the start of the school year. We emphasize the mission and the vision. But if we don’t revisit that on a regular basis, the mission will veer off course. One of my #1 goals for next year is to fine-tune our vision, communicate our vision, rinse and repeat. Whatever you think is the right amount of communication to get your message across, triple it.



4. Invite two way communication



Don’t just wait for feedback to come to you. Ask for it. Check in with your students, your parents, your colleagues, everyone. Be curious about how people are experiencing your classroom or school. Ask interesting questions. What’s running smoothly? What could be improved? What skills are you improving? What skills would you like to improve? What have you achieved that makes you proud? What do you need from me to reach your goals? How can I help you?



5. Show acceptance and encouragement



Make your communications more personal. Invite people in. Make them feel like they belong. When people feel accepted, they are more willing to listen. Empathy establishes trust. It says “I accept you.” And empathy provides the foundation for encouragement. Encouragement leads to growth. Encouragement says, “I believe in you.” Encouraging leaders help people take next steps to grow and contribute in more powerful ways. 



6. Activate others to spread the message



Who else can help clarify or repeat the message? If you are the only one sharing a message, you are greatly limiting your reach. As you build your team, give them a nudge about the things that need to be communicated. Model for them the type of communication that is needed. I always encourage our teachers to never miss a chance to say something good about our school. When we activate others to help share the message, it builds bridges between our school and community.



7. Evoke emotion



The most powerful communication is tied to emotion. It’s personal. We feel something. Great leaders don’t just communicate a clear message, they offer a compelling message. They speak not only to the mind, but to the heart. We can have all the information in the world that we should do something, and yet we won’t take action. We are only moved to action when we are moved. We need inspiration. Leaders evoke emotion when they show how much they care, when they reveal their own emotions, and when they help others feel they are part of something important that is making a difference. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.



8. Read Between the Lines



Leaders must have awareness of what’s being communicated even if it’s not being said. The communication through body language, tone of voice, and behavior is telling. Leaders should always work at building awareness and seeking to bring forward meaning that might be hidden or unknown. There are too many times I picked up on signals but brushed them aside, only to find out later that the problem was much bigger than I realized. I want to improve my ability to pick up on underlying concerns before they become serious issues. It’s always best to be proactive rather than reactive.



9. Stay calm and be positive



Anyone who aspires to be a leader will face challenges and be expected to rise to the occasion. Strong leaders are able to face difficult circumstances while remaining calm and positive. No matter what happens, we have a choice how we will respond. We can respond with fear, anxiety, and anger. Or, we can respond with diligence, duty, and action. It doesn’t help to fret the problem. It helps when we rally together to overcome the problem. 



This post was also shared at LeadUpNow.com.



Question: What aspects of communication are most challenging for you? What frustrates you about communication? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More 9 Elements of Effective Communication





Communication is one of the toughest things about leading. You work constantly to improve your verbal, written, and interpersonal skills. You strive to communicate strategically, systematically, and with empathy. You recognize the importance of effective communication with your team, your parents, your community. And yet, the effectiveness of your communication falls flat. It happens to everyone.



One thing that can always be better in just about every organization is communication. I know I need to continue to grow in this area. Clear communication is essential in personal relationships, in classroom settings, and across the entire school community. 



Regardless of whether you are a principal, a teacher, or have another leadership role in your school. You can become a better communicator. It’s something we should always strive to improve. When we are clear with our message and more understanding as listeners, it builds positive culture and improves the learning environment.



One of the most important things for effective communication is situational awareness. Our message is really not about us. It’s about meeting the needs and expectations of others. We have to communicate with the audience in mind, if it’s 1 or 100. It’s important to adapt to the situation and communicate in a way that will meet others in a productive and positive manner.



Let’s be clear, our communication is one way we influence others. Our communication should seek to lift up others, help them be stronger, and ultimately help them exhibit leadership qualities that are helpful to the mission. Sometimes this involves delivering hard truths, setting boundaries, and standing firm. 



As I write this post, I am reminded how much I need to review these principles. I often fall short in communicating effectively and want to continuously strive to improve these skills.



1. Listen more, talk less



Effective communication is not just broadcasting a message. It’s not saying more and saying it louder. Great communicators are great listeners. They really try to understand the perspective of others. They initiate dialogue. Dialogue involves sharing meaning in the conversation. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is full agreement. It just means that both parties are listening with empathy and really trying to understand each other and find areas of common ground.



2. Reach out.



Even though I try to be visible throughout our school, sometimes I find I’m talking to the same people over and over. I need to make sure that I’m communicating regularly with everyone. The same thing can happen in the classroom. It’s easy to engage outgoing students or teachers who are talkative. But it’s important to connect with as many people as possible. 



3. Never miss a chance to share the message



Look for opportunities to share your key message. What is the vision of your classroom or school? What is the focus? Too often we only focus on the ‘why’ behind our work at the start of the school year. We emphasize the mission and the vision. But if we don’t revisit that on a regular basis, the mission will veer off course. One of my #1 goals for next year is to fine-tune our vision, communicate our vision, rinse and repeat. Whatever you think is the right amount of communication to get your message across, triple it.



4. Invite two way communication



Don’t just wait for feedback to come to you. Ask for it. Check in with your students, your parents, your colleagues, everyone. Be curious about how people are experiencing your classroom or school. Ask interesting questions. What’s running smoothly? What could be improved? What skills are you improving? What skills would you like to improve? What have you achieved that makes you proud? What do you need from me to reach your goals? How can I help you?



5. Show acceptance and encouragement



Make your communications more personal. Invite people in. Make them feel like they belong. When people feel accepted, they are more willing to listen. Empathy establishes trust. It says “I accept you.” And empathy provides the foundation for encouragement. Encouragement leads to growth. Encouragement says, “I believe in you.” Encouraging leaders help people take next steps to grow and contribute in more powerful ways. 



6. Activate others to spread the message



Who else can help clarify or repeat the message? If you are the only one sharing a message, you are greatly limiting your reach. As you build your team, give them a nudge about the things that need to be communicated. Model for them the type of communication that is needed. I always encourage our teachers to never miss a chance to say something good about our school. When we activate others to help share the message, it builds bridges between our school and community.



7. Evoke emotion



The most powerful communication is tied to emotion. It’s personal. We feel something. Great leaders don’t just communicate a clear message, they offer a compelling message. They speak not only to the mind, but to the heart. We can have all the information in the world that we should do something, and yet we won’t take action. We are only moved to action when we are moved. We need inspiration. Leaders evoke emotion when they show how much they care, when they reveal their own emotions, and when they help others feel they are part of something important that is making a difference. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.



8. Read Between the Lines



Leaders must have awareness of what’s being communicated even if it’s not being said. The communication through body language, tone of voice, and behavior is telling. Leaders should always work at building awareness and seeking to bring forward meaning that might be hidden or unknown. There are too many times I picked up on signals but brushed them aside, only to find out later that the problem was much bigger than I realized. I want to improve my ability to pick up on underlying concerns before they become serious issues. It’s always best to be proactive rather than reactive.



9. Stay calm and be positive



Anyone who aspires to be a leader will face challenges and be expected to rise to the occasion. Strong leaders are able to face difficult circumstances while remaining calm and positive. No matter what happens, we have a choice how we will respond. We can respond with fear, anxiety, and anger. Or, we can respond with diligence, duty, and action. It doesn’t help to fret the problem. It helps when we rally together to overcome the problem. 



This post was also shared at LeadUpNow.com.



Question: What aspects of communication are most challenging for you? What frustrates you about communication? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More 9 Elements of Effective Communication

Drama, drama, drama…it happens to the best of us! What do you do when you have a conflict with your teams? How about we let Katie Martin and Jeff Zoul answer this! Both have extensive experience in not only working with education peeps, but have led/managed groups of people, which inevitably? Could lead to conflict! […]

The post #12: What if there is a conflict among my team? #askanadmin appeared first on Love, Learn, Lead.

Read More #12: What if there is a conflict among my team? #askanadmin

When I first saw this tweet, it literally made me laugh out loud: A lot has changed since I started teaching in 1999.  This was seemingly my biggest dilemma with technology at the time. It used to be that people wouldn’t admit that they met their partner online and they would make up a story. … [Read more…]

Read More Things Change and Things Stay the Same

One of the most beautiful quotes on religion, that resonates with me, comes from the movie ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’: “What do you think heaven’s like?” It’s like a wedding. God’s the bridegroom and man’s spirit’s the bride. The wedding takes place in heaven… …and everyone’s invited. God’s world is big enough for everyone. […]

Read More Faith in Humanity

One of the most beautiful quotes on religion, that resonates with me, comes from the movie ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’: “What do you think heaven’s like?” It’s like a wedding. God’s the bridegroom and man’s spirit’s the bride. The wedding takes place in heaven… …and everyone’s invited. God’s world is big enough for everyone. […]

Read More Faith in Humanity

I recently heard this term called, “Occam’s Razor”, and I found it quite interesting: Occam’s razor is a principle first developed by the Franciscan friar and philosopher, William of Ockham.…

Read More Education Decision Making Flowchart