Author: William Parker

Last week Jen Schwanke and I answered questions from podcast listeners. Listen to Part 1 here. This week we take three more questions from principals on parenting, women in leadership, and professional growth. Here’s our feedback, or you can listen to the entire conversation on the podcast: Question 1: How do you manage being a […]

Read More PMP161: Answers to Principal Matters Questions, Part 2

Recently, several questions came from Principal Matters community members. This week, Jen Schwanke, principal and author, joined me to answer several questions from principals or aspiring principals. Here are a three questions we take time to discuss and respond to: Question 1: Finding my first principal position… Hello! I have just completed my masters program […]

Read More PMP160: Answers to Principal Matters Questions, Part 1

A few nights ago I was sitting in a theater with my wife watching the movie, Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I do want to say I was completely affected by the nostalgia and its focus on the legacy of Beatles music. In fact, […]

Read More PMP158: Why Telling Your Own Story Matters

Jenny is a returning student at her high school. She has a part-time job which keeps her up late most nights. When she arrives late to school, she has already missed breakfast and she’s tardy. She stands in a long line at the counseling office until she is given her class schedule. She reads it […]

Read More PMP157: Preparing for the Start-of-School Year

When my family recently visited the Rocky Mountain National Park, we enjoyed drives through snow-peaked mountains.  But my 13-year old son, Jack, was most excited about hiking and climbing. One morning, we gathered the family by Shadow Mountain Lake, and began a hike along the lake that eventually led to a 3-mile ascent to a […]

Read More PMP156: 6 Tips for Managing School-Wide Changes

Two years ago, my oldest daughter graduated from the high school where I was principal. When she headed off to college that fall, it was a mix of celebration and grief on my part. Recently, Jen Schwanke and I co-hosted two podcast episodes on Parenting as Principals. You can check them out here: Part 1 […]

Read More PMPEncore077: Four Tips for Dads as Principals

This week’s post is an encore episode I shared a couple of years ago. Since I’m enjoying some vacation, I thought I would remind you why your time away from school may help you better serve your school. Regardless of whether someone is an educator or not, or whether your vacation time is long or […]

Read More PMPEncore028: Four Reasons Your Vacation Matters

When I was in junior high school, everyone on my basketball team wore Converse high-tops. Yes, that means I’m officially from the 70’s! I’ll never forget mine: They were the color of golden-rod, and I was so proud of them that I never wore them outside the gym because I didn’t want to scuff them up. […]

Read More PMP:Encore090 Branding Your School with Marlena Gross-Taylor

A few years ago, we had a lockdown drill at the high school where I was principal. Local police had called to say they were aware of a potential threat against our school on social media. They were locating the person of interest in a location outside the school community but wanted us to lockdown […]

Read More PMP155: Parenting as Principals – Do’s and Don’ts, Part 2

Oklahoma has experienced its share of storms and severe weather this spring. The other day, our family was sitting in our storm closet as sirens were sounding at 6:30AM. Afterwards, I was driving my seventh-grade son, Jack, to school. As we approached the school, I began to predict how his principals would manage the morning. […]

Read More PMP154: Parenting as Principals – Do’s and Don’ts, Part 1

When Principal Jen Schwanke was talking to one of her teachers about the importance of balance, her teacher asked an honest question. “Why should I do this when you don’t?”  Jen realized then that she had been modeling bad habits for her teachers. For instance, when she sent emails to teachers at 10:00 PM, she […]

Read More PMP153: Maintaining Balance and Focusing on What Matters, Part 2

We just celebrated Mother’s Day. This time of year is a good reminder that our families play such an important role in our lives outside of school. No matter how many principals I visit, one conversation comes up often: how to maintain balance and stay focused on what matters even while leading a school. Although […]

Read More PMP152: Maintaining Balance and Staying Focused on What Matters

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting Norman High School, in Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Scott Beck was recently named Oklahoma’s High School Principal of the Year, and I wanted to touch-base with him and tour his school. From the moment I entered the building until I left, I was impressed – not just […]

Read More PMP151: Hiring & Retaining High Quality Teachers, Part 2

Recently, the teachers at Indian Run Elementary, in Dublin, Ohio, organized a “Flash TACO bar” – a spontaneous buffet meal where they shared great food and fun together. As principal of the school, Jen Schwanke reflects on the joy and creativity of her teachers: they not only love teaching but they also enjoy working together. […]

Read More PMP:150 Hiring High Quality Educators, Part 1

A few years ago, I sat across my desk from a student whose father had abandoned him and left the state. A family in our community had taken in the young man, and our school had been in contact with the Department of Human Services on what to do next. That morning I had been […]

Read More PMPEncore109: The Power of One Caring Adult with Josh Shipp

Spring time is here, and the landscape is green with new growth. Ironically, my wife told me that by the spring of each school year, she has decided that our marriage is falling apart, our kids all need counseling, and we have chosen to the wrong places to live, work, etc.   In other words, […]

Read More PMP: 149 Managing Adult Conflicts, Part 2

One of the biggest surprises for new school leaders is the often unexpected but frequent conflicts that arise with adults. Whether you are encountering conflicts with parents, colleagues or community members, these situations can be difficult to manage. Even experienced principals will tell you that managing conflicts is one of their most challenging but important […]

Read More PMP:148 Managing Adult Conflict

When you think about providing professional development, do you feel stressed or excited? For many principals, providing professional development can be a daunting task. The good news is that professional development can become something that is meaningful and enjoyable when you realize you no longer have to be the expert. Instead, together with your school […]

Read More PMP:147 Providing Focused Professional Development