Connected Principals Posts

For most of the summer I have been working on a book with Bill Ferriter and Jason Ramsden entitled Essentials for Principals: Social Media.  The book will be published by…

Read More Personal Learning Networks 101

Choose your position: Are you a gatekeeper, policemen, guard… or teacher? All these jobs are necessary, but which one belongs in schools? Choose your battle: Filters that also filter learning…

Read More Choose Your Battle

As the the national push for uniform standards and increased emphasis on standardized testing continues to push out the various electives offered to engage students, I am worried that public…

Read More The Importance of Relevance

Today  is opening day for teachers! Exclamation mark! As a teacher as I was always curious about what messages our principal would be sharing with us on opening day. As…

Read More Searching for Answers

A week ago I wrote a post asking “How Do Principals Need To Change?” At the end of the post I promised to share the responses with my fellow administrators…

Read More A Priority List For Principals

I’ve touched on this topic before but it has been brought back to the forefront of my attention after Alan November’s speech last week at Convocation that threw Facebook back into…

Read More Friend, foe, or strong leader?

I posted this last school year.  Bullying is an issue that robs students of dignity and the right to an education in an environment that is safe and nurturing.  I…

Read More An Issue That Cannot Be Ignored

“It’s what’s best for kids.” Have you heard an administrator use this phrase to justify decisions? Did you think, “Cliche.” Or, “Easy for her to say.” Or, “How convenient, no…

Read More What’s best for kids?

I firmly believe that “It takes a community to raise a child” and so without cooperation and communication between a school and their parent community, ‘we’ cannot fully support our…

Read More Parents as Partners

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Seneca For many, the new school year has already begun. For others, we are in…

Read More Charting Your Course

I was inspired to write this post after reading Kelly Christopherson’s blog post on his first days of school with his staff.  This is a really important day to set…

Read More Our First Days; The Gift of Time

This is a post inspired by blogging friend and colleague Josie Holford, who did a great post last month on the topic Advice for New Teachers. (Josie belongs here on Connected Principals).    Let me quote a couple of my favorite of her points before adding my own.

  1. Assume that your older colleagues want to be helpful and see you succeed. This includes administrators. Invite them to your classroom. Ask their opinion. Ask to see them teach – or whatever it is they do. See if you can find a project of theirs in which you can participate.
  2. Sign on to Twitter. Follow the smartest people you can find in your areas of interest. Build a great PLN – personal learning network – of the wisest and most helpful people you can find. Follow people with whom you agree and those who challenge your assumptions.  Follow people like you; follow people not like you. One place to start looking: Twitter for Teachers wiki.
  3. Take advantage of the opportunity to work with students outside the classroom – clubs, teams, school trips.
  4. Learn from failure, learn from practice, learn from collaboration with colleagues, learn from theory. Most of all – stay a learner.  [One of your chief roles in the classroom is as Chief Learner, not just Chief of Learning] And here is Cybrary Man’s website of resources for new teachers. He is Jerry Blumengarten and twitters @cybraryman1 .

Thanks Josie: And now some of my own to add (readers, please add your own by using the comment box).

1. This can be counter-intuitive and counter to how you were taught, but try this:  Problems first.  Invert the normal paradigm where we used to deliver the content, information, and skills first, and then ask the questions. Ask the questions, pose the problems at the outset, and then envision yourself a mountain climbing guide roped in with your students as you facilitate them in climbing up the mountain that is the challenge.  (See Ted McCain’s Teaching for Tomorrow for a fuller discussion of this). Read More Advice for New Teachers