Connected Principals Posts

With 2017 upon us, new innovations will continuously develop changing our lives, for what it seems to be the better.  For example, last month Amazon shared this video of their new “Amazon Go” stores: The ease of simply being able to walk into a store, scan your phone, pick up what you need, and then … [Read more…]

Read More The “Change” That is Continuously Inevitable

Every year has its moments, and 2016 was no exception. Various significant shifts occurred, including changes in the political landscape in the United States, United Kingdom, and Turkey. And the…

Read More If we forget to look out of the window.

Trying to get pumped up for 2017, I went a hunt for some awesome inspirational quotes on leadership, being passionate, and working for success. Personally and professionally I have many goals for 2017, and I know others do as well.  As a way to be able to find this inspiration, I decided to put these … [Read more…]

Read More 20 Inspirational Quotes to Start off 2017

Over the break, I have been playing with creating videos, and want to spend more time doing this in 2017. I have been watching different “YouTubers” to understand not only…

Read More 2017 Learning Resolutions #EDU2017

Over the break, I have been playing with creating videos, and want to spend more time doing this in 2017. I have been watching different “YouTubers” to understand not only how they make the videos, but what makes them appealing to others as well.  It is something I am interested in exploring deeper as well … [Read more…]

Read More 2017 Learning Resolutions #EDU2017

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you…for reading, connecting, and sharing with me this past year. It’s inspiring to be in community with so many passionate educators who come together to learn and lift each other up. I am humbled when readers express how an article was inspiring or helpful. I know that I am always learning and growing as I reflect and share with you. Thank you for responding and sharing your thoughts and ideas with me also!



I am looking forward to the new year with great expectation. As one of three 2017 NASSP Digital Principals, I look forward to making new connections and learning from educators across the country. I will remain committed to advocating for relevant and meaningful learning for all. In spite of the challenges we face, educators are working tirelessly to invest in the lives of students. We will continue to do so regardless of political, social, or economic uncertainties.



Here are my top 10 most popular posts from the blog this past year. If you see one you missed, I hope you’ll check it out. 





Five Critical #EdTech Conversations For Your School

Developing a shared vision for technology in your school should include lots of conversations. These conversations should occur among teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders. It’s important to think through the pros and cons of technology use and how technology can play an valuable role in learning.





Does Your Professional Development Honor Teachers as Learners?

For the past couple of years, our school has worked to create a way of supporting professional learning that is more personally meaningful. We were inspired by the idea of So our message was clear. If it might make learning better for students, then pursue it.





9 Pieces of Advice Every Teacher Should Ignore

Every educator has received their share of advice from many well-meaning sources – other teachers, administrators, college professors, parents or even your students. You name it. You may have even received some of the advice on the list below. If so, you might want to ignore it.

7 Questions To Guide Decisions Of School Leaders

Our decisions can have a big impact on the school, learning, and ultimately our students. So it’s very important to make the best decision possible. Of course, I often make decisions and then come to realize later that with different information or a different perspective, I might have acted differently in the situation.

7 Reasons To Use Social Media In Your School (INFOGRAPHIC)

One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. Never before have people been able to connect, share, and learn from one another as we do now. I can only imagine what might be next! As a result, our students need skills to win at life in a digital world.

7 Ways Technology Can Transform Learning (INFOGRAPHIC)

In a previous post, I shared some thoughts on technology integration and how tech in the classroom is too often an add-on or extra and not part of an authentic learning experience. In fact, technology is so vital in today’s world that it’s on par with the school library.

Adaptable Learners Will Own the Future

When I was kid, my Grandpa Geurin bought me a pony. I know that sounds like the type of gift a spoiled rich kid might get. But we were definitely not rich. Grandpa owned a small farm in West Kentucky where he and my grandma worked tirelessly to make a living.

5 Challenges to Your Best School Year Ever

As the new school year is just around the corner, it’s a great chance to commit to making learning more effective and meaningful in your classroom or school. Here are five challenges to make it the best year ever. 1. Greet Your Students at the Door Everyone can make it a point to greet students at the door each day.

Is It Time To Move Past Tech Integration?

What is your school’s mindset surrounding technology use in the classroom? If you’re like a lot of educators, you are probably working to integrate technology into instruction. You might even be discussing the merits of blended learning. But what does it mean to integrate technology? And what is blended learning?

9 Ways to Make Learning Irresistible

True story. The bell rang and nobody moved. How often are students counting down the minutes of each class? They have their eyes on the clock. They start But the underlying message was that learning is “work” and unpleasant and you need a break, so I’ll give you some time later to visit.

Read More The Best Of 2016 From The @DavidGeurin Blog

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you…for reading, connecting, and sharing with me this past year. It’s inspiring to be in community with so many passionate educators who come together to learn and lift each other up. I am humbled when readers express how an article was inspiring or helpful. I know that I am always learning and growing as I reflect and share with you. Thank you for responding and sharing your thoughts and ideas with me also!



I am looking forward to the new year with great expectation. As one of three 2017 NASSP Digital Principals, I look forward to making new connections and learning from educators across the country. I will remain committed to advocating for relevant and meaningful learning for all. In spite of the challenges we face, educators are working tirelessly to invest in the lives of students. We will continue to do so regardless of political, social, or economic uncertainties.



Here are my top 10 most popular posts from the blog this past year. If you see one you missed, I hope you’ll check it out. 





Five Critical #EdTech Conversations For Your School

Developing a shared vision for technology in your school should include lots of conversations. These conversations should occur among teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders. It’s important to think through the pros and cons of technology use and how technology can play an valuable role in learning.





Does Your Professional Development Honor Teachers as Learners?

For the past couple of years, our school has worked to create a way of supporting professional learning that is more personally meaningful. We were inspired by the idea of So our message was clear. If it might make learning better for students, then pursue it.





9 Pieces of Advice Every Teacher Should Ignore

Every educator has received their share of advice from many well-meaning sources – other teachers, administrators, college professors, parents or even your students. You name it. You may have even received some of the advice on the list below. If so, you might want to ignore it.

7 Questions To Guide Decisions Of School Leaders

Our decisions can have a big impact on the school, learning, and ultimately our students. So it’s very important to make the best decision possible. Of course, I often make decisions and then come to realize later that with different information or a different perspective, I might have acted differently in the situation.

7 Reasons To Use Social Media In Your School (INFOGRAPHIC)

One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. Never before have people been able to connect, share, and learn from one another as we do now. I can only imagine what might be next! As a result, our students need skills to win at life in a digital world.

7 Ways Technology Can Transform Learning (INFOGRAPHIC)

In a previous post, I shared some thoughts on technology integration and how tech in the classroom is too often an add-on or extra and not part of an authentic learning experience. In fact, technology is so vital in today’s world that it’s on par with the school library.

Adaptable Learners Will Own the Future

When I was kid, my Grandpa Geurin bought me a pony. I know that sounds like the type of gift a spoiled rich kid might get. But we were definitely not rich. Grandpa owned a small farm in West Kentucky where he and my grandma worked tirelessly to make a living.

5 Challenges to Your Best School Year Ever

As the new school year is just around the corner, it’s a great chance to commit to making learning more effective and meaningful in your classroom or school. Here are five challenges to make it the best year ever. 1. Greet Your Students at the Door Everyone can make it a point to greet students at the door each day.

Is It Time To Move Past Tech Integration?

What is your school’s mindset surrounding technology use in the classroom? If you’re like a lot of educators, you are probably working to integrate technology into instruction. You might even be discussing the merits of blended learning. But what does it mean to integrate technology? And what is blended learning?

9 Ways to Make Learning Irresistible

True story. The bell rang and nobody moved. How often are students counting down the minutes of each class? They have their eyes on the clock. They start But the underlying message was that learning is “work” and unpleasant and you need a break, so I’ll give you some time later to visit.

Read More The Best Of 2016 From The @DavidGeurin Blog

Today I tweeted this article: Thoughts? – Technologies That Will Define the Classroom of the Future https://t.co/XnFCPlER4r — George Couros (@gcouros) December 28, 2016 As educators, we should always be aware…

Read More Technology Will Not Redefine Schools

Today I tweeted this article: Thoughts? – Technologies That Will Define the Classroom of the Future https://t.co/XnFCPlER4r — George Couros (@gcouros) December 28, 2016 As educators, we should always be aware of what is going on in the world, and not be in a state of a perpetual “catch-up”. I appreciated the author sharing these eight … [Read more…]

Read More Technology Will Not Redefine Schools



There are a number of visuals like the one above that illustrate some distinctions between a boss and a leader. I bet you can think of a specific person who characterizes the boss list. This type of person tends to make big impression. You can probably also think of someone who exhibits the leader qualities. You probably admire that person. Of course, these are illustrations intended for the workplace, not the classroom.



Clearly, they are relevant to school administrators, but I’m also thinking they can be applied to classroom leaders as well, aka teachers. In fact, they can apply to anyone charged with leading people and charged with getting something done.



Here’s another. This one is similar but contrasting management vs. leadership.





Source: Verma and Wideman (1994)

Most everyone would agree leadership is a top priority in moving any group of people toward a desired outcome or goal. But in education we use the term classroom management frequently to refer to how teachers get things done in the classroom. Some educators actually reject the term. They would say you manage things (grading papers) and you lead people (students). 



But I’m not overly concerned about using the term classroom management as long as we can work from a shared understanding of the meaning. To me, it’s all about the things we do to create a positive and productive learning culture in the classroom.



But that will never happen just by managing. If we rely on the lists in the left columns without having the necessary leadership qualities, we are doomed to failure. Sure, some students will still learn, but the overall classroom learning culture will not thrive. And there will be little passion or inspiration for learning.



But on the other hand, if we don’t also establish some ‘management’ qualities to go with leadership, we may have great ideas and willing students but a lack of specific steps to achieve the goal.



Although several items from each column have value in context, I would always choose leaders over managers. Most everyone leans one way or another.



In fact, most every problem that persists in the classroom is at its root a leadership issue. That is not to blame the ‘leader’ but to say that if an ongoing problem is to be overcome it will usually happen by good leadership and not through better management.



Here are 7 Reasons ‘Classroom Leadership’ Is Better Than ‘Classroom Management.’



1. Establishing a Vision for Learning



Leaders create a vision for learning. They communicate why the learning is important. Better yet, they help followers (students) unpack for themselves how and why the learning is important. When there is a clear vision, students will be empowered to move toward aims without having to be pushed there forcefully.



How are you clarifying a vision of learning for your students?

2. Building Strong Relationships 



Building positive relationships is essential to establishing a positive classroom learning culture. Leaders develop a ‘we’ feeling with students. Students feel safe, connected, like they belong. Every student feels like they are valued. The leader doesn’t use fear as a motivator. Instead, they rely on relationship building to correct and guide.



How can you commit to building stronger relationships with your students?



3. Generating Enthusiasm



Leaders are inspiring and energizing. They have passion for what they are doing and it’s contagious. They encourage others to come along on the learning journey. Managers don’t think about the energy they bring. They rely more on structure and organization to be efficient. Efficiency is more important than passion to the manager. 



What are ways you show enthusiasm not only for your subject but also for your students?



4. Building Trust 



When trust is lost, it does incredible damage. A leader is careful to ensure students don’t feel disrespected, overlooked, or misunderstood. When things go wrong, leaders help to shoulder blame. And when things go right, they are willing to share the credit. Leaders are quick to forgive. And work to repair a relationship that is hurting.



Will you protect the dignity of each child in your classroom?



5. Honest and Clear Communication



Even if you establish great, trusting relationships with students, you won’t have a strong learning culture unless you are communicating effectively. Sometimes this includes delivering hard truth to students. Sometimes it means standing firm. Setting boundaries. Giving consequences. However, consequences are never as effective as communication for establishing a positive change.



Are you consistently communicating with students and clarifying the classroom norms and expectations?



6. Leading By Example



Managers don’t feel the need to set an example. They view their role as making sure the kids are doing what they’re supposed to, but don’t look at their own actions. Leaders have high expectations for themselves. They start with the person in the mirror. They model the types of behaviors and mindsets they want to see in others.





How are you modeling the values you want to establish in your classroom?



7. Being Proactive vs. Reactive



Managers react. Leaders prevent. Managers focus on what just happened. Leaders focus on what will happen next. An effective leader anticipates the needs of followers and works to stay in front of problems. 



In what ways are being proactive in building a learning culture rather than being reactive when the culture goes off the tracks?



Question: What are your thoughts on building a learning culture in your classroom or school? What would you add to the thinking I’ve shared? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or share on Facebook or Twitter.





Read More 7 Reasons ‘Classroom Leadership’ Is Better Than ‘Classroom Management’ {Infographic}



There are a number of visuals like the one above that illustrate some distinctions between a boss and a leader. I bet you can think of a specific person who characterizes the boss list. This type of person tends to make big impression. You can probably also think of someone who exhibits the leader qualities. You probably admire that person. Of course, these are illustrations intended for the workplace, not the classroom.



Clearly, they are relevant to school administrators, but I’m also thinking they can be applied to classroom leaders as well, aka teachers. In fact, they can apply to anyone charged with leading people and charged with getting something done.



Here’s another. This one is similar but contrasting management vs. leadership.





Source: Verma and Wideman (1994)

Most everyone would agree leadership is a top priority in moving any group of people toward a desired outcome or goal. But in education we use the term classroom management frequently to refer to how teachers get things done in the classroom. Some educators actually reject the term. They would say you manage things (grading papers) and you lead people (students). 



But I’m not overly concerned about using the term classroom management as long as we can work from a shared understanding of the meaning. To me, it’s all about the things we do to create a positive and productive learning culture in the classroom.



But that will never happen just by managing. If we rely on the lists in the left columns without having the necessary leadership qualities, we are doomed to failure. Sure, some students will still learn, but the overall classroom learning culture will not thrive. And there will be little passion or inspiration for learning.



But on the other hand, if we don’t also establish some ‘management’ qualities to go with leadership, we may have great ideas and willing students but a lack of specific steps to achieve the goal.



Although several items from each column have value in context, I would always choose leaders over managers. Most everyone leans one way or another.



In fact, most every problem that persists in the classroom is at its root a leadership issue. That is not to blame the ‘leader’ but to say that if an ongoing problem is to be overcome it will usually happen by good leadership and not through better management.



Here are 7 Reasons ‘Classroom Leadership’ Is Better Than ‘Classroom Management.’



1. Establishing a Vision for Learning



Leaders create a vision for learning. They communicate why the learning is important. Better yet, they help followers (students) unpack for themselves how and why the learning is important. When there is a clear vision, students will be empowered to move toward aims without having to be pushed there forcefully.



How are you clarifying a vision of learning for your students?

2. Building Strong Relationships 



Building positive relationships is essential to establishing a positive classroom learning culture. Leaders develop a ‘we’ feeling with students. Students feel safe, connected, like they belong. Every student feels like they are valued. The leader doesn’t use fear as a motivator. Instead, they rely on relationship building to correct and guide.



How can you commit to building stronger relationships with your students?



3. Generating Enthusiasm



Leaders are inspiring and energizing. They have passion for what they are doing and it’s contagious. They encourage others to come along on the learning journey. Managers don’t think about the energy they bring. They rely more on structure and organization to be efficient. Efficiency is more important than passion to the manager. 



What are ways you show enthusiasm not only for your subject but also for your students?



4. Building Trust 



When trust is lost, it does incredible damage. A leader is careful to ensure students don’t feel disrespected, overlooked, or misunderstood. When things go wrong, leaders help to shoulder blame. And when things go right, they are willing to share the credit. Leaders are quick to forgive. And work to repair a relationship that is hurting.



Will you protect the dignity of each child in your classroom?



5. Honest and Clear Communication



Even if you establish great, trusting relationships with students, you won’t have a strong learning culture unless you are communicating effectively. Sometimes this includes delivering hard truth to students. Sometimes it means standing firm. Setting boundaries. Giving consequences. However, consequences are never as effective as communication for establishing a positive change.



Are you consistently communicating with students and clarifying the classroom norms and expectations?



6. Leading By Example



Managers don’t feel the need to set an example. They view their role as making sure the kids are doing what they’re supposed to, but don’t look at their own actions. Leaders have high expectations for themselves. They start with the person in the mirror. They model the types of behaviors and mindsets they want to see in others.





How are you modeling the values you want to establish in your classroom?



7. Being Proactive vs. Reactive



Managers react. Leaders prevent. Managers focus on what just happened. Leaders focus on what will happen next. An effective leader anticipates the needs of followers and works to stay in front of problems. 



In what ways are being proactive in building a learning culture rather than being reactive when the culture goes off the tracks?



Question: What are your thoughts on building a learning culture in your classroom or school? What would you add to the thinking I’ve shared? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or share on Facebook or Twitter.





Read More 7 Reasons ‘Classroom Leadership’ Is Better Than ‘Classroom Management’ {Infographic}

This week’s post is more personal than school leadership related. Recently, my wife’s father-in-law, David L. Fulbright, passed away. He was a former teacher, minister, and counselor. He was also a great story-teller and Papa. As the family sat by his bedside in his remaining hours, I had some quiet moments that brought back memories […]

Read More PMP Bonus 02: “Bee Stings” And Thoughts on Life & Death

In my post, “4 Non-Negotiables for Schools“, I wrote that the first one was the most important: 1. They are a welcoming and warm environment. As someone who goes into schools often, I can get a feeling of the culture within a few minutes. Whether it is talking to the secretary, or seeing what is on … [Read more…]

Read More “…in the service of the right aims”

In a previous post, “4 Non-Negotiables for Schools“, I shared what I believe should be evident in all schools: Charlie Hutzler, summed it up nicely on Twitter: ✔ #Climate ✔ Develop whole child ✔ Model #learning ✔ Stoke #curiosity 4 Non-Negotiables for Schools @gcouros https://t.co/gzVEeew3E3 #edchat — Charlie Hutzler (@CAHutzler) December 18, 2016 What I … [Read more…]

Read More A Vision for the “4 Non-Negotiables for All Schools”

This is a dual-post including a podcast interview with Principal Adam Beauchamp who shares the digital tools his school is using for enhancing communication. Adam shared with me via a recent webinar on Communication Strategies that Work. If you want to see the Webinar, you can watch it here. I’m also including a companion blog […]

Read More PMP 047: Interview with Adam Beauchamp, Oklahoma Digital Principal