Connected Principals Posts

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

I am sitting in a Starbucks, and focusing on writing.  I tend to come to this place because I know the taste of what I am going to drink, and…

Read More Human Disconnection

I am sitting in a Starbucks, and focusing on writing.  I tend to come to this place because I know the taste of what I am going to drink, and I also know that I can work with people in my vision, but in isolation with no interruption.  I like the “routine” of it all, … [Read more…]

Read More Human Disconnection

I am sitting in a Starbucks, and focusing on writing.  I tend to come to this place because I know the taste of what I am going to drink, and I also know that I can work with people in my vision, but in isolation with no interruption.  I like the “routine” of it all, … [Read more…]

Read More Human Disconnection

The article, “How Education Takes Itself Too Seriously” by Jennifer Nicole, is one that could push your thinking and starts with an interesting paragraph: Education has become a system that revolves around the needs of the adults instead of the needs of the children. We focus on curriculum, assessment, and technology. We focus on content, instruction, … [Read more…]

Read More Invest in the People that Invest in Students

This article, “9 Simple Ways to Improve Your Life in 9 Short Days,” has some excellent advice that could benefit many, educators and students alike.  The first paragraphs on “success” struck me: Successful people live by a different set of rules. Collecting accolades, reaching the top of the corporate ladder, or acquiring riches isn’t as important … [Read more…]

Read More 3 Important Questions Regarding “Success” in Schools

This article, “9 Simple Ways to Improve Your Life in 9 Short Days,” has some excellent advice that could benefit many, educators and students alike.  The first paragraphs on “success” struck me: Successful people live by a different set of rules. Collecting accolades, reaching the top of the corporate ladder, or acquiring riches isn’t as important … [Read more…]

Read More 3 Important Questions Regarding “Success” in Schools

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

From the article, “Why reading 100 books a year won’t make you successful.” Personal development books are only as helpful as the action we take after reading them. All the…

Read More What do you do with what you know?

From the article, “Why reading 100 books a year won’t make you successful.” Personal development books are only as helpful as the action we take after reading them. All the methodologies and frameworks in the world won’t impact us if we can’t process them properly. Elon Musk and co., attribute their success to reading because … [Read more…]

Read More What do you do with what you know?

From the article, “Why reading 100 books a year won’t make you successful.” Personal development books are only as helpful as the action we take after reading them. All the methodologies and frameworks in the world won’t impact us if we can’t process them properly. Elon Musk and co., attribute their success to reading because … [Read more…]

Read More What do you do with what you know?

  A friend, and former colleague, Les Worthington, wrote the following Facebook post (shared with permission): While standing in line at a store today a young man approached me and said, “Hello Mr. Worthington.” He has grown a lot since I saw him last (+/-5 years), and I didn’t recognize him (I guess I’ve aged … [Read more…]

Read More The Patience and Persistence Needed for Our Students



Earlier this week, I was speaking at What Great Educators Do Differently in Houston. It was a fantastic event with a great lineup of inspiring education leaders.



My topic was Great Educators are Risk-Takers and Difference-Makers! When I have the opportunity to work with school districts or speak at conferences, I want to remind educators that we’re educating kids for the world they’ll live in and not the world we grew up in.



It’s an central message in my book, Future Driven



The world is changing faster than ever and schools need to be changing too. I always ask, “Is your school a time capsule (static) or a time machine (dynamic)?” We can’t afford to teach to a test or simply prepare kids for the next grade level, or even college or career. We’re preparing them for life and anything they might face.



We can’t continue to prize student achievement while ignoring the critical importance of student agency. Kids need more opportunities to make decisions and take initiative. We need to develop future leaders and passionate learners, not just proficient test takers.



And the only way that will happen is by allowing teachers to have the needed professional autonomy to be risk-takers and difference-makers. Educators must have the freedom to take initiative and make decisions. They need the flexibility to use their strengths and bring their passions into their classrooms.



But I also want to challenge educators. What are you doing with the autonomy you have? Are you pushing limits? Are you challenging the status quo? Are you creating extraordinary learning opportunities that prepare students for a complex, unpredictable world? If we’re going to crush student apathy, we have to start with addressing teacher apathy. We have to show up strong!



Here are 5 Future Driven questions to think about with your team…



1. What will students need to thrive in a complex, unpredictable world? (addressing rapid change)



2. How can our school better meet the unique needs of today’s kids? (kids are dealing with new issues/pressures)



3. How can we create a place where kids who resist school are empowered to love learning? (compliance vs. empowered learning)



4. Do teachers have the autonomy they need to create deeper learning? (teacher agency)



5. Do students have opportunities to pursue and explore their own questions? (inquiry)



6. Are students expected to create and innovate in your classroom? (critical thinking, problem-solving)



7. How are students helping others through what they’re learning? (empathy, service)



What other future driven questions do you think are relevant for educators to discuss? It’s amazing how questions can help us make the best decisions. I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter

Read More 7 Future Driven Questions to Discuss With Your Team

I have discussed the importance of relationships in education and see them as the core of excellent teaching and learning.  It is not that I choose relationships over teaching and…

Read More The Importance of Value and Purpose

I have discussed the importance of relationships in education and see them as the core of excellent teaching and learning.  It is not that I choose relationships over teaching and learning (relationships are not enough), but I know you can get more done with them than you can do without that relationship in place.  I know that … [Read more…]

Read More The Importance of Value and Purpose

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