Connected Principals Posts

There are a lot of tweets on Twitter, or things heard at conferences or in staff rooms, that can make educators feel guilty about how they do their job. I am sure that I am guilty of tweeting or saying something in the past that might have caused this feeling of educators but my intent, … [Read more…]

Read More 3 Tips on Dealing with “Teacher-Stress”



The answer to the question seems obvious, don’t you think? Of course, educators should be lifelong learners. 



But I recently heard an education leader give a presentation where he made a claim that expecting educators to be lifelong learners, at least in the sense of attending PD or reading on their own time, was unrealistic. 



Basically, he suggested that nobody has time for that. There are too many demands on teachers as it is. I found it interesting that in spite of his claim, he also shared he is currently writing a book for educators.



He suggested the best way for professional educators to learn was through experience and by reflecting on experience with others. And I agree, that is one way to learn.



He added that when he interviewed for open positions and candidates shared about being lifelong learners, that he didn’t believe it for a minute. The universities are simply coaching their pre-service teachers on keywords they need to use in interviews.



My thinking is quite different on this issue. A big problem I see in schools is that too few are making time for their own professional reading and growth. Most people become satisfied with a certain level of effectiveness in their life, work, relationships, etc. and then hit cruise control. They don’t continue to push the limits of their own possibilities.



But that’s not the way strive for your potential, and it’s not the way to become the most effective, fulfilled educator you can be.



So here are some of my thoughts about continuous learning for educators…



1. The quickest way to improve a school is for the people inside the school to work on improving themselves. When you individually learn more as an educator, your students win, and your whole school wins too. You make your school stronger by your growth.



2. People who don’t make time for reading and growing will never break through their current capacity. They may get a little better, but they won’t experience new levels of capacity. They won’t have breakthroughs



Why? Because they are limited to their own perspective. As John Maxwell said, “Some of my best thinking is done by others.” I learn so much from what some of the leading thinkers are writing and sharing.



3. I suggest the 5-hour-rule as a great way to learn and grow. Spend at least 5 hours per week reading to build your capacity. Many of the world’s busiest and most successful people are consistent readers. 



4. The most common excuse for not reading is not having enough time. But we make time for what’s important. We all have the same number of hours in the day. And I’m wondering if most of the same people complaining about not having enough time are finding plenty of time for Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook?



5. Seth Godin suggests the more professional your field, the more important it is to stay current. If we seek to raise the standing of education as a top profession, we need to strive to learn like other top professions.



6. You wouldn’t want a surgeon operating on you who hasn’t read the latest journals about the procedures he’s performing. You want the best techniques. And your students deserve the best techniques too.



7. One of the best ways to carve our time for reading is to make it part of your morning routine. When you start the day focused on your own growth, you’ll be better able to help your students with their growth.



Are you making time for your reading and growth? How do you find the time? Do you believe educators should be lifelong learners? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

Read More Should All Educators Be Lifelong Learners?

As people are starting to staff or think about staffing for the next year, this is a story I thought about it recently… Years ago,  I had an interview for a job in a small school.  I felt comfortable about the interview and walked out really confident that I would be the best candidate.  About a … [Read more…]

Read More Finding the Best Fit for the Culture of a School

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

I wanted to try something a little different today… I was recently at a New York Knicks game, and they had a cool video during an intermission break.  “App Madness” was an ode to the “March Madness” basketball tournament and one of the New York Knicks’ players listed their top 8 apps used and which … [Read more…]

Read More Who wins your #AppMadnessChallenge bracket?

You want to try something new in your school or classroom and it seems hard to make your vision into a reality.  Here are a few quick questions that might help you through the process. Is this opportunity best for the learners you serve? This question is meant to “centre” the focus of what we … [Read more…]

Read More 3 Questions to Help Leverage Barriers in Education

Have you ever felt overwhelmed in trying to balance priorities? If you’re like me, you can probably think of more than once where student discipline, parent concerns, and teacher feedback provided you more tasks than you could complete in a day. No matter whether you are a new principal or a veteran leader, here’s a […]

Read More PMP:146 Good Habits for Balancing Priorities

For those of you who don’t know Lilly Singh, she is a very successful “YouTuber” that was just announced as the new host of an NBC late night talk show and is Canadian! Here is the first line of her Wikipedia page: Lilly Singh (born September 26, 1988) is a Canadian YouTuber, comedian, television host, and actress widely … [Read more…]

Read More Dream Big, Work Hard, Stay the (Bumpy) Course

For those of you who don’t know Lilly Singh, she is a very successful “YouTuber” that was just announced as the new host of an NBC late night talk show and is Canadian! Here is the first line of her Wikipedia page: Lilly Singh (born September 26, 1988) is a Canadian YouTuber, comedian, television host, and actress widely … [Read more…]

Read More Dream Big, Work Hard, Stay the (Bumpy) Course

I am playing with some ideas in my head, so I am “writing to learn” in this post instead of writing to share my learning.  Bear with me as I…

Read More Somewhere in the Middle

I am playing with some ideas in my head, so I am “writing to learn” in this post instead of writing to share my learning.  Bear with me as I work through this post. I have been playing around with this term in my head of “Education Centrist” and wondering what that term means for … [Read more…]

Read More Somewhere in the Middle