Rick Dufour’s Brave Fight

  It brings everything into clearer focus and allows us to see the what’s really important through the noise. When someone is fighting for their life, someone you know and respect, the way they conduct themselves has a powerful effect on your own approach to life. I am speaking of Rick Dufour, former Principal, Superintendent,…

Continue Reading

Is the Principal Your “Pal”?

It was painfully obvious as I talked with Kindergarten students that they already had an impression of the Principal on the second day of school. I did not even know their names yet. I’ve had no chance to interact with them. Yet, they saw me as the man they don’t want to see. The old…

Continue Reading

The Couch Effect of Handheld Media

I have been blessed to have many opportunities to learn from colleagues throughout the country. Last week I concluded the latest meeting of the standing committee of Principals for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In the midst of numerous assessments impacting our schools, NAEP is one of the oldest and most respected, having…

Continue Reading

The Knoster Model and Change in Schools

While on a much needed vacation yesterday in Vermont, the discussion at lunch with one of my nephews centered on the dual role any leader has in keeping the “trains running on time” and finding the time and energy to move the vision forward simultaneously. Excellent leaders can do both but too many of us…

Continue Reading

10 Summer Tips for Principals

Clapping the kids out on the last day of school Summer is a bonus for school administrators. We are given the gift of time to accomplish tasks that simply cannot be completed during the school year commotion. But with adrenaline flowing out of our bodies by the end of June, we have to be careful…

Continue Reading

How Should We Celebrate?

    Last night I attended the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards, known informally as the “EDies”. The event is corporately sponsored by McDonalds and various educational companies, while co-sponsored by our local colleges and universities and our state’s professional organizations (such as NHASCD). These diverse organizations pick yearly winners to represent the “best”…

Continue Reading

In Need of Wellness

   The view from Great Bay, Seacoast New Hampshire – my hike this weekend Yesterday was a rare day for me. I did less than one hour of “work” and spent much of my day engaged in relaxing activities and enjoying my family. I must confess that I love Memorial Day weekend, mostly from my…

Continue Reading

Nepal Needs Help

  Courtesy of DZI Foundation (https://dzi.org/)   How different can two lives be while existing on this same earth? Today, while working from home during spring break, I wrote up a teacher observation, added pictures to our school website and answered a ton of email. In the late afternoon, my wife and I strolled around the…

Continue Reading

Different Kinds of Data

    Nothing has changed more in our field than the way we assess students in our public schools. Intuition ruled the day back in the 80s when I began in education. We relied largely on our own instincts (which were generally pretty accurate) but we had little quantitative data to back things up. We…

Continue Reading