Category: Relationships First

Top 10 Tips for Leading in a Crisis

This past week an episode from the Innovator’s Mindset podcast came out that I was privileged to be a part of.  The interview was from the very beginning of Illinois’ Stay at Home order that resulted in our school buildings shutting down and switching to remote learning.  Listening to it has been a wonderful reflection tool

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Coaching During a Crisis

Click Here for the Audio Version of this Post Like the rest of the world, education has been deeply impacted by COVID-19.  From the ways that we build classroom community to instructional practice itself, we are reinventing, experimenting, and remixing almost everything we do.   Even the most technologically savvy of us weren’t prepared for the

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Learning Along the Way

I have to admit this is the third post I have attempted to write in the past few weeks since we have been home due to COVID-19. Wanting to write something meaningful, but going through the same struggles as many in adjusting to a new normal has given me pause.  I’ve had some wonderful moments

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Sometimes You Just Need to Go All Gerry Brooks

Roses are red. Violets are blue. I need a break, how about you? It’s February.  As much as routines are in place and students are usually flying academically this time of year, it can also be an extra stressful time with second-trimester report cards around the corner, summative evaluation meetings, and students pushing limits with

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Compassion Fatigue

If you’re in education you’ve probably either heard of or experienced ” teacher burn-out,” a condition that results from being over-worked or under-valued or the experience of a disconnect between the work you required to do with the truths you know to be true about teaching.  This Wednesday my social worker gave a presentation to

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Tapping Into the Strengths of Your Staff

So I used to think that there was some magical formula or a needed in-depth plan to building capacity and strengths of others as a leader, but the longer I am a principal (I know a whopping 6 months) the more I realize this isn’t necessarily true.  This week my reading specialist came to me

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What are Your Blind Spots?

I had the privilege of attending an amazing workshop on Monday with author and researcher Jane Kise.  It was a part of our Elmhurst D205 Professional Learning Strand initiative where teachers get to pick one topic and delve deeply into it throughout the year.  Her presentation was part of the Teacher Leadership cohort, but could

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The Paralyzing Effect of Stress

This week was not a stellar one for me.  I found myself in the familiar place of adulthood where there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.  I followed none of the advice I know is best and instead retreated into my office for large portions of the day, worked

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The Evolution of Parent Communication

I’ve been reflecting this week a lot about some conversations I’ve had recently with staff about parent communication.  In Elmhurst, we have something called, “Acceleration Block.”  It is a time when we group students based on a specific learning standard or need and plan learning experiences to accelerate their growth in that area.  In previous

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How Administrators Can Support Teacher Leaders in Their Schools

Jeffery E. Frieden, an educator, and blogger I greatly admire put out this tweet in February: I have to admit the first time I read it I thought to myself, what on earth would cause an administrator to not support the efforts of a staff member to create meaningful change for students?? Since I began

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