Sunday, November 23, 2014

#PrincipalPLN Episode 50: Thankful

In this episode we discuss what we do for Thanksgiving and the importance of showing gratitude for teachers.  How do you show your teachers that you appreciate them? We're committing to write 2 thank you cards to teachers a day until Christmas to express our gratitude.

An idea shared on Twitter:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

#PrincipalPLN Episode 47: Conquering Email with Curt Rees

In this episode we are joined by Curt Rees, Elementary Principal and Recess Kickball legend in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Curt’s school is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a model school for their implementation of Response to Intervention.  Curt is also a current doctoral student at UKSTL. You can find Curt online at @CurtRees and Curt is also mentioned in chapter 4 of Spike’s book, Connected Leadership.

Some of Curt's Email Wisdom:
Don’t sit down and browse email. Sit down and “crank” through them when you’re ready to work on them. Don’t touch an email more than once. Decide on your action for it once you read it. If it takes more than 2 minutes to respond, he sends it to his to-do app (OmniFocus) to schedule when to work on it. Don’t let a read email sit in your inbox, schedule it and get it out of your inbox!
Curt recommends not having work email on your phone and was so convincing that Jessica “ripped the bandaid” off and took work email off of her phone while listening to Curt explain why.  Can you do it?

Curt’s Top 5 Tips:
  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (or anything by David Allen)
  1. Have a system: this is beyond just email, to keep track of what you’re going to do and when
  1. Don’t let email dictate how you’re going to spend your time. Our jobs are busy enough!  Make yourself available in other ways.
  2. Don’t let your email inbox be your to-do list!
  3. Don’t clutter up anyone else’s email inbox. Recognize when you need to go and talk instead of sending an email.

Other resources/thoughts on email...
Jessica’s blog post: The Email Monster

Thursday, November 6, 2014

#PrincipalPLN Episode #46 What do you have to do?

In this episode, Jessica and Spike explore the ever present "to do list."

The show starts out with the realization that the modern day Principal probably needs ADD or ADHD to survive (or it is just induced by the many interruptions to our day!). Jessica then shares her tools she uses for organizing the "to do list."

Jessica's Tools:
Remember the Milk
Google Calendar

Spike shared how he is very traditional in dealing with his "to do list." He uses note pads, post it notes, and Microsoft Office to create his school calendar and monitor his email.

Both Jessica and Spike felt the 20 minutes went just too fast. They agreed to do a follow-up show dedicated to email. Until tonight, Spike didn't think a show on email could work. Now he is not only convinced, but ready to tackle the subject.

Jessica also shared about her experience at the National Distinguished Principals Program and joining in the press conference for the release of the Early Learning Competencies for principals.


Audio Soundcloud Download
Video Soundcloud Download