Sunday, August 4, 2019

Episode 110: Preparing for the new year

In this week's episode, Theresa and Spike discuss how they are preparing for the upcoming school year. They begin by talking about how each of their district's update discipline and dress codes. Even though this may seem to be a boring or redundant activity, Theresa and Spike try to put a lot of thought into the process. They also discussed how policies should be updated to create an inclusive environment. For instance, Theresa went through her school's policies to ensure they reflect equity and diversity in terms of gender. The discussion then went into how to prepare the students and staff for the long haul (180 days) as opposed to over-hyped welcome back sessions. Theresa and Spike want to keep that topic for the next podcast and get ideas on how to work with their staff on the marathon of the school year, not the sprint.

Here are some resources from the podcast:

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

109: Summer Principaling

In this episode Jessica and Spike discuss a bunch of different things going on in the life of a Principal. They begin by discussing the summer responsibilities and how to complete the end of the year, manage the day to day and plan for the upcoming year. They discuss the role of the vice/assistant Principals, student use of cell phones, and summer learning. 

Resources mentioned in our discussion:
Cell Phones In School? - Away for the Day

Books Jessica read/plans to read this summer:

Here is a Principal to follow who is doing things differently and getting amazing results:
Hamish Brewer 

Episode 108 - It's the end....of the year

In this episode Theresa AND SPIKE (!!!) catch up on all things for the Principal. They discussed end of the year activities, planning for the new school year, and ways to get staff more involved. There are retirements, connecting with students, summer plans (what exactly DO administrators do in the summer?) and more.



Thursday, May 30, 2019

Episode 107: Transitions

Yes, we are still here people, but we are busy principals that barely ever get our schedules to coordinate to podcast. In episode 107 we talk about transitions and Jessica has some big transition news...and she'd love advice/tips from you!

Here's some links of things mentioned in the podcast: allows you to schedule 30 posts


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Episode 106: Initiatives

In this episode, Spike and Jessica catch up on the new initiatives in their school and how things are going. Jessica discussed the progress of PBIS and Playworks in her school. Spike discussed how his school is going through the revalidation process to continue being an AVID National Demonstration School. Based on the feedback from a prior visit, the staff have been working on increasing Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). The AVID site team have provided weekly instructional practices, developed a Google Form to collect best practices, and they meet with Spike on a monthly basis to coach him how to use HOTS in the weekly email, staff meetings, and for teacher feedback. They are also correlating the McREL Walkthrough data from last year as the compare the instances of remembering and understanding with analyzing and evaluating. The revalidation process has definitely caused the school to improve in areas to make student learning better.  


Episode 103: Social Emotional Learning

In this episode, Theresa and Jessica discuss what they're up to with welcome staff back to school. Jessica finally tried out Flipgrid thanks to Eric Ewald's encouragement when she attended his session at the National Principals Conference.  Here's a quick video Jessica made to show her staff how to do this: Flipgrid intro.  Theresa shared some other awesome ideas she's seen Flipgrid used for.

As they talked about Social Emotional Learning, here are links to some of the resources/programs mentioned:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Episode 105: The First Week of School

First week of school 

In this episode, Theresa and Spike sit down to discuss the first week of school and reflect on their openings. Beth Theresa and Spike discussed how they were in the "cycle of sacrifice" due to the high levels of stress in opening up school for the year. Are you in the cycle of sacrifice? Here are some characteristics:

  • Lack of quality sleep (having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Growing "to do" list 
  • Difficulties focusing 
  • Not eating quality food or eating too much/too little
What can you do to battle the cycle of sacrifice? First step is awareness. Realizing you are in it and knowing that it will not last forever. Theresa and Spike discuss ways that they are getting through. Each knows that this will balance out very soon.

Spike discussed the First Three Days project he did with his school. This was an idea that was inspired by the Significant 72 by Greg Wolcott. The Lakeside staff and students spent a significant amount of time building relationships with each other as well as reviewing the expectations of the school. Spike plans to blog about this initiative and also will discuss upcoming ideas for follow up. 

Theresa shared ideas to make the weekly communication more collaborative. Her administrative team writes their information on a shared Google Document which is generated from a weekly reminder email from Theresa through Boomerang. She also uses Boomerang to manage her email inbox by using the tools such as pausing, scheduling and having emails re-delivered for emphasis and reminders. Boomerang can be used for Gmail and Microsoft Office. Be sure to check it out!