How We Do One Thing Is How We Do Everything

amplifi clarifi simplifi Nov 07, 2020

Are there parts of your day, week, month, or year that you simply can't stand, but you tough it out for the greater good or the love of your job? 

When I was a principal, my introverted self hated parts of the job. Mostly, I winced at anything that required me to be the focal point.

My stomach twisted every year when asked to give a graduation address, but I refused to focus on the cringe of delivering a speech to a couple of thousand people. I was determined to make It the best speech ever and represent our school in a way that made everyone proud to be part of it.

I'd endure these moments.

Certainly, a less than a positive mindset until my eyes were widened with a more encouraging lens from Dean Graziosi, who articulated a new approach so clearly: how you do one thing is how you do everything.

As long as it doesn't violate our values, we should try to be the best in the world at it. No matter what we're doing, even...

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Home Base

amplifi clarifi simplifi Oct 02, 2020
We don't subscribe to playing armchair psychologist, but given our number one goal is to remove obstacles for aspiring leaders, we've seen patterns. We all know that our beliefs, worries, and everything that is swimming in our heads will generally dictate our actions. In Nohea, we operate under an assumption that we all have a home base, a place we usually return to when things get scary or go bad; some go to a working home base, many to a worrying space, others land in an angry place, and a few go to a determined mindset. 
 
We're optimistic around here and believe our home base or mindset is conditioned by experiences and quite malleable. We've found that one of the greatest obstacles to building a more positive mindset home base is a lack of clarity.
 
When times are tough, we need to simplify our problems, perceived or real, and find a clear pathway to move forward. Pathways give direction and hope....
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Teacher Evaluation in a Pandemic: 5 Ways to Make it Work

amplifi clarifi simplifi Oct 01, 2020

Teacher evaluation.

Ugh.

The term evokes so many mixed emotions. Teachers often find them useless at best and fear-inducting at worst. And principals often see them as just another item to check off a list.  

In my work with leaders during this challenging time, many are wondering how they will fulfill this essential job function in these new and strange times.  Some feel the pressure from their state or district to get a required number of evaluations completed by a certain date. Some wonder if they should just stop altogether for at least the time being. 

Now, of course, there’s another layer of complexity as teaching and learning takes place with cameras, in Google Meets or Zoom rooms or with some hybrid approach. Teachers are understandably nervous about observations–especially if they haven’t seen any benefit to the process before we entered this new reality.

So, the principal who wants to create or maintain a culture of deep and joyful...

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Professional Learning Menus: What Will You Be Having?

clarifi May 22, 2020
Amanda
Amanda’s grade 7’s are keeping her on her toes. She’s feeling pretty good about the start to her school year and would like to add a few tools to her teaching toolkit to keep up with her middle school changes.
 
After six years of teaching in grade 3, the change has been good for her, but Amanda wants the change to be good for the students, too. She has heard many times that she can access Mike, an instructional coach, and begins to search for his email, but stops short of connecting.
 
Amanda remembers meeting Mike briefly last month, and he certainly seemed nice. But what would she ask of him? "He's probably incredibly busy and it really isn't an emergency," she convinces herself as she starts packing up to leave.
 
Mike
Mike walks by the new teacher’s room. He had met Amanda and hoped she would contact him. In Hopeful School District, instructional coaching relationships are initiated by teachers, and coaches connect by...
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The Power of a Kind Voice

clarifi May 22, 2020

Like a Duck

Telephones lighting up.
Line 1: Teacher calling in sick.
Line 2: Angry parent.
Crying eyes staring up: little one seeking an ice pack.
Tap on the shoulder: teacher asking for a student’s file.
Eventful minute for most, but not for Carla.
 
She politely puts the teacher on hold and pages the assistant principal; she offers a kind greeting and exquisite manners to a slightly confused and well-meaning mom; gives a hug and an ice pack to poor little Michael (while offering a silent thank you to her principal for the phone headset); and gives wide-eyes and a smile while mouthing, “just a sec” to the teacher waiting for that file.
 
Staff and families are used to Carla’s calm superpowers; what they don’t see is that her mind is churning full speed and she is simplifying and clarifying with deeply ingrained habits.
 
Like a duck swimming in a busy pond. Cool, calm and smooth on the surface, but so much is...
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