Category Archives: Leadership

Strive for Less Than 5!

written by Ron Koehler

School districts across Kent ISD are teaming together to deliver a common message to all students, to their families and the community at large:  Strive for Less Than 5 days absent.

You should soon be seeing yard signs, posters and this Strive for Less Than 5 video to spread the message that students who miss five or fewer days of school a year perform better than those who miss school on a regular basis.

The data for students who are chronically absent is clear:  Students who miss more than 10 percent of school time, just two days a month, are far less likely to be proficient than their peers who regularly attend school. Continue reading Strive for Less Than 5!

Alternatives to Suspension

Written by: Kelly Amshey, Assistant Principal Rockford Public Schools Freshman Center

We have all been frustrated when issuing suspension to students when we know that the consequence does little to shape behavior.  In my experience, many students who “earn” suspensions are the most at-risk academically, requiring more time in the classroom, not less.

Students who require special education services, those who struggle with attendance, and those who are otherwise disengaged from school may be those who are suspended most frequently, undermining our goal of keeping them in class and supporting their educational outcomes. Continue reading Alternatives to Suspension

MDE “Top 10 in 10 Roadshow” Visits GR in April

“We have a tremendous opportunity, working together as a state, to lift student achievement using these goals and strategies. This requires open minds and the will from all involved to make it work.” State Superintendent Brian Whiston

Michigan’s Education Vision is for “Every learner in Michigan’s public schools to have an inspiring, engaging, and caring learning environment that fosters creative and critical thinkers who believe in their ability to positively influence Michigan and the world beyond.” Continue reading MDE “Top 10 in 10 Roadshow” Visits GR in April

The Power of Reflection

In considering the various “R’s in Education”, how important is the process of “reflection”?

The power inherent within your personal reflection of your educational practices should never be undervalued. But, does “reflection” fall into my 5 R’s of Effective Engagement? A component of this reflection strategy are the proverbial “Look In The Mirror” Moments.

For me, when I awake in the morning as I am preparing myself for work, I look in the mirror and ask myself, “Will you give your best today?” Without hesitation, my reflection always responds back with the affirmative, “Yes!” Continue reading The Power of Reflection

Change Illusion

Blog post written by: Dr. Anthony Muhammad

Change is a very difficult process, but it is the catalyst to continuous improvement.  It tests our ability as professionals at many different levels.  Sometimes, when things get too challenging, we tend to look for short-cuts or we quietly surrender.  We live in a political climate that demands that we change, whether we choose to or not, but I have found that some organizations are good at creating the illusion of change, rather than being fully involved in the process of change.  There are three key phrases which clearly indicate that an organization is not fully committed to the change process. Continue reading Change Illusion

Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Written by Steve Seward, Associate Director, MASSP

“Teaching is complex work. You don’t have to be bad to get better!”  Candi B. McKay

Regardless of age or role, we all deserve formative feedback for growth that is centered on clearly specified areas of focus and success criteria. Those that are most effective as leaders, in all educational capacities, consistently engage in the process inquiry through the gathering and gaining feedback for growth.

There are multiple ways to give and receive feedback and multiple uses of feedback. Most important is that feedback is provided based on a strengths-based approach. As John Hattie explains, “Feedback must be timely, relevant, and action-oriented”. The goal with formative feedback is to provide feedback that moves learning forward by causing the learner to think, and at the same time be the owner of their learning. Continue reading Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Leaders In Action

Originally posted: September 20, 2017 | Ben Gilpin (@benjamingilpin) on The Colorful Principal Blog

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

True Story.  Every year (including this year), my intentions and optimism are sky high.  I head into a school year thinking of projects, ideas, innovation and truly changing the face of education.

This year my summer ideas included student podcasting, mobile maker space, supporting aspiring administrators and continuing to transform learning spaces.  Furthermore, I wanted to really spread our vision beyond our walls and into the community.

Sounds fantastic, right?

Then reality hits.  I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Issues ranged from student discipline all the way to balancing a budget…and don’t get me started on evaluations!

What is a leader to do?

Continue reading Leaders In Action

Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

Attention School Administrators: The Fall Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

In March, Reading Now Network (RNN) hosted the West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium at Western Michigan University. More than 600 educators from 26 counties gathered to focus on literacy. Participants learned how to implement the RNN Five Key Findings and explored the Instructional and School-Wide Essential Practices. The urgency and excitement surrounding the RNN Five Key Findings has resulted in a fall Literacy Leadership Symposium aimed to energize and inspire building and district administrators. Continue reading Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

Twitterpated: Three Ways to Take Twitter to the Next Level

Remember the Rolodex? Educators would exchange business cards with phone numbers, alphabetize them and access their contacts to help answer questions or identify resources they didn’t already have at their fingertips. People with a plethora of names and numbers could have an answer to any problem by the end of the week.

Now, with Twitter, educators use hashtags and handles to reach out to a global community and rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes for unlimited tools that can be used immediately.  Twitter has changed the way educators connect, stay current on trends and research, and how learning is shared with others.

While some teachers and school leaders are still trying to figure when to use # and how it’s different than @, others are leveraging their professional learning network through Twitter in the follow ways: Continue reading Twitterpated: Three Ways to Take Twitter to the Next Level

Growing Confident and Compassionate Student Leaders…the “LLL” Approach

 “Schools should teach two things…Problem Solving and Leadership. Leading is a skill, not a gift. You’re not born with it, you learn how. And schools can teach leadership as easily as they figured out how to teach compliance.” Seth Godin, Linchpin

Schools do many things well…teaching students to be independent leaders is NOT one of them.

I have been an educator for almost four decades now, and I have never met a teacher that did not have good intentions for their students!  Very few men and women become teachers that don’t have their heart in the right place…being child-centered.

With that said, if parents often parent how they were parented, then teachers usually teach the way they were taught…unfortunately. Continue reading Growing Confident and Compassionate Student Leaders…the “LLL” Approach