Jonathan Alsheimer: Don’t Leave Supporting Your Teachers to Chance #OneThingSeries

Jonathan Alsheimer: Don’t Leave Supporting Your Teachers to Chance #OneThingSeries

Why can’t school be more like Disney World? ~ Jonathan Alsheimer 

About Jonathan Alsheimer

Jonathan Alsheimer is an unorthodox, energetic, and entertaining middle school teacher who refuses to live a life of limitations. Jonathan is often referred to as “my favorite teacher” by his students, and he’s the author of NEXT LEVEL TEACHING.

As a passionate educator and National Keynote Speaker, Jonathan Alsheimer presents limitless possibilities for teachers and the impact of an infectious classroom and school culture. NEXT LEVEL TEACHING is about every teacher bringing their unique flair to better their school every single day, always reaching for the NEXT LEVEL.

Jonathan taught at the world-renowned Fred Lynn Middle School, which was featured in two documentaries “Relentless” and “Relentless: Chasing Accreditation.” He has been featured as the teacher who forged a partnership with UFC Fighter and light-weight contender Paul Felder to bring the message that students should never give up, fighting for their education, and empowering them to believe in themselves, all principles that Jonathan promotes in his classroom.

As Jonathan always says, “Game-changing is not a cliche motto; it is a way of life…some talk about it while others live by it!”

What You’ll Find in this Podcast Episode with Jonathan Alsheimer

Jonathan starts out of the gate on fire! His energy is almost a superpower.

Listen to him dispel the misunderstanding about what it means to be a “next level teacher.” It’s not about perfection. 

Jonathan opened up about the stress that teachers feel and what school leaders can do about it. These are things leaders can do right away. 

When asked about protecting teachers from minutiae, Alsheimer talked about meaningless meetings that “kill the heart of the staff.” 

Don’t miss what Jonathan says about teachers’ time and what it takes to plan an awesome lesson. 

Jonathan talks about working together so we don’t all have to work harder. Let’s pool our resources and share more. Think about what this would mean for new teachers!

Jonathan gives administrators advice:

  1. Develop “lesson plans” for staff meetings.
  2. Reflect on the agenda items–are they critical?
  3. Does the meeting focus on learning, teacher development, and relationships?

Jonathan throws out a number of ideas to gamify the classroom and make it more fun for students. How can you use this in your classroom? 

Alsheimer mentions Dave Burgess (@burgessdave), Jimmy Casas (@casas_jimmy), Hamish Brewer (@brewerhm). Bottom line, go on Twitter. 

Teachers and leaders should see us smiling and having fun. If we want kids to be motivated to learn, we have to be motivated to teach and lead. 

You have to hear what Jonathan says about turning a worksheet into an activity. He literally cut it up and put it into paper bags to make it more fun and exciting for kids. 

Oh, Boy! Wait till you hear what he says about diving with sharks and our response as Delaware beach-goers. 

Jonathan talks about being tough on himself in a competitive way to get 1% better each day. He reflects on his “why” often, and that reflection makes a difference in his growth and perseverance.  

He thinks about what kids deserve, including his own, and that fuels his drive each day. 

He used to think that test grades matter; now he believes that growth is the bigger deal. 

Let us know if there’s a guest who you want us to have on the show by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site. 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: 5 Proven Ways for School Leaders to Support New Teachers

302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: 5 Proven Ways for School Leaders to Support New Teachers

In this episode of 302 Thoughts, Joe and T.J. dig into how school leaders must be very tactical about supporting their new teachers. So much time is spent identifying personnel needs, preparing for interviews, drafting the right questions, using the write words in the position posting, and the interview itself, but all of that means nothing if you fail to support teachers once they are hired. That’s all preparation for the game, not the game itself. If you want to play at a higher level, you realize the real work is after the hiring is done. 

In this episode, listen to Joe paint a dismal picture regarding vacancies across the U.S. This is why school leaders can’t mess up onboarding and support. What do the data say, in short, we are in a crisis: 

T.J. develops the conversation further by discussing our most vulnerable teacher populations:

  • Our Best Teachers
  • Our New Teachers

He explains that our best teachers are in high demand, so if they aren’t receiving the support and professional growth they need, they may walk right into the door of another school. The other population is our new teachers. The first few years are challenging, and there are a lot of lucrative industries willing to pay, support, and develop them if they choose to leave early. These teachers will walk out the door and right into another industry; one that is readily waiting to scoop them up and pay more than new teachers make in their first 5 years.   

There are only a few solutions to these problems so be sure to tune in and don’t miss what T.J. says about the power of specific praise. Praise seems easy but the data don’t lie: 70% of staff don’t feel celebrated, while 70% of managers say they praise. There is a disconnect somewhere!

Don’t miss Joe’s one key takeaway– be outrageously involved. You can’t let your new teachers’ growth happen by chance. You need to be connected, often and intentionally. 

T.J.’s one key takeaway–leaders need to talk behind people’s back. Not the way you think. You have to hear what he says about what it means for collective efficacy. 

T.J. and Joe always provide the how with the what, enabling school leaders to lead better and grow faster. 

Let our team know if there’s a topic that you want Joe and T.J. to cover by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

 

Was this forwarded to you? Subscribe on the site

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

Read This: Two Books that School Leaders Must Read to Better Support New Teachers

Read This: Two Books that School Leaders Must Read to Better Support New Teachers

If You’re Going to Lead then You Must Read

Learning and growing as a school leader through reflection, training, and experience is a professional choice. One powerful way to improve is through reading great books, which is why we feature two books on a particular topic each month. These are books that we have curated from 100s of titles to help school leaders to lead better and grow faster.

This month we are completely focused on the 5 ways that school leaders can support new teachers. These are five research-based strategies to support and retain your most vulnerable teaching population. This is critical because we are definitely facing a crisis in education. School districts are moving to four-day weeks simply due to lack of staff. In a recent Ed Week article by Madeline Will, she wrote the following,

“…the researchers estimate that there are more than 36,500 teacher vacancies in the nation. They also estimate that there are more than 163,500 positions filled by teachers who aren’t fully certified or are not certified in the subject area they’re teaching.”  Will, M. Ed Week (2022)

The data are staggering. If you want to dig into the government database and find out specifics in your state, click here

The Definitive 5 Ways to Support New Teachers

#1. Maintain high standards while providing support for growth

#2. Increase productivity by being present and using praise

#3. Balance risk and autonomy to unlock innovation 

#4. Communicate the expectations of the position 

#5. Provide meaningful mentorship

These are proven ways that demonstrate support, while maintaining a culture of excellence and high standards. To support these efforts, we feature two great books to help you as a leader. 

Joe’s Pick: The Power of Unstoppable Momentum: Key Drivers to Revolutionize Your District

Featured Authors: Michael Fullan & Mark A. Edwards

 

The Power of Unstoppable Momentum is an incredible book with very specific examples about how to achieve dramatic results in your school. 

There are a few features that really stand out for Joe in this book:

  • Technology is not the answer. Time and time again research shows that technology is a tool that highly effective teachers master. The tool itself is not the answer.
  • Fullan and Edwards provide very specific ways for schools to excel, specifically through coherence, which is the “…the degree to which people at the school and district levels have a common sense of the district’s core priorities and how to achieve them” (Fullan & Edwards, 2017).
  • Lastly, they provide clear models and examples on where incredible work is being done. We love when books have these features, which is why we offer examples of success in our books too. 

T.J.’s Pick: Retention for A Change: Motivate Inspire, and Energize Your School Culture

Featured Authors: Joseph Jones, Salome Thomas-El, & T.J. Vari

We rarely promote our own work, but this book is written on the topic of teacher retention, and we dedicate two chapters to new teachers. This is the second book in a two-part series designed to attract and retain incredible teachers. Both books, Building a Winning Team and Retention for A Change are built on the effective reading strategy, BDA. 

T.J. dives right into explaining how school leaders must embrace their responsibility to build a culture that Motivates, Inspires, and Energizes the staff. 

He emphasizes that the book is filled with practical stories that any school leader can implement for great school success. 

Lastly, this book is filled with models to guide leaders. Whether it is the BDA, which can be applied in a number of strategic ways, or striving for Habitual Happiness Highpoints, the models guide school leaders. 

Technical Tip for Leaders Who Read

Each month, Joe and T.J. leave listeners with a tip. Both of these books should be read with your team. They are not to be read as simple words on a page. Both books are written in a way that allows the school leader, department leader, or team leader to reflect on their own team and practices. 

Enjoy both of these books to lead better and grow faster as school leaders. We always appreciate a like, a follow, a comment, or a share. 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

 

Frederick White: The Labyrinth of Leadership #OneThingSeries

Frederick White: The Labyrinth of Leadership #OneThingSeries

Success is not established by winning all the time. ~ Frederick White 

About Frederick White

Dr. Frederick White is the COO of Digital PD 4 You, LLC and the author of

the book, The Skin You Are In: Colorism in the Black Community, the First (2020) and Second (2021) Edition. Frederick has served as a leader in the educational field for twenty-four years.

Dr. White has also spent the past fourteen years serving as an AVID staff development instructor. Dr. White obtained a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Trevecca University and currently serves as a principal of a middle school in Memphis-Shelby County Schools in Tennessee.

His newest book is The Labyrinth of Leadership: Navigating Your Way Through the Maze, which we talk about on the show along with so much more leadership insight for school leaders who are looking to lead better and grow faster. 

Follow Frederick on Twitter @fdwhite02 to get his bi-weekly Labyrinth of Leadership tips for school leaders.

 

What You’ll Find in this Podcast Episode with Frederick White

The Labyrinth of Leadership, as Fredrick explains it, is a solicitation of ideas from leaders around the country–folks with “skin in the game.” 

Don’t miss what Dr. White says about his personal take-away from the Labyrinth project. 

Listen to the language he uses, so important and grossly undervalued. 

Frederick talks about self-reflection as a universal need for leaders. It’s all about finding the time. 

Dr. White tells us about the importance of defining the “end product.” This part is profound. 

He says that the greatest leaders are the ones who are willing to continue to grow, regardless of how much they have achieved. 

Joe asks Frederick to explain one of his recent tweets about celebrating small wins. Every school leader needs to hear this. 

Dr. White talks about the difference between goal setting and dream chasing. This alone is worth the listen. Be a dream chaser!

You want to hear the part about failure being the struggle that we often need to grow. Frederick’s butterfly story is awesome. 

Frederick mentions both Principal Kafele and Todd Whitaker as inspiration. 

Check out The Principal Project

Advice from Dr. White: pause and go for a walk. Just taking the time to walk and observe is powerful for peace, self-reflection, and a solid reminder of what we want and need. 

Frederick is striving for the most perfect environment he can provide. His reflection about this is great. 

To continue to grow, Frederick starts by never settling. He looks to be present with his teachers to learn from them. He mentions writing and researching as things that force him to continue to grow. 

Books We Recommend Based on this Podcast with Frederick White 

What Great Principals Do Differently by Todd Whitaker 

Is My School Better Because oI Lead It by Baruti Kafele 

Let us know if there’s a guest who you want us to have on the show by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site. 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: Two Mental Shifts Toward Better School Leadership

302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: Two Mental Shifts Toward Better School Leadership

In this episode of 302 Thoughts, Joe and T.J. dig into how school leaders must shift their minds to lead better and grow faster. 

Shifting our mindset is not easy. It requires a dogged pursuit to focus our mind in the most productive ways to function better as a leader. There are two major shifts that are worth making–embracing courage instead of being ruled by fear and maintaining a long-term mentality. Both of these are challenging but incredibly rewarding.

In this episode, listen to Joe describe the power of cognitive dissonance and the stockdale paradox that we learned from Jim Collins

Learning to push forward and donning a cape of courage, rather than fretting with fear, is the mental shift that will push an organization forward. 

T.J. reminds listeners that the key is to fear less, not be fearless. Dive further into this idea with Tim Ferris and Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais.

Lastly, Joe talks about how you can do this through the power of teamwork and developing collective efficacy.

Joe’s one key takeaway for school leaders is that shifting from fear to courage is a choice. Be aware of the situation and then move forward.

T.J. brings up a critical notion about data usage in schools. Having a data consciousness allows you to deal with reality when confronted with opinion. You’ll want to hear more about how to do this as a school leader. 

The truth is that if you’re leading, you are not alone. Learn to lean in and lean on others. This is where T.J. picks up the ball and pivots to the other critical mental shift–Long-Term thinking. 

Don’t miss T.J. discuss the critical importance of pre-planning. 

T.J. talks about how leaders are susceptible to falling into the trap of constantly putting out the urgent fires at the expense of what’s important. This is one of the key concepts from our latest book, 7 Mindshifts for School Leaders

T.J. also dives into time-blocking for an effective way to schedule each day. This is not a strategy that you want to overlook. Especially, if you are facing the difficult crossroads of important versus urgent work. 

Readers are reminded of the 5 bad boss behaviors to avoid. 

T.J.’s one key takeaway for school leaders: plan. Leading is a choice that can’t be left to chance. 

T.J. and Joe always provide the how with the what, enabling school leaders to lead better and grow faster. 

Let us know if there’s a topic you want us to cover by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site. 

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

Read This: Two Books that School Leaders Must Read to Better Support New Teachers

Read This: Two Books that School Leaders Must Read to Be More Courageous and Future Forward

Leaders are Readers

Learning and growing as a school leader through reflection, training, and experience is a professional choice. One powerful way to improve is through reading great books, which is why we feature two books on a particular topic each month. These are books that we believe can help school leaders to lead better and grow faster.

This month we are completely focused on two mental shifts that school leaders must make for greater success. The first is shifting from a place of fear to operating in a space of courage. The second is shifting from short-term thinking to long-term thinking. As easy as it is to grasp both of these concepts as necessary, shifting the mind from fear to courage and from short-term reaction to long-term planning is incredibly difficult. That’s why we’ve chosen these two books that are designed to shepherd you through making the change necessary to lead better and grow faster.   

Joe’s Pick: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Featured Author: Dale Carnegie

First, let’s acknowledge that Dale Carnegie is a beast. His work, How to Win Friends and Influence People is legendary and a must read for anyone who is serious about leading effectively. However, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is also a phenomenal book, filled with incredible advice that applies to school leadership. There are few things that really stand out for Joe in this book:

  • Carnegie fills the book with relatable stories from practical people. The stories are real and you’ll find yourself in the people he features. 
  • He offers advice that you can implement right away. Suggestions like “living in day-tight compartments” make a ton of sense. 
  • Carnegie also writes about the importance of mental attitudes and how to cultivate the right mindset–to make a mental decision to be happy and live a full life, as an example. He reminds readers of the eight most important words we can ever hear, “our life is what our thoughts make it.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

This book is a must read so you too can live and lead from a seat of courage with tools to help you as the worry and fear creep into your life.

T.J.’s Pick: The Power of One More: The Ultimate Guide to Happiness and Success

Featured Author: Ed Mylett

If you don’t know Ed Mylett, stop reading this post right now and Google his name: Ed Mylett. Ed is an impressive leader who has taken social media by storm over the last few years. He built his fortune in the financial services industry, as what he describes a team-made millionaire. That’s one reason we love his work. It’s not about Ed. Granted, his endeavors have worked out very well for him, but his service and dedication to people are very evident in his shows and books. Here are a few reasons why T.J. chose The Power of One More as his pick this month:  

  • Mylett humbly describes what “the power of one more” is really about and how he learned to be resilient. His description of his alcoholic, turned sober, father is compelling. Ed attributes much of his success to his father but not always through the good times.
  • The book is filled with sage advice, but one great takeaway is how Ed organizes his day and time. The advice is radical although it makes sense. Dividing up your day is very effective and can lead to astronomical productivity.
  • Mylett decrees why this work is important to him. His WHY will inspire you to ensure that yours is clear too. 

We hope you enjoy this new release as much as we did. 

Both of these books are more like manuals. They are not to be read as simple words on a page. They act as a call-to-action for leaders. If you want to change your life and lead for the better, then you must embrace the responsibility of doing what is written in these books and others that we recommend on our ReadThisSeries.

Technical Tip for Leaders Who Read

Each month, Joe and T.J. leave listeners with a tip. This month the books they chose span almost 77 years. Don’t abandon the old. Granted there are incredible discoveries every day that are changing our world, but there are men and women from the past that had incredible insight into human behavior and leadership, like Dale Carnegie. Don’t overlook those works and the genius that lies within their pages. Also, don’t discount new books that seem to cover the same content as many other authors. Mylett admits in his book that much of the content has been written in the past, but that his take is slightly different. We couldn’t agree more. It’s the perspective on the topic and new ideas that offer a different angle for leaders, an angle that just might be the one you need. 

Enjoy both of these books to lead better and grow faster as school leaders. We always appreciate a like, a follow, a comment, or a share. 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf