Two Books You Have To Read To Make An Immediate Impact On Your Leadership

Two Books You Have To Read To Make An Immediate Impact On Your Leadership

Growing as a leader is a professional choice. The challenge is that trying to grow during a storm, or in the case of the last year and a half, a pandemic is difficult. Typically, in a storm, we seek shelter and hunker down to wait it out. Although this is great survival behavior, it’s not good leadership practice. Principal leaders, district leaders, and others in leadership roles do not have the luxury of waiting anything out and playing it safe until a time when things are easier. Actually, it’s just the opposite. The leader has to move forward in the storm and brave the elements. 

The two books that we feature this month will help leaders do just that–move forward by braving the elements. Consistent with our theme this month both books can be viewed through the lens of growing through the grind. Our first book, The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas, was chosen because leadership success rises and falls on influence. During these times, leaders need the skill set to effectively persuade others to positively move forward, even when they are scared, worried, and uncertain. 

This book really is a relationship book. Richard Shell and Mario Mousa brilliantly break down the four steps to how Woo works.

  • Survey Your Situation
  • Confront the Five Barriers
  • Make Your Pitch
  • Secure Your Commitments

What’s refreshing is that the authors describe the steps in great detail throughout the book and remind us that the four pieces of the puzzle are always a progression. Don’t miss our interview with one of the authors, Richard Shell

Featured Author: Richard Shell and Mario Moussa

 

Featured Book: The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas

The second featured book this month is The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace. We chose this book because it focuses on culture, and leaders need to constantly tend to the culture of their school or business. Culture building isn’t an event, it’s a full-time experience. This book spends time on you as a leader and how you are responsible for the school’s culture and how you cannot leave it to “chance.” Lastly, the book finishes strong by demonstrating the need to have everything aligned to the overall purpose and vision. Check it out!

Featured Author: S. Chris Edmonds

Featured Book: The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace


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.

 

This blog post was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: Supporting Students and Staff through Surefire Social and Emotional Learning Practices

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: Supporting Students and Staff through Surefire Social and Emotional Learning Practices

The school year is in full swing and although we are thrilled that students across the country and the globe are back in person, there is undoubtedly a lot of trepidation as educational and principal leaders navigate this difficult time. Not only are there ongoing, daily issues that we wrestle with because of Covid19, school leaders are simultaneously acclimating students and staff back to schools when much has changed. We are not the same as we were when Covid19 struck and the pandemic took hold. 

Here at TheSchoolHouse302, we would like to think the educational community has grown. These months have revealed our resolve and our willingness to go to great lengths to reach and teach our students. We also recognize that in order for us to continue to grow and build a network of support, we need to fully immerse ourselves in social and emotional learning (SEL). The great news is that SEL is not new. The challenge, though, is making sure that it is integrated seamlessly within our school cultures and not a stand alone. 

To do so, we created The SEL Blend to remind educators of the balance that must exist between the curriculum and the care side of our work.

The SEL Blend highlights four primary areas that are linked to SEL priorities and behaviors. For example, as much as we focus on our curriculum and adopt accelerated learning best practices, we need to be sure that they are coupled with care and kindness. 

The Blend serves as a nice reminder about how we can weave SEL into our daily practices. But, we cannot be satisfied with just having this knowledge. The critical step is in making sure that what we are doing is having an impact. As John Hattie always says, “know thy impact.” To that end, we’ve created 6 ways to ensure that you’re building the SEL culture that your students and staff need. 

In this episode, we break down the key areas that stuck out to us and why. Listen to the podcast to hear more about our 6 surefire strategies to develop a thriving SEL culture.

  1. Assemble a Core Team 
  2. Improve Self-Awareness
  3. Complete Certificate-Based Courses
  4. Use a Table for Lesson Organization
  5. Connect to Other Meaningful Work
  6. Tap into Established Systems

T.J. further discussed the great work from Loreah Martinez and her Heart In Mind blog and book is an incredible resource. Our goal is to connect you to people and resources, outside of our own, to learn to lead better and grow faster. With this in mind, Joe tackled the benefits and sophistication of earning a credential or certificate. This is a powerful way to develop a train-the-trainer model. Lastly, T.J. reminded us of a great interview we had with Lavonna Roth and the terrific and FREE resources she has on her site

Join Us for the Next Live Session of 302 Thoughts 

This was our third live 302 Thoughts and we were thrilled with the turn out and look forward to our next episode on October 21th at 4:00PM EST. We are going to be talking about staying focused in a chaotic environment. Register today

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Two Books On Social & Emotional Learning That Are Bound To Make An Impact On Your School

Two Books On Social & Emotional Learning That Are Bound To Make An Impact On Your School

As school doors open this year to welcome back students, successful schools recognize that if they want to reach and teach all students, they need to touch their hearts and their minds. Amid the dual pandemics–Covid19 and the social and civic unrest–students are entering the school year with a host of needs that must be addressed to ensure that they are successful. 

These needs cover the spectrum from a deficit in mathematics to a family hardship. Regardless, in the end, we know that student achievement improves when students feel connected and safe, when relationships flourish in the classroom. There is no substitute for a student having a meaningful connection with a teacher, counselor, paraprofessional, administrator, or other educator at school.

Our blog this month focused on 6 different ways to build SEL in schools, and we hope you found them easy to implement. As educational leaders, we realize that one of the best places to start your learning is by reading great books, which is why we curate our lists of books to help you on your path to leading better and growing faster. 

This month, we recommend two books that we believe can make a difference where it matters the most—in the classroom. The first book is The Formative Five by Thomas Hoerr and the second one is Improve Every Lesson with SEL by Jeffrey Benson.

Featured Author: Thomas Hoerr

Featured Book: The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs

The Formative Five focuses on developing empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity, and grit . Each one of the five serves our students (and teachers) well as they strive to deepen their understanding and execution in each area. The five also have a unique way of focusing on the self and others. We found this to be practical for all educators. 

Focusing on others, having empathy, is something that we can all improve upon, and as we seek to understand others, we often learn quite a bit about ourselves. Lastly, Heorr recommends other reads throughout the chapters, which is a great springboard to other books that may be valuable. Don’t miss our interview with Thomas Hoerr. You can find it on our site at theschoolhouse302.com by clicking on the podcast button at the top. 

Key Feature of the Book:

Hoerr created self-assessment surveys for each of the formative five. We appreciate this style of writing that is designed to engage the reader, especially because these are areas that we can continually develop as leaders.

Featured Author: Jeffrey Benson

Featured Book: Improving Every Lesson Plan with SEL

Improving Every Lesson Plan with SEL demystifies the process of weaving social and emotional learning into your lessons. That last thing we want is for SEL activities to be taught in isolation or devoid of the classroom content. The more SEL can find a home within each lesson, the more students will understand the dynamic nature of so many of the topics we discuss. Consider Hurricane Ida that just devastated areas of the east coast, it’s important to know what a hurricane is, the various categories for example, but tying that to the human side of destruction and loss can teach empathy along with the content. 

Key Feature of the Book:

Similar to Hoerr, Benson explicitly outlines specific action steps that are aligned to the content in the book. He also asks the reader to reflect on their lesson plans through what they are learning about how social and emotional learning works for students. 

 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com. And don’t miss our next live event on this topic. Register here

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

 

This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Must Reads to Prepare Every Educational Leader for Leading During Disruptive and Turbulent Times

Must Reads to Prepare Every Educational Leader for Leading During Disruptive and Turbulent Times

Don’t miss this vblog on YouTube or catch our Read This segment of our One Thing Series podcast–books you need to read to lead better and grow faster.

Featured Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Featured Books: Leadership: In Turbulent Times

 

Why We Love This Book for School Leaders

We love this book for school leaders, especially now, because Kearns draws on the skills and attributes of four American presidents–Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson–who encountered times of confusion, fear, despair, and hope. Leadership: In Turbulent Times is destined to be a classic. 

 

Here are just a few reasons to pick it up: 

 

The author points out the specific traits that make for a successful leader in any organization. For example, we learn that not only was Lincoln ambitious–running for the office of the presidency at age 23–he had “the motivation and willpower to develop every talent he possessed to the fullest.” This is something that school leaders can emulate and model to develop a learning culture for themselves and others. 

Reflection Question: What learning experiences do you have lined up for this year that will help to develop your talents to the fullest?

The last four chapters are a ton of fun, including transformational leadership, crisis management, turnaround leadership, and visionary leadership. It’s almost like this book was written exclusively for school leaders, although it’s universal to any organization. 

Reflection Question: How will you communicate your vision for change in your school this year? 

Lastly, this is an incredible book to lead a book study on with other educational leaders. Kearns Goodwin is remarkable about describing each leader’s journey. As we move into our second school year filled with uncertainty and doubt, having candid leadership conversations that go beyond procedures and processes, and into the heart of tough decision-making, can prove to be invaluable. 

Reflection Question: How will you support others this year along their leadership journey?

Becoming a Better School Leader During a Disruptive Time in Education

Another book that we recommend in this ReadThisSeries episode is Leading Schools in Disruptive Times: How to Survive Hyper-Change by Mark White and Dwight Carter. We appreciate this book because it redefines certain aspects of school leadership for those who are experiencing overload and demands beyond control. The authors have a CAT strategy–coping, adjusting, and transforming–strategy that they embed within the conversation about school safety. Safety is no longer just about the physical aspects of school violence but also the psychological safety that students need to be effective learners. This point and many others make the book an important read for all school leaders. Let us know what you think, and don’t miss our podcast episode with Dwight Carter

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: What You Need to Know About Student Engagement in a Post-Pandemic Disruptive Era and Why

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: What You Need to Know About Student Engagement in a Post-Pandemic Disruptive Era and Why

What better conversation to have in August than the very best ways to engage students this school year. Our focus throughout this school year must be on the whole child–an academic intensity coupled with social and emotional development. You will hear us often say that our students need to know that our care for them is just as important as our curriculum. To ensure this focus, we developed the 6 Key Classroom Practices Model.

This model encompasses each necessary element that we must reflect upon, and, if needed, make a change to ensure that we are leveraging the practice to its fullest extent. In this fireside chat, T.J. begins by breaking down the model with details about how educational leaders, and, in particular, principal leaders, can use these 6 categories to ensure that student achievement remains our central focus throughout the school year. Each element is interconnected and strengthens the other. 

 

In addition to breaking down this comprehensive model, Joe discussed the critical importance of  capacity building. We rarely have a discussion on leadership and not discuss personal growth and capacity building at some point. One important result of a leader who embraces being a learning leader is that they are far more receptive to ideas and advances because they naturally see opportunities and possible connections to the overall vision.

Critical Ideas from our 302 Thoughts: A Deeper Dive

In light of time, for this podcast episode and live broadcast, we decided to hone in on three of the six practices that are simply a must in this post-pandemic educational world. They also provide a gateway for other practices to be used effectively. The first practice we delved into was the importance of an organized learning management system (LMS). 

  • An LMS can serve a few very important purposes. As a software application, it is designed to turn virtual learning into a reality. But, we’ve also discovered that it is very effective at providing direction and organization for students and parents, even during in-person learning. We often discuss creating transparency between the classroom and the home, and teachers who excel at using an LMS truly create clarity for families. 
    • Technical Tip: One aspect that we truly appreciate about an organized LMS is the connectedness it can have to what is being learned in the classroom. For example, with the ability to house information, teachers can create enrichment and remediation support directly tied to formative assessment results from class. 
  • Another vital aspect of learning for our students this year will be our consistent use of methods to determine their Evidence of Learning. The reality is that due to Covid19, many teachers’ technological skills skyrocketed. Although we don’t subscribe to one primary tool to assess students throughout the lesson, we do believe in Madeline Hunter’s 10+2 method, ensuring that you’re checking for understanding on a regular basis throughout the lesson.
    • Technical Tip: If you want to track formative performance in your grade book and not necessarily assign a grade, change the weight of the formative to “0” so it doesn’t impact the overall average. 
  • Lastly, we didn’t want to overlook the power of reflection for teachers. Not only is this a great way to learn and grow as a professional, we also tie this into the social and emotional well-being of staff. Recognizing how much growth we’ve all experienced in our profession is inspiring, and we need to continue to experiment, reflect, and grow within a learning culture in all of our schools
    • Technical Tip: Create specific PLC time for reflection on very specific topics. In these instances less is more and be sure to effectively train the facilitator. Leading effective meetings and PLCs requires training. Don’t assume that because someone is a good teacher, or even an effective department head, that they can lead every conversation. For more on the power of teacher leaders and candid conversations, check out our book, Candid and Compassionate Feedback. The third section of the book is dedicated to teacher leaders. 

Join Us for the Next Live Session of 302 Thoughts 

This was our second live 302 Thoughts and we were thrilled with the turn out and look forward to our next episode on September 22nd at 7:30 EST. We are going to be talking about social and emotional learning and how to build a school culture that supports SEL for students and staff. Register today

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: ESSER Spending 101: Invest in Your People for Sustainable Growth & Greater Student Achievement

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat: ESSER Spending 101: Invest in Your People for Sustainable Growth & Greater Student Achievement

The Trifecta for Educational ESSER Spending

Education is a people business–a community built on the premise that through excellence in teaching and learning students can and will learn. However, the road to learning is fraught with ups, downs, obstacles, and challenges. No one expected the tumult of Covid19. The path that we were on was shut down, and educators had to find a whole new route. We commend teachers, support staff, and school leaders for pivoting quickly and working tirelessly to educate students. But, we’re just getting started. 

Now, months after the pandemic first hit, in an industry completely disrupted and upended, we find ourselves with an influx of money to help students in an accelerated fashion and to minimize the devastating impact of the pandemic. The big question looming is how best to spend our new ESSER funds?

For us at TheSchoolHouse302, we go back to where the greatest impact lies and that’s with people. Investing in our people first, developing their capacity, helping and enabling them to learn and grow so that they are better equipped, is the key to success. Below, you’ll find our model for investing in people–pay the people, get them what they need to be successful, and develop them as experts in their domain. We need to retool our thinking around money and how we use it. One tip for that is to consider that our staff are builders–builders of the future by teaching our students, supporting them socially and emotionally, and offering them unique learning experiences.

This is what we call a learning culture, and it’s why principals who want to build a learning culture need to think about all of their pots of money in these three primary buckets. This culture doesn’t just happen, though; it is a concerted effort to empower our teachers–as expert builders–for a sustainable and productive future. The alternative is to spend the money–new and old–on contractors, shiny new programs, and other stuff that simply goes away when the money runs out. 

 

Critical Ideas from our 302 Thoughts: Capacity Driven Investments

Administrators must ask, what investments will yield the highest returns? When considering staff members, be sure to have a 360° view, including administrators, instructional staff, support staff, and non-Instructional personnel. Schools need an all hands-on-deck approach, which we describe in great detail in our book, Passionate Leadership

Professional learning should be dynamic, not only focused on equipping the educator with skills, but also diving deep into self-care and ways they can fill their own cup each day. There should also be a clear distinction between training and professional learning. There are incredible products that can definitely help students learn and assist teachers in the classroom. But, consider services and products that help staff to learn beyond training them to use a new tool–a new way to rejuvenate and get better at the work, now and into the future. We think highly of the following purchases that school leaders might make with ESSER funds because we believe that they can be impactful as we ask ourselves this critical question: what investments will yield the most sustainable returns? 

    • Great educators are lifelong learners, but that doesn’t mean that they have had access to some of the most impactful experiences for lifelong learning, including a mastermind group designed to lead better. Check out Danny Bauer’s mastermind, Better Leaders Better Schools, and join a group. Also, get his new book and don’t miss our review of it
    • An investment that we find captivating since it solves so many common problems in the classroom is Organized Binder. Organization, goal setting, productivity, and more are all skills, and as we seek to address unfinished learning, we need our students to be organized and ready for what we put in front of them. 
    • We also dug into what is called the fitbit of education, TeachFX. Great teachers design lessons where the learners are the ones who are working the hardest within the classroom, not the teacher. Put simply, TeachFX measures teacher talk versus student talk. Check it out. 
    • It wouldn’t be an episode of 302 Thoughts without a book recommendation or two. We simply can’t ignore the expansive research found in neuroscience and how that impacts the classroom. As much as Joe tried not to mention a particular book, three titles were dropped quick:

One thing we learned after No Child Left Behind is that money is not the answer for sustainable outcomes if not used wisely. In fact, hiring more personnel and filling voids can lead to unwanted vacancies in just a couple short years. Invest in your people, help them develop and grow by asking them what they need and want. They are the professionals in the classroom and can provide tremendous insight. 

Join Us for the Next Live Session of 302 Thoughts 

This was our first live 302 Thoughts and we were thrilled with the turn out and look forward to our next episode on August 11th at 7:30 EST. We are going to be talking about leadership during such a disruptive period and how to re-engage students as they return to in-person learning. Register here. 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

 

 

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

 

 

Dear DE School Leaders, 

We hope all is well with you. 

This week, our friends at TheSchoolHouse302 are hosting a live event, much like their FocusED podcast, where they’ll be live for a conversation about school funding. They will be available for questions after about a 20 minute recorded chat. The topics covered this month: funding 101 for principals, including a framework for thinking about spending, how ESSER money should support capacity, and a product review of some of their favorite services and solutions right now. 

We hope you can join us on Wednesday at 7:30PM EST. The registration information is below. Bring a friend. 

302 Thoughts Fireside Chat — School Funding for Principals — Live Event — July 14th @ 7:30PM EST

July — Spending/budgeting/ESER funds — Danny Bauer

TeachFX 

Organized Binder 

August — Post-pandemic student engagement 

Differentiation is the king — Dwight Carter 

Each one is a bit redefined for users, like differentiation is really about outcomes

Grading 

Sept. — The 10 surefire ways to build an SEL-focused school culture — 

Taking Social-Emotional Learning Schoolwide: The Formative Five Success Skills for Students and Staff

by Thomas R. Hoerr

Oct — Richard Shell — 5 tips for amplifying your ambitious goals so that they are unstoppable 

Conscious Code: Lead with Your Values. Advance Your Career 

Extracurricular

http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Educational-Leadership/Write-for-Educational-Leadership/Write-for-Educational-Leadership.aspx

Feedback for Impact

As the late Grant Wiggins wrote, “less teaching plus more feedback is the key to achieving greater learning.” This is as true for educators as it is for the students we work with. In this issue, we will explore the key characteristics of effective, actionable feedback—whether provided in the classroom, following a teacher observation, or during a coaching conversation—and how schools can create cultures of effective feedback and make the most of feedback for growth. Articles will look at feedback protocols and routines; evidence-based formative assessment strategies; best practices for differentiating and delivering feedback; and how to make feedback stick.

Submit a manuscript for this issue.

Deadline: November 1, 2021

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