Season 5, Episode 14 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Shane Saeed

Season 5, Episode 14 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Shane Saeed

Be the Flame with Shane Saeed

This is Season 5, Episode 14 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Shane Saeed. In our wide-ranging conversation, we discuss community building, setting norms, the science of learning, coaching teachers…and much more.

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Shane Saeed Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Shane Saeed is a district instructional coach in Colorado who works with K-12 educators. Prior to coaching, Shane was an elementary teacher. Shane has earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in literacy, a second master’s degree in School Leadership and is currently a doctoral candidate working on her degree in Executive Leadership with a focus on Educational Equity and will defend her research this spring. 

Shane’s passion is sharing instructional practices with educators near and far. She is a keynote speaker and facilitates professional development nationally on topics such as the science of learning, the science of reading, and relationship building using content from her book, Be the Flame, which outlines high-yield tangible strategies to cultivate strong positive relationships with all stakeholders. 

Shane was named one of the 20 Emerging Leaders for ASCD in 2022. Shane continues to work in public education in her Colorado school district and collaborates with teachers across the globe via social media. Follow Shane on X: @saeed_shane.

FocusED Show Notes with Shane Saeed

It takes a community to create a safe space for students to air their grievances. Only then can teachers change behaviors, working toward an even stronger community. ~ Shane Saeed

Shane talked about connecting with acclaimed author Jimmy Casas, our friend and author of Culturize. Jimmy encouraged Shane to write her book, and Be the Flame was born.

Shane says that we often think of community building as a beginning of the year activity, but the truth is that community building should be ongoing.

Dr. Saeed talked about modeling activity for team building at a staff meeting so that teachers know how to use that same strategy with students. The difference is that the staff should also discuss the benefits and outcomes of the strategy so that they understand the WHY.

Don’t miss what she says about team building and “first drafts” that can reinforce learning foundations and mindsets for both students and staff.

Shane emphasizes the use of community meetings. Here’s a stem to try with students: “This week I did well at…and next week I would like to do a better job with…”

Shane talked about setting norms (for classrooms and adult meetings); she referenced Learning By Doing by the DuFours.

We asked Shane to talk about the structure of her book, which is focused on takeaways. The book includes stories, reflection questions, and things to use for immediate implementation.

As always, we geeked about a bit on the science of learning, including Shane’s description of prior knowledge.

Joe asks Shane to talk about how she organizes her learning. Don’t miss what she says about going deep into multiple authors and works. She calls these “suites” for her learning intentions.

Shane calls for more belonging in schools; one way to do this is to ensure a knowledgeable teacher versus one who can implement a program. This reminded us of a Delaware professional learning experience called DTI. Check it out.

Dr. Saeed uses cognitive coaching as an instructional coach. The thinking has to be the responsibility of the educator, not just a coach or administrator dictating what to do in every case.

She talks about how exhausted teachers are, and the fact that they make more decisions than a brain surgeon, which means we need to streamline and structure.

Books/Resources that Shane Saeed Mentions on FocusED

Radical Candor by Kim Ball Scott

Mindset by Carol Dweck

Hidden Brain Podcast

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Start with WHY by Simon Sinek

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zarretta Hammond

Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning by Scott McCloud 

Related Content from TheSchoolHouse302

Our interview with Meghan Lawson

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ theschoolhouse302.com where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site and subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 5, Episode 13 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Kim Strobel

Season 5, Episode 13 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Kim Strobel

Teach Happy with Kim Strobel

This is Season 5, Episode 13 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Kim Strobel. Don’t miss our wide-ranging discussion about teaching happier, taking steps toward joy, brain science, positivity…and so much more.

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Kim Strobel Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Kim Strobel is a renowned motivational speaker and author of the forthcoming Teach Happy: Small Steps to Big Joy, sought after by schools, businesses, and organizations worldwide. With her powerful message about the impact of happiness on well-being and the pursuit of fulfillment, she traverses the globe, sharing her insights. 

Kim specializes in empowering educators and professionals, equipping them with the necessary tools and strategies to shift their mindsets, reclaim their happiness, reignite their passion, and lead with purpose.

Drawing from her extensive background as a teacher and curriculum director, Kim’s ultimate aim is to inspire her audience. Through her engaging talks, she presents captivating research, heartwarming anecdotes, and practical steps for achieving life-altering results.

In addition to her professional pursuits, Kim is a devoted animal rescuer, having rescued 187 dogs. She is also an avid runner and has an unwavering love for life.

FocusED Show Notes with Guest Kim Strobel

A positive brain is 30% more productive than a brain that is neutral or stressed. ~ Kim Strobel

Kim starts with the fact that happiness is scientifically based, regardless of what some people may think about the skill of developing happiness. 

She takes a step back and says that there are heavy feelings. She doesn’t promote toxic positivity, but we ought not to get stuck in the gutter, either. 

Don’t miss what she says about the power of happiness in helping us to become more engaged and creative. 

Kim isn’t shy about what we’re typically taught–put your head down and work hard, more hours, etc. That just doesn’t work if we want to be effective. 

Joe is candid about how stress can create rumination, and then we enter autopilot. He asks Kim to help with the mindset shift that many of us need. 

Kim describes parts of the brain, how they work, and the subconscious mind that’s driving thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. 

She tells us that too many people are on cognitive overload. We have 70,000 thoughts a day, and 60% are negative. 

Our negative brains are what keep us safe as humans, but that’s mostly not necessary anymore. 

Kim reminds us that our minds and our thoughts are within our control. The number one strategy to rewire our neurofeedback is to use gratitude. Writing down 3 thoughts of gratitude per day can literally change your mind about yourself and the world. 

In our gratitude practice, which is a happiness habit, we must be specific–not just that we’re able to exercise but that we can run 30 miles per week. Be specific! 

Don’t miss what she says about habit stacking. 

She gives granular advice to teachers about how to build happiness habits with students in the classroom. 

Joe asks Kim to dive deeper into her meditation chair. The need for tradition and habit is critical to building success and mitigating decision fatigue. 

Kim opens up about her own trials with panic disorder and the suffering that she went through as she helped herself out of a dark state. 

We can blame anyone for anything, but at the end of the day, our happiness is our own responsibility. 

Kim describes the work ethic that many of us have as being gratifying because we’re drained after giving our all to something, but that’s not the best strategy for real happiness. 

She tells us that 50 hours of work leads to about 37 hours of productive time; and, 55 hours leads to 35 hours of productive time. Five more hours and we lose 3 that were potentially productive. 

Don’t miss what she says about putting our energy into the things that fuel us rather than the things that deplete us. 

Check out the gratitude tracker that Kim mentions during the show. 

Find Kim at https://kimstrobel.com/

Books We Recommend Based on this Podcast with Kim Strobel

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Before Happiness by Shawn Achor 

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky 

Atomic Habits by James Clear 

 

Related Content from TheSchoolHouse302

Wendy Turner talks about adult SEL

Lainie Rowell talks about the power of gratitude.

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ theschoolhouse302.com where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site and subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 5, Episode 12 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Wendy Turner

Season 5, Episode 12 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Wendy Turner

Social and Emotional Learning for Adults with Wendy Turner

This is Season 5, Episode 12 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Wendy Turner. Wendy talks to us about adult burn-out, SEL strategies to use on yourself, what leaders can do differently to support teachers…and much more.

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Wendy Turner Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Wendy Turner is an educator, author, and teacher-leader who is passionate about social-emotional learning. Wendy currently teaches third grade in Wilmington, DE, and works to build capacity in others around social-emotional learning practices in schools. 

She was the 2017 Delaware Teacher of the Year, a Presidential Excellence in Teaching Science awardee, an NEA Global Learning Fellow, an Outstanding STEM Educator in Delaware, a Delaware Compassion Champion, and served as the teacher leader on the Delaware State Board of Education for two years. 

Wendy now facilitates professional learning on social emotional learning both locally and nationally and regularly contributes to education blogs, articles, and podcasts. She is the author of Embracing Adult SEL, published by Routledge in 2023. You can follow Wendy on X: @mrswendymturner.

FocusED Show Notes with Wendy Turner

Judgment is an insufficient use of resources for living your life. ~ Wendy Turner

Wendy talks about her time in the classroom and how she needed a break before coming back to the classroom. When she left, she felt burnt out, which led her to write her book about adult SEL. One thing that matters about this book is that it’s a self-help book for us to implement SEL for ourselves as well as others. 

She tells us that she shares a lot of her personal life in the book to relate to readers who want to learn more about implementing SEL for themselves. 

Joe asks Wendy if she thinks she could not have burnt out so fast if she had SEL when she left education before coming back to her current position. Don’t miss what she says about having some pieces of the practices but not all. 

Don’t miss what Wendy says about having a “box of energy.” 

Wendy talks about using empathy to take action–she calls this Curious, Connected, and Active. You have to check this framework out in the book.

T.J. points out Chapter 3 from the book and the foundation of SEL being self-awareness. You have to hear how Wendy responds to this using information from that chapter on page 49. 

Wendy addresses the shame that we often feel and how to let it go, including our own pessimism about things that we can’t control. 

Don’t miss what she says about her core values and how she uses them to make quality decisions. 

Joe asks about barriers, roadblocks, etc, to do this work well. Wendy advises that it takes time–1 to 3 months. Try five new things in that time period. 

 Wendy talks about positively present as a place that she goes for inspiration. 

 She mentions a case study on SEL that she finds fascinating because it says that we need to start with adult SEL if we’re going to implement it successfully with our students. 

 Explicit, sustained, and embedded–these are the principles of implementing any professional learning that we want to stick, including SEL. 

 Wendy calls for SEL coaches in every school. 

 Joe asks Wendy to unpack SEL circles, which she does using CASEL practices. 

 Wendy says that teachers need practical, useful strategies that they can use right away. She talks about her next book, which is going to be an SEL playbook. Teachers know the what, but they need help with the how

 Preparing teachers to support social and emotional learning

 We are the only ones who can inform ourselves about ourselves. ~ Wendy Turner

 Even on our worst day, we can close with something positive. ~ Wendy Turner 

Books that Wendy Turner Mentions on FocusED

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond

 

Related Content from TheSchoolHouse302

Our interview with Jeffrey Benson

Our interview with Tom Hoerr

Our interview with Lorea Martinez

Our interview with Morgane Michael 

_________________________________________

Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ theschoolhouse302.com where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site and subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Riptides and School Leadership: Parallels in Power and Peril

Riptides and School Leadership: Parallels in Power and Peril

In this episode of the Leading Better and Growing Faster podcast for school leaders, Joe and T.J. discuss how school leaders can effectively manage the riptides found in everyday school leadership.

Imagine a calm beach day, preferably Savage Ditch, Delaware, where you can drive onto the beach and enjoy an incredible experience of sun and sand. Imagine this, though: you’re swimming close to shore in the refreshing water when, suddenly, a powerful current pulls you out to sea. This is the unnerving reality of an ocean riptide, and you can’t see them coming, and you can’t fight your way out of them. But did you know these hidden currents have a surprising parallel in the world of education? 

Educational leaders, much like beachgoers, can find themselves caught in unexpected challenges – swirling currents of change, budget constraints, or evolving student needs. Just like fighting a riptide is futile, these challenges demand a different strategy. 

In this podcast, you’ll learn about the following 3 Strategies to navigate the current seas of leadership: 

  1. Develop a culture of open communication
  2. Develop a culture of continuous improvement 
  3. Develop a culture of self-development

Don’t get swept away! Tune in and learn the secrets to leading through educational riptides.

This podcast offers actionable strategies for:

  • Building trust and a unified school community
  • Moving beyond the common notion that  “we’ve always done it this way”
  • Creating systems that reinforce a culture of continuous learning and growth
  • Leading by example through self-development

Our goal is to be able to help school leaders discover how to effectively navigate the educational riptides and chart a course for success in your school.

Joe & T.J. Are Now Booking Summer and Fall Events!

Space is limited, but dates are still available. If you’re ready to take your leadership skills to the next level or you want to build the capacity of the folks on your team, we have the solutions that you need. Our engaging keynotes and interactive leadership workshops are designed to equip you and your leaders with the tools and strategies you need to thrive in today’s complex and ever-changing educational environment. Contact us to learn more about our offerings and book a session for your organization today! 

A few ideas: 

  • Join one of our Mastermind groups
  • Book us for a keynote to kick off the year with your teachers
  • Allow us to train your school leaders on any number of our proven models 
  • Have us join your retreat to kick things up a notch with practical takeaways 
  • Bring us in virtually or in-person to talk about one of our books
  • Call us for something unique

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

Season 5, Episode 11 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Mitch Weathers

Season 5, Episode 11 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Mitch Weathers

Teaching Executive Functioning Skills to All Students with Mitch Weathers

This is Season 5, Episode 11 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Mitch Weathers. Mitch defines executive functioning skills, why they are so important to teach students in school, and how to do it in every classroom…and much more.

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Mitch Weathers Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Mitch Weathers became a gifted teacher because he was a mediocre student. Despite taking seven years to graduate college, he navigated the classroom with discomfort. 

This unique perspective fueled Mitch’s teaching approach. Recognizing the importance of laying a foundation for learning, he created Organized Binder. This research-backed strategy empowers teachers to impart executive functioning skills efficiently, preserving valuable instructional time. 

By establishing a predictable routine, Organized Binder fosters safer learning spaces, shaping Mitch’s journey from a struggling student to an innovative educator.

Mitch’s book helps educators understand and implement executive functioning skills in the classroom. It’s called Executive Functions for Every Classroom, Grades 3-12: Creating Safe and Predictable Learning Environments. You can find Mitch on X @organizedbinder. 

FocusED Show Notes with Mitch Weathers

Mitch talks about writing the book because not all teachers can access his company’s resources, Organized Binder, but they can design lessons that help students gain executive functioning skills. The book helps with that. 

Mitch says that we can’t hope that students will pick up executive functions (EF) skills by chance. 

Joe reminds listeners that we interviewed Curtiss Murphy, and we must assume confusion. With that in mind, Joe asks Mitch to define EF. 

Mitch said that one of the schools he works with calls EF skills “studentness.” The reason for this is that not all kids know how to “do school.” EF teaches how to do school well, and they translate to life skills. 

Don’t miss the 6 skills that Mitch says matter for all other skills to fall in place. 

We discuss predictable learning spaces and the need for the environment to be safe for risk-taking and other factors required for learning to take place. 

Mitch calls for more routines so that kids aren’t spending their cognitive load on processing the demands of the classroom and the teacher so that they can place that demand on the learning intentions. 

Don’t miss what he says about “shared routines” in schools and collective teacher efficacy. When we build shared routines, we’re also collectively rallying around something that we all care to deliver to kids. 

EF skills are not necessarily something that should just be taught in isolation, but rather they should be used in the context of all learning scenarios. 

Joe asks about the trouble with collective efficacy and why we don’t share practices for predictable learning environments. Mitch has a simple answer: too much isolation. 

The rhythm and routine of the day shouldn’t change. ~ Mitch Weathers 

Several times, Mitch mentions Visible Learning MetaX. All instructional leaders should know about this and how some strategies have larger effect sizes than others. 

You want to listen to Mitch describe the need for continuity in schools. 

Mitch says that when you pick a routine to implement, you should explore why. The rationale is as important as the strategy itself. 

Mitch mentions the following resources: Organized Binder and Teach Better’s Grid Method

Mitch talks about CTE being the future of secondary education. 

He tells us that too much of school is focused on content and teaching and not enough on the environment. 

Books that Mitch Weathers Mentions on FocusED

Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit 

Powerful Teaching by Patrice Bain and Pooja Agarwal 

Niche Down by Christopher Lochhead and Heather Clancy

Related Content from TheSchoolHouse302

Our Leading Better and Growing Faster Podcast with Mitch Weathers

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Stoic Leadership and Remaining Calm in Times of Chaos with Guest Glenn Robbins

Stoic Leadership and Remaining Calm in Times of Chaos with Guest Glenn Robbins

About Glenn Robbins

Glenn Robbins is the proud Superintendent of the Brigantine Public School District in Brigantine, New Jersey. He has served as a public school superintendent in New Jersey since 2016. Prior to becoming a superintendent, he was a middle school principal, a high school assistant principal, a high school social studies teacher, and a varsity coach. He is a best-selling author of Calm In The Chaos: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Successful School Leadership and a sought-after speaker.

Glenn has been awarded numerous administrative national and state recognitions, including the National Exemplar of Education Award, Northeast Innovative Superintendent Award, NJ Visionary Superintendent Award, Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools Member, NASSP Digital Principal of the Year, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Winner, and SETDA Student Voice Award Winner. 

He has been invited to the White House and the US Department of Education several times. He is also the proud recipient of a National Superintendent Certification and serves as an AASA National Governing Board Member, AASA Aspiring Superintendent Mentor, and Chair of NJASA Technology Committee.

Glenn has been recognized across the globe for his innovative school and district improvement methods and has been featured in numerous conferences, books, podcasts, and other publications. Glenn is passionate about helping school leaders create schools where every student and educator can have the opportunity to succeed to the utmost potential in a VUCA world.

What You’ll Find in this Episode with Glenn Robbins

Glenn starts with the connection between stoicism and school leadership. He takes us back to ancient philosophy, including Epectitus

The book is short and powerful. A practical read and guide for school leaders. 

Glenn talks about how the world is so chaotic and how the wisdom in his book is a friend to new and inspiring leaders.

Listen to what Glenn says about being a Superintendent in a shore community and what he takes from the waves.

Glenn poses a great reflection question: How do we react when things hurt us? 

Expressing gratitude once again is a primary habit and mindset people must embrace. 

Don’t miss what Glenn says about the imposter syndrome. 

Glenn mentions following Robert Greene’s work, Damon West, Chris Singleton, Danny Bauer, and other friends who have supported his leadership. Check out Billy Oppenheimer’s Sunday Six.

Glenn talks about the future. Don’t miss what he’s done with the school furniture. 

Lastly, Glenn reminds us that running schools is not a zero-sum game; reach out to a leader on social media and connect about school leadership, personal growth, and human connection.

Joe & T.J. Are Now Booking Summer and Fall Events!

Space is limited, but dates are still available. If you’re ready to take your leadership skills to the next level or you want to build the capacity of the folks on your team, we have the solutions that you need. Our engaging keynotes and interactive leadership workshops are designed to equip you and your leaders with the tools and strategies you need to thrive in today’s complex and ever-changing educational environment. Contact us to learn more about our offerings and book a session for your organization today!

A few ideas: 

  • Join one of our Mastermind groups
  • Book us for a keynote to kick off the year with your teachers
  • Allow us to train your school leaders on any number of our proven models 
  • Have us join your retreat to kick things up a notch with practical takeaways 
  • Bring us in virtually or in person to talk about one of our books
  • Call us for something unique

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.