What Every Principal Leader Ought to Know About Personal Development and the Power of A Mastermind Group

What Every Principal Leader Ought to Know About Personal Development and the Power of A Mastermind Group

Learn more about Danny Bauer

Daniel Bauer is an unorthodox Ruckus Maker who has mentored thousands of school leaders through his Better Leaders Better Schools blog, books, podcasts, and powerful coaching experiences. 

His new book, The Mastermind: Unlocking the Talent Within Every School Leader introduces a proprietary process called the ABCs of powerful professional development™ which is changing the landscape of how school leaders experience professional development. 

Key Thoughts from Our Interview with Danny Bauer

  • Danny wastes no time about the harsh reality that 90% of school leaders who leave their school, leave the profession. The cost of retention is too high, which is why joining a community of dedicated professionals is paramount.
  • Listen to Danny explore the imposter syndrome, how it limits our abilities, why it kicks in, and how we can push past our self-defeating behaviors when we are a part of the right community.
  • Danny shares a quote: What’s ordinary for you is extraordinary for me. ~ Derek Sivers. Check out entrepreneur and founder of CD Baby, Derek Sivers, you won’t be disappointed.
  • A big part of the Mastermind process is the “hotseat” protocol. It’s where we challenge one another to do and be better. Listen to what Danny says about the collective IQ. 
  • What is Danny looking forward to? Eventually, he wants to serve 1200+ leaders in his Mastermind. This is where the interview gets very tangible, since Danny tells about what he learned from The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale.
  • Teaching others is what leads to his growth because it helps to make the learning stick. He is always looking for something that stretches his thinking. Check out the AltMBA, an investment that he made in his own leadership. 
  • Lastly, listen to what he says about “just cause.”

Let us know what you’re reading and who else you want us to bring on the show by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

Exploring the Work of John Dewey and How He Impacted the World in the Wake of Covid19

Exploring the Work of John Dewey and How He Impacted the World in the Wake of Covid19

The Information Age and Principal Leadership 

We live in a time that has been deemed the “information age.” Some argue that in the 21st Century we can be exposed to more information in one week than those who lived in the 17th Century would be exposed to in their entire lives. In many ways that makes our mere existence more challenging as we look to lead our schools effectively. We need discrete skills that enable us to process and filter an abundance of information. Knowing how to discern and weed through all of the channels in order to make sound decisions is a marquee skill of any effective principal. That skill needs to be coupled with another critical and complementary skill, which is knowing how to apply that knowledge in actionable and strategic ways. 

Who is John Dewey and How Did He Impact the World?

Effective principal leaders know how to synthesize information and apply it to the unique needs of their schools. 

This is what brought us back to the work of John Dewey this month. We wanted to study the claims that Dewey might have made about teaching and learning during COVID19. And, we explore this in our 302 Thoughts this month.

Taking what we’ve learned and experienced from the pandemic, we sought to embark on a tried and true classroom practice: problem based learning. We focus on the good that can come from such a tumultuous time in education. We wanted to add an abstract element to spark creativity, so we did our best to filter our ideas through the powerful lens of the great educational reformer, John Dewey.

Critical Ideas from our 302 Thoughts: Student-Centered Learning  

  1. Students and teachers need support in multiple ways and beyond just learning in the classroom. As humans we are confronted with challenges that stifle and limit teaching and learning. Great principals need to understand, recognize, and build support for students and teachers.
    1. A Creative Way to Support Students
      1. Affinity Groups
    2. A Creative Way to Support Teachers
      1. Faculty-led before or after school wellness classes (such as yoga).  
  2. Engagement is everything. Students need to be engaged in the classroom and teachers need to be engaged in their departments and the school as a whole.
    1. A Creative Way to Engage Students
      1. Require students to create questions, not answers, on what is being learned. Stoke their creativity.
    2. A Creative Way to Engage Teachers
      1. Ask them to specifically identify the professional learning experiences that they want.
  3. Opportunities are found in the right mindset. Going through the last year and not learning from all of our trials would be an injustice to our school system.
    1. A Creative Way to Provide Opportunities for Students
      1. Continue to employ the various instructional tools and supports that helped students learn (stay tuned for our ESSER focused blog next month). 
    2. A Creative Way to Provide Opportunities for Teachers
      1. Create ad hoc groups to determine the aspects of hybrid and remote learning that should not be discontinued.

Ultimately, it is up to us to decide if we will learn from the great thinkers and reformers of the past and capitalize on the opportunities of today, no matter what form they take. COVID19 was completely unexpected, and it certainly upended our educational system. Let’s take advantage of what we accomplished and the lessons we learned thus far.

We hope you like this month’s 302 Thoughts as we continue to discuss leadership and the impact that you can have on your community. Next month, we go live with our first ever open audience 302 Thoughts; we hope to see you there.  

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom, podcasts, books to read, reflection sessions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster in schools. Follow us at theschoolhouse302.com to join thousands of leaders who get our content each month. Send this to a friend. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCloud. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

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. 

Mindset is Everything: How To Handle Every Student Support Challenge this Upcoming School Year w/ Guest LaVonna Roth

Mindset is Everything: How To Handle Every Student Support Challenge this Upcoming School Year w/ Guest LaVonna Roth

Learn More About LaVonna Roth

As a former elementary and secondary educator, keynote speaker, author, consultant and mom, LaVonna bridges her passion for how the brain learns with education and shows every individual how to S.H.I.N.E. through their mindset and social-emotional well-being so achievement soars for all. 

She has a Bachelor’s and two Master’s Degrees, taught at the elementary and secondary levels, author of 8 books (about to be 9), and has worked with educators in the U.S./Canada, Europe, South America and the Middle East.  She is the founder of the Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® framework and creator of brain-powered learning.  To elevate educators further, LaVonna teaches educators how to get into educational consulting – part-time or full-time – through her Prime to S.H.I.N.E. consulting course and membership site. 

She will leave you inspired, remembering why you got into education, and how to create substantial change in your classroom, district or organization that is sustainable. She is here to serve you, so you can effectively serve your students through the lens of brain research, social-emotional needs and psychological safety. 

Key Thoughts from Our Interview with LaVonna Roth

  • LaVonna discussed how the pandemic didn’t come with a manual and how we should be careful with the language we use, such as lost year, lost learning. 
  • “We need to take a step back and understand what just happened over the last year and a half. We need to survive to thrive, and we need space to transition.” 
  • Don’t miss the key strategies she provides for when students return. This reminded us of Dan Sullivan’s book, Who Not How. LaVonna clearly establishes who should be at the table.
  • Lavonna talked about how educators need to have age appropriate conversations. Check out her free SEL resources
  • LaVonna uses a structured way to look at situations, and she asks very specific questions: “What was the lesson, benefit, or takeaway?” 
  • LaVonna talks about psychological sciences and cognitive psychology. She points to books from ASCD. We also recommend taking a look at Make It Stick, Powerful Teaching, and a company called TeachFX
  • Don’t miss LaVonna’s personal hacks for self-care. Become aware of your thoughts. Check out, also, a great book on this topic, Chatter, by Ethan Kross.
  • LaVonna wants to slow down a bit…listen to what she says about it. It reminded us of Essentialism
  • LaVonna combines learning with self-care to continue to grow as a leader. You’ll want to hear this. 
  • Her final segment was powerful, vulnerable, and relatable for those of us who struggle with imposter-syndrome and the value we seek to add. 

Let us know what you’re reading and who else you want us to bring on the show by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — Sign up for our next Masterclass in Candid and Compassionate Feedback and our first ever Masterclass in Building a Winning Team. 

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. 

Rules Not To Follow To End The School Year On A High Note: What Every Principal Needs to Know

Rules Not To Follow To End The School Year On A High Note: What Every Principal Needs to Know

The school year, especially May, is a busy time of year for everyone. Add on to this reality the Covid19 pandemic and we are faced with a recipe of fatigue, frustration, and possibly a dollop of uncertainty. We want to acknowledge these feelings and actually put them on the table to be known. By acknowledging how we feel and what we are experiencing, we begin to exercise a level of control.

As Echart Tolle reminds us, “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” It is ok to be tired, to desire normalcy and desire a routine. Great principals understand this reality and use this energy to positively end the school year on a high note. 

We know from Dan Kahnemann’s work that finishing the school year strong and successfully is paramount. No matter how challenging this year was, educational leaders have the ability to leave a favorable and lasting positive impression on all of their teachers. What is terrific is that regardless of how challenging the year was, these final moments  are what will be remembered throughout the summer. Yes, this year has been tough but there is no doubt that this was a year of triumph, so celebrate.

Take note as we close out the school year to recognize the great things that have happened. Actually, take some risks and pull a page out of the book of Krasinki and feature Some Good News. Why not start a daily YouTube video featuring the terrific work that’s been accomplished. 

In education, we live by a few unwritten and untold rules that bind us to a world of caution. We are not suggesting being reckless but rather demonstrating unbridled and unique appreciation and gratitude. We hold back because we worry about precedence and opinion, but now is not the time to sit back, but to step forward and truly appreciate others. 

We are not in any way suggesting that this year wasn’t tough and that the road ahead won’t be filled with challenges. What we are saying is that at the end of the year we need to connect with everyone on the staff, continue to be consistent and present, communicate often, and celebrate!

We hope you like this month’s 302 Thoughts as we continue to discuss leadership and the impact that you can have on your community. 

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom, podcasts, books to read, reflection sessions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster in schools. Follow us at theschoolhouse302.com to join thousands of leaders who get our content each month. Send this to a friend. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCould. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

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. 

How to Finish the School Year as a Peak Performing School Leader with Director of Technology, Amber Teamann

How to Finish the School Year as a Peak Performing School Leader with Director of Technology, Amber Teamann

Amber Teamann serves as the Director of Technology for Crandall ISD, a fast-growing district outside of Dallas, Texas. During her educational career, Amber’s comprehensive understanding of student learning has resulted in a successful blend of technology and leading. Through her campus and district level leadership, she has helped initiate instructional change district-wide, empowering teachers at all levels. 

Amber knows that we can all be better together and strives to make every day the very best it can be for each member of her staff and students. As an award-winning administrator, she has been a featured speaker in multiple states helping motivate, encourage, and help develop the capacity of teachers and leaders nationwide. Recognizing the power of social media, working with districts and campuses on finding their voice, and leveraging the power of connected educators has led her down a path she completely owes to the power of a professional learning network.

Key Thoughts from Our Interview with Amber Teamann:

Amber wastes no time diving into key strategies to stay connected with teachers and remain sensitive to the time of year and all the stresses associated with wrapping up this school year. Her wisdom will guide any listener who is looking to finish the school year strong and who wants to be mindful of the various activities that could easily send the wrong message. 

  • Listen to how Amber continually recognizes that the classroom is the most important space in every school.
  • Amber reminds us that we always have to remember that as leaders our position precedes us as people–it is our responsibility to maintain the same level of energy and enthusiasm throughout the entire year.
  • Don’t miss Amber’s third key strategy, which is focused on how not to overwhelm our staff.
  • Amber identified Angela Watson as her go-to resource for herself and her teachers.
  • There is no doubt that Amber is techie, but you don’t want to overlook her sage advice on setting boundaries with social media.
  • One of her professional goals will resonate with any district leader who is really striving to make an impact through service. 
  • Throughout this interview, Amber displayed a level of insight and wisdom. You can’t miss her testimony on how she learned the power in identifying what she doesn’t know.
  • Amber puts an end to this wonderful conversation by amplifying the concept that the smartest person in the room is the room itself.  
  • Lastly, we highly recommend her book Lead with Appreciation: Fostering a Culture of Gratitude. Stay tuned for our review on our ReadThisSeries.

Amber’s interview is filled with very specific strategies to end the year in a supportive and encouraging way, coupled with high expectations. We are grateful that she discussed her experience as a principal and those early lessons she learned that taught her how to effectively lead. It was an awesome follow-up to our latest blogpost on effective educational leadership and how to finish the school year strong.

We hope to hear from you about your favorite parts of both the blog and the interview. Please comment below. 

Please follow, like, and share. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you. For more great leadership content, follow theschoolhouse302.com

Joe & T.J.



On July 12th and 13th, we bring to you our Masterclass in Candid and Compassionate Feedback. It’s just 4 hours, 9-11AM EST, on both days. Email contact@theschoolhouse302.com to reserve your seat. Also, on July 19th and 20th, we’re offering our first Masterclass in Building a Winning Team. Both days, 9-11AM EST, you’ll learn ways that you can build your reputation, tell your story, and attract top talent to your school. Email us today. 


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. 

Crossing the Classroom Innovation Divide with Corwin Best Selling Author Jenny Magiera, Global Head of Education Impact at Google

Crossing the Classroom Innovation Divide with Corwin Best Selling Author Jenny Magiera, Global Head of Education Impact at Google

Learn More About Jennie Magiera, Head of Education at Google

Jennie Magiera is the Global Head of Education Impact at Google, bestselling author of Courageous Edventures, and the founder and president of the non-profit Our Voice Alliance (whose mission is to elevate marginalized voices and perspectives to improve equity and empathy in education). Previously, she was the Chief Innovation Officer for CCSD62, the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, and a Chicago Public Schools teacher. A White House Champion for Change, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Innovator, and TEDx Speaker, Jennie works to improve education globally. 

She is also passionate about transforming professional learning, having served on the Technical Working Group for the US Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan, co-founding PLAYDATE and other conferences. You can follow Jennie on Twitter at @MsMagiera and pick up her book on Amazon.

Key Thoughts from Our Interview with Jennie Magiera

  • Understanding the Diffusion of Innovation Curve and how it applies to people and their adoption of innovation is profound for educational leaders who are transforming classrooms into innovation hubs. Don’t miss our discussion about Crossing the Chasm
  • You have to hear how Jennie shifted her approach as an instructional coach to enable people to see how technology can radically improve student achievement and solve their unique problems as teachers.
  • Her insight into how educators define and see themselves provides an excellent window into why change can be so difficult.
  • Listen to how she is “double clicking” on the humanity of change and who she would love to have pizza with.
  • Her time blocking suggestion is powerful for go-getters who are looking for more space in their day.
  • You can’t miss why she wants to learn Korean.
  • She articulates how she accomplishes an enormous amount in a day, yet also knows when enough has been done. 
  • Don’t miss Jennie’s protractor story and how she describes that technology is a tool, only to be used for the right reasons.

One Thing Series Summary

Jennie’s interview is a powerful blend of technology and human performance. She eloquently describes that a people-first mentality is needed to successfully lead an innovation revolution in our schools. We are grateful that she discussed how she was not always an innovator but sought disruption to improve the student experience.

We hope to hear from you about your favorite parts of both the blog and the interview. Please comment below. Follow, like, and share.

Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you. For more great leadership content, follow theschoolhouse302.com.

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. 

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