302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: 5 Stress Free Ways that Leaders Can Use to Effectively Tell their School’s Story

302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: 5 Stress Free Ways that Leaders Can Use to Effectively Tell their School’s Story

In this episode of 302 Thoughts, Joe and T.J. riff on how school leaders take control of their school’s story. Schools are unique and complex hubs of the community, doing incredible things each and every day that must be shared. 

The harsh reality is that many people believe that schools are failing our students. There is no doubt that schools and school systems can improve, but great things are happening and need to be showcased. 

T.J. begins by explaining the very nature of our schools and how resources and support are paramount for success. We don’t overlook this because marketing is secondary to the critical work in schools that must be done upfront. However, once that work is moving forward, we have to showcase the school, the students, and the staff. 

People already have an impression of schools so the narrative school leaders portray must be true, accurate, and also unique. If someone graduated from high school then they’ve taken biology. However, many of today’s biology classes are working with instrumentation and conducting labs that are fascinating in ways that past generations didn’t experience–showcase it! Shock people with knowledge and with a window into the great learning that is going on every day. 

Be sure to feature who you are, not just what you are. This was one of the key takeaways from TheSchoolHouse302 OneThingSeries Podcast with Amanda Holdsworth. Schools are small cities with a tremendous number of cool things going on and great people who do awesome work. Share it! Involve the students, don’t be afraid to use Tik Tok, and most importantly, have fun. 

Joe’s one thing is to keep the branding efforts raw and organic. Schools aren’t marketing firms and nor should they act like one. That said, the digital age we live in allows for authentic and everyday marketing efforts. Easy to do, use it often, and use it well. 

T.J.’s one thing is to ship the work! Get it out there. Don’t hesitate. Take inventory of the great things going on, including the uniqueness of the school, and blast it out for the world to see. 

 

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

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Joe & T.J.

302 Thoughts with Joe and T.J.: 5 Stress Free Ways that Leaders Can Use to Effectively Tell their School’s Story

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

 

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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.

302 Thoughts: Great School Leaders Know How to Turn Crisis Into Opportunity

302 Thoughts: Great School Leaders Know How to Turn Crisis Into Opportunity

In this episode of 302 Thoughts, Joe and T.J. dig into how school leaders can turn adversity into opportunity. Every leader will face issues and how they perceive those problems often determines how they will approach them, which can be the difference between success and failure. 

Listen to Joe describe the power of It’s Possible. This isn’t just wishful thinking but an earnest belief that regardless of the situation there is a silver lining. Inspired by Les Brown, Joe makes a compelling case for using this same belief and attitude in education. We know that every school and district is facing issues, whether it’s attracting and retaining teachers, student mental health needs, limited resources, unfunded mandates, etc. Take your pick, the list is long. 

T.J. ties this winning mindset to these perennial problems, and if we want to solve the most difficult issues facing education, leaders are going to need the proper mindset. T.J. mentions the crisis mindset definition that we created, which can be found in our upcoming book, 7 Mindshifts for for School Leaders: Finding New Ways to Think About Old Problems.

Crisis Mindset Definition: An unfiltered 360° view and approach to solving problems with urgency that abandons conventional wisdom and accepted restraints until a meaningful solution is found, implemented, and sustainable.

Lastly, they talk about a critical leadership hack: make it tangible. Too often, issues seem abstract and elusive. One way to combat this is by writing the problem on a sheet of paper and setting it in the center of the table for everyone to see. This strategy seems odd, but it allows the group to focus and deal with what is right in front of them. Try it and let us know how it works out.  

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.

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: 3 Ideas About an Innovative School Culture That Really Work

302 Thoughts: 3 Ideas About an Innovative School Culture That Really Work

In this episode of 302 Thoughts, Joe and T.J. dig into how leaders can implement, develop, and support innovation in schools by identifying three ideas that actually work for school leaders

Innovation in schools is often a byproduct of other areas of focus. For example, if schools purchase instructional technology, many leaders hope that the byproduct will be innovation. The fallacy in this approach is that the tool is the primary focus and not a culture of innovation beyond what the tool might provide. We know that computers and other devices alone don’t improve instruction or student performance nor will they be used with efficacy and excitement if the culture doesn’t already support innovation. 

However, in the right hands, those tools can completely transform a classroom. This is why innovation is so critical; it’s not a thing, but a value. By maintaining and fostering innovation as a value, we can permeate other areas of schooling and not just the obvious application of new tools, like technology. 

Other school practices demand innovative thinking. From human resources and creating innovative hiring practices to school discipline and bell schedules. Innovation is critical to reach greater heights of performance. This is why school leaders have to be intentional and embrace their role as the chief innovation officer. Remember, our definition of innovation: 

Any new idea, program, project, or initiative that enhances or alters what we used to do, creating something new and different.

This doesn’t mean that school leaders have to be the model innovator, but rather create the culture that nurtures it. To ensure that this happens, we offer a unique 3-part model to help school leaders think about what it means to create a culture of innovation.

Listen to Joe describe how great schools and its leaders don’t put a lid on innovation. The school must maintain innovation as a norm during meetings, professional learning, PLCs, all facets of the organization. 

T.J. explains how the three core areas of focus–diversity, open dialogue, and risk-taking–are essential. 

  • Diversity: Diversify the staff and other teams for new and unique thinking.
  • Open Dialogue: Create norms where new ideas are free-flowing in safe spaces. 
  • Risk-Taking: Encourage staff to take calculated risks and learn from their experiences. 

Lastly, they describe how schools cannot only focus on the WHY, and the reasons for something, but also embrace a “bias for action” and develop a culture of TRY.

T.J. and Joe always provide the how with the what, enabling school leaders to lead better and grow faster. To become a CIO in your school, try the following:

  • Look at your teams through a diversity lens. 
  • Ensure meetings allocate time to discuss innovative ideas and practices.
  • Praise effort and encourage persistence. 

We conclude this month’s 302 Thoughts with this quote from Peter Drucker, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

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 newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 

 

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. 

302 Thoughts: School Leaders, Become a Personal Growth Influencer in Three Easy Steps

302 Thoughts: School Leaders, Become a Personal Growth Influencer in Three Easy Steps

In this episode of 302 Thoughts, Joe and T.J. dig into a major responsibility of school leaders that very often poses challenges. Although professional learning is common in schools, not everyone views it as a primary vehicle for getting better. Whether for personal development or improving instructional practices, leveling up one’s skills aren’t always viewed with a positive attitude.

There are a host of reasons for this in schools, but one thing that must be in place to change the culture is that the leader needs to view themselves as a professional growth influencer. School leaders have to be intentional, not only with which trainings they bring to staff, but for casting the vision for how and why everyone in the school must grow.

To improve this aspect of school culture, we believe that three things must occur, which are discussed in this episode.

Listen to Joe describe how great schools build great teachers within healthy systems. The school itself needs to be viewed as a living, breathing organism and its health needs to be monitored routinely. 

T.J. explains how every school has a dynamic staff with a unique set of talents and skills and it is the school leader’s responsibility to tailor learning accordingly. That’s not all though. This is a two-pronged approach, the other prong is that the professional learning needs to be real and relevant–grounded in the nuances of the school or district. 

Lastly, they describe how growth is intentionally developed through leadership opportunities. Effective school leaders create opportunities for teachers to take on a variety of roles from professional learning responsibilities, non-evaluative and non-threatening peer observations, researcher roles, community outreach, assessment team leader, and a host of other possibilities.

T.J. and Joe always provide the how with the what, enabling school leaders to lead better and grow faster. To become a professional growth influencer, school leaders must know and do the following:

  • Conduct interviews and inventories about the unique strength of the teachers. Without this understanding, you’ll likely plan one-size-fits all PD. 
  • Ensure alignment between the learning opportunities and the vision, goals, and initiatives of the school. Misalignment creates strife and frustration.
  • Delegate responsibilities and support teacher leaders. Teacher leaders are the life-blood of great schools, but the making of a great teacher is not the same as the making of a great leader. 

We conclude this month’s 302 Thoughts with this quote from Abraham Maslow: “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” In this type of environment, growth is a core value integrated into the culture. 

Listen to Joe and T.J. take a deep dive into how school and district leaders, at all levels, can rethink growth in schools. 

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 newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 

 

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. 

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