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Posted by on in General


How do you decide which sessions to attend when you go to a conference? Especially one that has amazing session at every time slot. It’s not easy and until last week, I had no plan. It’s not as if this is tragedy, but I can tell you that I left the most recent conference I attended, National Principal’s Conference 2019, feeling as if I had gotten everything I wanted out of the 3-day experience. To be honest, I have attended many wonderful conferences in the past, and I had never felt the way I feel today and it’s not any fault of the conferences. It was because I did not have a plan.

I do now.

Pick Great Presenters

I know some of you may be thinking, “Jon, I enjoy attending conferences, but I don’t have any desire to ever present at one of these things.” Okay, I hear you. But, don’t forget that you present all the time. Whether you are a teacher presenting to your students, a principal presenting to your staff or a supervisor presenting to your department; you are a presenter.

Therefore, it only makes sense to choose a session or two in which you know you will be observing a master presenter. Maybe you are interested in what they are talking about. Maybe you’re not.

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Posted by on in General


Sometimes it doesn’t take much.

Hours of heavy lifting can be negated by a letter (eval rating), a look or an unmet expectation.

A sculptor sees hourly progress. A writer, daily. But a teacher?

Weeks may pass without even the hint of a step forward.

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Posted by on in General


I have been out of the classroom – let me start over – I have not been a classroom teacher for over ten years. Technically speaking, as an elementary school assistant principal, I am in and out of classrooms every day. But … there is a huge difference between being in a classroom and running a classroom. Trust me, the increasing degree of difficulty of the latter is not lost on this veteran administrator.

This is why I want to take this time to thank you. And while I couldn’t possibly list all the reasons that I am grateful for what you do, I would like to highlight three that continuously amaze me.

1. We all need to see the doctor, dentist, or chiropractor from time to time—either when we are not feeling well or for wellness check ups for ourselves and our family members. I know that getting and making appointments can be difficult. Some waiting lists are months long. I am also aware of fact that health professionals see patients in the middle of the day.

Yet, you still make dentist appointments at 7 AM so you can get to school before your students arrive. You still take the latest prenatal check ups your doctor has available because your students have a test the next day and there is no way a sub could get them ready to add fractions with unlike denominators. And you still schedule appointments on your days off instead of on days in which school is in session because you want to be there for your students and your colleagues.

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Posted by on in General


This happens more often than we care to admit. And though we try to talk ourselves out of it, we are often unsuccessful. Recently I fell victim to the day after blues. I know better. But knowing better doesn’t always result in doing better.

Last weekend I gave a presentation at a conference. There were no technical difficulties and not once did I fall down or split my pants. All in all, I felt pretty good about it. Afterwards, some folks even told me that I did well.

And I felt good.

And then I didn’t.

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Posted by on in General



I help monitor 4 lunch shifts each day. It’s a busy and often loud time but it allows me to see every kid in the school, preK-5. I’m not gonna lie, my feet are tired by the time the last shift is over at 1:15. So, I could blame my mess-up on the fact that I was tired or that I was just plain ready-to-be-done.

But neither of these reasons excused what I did.

The last lunch shift was almost over. Let’s say it was about 1 o’clock. And a student came up to me to ask a question. He should have raised his hand before leaving his seat. Trust me, I am rather lenient when it comes to lunch rules but this one is important. If students leave their seats whenever they want, chaos ensues. Anyway.

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