Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Principal Shares... The Power of Coaching

A LYS Principal shares the result of working with a LYS Coach this year.

SC,

I want you to know that Barbara Fine (LYS Legend, Icon and Coach) has really helped me and the staff turn our school around.  We are finally functioning as a school should function.  We are having significantly more success with our students with first instruction and we did not need to have one after school academic camp this year. Just spot tutoring by teachers when they felt the need.  There is sense urgency not just evident by administrators, but also by teachers.

I know that we are now doing what needs to be done to prepare our students for greatness.  This was never more apparent than on the last day of school when every child leaving us had tears. In the past I have seen crying, but this year every child walking out was crying.  It gave me chills.

Thank you and thanks Barbara!

SC Response
Incredible! It really sounds like you and your team have finally turned the corner.  

Just keep reminding your staff that now it is time to kick it into high gear and take advantage of the momentum that has been built.

Enjoy your Summer!

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote); The 4th Annual Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Does Class Size Matter

School board members and superintendents often ask me my opinion on class size.  I have read the research and understand the theory behind the class size argument, but my answer is much more practical and is based on the situation.

Situation 1 (The Small School): In most small schools, class size really isn’t an issue. In many small schools, most of the classrooms have anywhere from 15 to 20 students in them at any given time.  This represents a considerable expense to the district.  The Superintendent realizes that class size can be increased to the range of 18-24, and all of a sudden the budget is balanced.  Then teachers and principals start screaming (understandably), and the Superintendent and the Board (understandably) get cold feet. 

My Answer: The measurable impact on adding six students to an already small class is negligible.  Increase the class size and spend the savings on raises for instructional staff, instructional tools and training.

Situation 2 (The Struggling School): The school is struggling, average class size is between 20 to 25, and leadership has to do something. The act of reducing class size will make a big splash. 

My Answer: If instruction is poor in a bigger class, reducing class size just means that there will be poor instruction in a smaller class.  But now it will costs more per student to deliver that poor instruction. Plus, if the reduced class size is still above 13, the reduction in class size is unlikely to make a measurable impact.  Instead, take the budget to be spent on hiring more teachers and spend that money on raises for instructional staff, instructional tools, and training.

Nine time out of ten, reducing class size is an empty exercise.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote); The 4th Annual Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Superintendent Shares... The Problem is Us.

A LYS Superintendent shares the following:

LYS Nation,

I recently moved to a new district, to serve as the new Superintentent.  It was soon brought to my attention by coaching staff that my son was not going along with the athletic program.  Of course I spoke with my son, told him it was important for him to be compliant and to set an example for other athletes.  I was really pretty hard on him for pulling such a stunt in the first place.  So, the next afternoon after arriving at home I asked how the workout went.  He said he didn't workout.  I was furious.  I was very disappointed in my son and I wanted answers.  My son quickly explained that since it was game day the coaches were busy so the non-varsity athletes simply played dodge ball.

Ok, so the coaches expect kids to toe the line, and I expect my son to be a role model, but the adults decide to take a day off and let the athletes play dodge ball? 

My new district is considered (by both the state and myself) low performing. We have to set an example of hard work, every day, every minute.  There can be no free time, loafing, not showing up to class on time, ice cream socials at central office, when we are not adequately educating the students in our charge. This district has a culture that does not instill consistent values of hard work in students.  But how can it, when we the adults do not model hard work?  The result is our climate is suffering, and of course both academic and athletic success is considerably lower than the full potential of our students.  We have work to do, and it starts with modeling expectations and work ethic.

As Cain famously says, “Adult Practice Drives Student Performance.  I can promise you until we start to live up to this in my new district the engrained habit of blaming kids is now officially over.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote); The 4th Annual Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Monday, June 20, 2016

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of June 12, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of June 12, 2016 when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.

1. Not sure how many times it needs to be said, but if you’re applying for a job, know the district you are applying to. Do your homework. (By @woscholar)

2. Vouchers are a political distraction from the state’s top priority: Providing a quality education to all Texas children. (By @Coalition4TxEd)

3. For teens, sight of social media "likes" activates the same brain circuits as eating chocolate and winning money. (By @anniemurphypaul)

4. Hard work usually prevails over better talent. Talent equals potential. Work equals movement forward. (By @TinneyTroy)

5. A transparent leader may not always be popular, but hey, leadership isn't about popularity. (By @DanVForbes)

6. There is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain. Bottom line: If you're not hurting, you're not leading. (By @pauljsohn)

7. The people who are still with you at the end of the day are the ones worth keeping. (By @WiseWilbert)

8. Texas public school teachers labor valiantly to educate our children while Texas Legislators try every conceivable way to shortchange them. Unacceptable! (By @pastors4txkids)

9. Too few school Superintendents have the courage or political savvy to stand up to school boards that want the status quo or are self-serving. (By @tgrierhisd)

10. Don't fear opposition. Expect it. And use it as an opportunity to fuel your growth. (By @stevenfurtick)

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote); The 4th Annual Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Alignment of PowerWalks and T-TESS

To conclude this series of T-TESS alignment posts, we’ll discuss formative walks-thru’s.  Principals are beginning to realize that the T-TESS implemented correctly means coaching and supporting staff to better implement better and best practice.  And to do this effectively, a tool that creates “game-film” for teachers is no longer a want... it is a necessity.  And any formative assessment tool that is not aligned to T-TESS, is now essentially a waste of time.  So where to find a formative assessment tool that creates game film for teachers and is aligned to T-TESS?  It’s a short list and at the top of the list is PowerWalks.  The chart below shows the alignment of the individual PowerWalks observation modules and the individual components of T-TESS    

PowerWalks and T-TESS











Module 8 is a customization feature that allows for campus specific observation elements.  Those elements may or may not align to T-TESS specifications.
Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations); Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Conference (Multiple Presentations); LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote); The 4th Annual Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Alignment of The Fundamental 5 and T-TESS

There are a lot of teachers suffering from heartburn trying to figure out how they will meet all the requirements of T-TESS.  Relax.  The secret to meeting T-TESS requirements is to focus on better implementing better and best practice.

But where to start?  Start (and finish) with working to implement The Fundamental 5 with greater frequency and quality.  Do that and the T-TESS will solve itself.  Sounds too easy? For proof, just review the alignemnt chart below.

No hype, notice how the individual practices of The Fundamental 5 align to the individual components of T-TESS.

The Fundamental 5 and T-TESS









Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations); Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Conference (Multiple Presentations); LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote); The 4th Annual Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook