Category Archives: Educational Focus

These are posts on important issues in our school and other schools. Some of these issues may be important to speak to your child about.

My COVID-19 Diary: Where does the time go?

I’ve been doing the math.  Factoring in extra help, clubs and sports, our school day runs from 7:30 AM until 3:30 PM.  That’s eight solid hours. So, if the typical student at our middle school is doing 3 1/2 hours of virtual school work, what the heck are they doing during the other 4 1/2 hours when they are inside our school building? Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Best Practice, Educational Focus, learning, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My COVID-19 Diary: Principal in the Coal Mine #2

Don’t try to “win the quarantine”. Compelled to remain at home, the restless school leader conjures a host of what seem like reasonable ideas to make an impact during this unusual time. Be suspicious of this instinct.  Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Leadership, Parenting, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, relationships, Teaching/Learning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My COVID-19 Diary: Goldilocks Tasks

In layman’s terms, this is often referred to as the Goldilocks Principle, not too hard, not too soft.  Your nine-year-old is clearly not excited about cleaning that nasty area behind the toilet in your basement, a burden you’ve been putting off for months, and with good reason. The task should have a finite goal and be sufficiently challenging to take at minimum one hour and ideally an entire day, yes 24 hours! Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Best Practice, Educational Focus, Leadership, Parenting, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, relationships, Teaching/Learning, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My COVID-19 Diary: Principal in the Coal Mine

As a middle school principal in the New York Metro area, I guess that makes me a  “Principal in the Coal Mine”.  So I’m going to offer just a few ideas for my colleagues who may be a week or two behind us here in New York (leaving open the possibility and the most ardent HOPE,  that we can ALL avoid the dire consequences of this pandemic). Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Educational Focus, Leadership, learning, Parenting, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, relationships, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My COVID-19 Diary: Were you ready for this?

I appreciate the opportunity to applaud my amazing teachers for all that they’ve done to give us a huge head start and I encourage all of us to see our present reality as part of a dynamic approach to learning that can continue even when we go back to a face-to-face environment (please tell me this will be soon!)  Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, edcamp, Educational Focus, Inside the Middle School, Leadership, learning, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My COVID Diary: Friday un-Focused

78 returned emails, a bike ride to the grocery store, an Andrew Cuomo press conference, dinner and it’s time for bed. And I’ve never been so exhausted in my life.   Repeat again tomorrow. Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Leadership, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Teaching/Learning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My COVID-19 Diary: The “soft launch”

Harry Houdini once escaped from a straitjacket and chains while suspended by a wire 60 feet over Times Square.   Do you think this was the first time he ever wriggled out of a straitjacket while hanging upside down?  Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Educational Focus, Leadership, learning, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

About intentions: Positivity

I haven’t declared my New Year’s resolution this year because,  for me, this practice has become redolent with the stink of failure.  I look back on the resolutions I’ve made these past five years and I haven’t successfully achieved any of them.   Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Educational Focus, Leadership, learning, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Middle-leaders Collaborative: How do you handle “lame-duck” days?

The holidays are approaching.  Working with middle school kids on the days preceding a vacation can be particularly challenging.  How do you make it work? This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the … Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Best Practice, Educational Focus, Inside the Middle School, Leadership, learning, Personal Best, Teaching/Learning | Leave a comment

Middle leaders collaborative: One characteristic of great middle school leaders

Name one characteristic of all great middle school leaders This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the country.  Periodically, these passionate and dedicated middle school principals share their thoughts on issues of relevance … Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Leadership, learning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment