Category Archives: Uncategorized

How do you build belonging in your school and your school community? (Middle-Level Collaborative)

The feeling of belonging is arguably one of the most critical variables in the success of a young adolescent at school. Think about the places where you feel most safe, happy, willing to take risks. These are all places where you feel that you belong. Continue reading

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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

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About learning: You’re not always saving lives

You would think that we could have mastered these techniques even with horrible teachers, in a lousy environment, with no videos and no opportunities to practice on dummies.  But this isn’t true. If none of these factors were in place, we likely would not have successfully re-certified in first aid procedures.   Continue reading

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About Learning: “Hey, you had the lighter one”

When mom came back with the bottles,  she took Ryan first. Feeling the difference between the weight of the two when I handed Harper to Danielle, my wife said, “Hey, you had the lighter one.” So funny.  Continue reading

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About parenting: You’re not so bad

For years I’ve had a sneaky suspicion that I was a horrible parent.  It wasn’t anything obvious. I never left my children in a car with the windows rolled up on a hot day.  My kids always have money in their lunch accounts at school. We have a pool in our backyard, that’s something.  We’ve even driven to Disney with them, in Florida, twice. Nevertheless, I have a nagging thought in the back of my mind, or in my horribly dark soul, that I’m really not cutting it as a parent.  Fortunately for me, I have discovered a book that has helped me to understand that I actually am a horrible parent. Continue reading

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About school: We can make it special

rincipals and teachers can create singular moments for kids everyday.  Like the Brooklyn Nets, these are our schools, classrooms, hallways, gyms, and cafeterias. We are in charge of these settings.  We can do extraordinary things to create lifelong fans of learning and of our schools. Continue reading

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About cooking: You can eat your mistakes

@DMGately at Nathan’s Famous 4th of July. It was the Fourth of July.   I was doing what I love doing in the summertime, using my barbeque smoker to make pulled pork sliders for dinner. I woke up at 4:15am to … Continue reading

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About hope: We can’t give in, can’t give up

When Sandy Hook happened, I was certain that something would change.  Six and seven year olds!  If as a nation we were not willing to do something to address gun violence in our schools following the deaths of six and seven year-olds, I told myself, nothing would ever change.  How could we not act!?

But we didn’t.  

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About school climate: You might control the weather

We cannot control the weather, but there are so many things that educators do control.
It’s about intentionality. Everything we do as educators should be done with intention, not because that’s the way were were taught, not because it’s what “feels” right, or what’s easy for us; we must always act in ways that create safe conditions for learning to take place and to build the resilience of our kids.
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About assumptions: Being Wrong Isn’t Always Bad

There is an event that every principal anticipates with varying degrees of trepidation. It is something students are excited and nervous about as well: the year-opening school letter telling kids who their teachers are going to be. Students are eager … Continue reading

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