Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Leading from the front...

In a recent article in Forbes regarding leadership and management, it is curious to note the following excerpt that encapsulates the spirit of this idea. “Managing in any organization is no cakewalk but when you are responsible for the lives of those you lead, you had better do more than manage. You need to lead them. And that starts with your example.” (Baldoni, 2013)

            I am often asked what steps do school leaders need to model this example, and having recently read a wonderful book on the subject I share the steps Morgan & Lynch (2006) describe on this very topic:

1)             Meet and exceed the standards you ask of others- lead from the front.
2)             Make timely decisions- find 80 percent solution
3)             Seek to take responsibility before you begin to place blame
4)             True leaders dedicate themselves to service- take care of those you lead
5)             Think before you act- especially before you overreact
6)             When faced with a crisis- aviate, navigate, communicate
7)             Courage + initiative + perseverance +integrity = success
8)             Don’t cry over something that won’t cry over you
9)             Say you’re sorry only when you’re at fault
10)          Always lead as you are. (Morgan, 2006)

All of these steps are worthwhile to consider in following a revitalized perspective in order to lead others. They should be a guide for leaders to consider in managing the day-to-day cares in nurturing a positive and constructive environment that support the education and instruction of our future.

Baldoni, J. (2013, July 29). Values: Live them and others will follow. Forbes, Retrieved from

Morgan, A. & Lynch, C. (2006). Leading from the front: No excuse leadership tactics for women. (p. 6). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running Toward the Chaos or Opportunity?

There is a commercial for the United States Marine Corps showing Marines running towards a conflict or the chaos of the moment rescuing and leading the way for others. I believe that is the perfect theme for what some believe  is happening in education. The chaos or the dragon in the distance is the oncoming approach of change in 21st Century Learning methods. 

"Google announced Wednesday that its Play store will offer digital textbooks through partnerships with several major K-12 publishers. Laura Hazard Owen at GigaOm reports that, beginning in early August, students will be able to buy or rent textbooks from Google Play..."1

The headline above is typical of the push to capitalize on the digital textbook phase of transitioning to 21st Century Schools. This fall more and more schools are moving to 1:1 learning models distributing tablets, netbooks, and computers for students to actively use in their classrooms. Online Learning Systems will be the way for the future, not the oneway instructional model so many have advocated in the past. 

Learning will become more experiential, more active, and classrooms will be flipping faster than hotcakes on a breakfast griddle. There is a storm brewing on the horizon of public education, and while more and more schools are actively pursuing this mode of learning and instruction, others will still be wrestling with the efficacy of such a change in learning. 

While these schools and states ruminate on the fate of to go digital or not, other schools will be leading the way because of visionary thinkers in the classrooms that are reading the writing on the wall. 

Kudos to those teachers and school leaders paving the way for the others.

1.    K-12 Publishers Will Sell Textbooks via Google Play. (2013). Retrieved from