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Ep 33: Resolutions

Uncategorized Jan 13, 2020

What are your 2020 resolutions?

This week on the Virtual Leadership Academy Podcast, John and Luke discuss their ideas including a relationship journal, accountability partners, thinking big and book clubs!

Show notes: 

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

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Ep 32: The Little Things with Brent Coley

Uncategorized Jan 06, 2020

Big shout out to Edu All-Star Brent Coley ( @brentcoley ) for jumping in on this week's Virtual Leadership Academy Podcast!

Brent is the Principal of @AltaMurrieta, the author of Stories of EduInfluence: 10 Life-Changing Powers to Unleash in Your School 

and Host of Teaching Tales Podcast. 

This week: The Power of the Little Things!

PS: the dad joke Brent drops to close the show is the best of the season! http://bit.ly/VLAPODE32

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Ep: 29 Gratitude from the Voxer

gradtitude leadership voxer Nov 18, 2019

Since this week’s topic is Gratitude we decided to share the love and get some insights from some of our favorite educators. 

Using Voxer, which is basically a voice recording walkie talkie app, we asked why gratitude is important and how we can influence a culture of gratitude.

The answers were just amazing!

Special thanks to our guests this week: 

Jennifer Kloczko (@jkloczko) This proud Principal / directora at Waggoner Elementary LOVES learning, dreaming, & celebrating awesome every day! #somoswaggoner #weRWaggoner sparkleonjen.blogspot.com

Joe Clark (@ClarksRoom) Admin | Instructor | CTE Teacher | Past Radio DJ | Husband | Father  || Living the DREAM ClarksRoom.com

Emily Battin (@Emily_Battin) Mom to two amazing young men | K8 Principal  westlakecharter.com

Brent Coley (@brentcoley) Principal of @AltaMurrieta / Author of Stories of #EduInfluence / Host of #TeachingTales Podcast / Follower of Christ / Husband / Father BrentColey.com

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Ep:27 Parent Engagement

Uncategorized Nov 04, 2019

 Let's get those parents engaged!

Here are the 4 big ideas...

1. Focus Group

Holding your own parent focus group with the sole focus of how to better communicate with and engage parents. The focus group discussion is where you get to the rich answers. Simply sending out surveys will get lite answers. In the discussion, parents hear other parent ideas and agree or disagree and embellish. There is no exact recipe for parent engagement since every population is different. A focus group can give you ideas designed for your school. 

2. Talk About The Learning

When teachers and staff send home information, one way to organize it is to ask 3 questions. 

  1. What are we learning? 
  2. How will you know if we learned it? 
  3. What can you (the parent) do to help?

Help parents connect what their kids are learning with what they can do to help. Talk about what kids are learning not just the upcoming bake sale.

3. Have The Students Do The Work

It’s a double whammy when the...

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Ep 26: How To Tackle Conferences

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2019

So, your team wants to go to a conference. How can we ensure the time and money are well-spent?

Here are the 3 big ideas...

1. Before: Pre-Huddle

Start with a pre-conference team huddle. Breakout the conference schedule. Pick sessions together. Come with a game plan. What’s the dress style? What are the lunch options? What’s a “vender session?” If it is anyone’s first time at a conference there is a lot of front loading and advice you can offer to limited wasted energy and make them feel more comfortable. The main outcome of the pre-huddle is to frame the event as a system of professional development for the school not just a cool free trip.

2. During: Collab-Notes

Use Google Doc to take collaborative notes. Create a template for each session at the top. Title, Slide Link, Notes, Key Takeaway could be some of the titles. Then at each session your team will copy and paste that text and fill it out for their session. This way even if you need to...

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Ep 25: Self Care

leadership self care Oct 20, 2019

 Let’s beat the long stretches of the year with a little Self-Care.

Here are the 3 big ideas...

1. The Gift Of Sleep 

Sleep is the foundation of our health. It’s when our brains make connections, solidify memory and our body rejuvenates. The book, Why Sleep Matters by Matthew Walker lays out an excellent case for sleep. 

According to a 2016 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of high school students are getting less than eight hours of sleep on an average school night. We have all seen the effects of sleep loss in the classroom. The first step is to get control of our own sleep. 

Decided on a regular sleep and wake up time. Limit evening screentime and afternoon caffeine intake (both of these John and Luke are terrible at!) But most importantly be a scientist about your sleep. Tinker and find out what combination of habits can get you the rest you need. 

Sleep is the basis for our energy and...

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Ep 24: Celebrate Small Wins

Uncategorized Oct 13, 2019

It’s the middle of October. The longest stretch of the year. 

Time to celebrate the small wins! 

Here are the 3 big ideas...

1. Spread Specific Praise 

It’s a critical time for praise. Praise specifically and often. However you alone cannot praise enough for everyone! 

How can we build a culture of praise were staff praise each other? 

One idea is to start every meeting with a celebration whip-around. Another is to use Google Form to give everyone an opportunity for gratitude. We have also seen high-five walls be effective. Whatever you choose, the leader can setup structures and system to give everyone opportunities to give specific praise to each other. 

Here is a TED TALK on the idea of specific praise. 

2. Take Note(s)

Take a “success walk” around campus with a pad of paper. Note EVERYTHING that is going well in a brainstorm fashion. 

You are likely to surprise yourself with an extra boost of motivation. 


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Ep 23 Soft Skills

Uncategorized Oct 06, 2019

Soft skills are the intangibles that drive communication.

Let's discuss soft skills every school leader should learn.

Here are the 3 big ideas...

1. Assume Positive Intentions

Start from a winning position whether you are in a hallway conversation, staff meeting or reading an email. Always start fresh and assume the person you are communicating with has the same core values you do.

Even if the person starts with negativity or complaining, always assume the best. More good work happens when we assume positive intentions. 

This Forbes article argues that assuming positive intentions can actually help you see opportunities because you’re staying calm calculated. 

2. Ask Questions

How can you communicate without inserting yourself into the equation?

By asking questions you can show your concern and care without adding anything new. Asking questions is also a great way to dig for more information while leading folks to...

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