The PrincipalPLN is a podcast hosted by Theresa Stager, Jessica Johnson and Spike Cook. We are committed to creating podcasts that are informative, innovative and fun!
The concept of the podcast was developed by Theresa Stager, who at the time, was a first-year principal seeking ways to learn from others. Theresa reached out to Jessica Johnson, and they invited Spike Cook to join. The crew began podcasting in September of 2013. During the first year they had 35 episodes that are available on Itunes.
Episode 110: Preparing for the new school year
In this week's episode, Theresa and Spike discuss how they are preparing for the upcoming school year. They begin by talking about how each of their district's update discipline and dress codes. Even though this may seem to be a boring or redundant activity, Theresa and Spike try to put a lot of thought into the process. They also discussed how policies should be updated to create an inclusive environment. For instance, Theresa went through her school's policies to ensure they reflect equity and diversity in terms of gender. The discussion then went into how to prepare the students and staff for the long haul (180 days) as opposed to over-hyped welcome back sessions. Theresa and Spike want to keep that topic for the next podcast and get ideas on how to work with their staff on the marathon of the school year, not the sprint.
Episode 109: Summer Principaling
In this episode Jessica and Spike discuss a bunch of different things going on in the life of a Principal. They begin by discussing the summer responsibilities and how to complete the end of the year, manage the day to day and plan for the upcoming year. They discuss the role of the vice/assistant Principals, student use of cell phones, and summer learning.
Resources mentioned in our discussion:
Cell Phones In School? - Away for the Day
Books Jessica read/plans to read this summer:
Creating a Culture of Reflective Practice: Capacity-Building for Schoolwide Success Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
Relentless:Changing Lives by Disrupting the Educational Norm by Hamish Brewer
Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When The Stakes Are High
The Artist's Way: A Spiritrual Path to Higher Creativity
Here is a Principal to follow who is doing things differently and getting amazing results:
Relentless: Changing Lives By Disrupting
Principal of the Year: Hamish Brewer, Fred Lynn Middle School
Ted Talk - How Radical Love Transformed a School
Episode 108 - It's the end....of the year
Episode 107: Transitions
Episode 106: Initiatives
In this episode, Spike and Jessica catch up on the new initiatives in their school and how things are going. Jessica discussed the progress of PBIS and Playworks in her school. Spike discussed how his school is going through the revalidation process to continue being an AVID National Demonstration School. Based on the feedback from a prior visit, the staff have been working on increasing Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). The AVID site team have provided weekly instructional practices, developed a Google Form to collect best practices, and they meet with Spike on a monthly basis to coach him how to use HOTS in the weekly email, staff meetings, and for teacher feedback. They are also correlating the McREL Walkthrough data from last year as the compare the instances of remembering and understanding with analyzing and evaluating. The revalidation process has definitely caused the school to improve in areas to make student learning better.
Here is a link to Spike’s blog “5 Ways to Increase Higher Order Thinking Skills at Your School”
PrincipalPLN is a part of the Education Podcast Network
Episode 103: Social Emotional Learning
In this episode, Theresa and Jessica discuss what they're up to with welcome staff back to school. Jessica finally tried out Flipgrid thanks to Eric Ewald's encouragement when she attended his session at the National Principals Conference. Here's a quick video Jessica made to show her staff how to do this: Flipgrid intro. Theresa shared some other awesome ideas she's seen Flipgrid used for.
As they talked about Social Emotional Learning, here are links to some of the resources/programs mentioned:
Second Step Curriculum Zones of Regulation Pyramid Model Playworks Handle with Care Referral The Fire Within book Fostering Resilient Learners book Lavonna Roth Web and Link Crew from The Boomerang Project Playspent.org Poverty simulation
Love this podcast!!!
Excellent resource for a new administrator.
Waste of time
Chitter Chatter & giggles
Must listen for all admin
Theresa, Jessica and Spike are so fun to listen to and their ranges of expertise and knowledge in leading is amazing. Highly recommended for all Principals and aspiring Administrators.