203 episodes

A bi-weekly podcast to improve the quality of life and leadership for assistant principals.

The Assistant Principal Podcast Frederick Buskey

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 26 Ratings

A bi-weekly podcast to improve the quality of life and leadership for assistant principals.

    “One-offs Matter” with Jen Manly

    “One-offs Matter” with Jen Manly

    Show Title: “One-offs Matter” with Jen Manly
     
    Power Quote: “One-offs matter.”
     
     
    Description:
    Do you remember being a teacher? Or maybe you are an aspiring AP and you are still in the classroom. Either way, I want you to think about the relationship between the evaluation process, professional development days, and teacher growth. It seems like these are three related things, but in much of my experience as a teacher and administrator, evaluation, PD, and teacher growth were disconnected from each other. They were three distinct things, not three parts of the same thing. What was it – or is – like for you? Today, my wonderful guest and I are going to play with this idea.
     
    Guest Bio:
    Jen Manley believes that kids deserve to do BIG, meaningful work and that all students are worthy of learning that is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. She is passionate about helping teachers maximize their planning time to make time for what is most important while still providing an incredible learning experience for every student. She is a current college instructor, former high school and middle school computer science teacher, middle and high school curriculum developer, and speaker.
     
     
    Warmup questions:
    ·      We always like to start with a celebration. What are you celebrating today?
    ·      Is there a story that will help listeners understand why you are doing what you do?
     
     
    Questions/Topics/Prompts
    Jen - my big thing is pushing admin to focus their work around supporting and growing teachers. 
    Support = aligning systems to make it easier for teachers to focus on teachingGrowth = helping develop skills, knowledge, dispositions, and healthTeacher development should be teacher driven. 90% of the time admin should be supporting teachers in areas the teacher identified.I would love to dig into these ideas with you because I think you could offer such valuable perspectives. I am fine with being challenged if you have different view, I think that would make for rich conversation and I trust you. 
    ·       
     
    Closing questions:
    ·      What part of your own leadership are you still trying to get better at?
    ·      If listeners could take just one thing away from today’s podcast, what would it be?
    ·      Before we go, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
    ·      Where can people learn more about you and your work…
     
    Remember the four takeaways:
    ·      If we want to help teachers grow, we need to take things off their plates to create space for growth.
    ·      We may be handcuffed by law and policy requirements, but we hold the keys to use these requirements in ways that serve our and our teachers’ best interest.
    ·      PD needs to include support for fidelity of implementation – if we don’t commit to fidelity the PD is wasted time.
    ·      Asking reflective questions to teachers and listening to them is providing high quality PD.
     
    Sponsorship:
    I want to thank IXL for sponsoring this podcast…
     
    Everyone talks about the power of data-driven instruction. But what does that actually look like? Look no further than IXL, the ultimate online learning and teaching platform for K to 12. IXL gives you meaningful insights that drive real progress, and research can prove it. Studies across 45 states show that schools who use IXL outperform other schools on state tests. Educators who use IXL love that they can easily see how their school is performing in real-time to make better instructional decisions. 
     
    And IXL doesn’t stop at just data. IXL also brings an entire ecosystem of resources for your teachers, with a complete curriculum, personalized learning plans, and so much more. 
    It’s no wonder that IXL is used in 95 of the top 100 school districts. Ready to join them? Visit http://ixl.com/assistant to get started.
     
     
    Close
    ·      Leadership is a journey and thank you for choosing to walk some of this magical path with me.
    · 

    • 50 min
    Coaching and a Culture of Learning with Elena Aguilar

    Coaching and a Culture of Learning with Elena Aguilar

    Show Title: Coaching and a Culture of Learning with Elena Aguilar
     
    Power Quote: “To normalize growth, we must normalize making mistakes.”
     
     
    Description:
    Before we get started, I need to give a shout out to Dr. Pam Buskey. Today is our anniversary and though the years have flown by too quickly, every one of them has been filled with special moments, big and small. Marriage is a partnership and I am so tankful and blessed to be walking this journey with you. Okay, now we can get started. Today we continue my conversation with Elena Aguilar. We will briefly discuss transformative coaching and then talk about how we change the narrative of coaching from being something for struggling teachers to something that we should all be craving.
     
    Guest Bio:
    Elena Aguilar is a writer, leader, teacher, coach and podcaster. She is the author of eight highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching (2013), The Art of Coaching Teams (2016), Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (2018), The Onward Workbook (2018), Coaching or Equity (2020), The Art of Coaching Workbook (2020), The PD Book: 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development (2022), and the forthcoming Arise: The Art of Transformational Coaching (August 2024). She has also been a frequent contributor to Edutopia, ASCD’s Educational Leadership, and EdWeek Teacher. Elena is the founder and CEO of Bright Morning Consulting, an organization committed tohelping individuals and organizations create the conditions for transformation. She has taughttens of thousands of folks how to have conversations that build a more just and equitable world. Elena can be heard demonstrating these conversations on The Bright Morning Podcast.
     
     
    Warmup questions:
    ●      We always like to start with a celebration. What are you celebrating today?
    ●      Is there a story that will help listeners understand why you are doing what you do?
     
     
    Part 2: Developing a coaching culture 
    ●      I come from an athletic coaching background. I have this dream that teachers would have access to highly targeted and technical coaching, just like the world’s premier athletes. Yet, many teachers don’t see coaching as an important tool in growing. What happened? Is there a way to flip the narrative? 
    ●      Do you see unique needs among teachers at different career stages that should inform how leaders engage in coaching with a given group of teachers?
    ●      Is there such thing as a “culture of coaching”? Does it make sense and is it possible to build a school around the idea that teacher growth is the priority and that coaching is the core way we help teacher perfect their craft?
    ●      How has your understanding of coaching grown in the past ten years from the release of The Art of Coaching in 2013 to your revised volume this year?
     
    Closing questions:
    ●      What part of your own leadership are you still trying to get better at?
    ●      If listeners could take just one thing away from today’s podcast, what would it be?
    ●      Before we go, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
    ●      Where can people learn more about you and your work…
     
    Wrap-up
    ·      Begin cultivating a culture of learning by making your learning goals, and you work on them, transparent. Model the way of being you want your teachers to embrace. If you have a coach (and you should), brag about it and explain to teachers the link between what you are learning and what you are doing.
    ·      Remember, coaching is only one tool we have for helping teachers to grow, but it is a powerful one.
    ·      We need to align teacher and student needs in our coaching
    ·      And I love this one: Know how the 8-year old you is powering who you are today. The better you know yourself, the better coach you will be.
    ·      We will wrap this with a personal note related to knowing yourself…
     
    Close
    ●     Leadership is a jo

    • 34 min
    The Coaching Relationship with Elena Aguilar

    The Coaching Relationship with Elena Aguilar

    Show Title: The Coaching Relationship with Elena Aguilar
     
    Power Quote: “We are social beings.”
     
     
    Description:
    In 2013 Elena Aguilar wrote The Art of Coaching. I came across the book soon after and it has shaped the way I view and do coaching. Today’s show is part 1 of my discussion with Elena in which we focus defining coaching and identifying the foundations of coaching. There are some great pieces of wisdom in today’s show, so please pay close attention.
     
    Guest Bio:
    Elena Aguilar is a writer, leader, teacher, coach and podcaster. She is the author of eight highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching (2013), The Art of Coaching Teams (2016), Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (2018), The Onward Workbook (2018), Coaching or Equity (2020), The Art of Coaching Workbook (2020), The PD Book: 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development (2022), and the forthcoming Arise: The Art of Transformational Coaching (August 2024). She has also been a frequent contributor to Edutopia, ASCD’s Educational Leadership, and EdWeek Teacher. Elena is the founder and CEO of Bright Morning Consulting, an organization committed tohelping individuals and organizations create the conditions for transformation. She has taughttens of thousands of folks how to have conversations that build a more just and equitable world. Elena can be heard demonstrating these conversations on The Bright Morning Podcast.
     
     
    Warmup questions:
    ●      We always like to start with a celebration. What are you celebrating today?
    ●      Is there a story that will help listeners understand why you are doing what you do?
     
     
    Part 1: Coaching 101 for school leaders
    ●      “It’s all about relationships.” Is this true for coaching? What is the foundation of a coaching relationship?
    ●      Can we define what constitutes coaching? What is coaching and what isn’t?
    ●      Your framework includes different models of coaching (directive/instructive, facilitative, transformational). This framework has been foundational in helping me to better understand coaching and the coaching relationship. For leaders who are trying to grow their coaching skills, is there a specific model, or specific techniques they should focus on?
    ●      "Fast-food" coaching for administrators who have very little time, is it possible? What is most essential?
    ●      Many administrators feel the need - and have been specifically taught - to provide feedback to teachers outside of a coaching relationship. I am not a fan, unless the teacher has asked for the feedback. Can we talk about the value or harm that comes from unsolicited and unsupported feedback? (Maybe my view on this needs to be reconsidered?)
     
    Closing questions:
    ●      What part of your own leadership are you still trying to get better at?
    ●      If listeners could take just one thing away from today’s podcast, what would it be?
    ●      Before we go, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
    ●      Where can people learn more about you and your work…
     
    Closing points:
    ·      Foundations of coaching are trust, listening, and asking
    ·      Coaching is building, not fixing
    ·      Let go of “a grow and a glow” – It doesn’t work.
    ·      We can help teachers grow more by emphasizing what they are doing well
    ·      We’ll be back next week with part 2 in which we look at transformative coaching and discuss a culture of coaching.
    Close
    ●     Leadership is a journey and thank you for choosing to walk some of this magical path with me.
    ●     You can find links to all sorts of stuff in the show notes, including my website https://www.frederickbuskey.com/
    ●     I love hearing from you so consider email me at frederick@frederickbuskey.com or connecting with me on LinkedIn.
    ●     My new book, A School Leader’s Guide to Reclaiming Purpose, is now available on Amazon. You can find

    • 50 min
    Ch-ch-ch-changes (turn and face the pain?)

    Ch-ch-ch-changes (turn and face the pain?)

    Ch-ch-ch-changes (turn and face the pain?)
     
    Show Description:
    Last week you listened to Chad Dumas and I discuss PLCs. When we began talking, I had in my head the idea of a PLC being a discrete thing – group of teachers collaborating around honing their teaching skills. I suspect that most of you listening also had similar ideas – that PLCs were things we could drop into schools and have teachers “do.” However, as the conversation unfolded, Chad reminded me of some things I had forgotten, foremost of which is that PLCs are a culture, not a practice. In today’s episode, I’m going to briefly recap a couple of the main points from last week and then do a deep dive on how to implement a change in your school. I will use PLCs as an example, but the process will apply to any change you want to support.
     
     Celebrations:
    Watching seeds that have been planted bear fruit:
    ·      Garden – peas, greens, strawberries
    ·      Relationships – most of the people you hear on this show become friends. The show isn’t an end, it is a beginning for those relationships, but also, I hope, for your own practice
    ·      Growing my speaking, slowly over time
    Patience brings piece, helps me stay focused on process, not product
     
    The Big Idea
    Recap from last week:
    1.     PLC is an ethos, the school is the community part of PLC, the team is just one feature.
    2.     Within a PLC school, teachers use multiple forms of evidence to hone their craft.
    3.     The first two critical questions that teachers ask are:
    a.     What do I want students to be able to do?
    b.     How will I know if they can do it?
    4.     To change beliefs, we need to change behaviors
    5.     “It starts with us! We can’t lead a change until we look in the mirror.”
    6.     Three years to implementation
    7.     Begin by asking reflective questions
     
    What does a three-year implementation look like?
    ·      Train analogy:
    o   The engine plants the seeds
    o   The cars provide the momentum
    ·      Must be driven from the people who will be implementing the change (teachers)
    ·      Role of leaders:
    o   Plant seeds
    o   Support (organization)
    o   Grow (teachers)
     
    Fall 1: Plant seeds with teachers
    Spring 1: Form a pilot – if teachers want it. No desire, no project (examine the alternatives)
    Fall 2: Expand the pilot slightly, refine practices, gather evidence
    Spring 2: Big expansion, still piloting, completely voluntary
    Fall 3: Whole staff training and support
    Spring 3: Anchoring (structures, language, processes, priorities, consistency) and expectations
     
    Dissecting challenges to PLCs:
    ·      Org level
    o   Schedule and lack of collaboration time
    o   Competing demands, esp. other initiatives (e.g. resources)
    o   Priorities and clarity of purpose
    ·      Teacher level
    o   Skill to reflect deeply
    o   Disposition to be vulnerable
    o   Knowledge of specific practices (that second question is scary)
    ·      The challenge of alignment and the Six Dimensions
    ·      External forces and why it must be teacher-driven
     
    Strategic Action Cycles as a way to pinpoint problems and drive incremental change
     
    Summarizing (The big takeaway)
    Wrap up:
    ·      Big change is hard: complex, messy, resource intensive
    ·      Sans drive from teachers and enough resources, don’t do it
    ·      The way you impact your school, is to support and grow teachers, whether it is PLCs, MTSS, PBIS, improving teaching, the process is the same.
     
    Sponsorship:
    I want to thank IXL for sponsoring this podcast…
     
    Everyone talks about the power of data-driven instruction. But what does that actually look like? Look no further than IXL, the ultimate online learning and teaching platform for K to 12. 
    IXL gives you meaningful insights that drive real progress, and research can prove it. Studies across 45 states show that schools who use IXL outperform other schools on state tests. Educators who use IXL love that they can easi

    • 26 min
    Will the Real PLC Please Stand Up? with Dr. Chad Dumas

    Will the Real PLC Please Stand Up? with Dr. Chad Dumas

    Outline and Show Notes
     
    Show Title: Will the Real PLC Please Stand Up? with Dr. Chad Dumas
     
    Power Quote: “Clarity precedes confidence”
     
     
    Description:
    I’m giving you fair warning – today’s show is loaded with both big ideas and small techniques. The discussion will feel like it is meandering a bit but stay with us because it all comes together into a powerful conclusion. As your thoughts are being stimulated and questions and ideas are firing off, be patient and just enjoy learning. At the end of the show we will point you towards resources and give you some simple concrete steps. I hope you have as much fun listening as I did recording.
     
    Guest Bio:
    Dr. Chad Dumas is a Solution Tree PLC at Work, Assessment, and Priority Schools associate and international consultant, presenter, and award-winning researcher. His primary focus is collaborating to develop capacity for continuous improvement. With a quarter century of successful leadership experience, Chad has led significant improvements for both students and staff. He shares his research and knowledge in his three books on PLCs, and his upcoming Teacher Team Leader Handbook, Chad’s consulting and training includes research, stories, hands-on tools, useful knowledge, and practical skills. He most recently was the executive director of elementary education in the Ames Community School District, a preschool thru grade 12 district of 5,000 students in central Iowa. Before this he was the director of learning for Hastings Public Schools in south-central Nebraska for nine years. With 3,700 students and 60% poverty, the district had five buildings recognized as national models for improving student learning. Dr. Dumas' career has also involved being a vocal music director at a middle school, school improvement chair, professional development coordinator for an intermediate service agency, and a high school principal.
     
     
    Warmup questions:
    ·      We always like to start with a celebration. What are you celebrating today?
    ·      Is there a story that will help listeners understand why you are doing what you do?
     
     
    Questions/Topics/Prompts
    ·      Why is “PLC” one of the despised edu-talk words?
    ·      What are the core differences between PLCs and meetings that masquerade as PLCs?
    ·      Are there elements of PLCs that can be grafted onto other types of events?
    ·      For APs who want to nurture a culture conducive to PLCs and other collegial work, what do you suggest?
    ·       
     
    Closing questions:
    ·      What part of your own leadership are you still trying to get better at?
    ·      If listeners could take just one thing away from today’s podcast, what would it be?
    ·      Before we go, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
    ·      Where can people learn more about you and your work…
     
    Outro
    There is so much in this episode that next week I will be releasing a follow-up that specifically focuses on how you can use change processes to begin sowing the seeds for teacher-driven PLC. We’ll dig a bit deeper into my train analogy, the Six Dimensions of Organizations, and the specifics of what it mean to support and grow teachers.
     
    For this week, I encourage you to begin asking your teachers these two questions, about a lesson, a week, or a unit:
    1.     What did you want students to be able to do? 
    2.     How did or will you know if they learned it?
     
    You could incorporate one these into 5-minute coaching like this:
    ·      What went well?
    ·      What did you want students to be able to do?
    ·      Were there any surprises?
    ·      Is there anything you would do differently?
     
    We will dig deeper next week, fir now focus on asking reflective questions!
     
    Close
    ·      Leadership is a journey and thank you for choosing to walk some of this magical path with me.
    ·      You can find links to all sorts of stuff in the show notes, including my website http

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Celebrating 200 Episodes!

    Celebrating 200 Episodes!

    Show Title: Celebrating 200 with Frederick and Mara
     
    Power Quote: People are the purpose
    Guest Bio:
    Frederick Buskey helps school leaders reclaim their purpose! Building on 33 years of k-12 and higher education leadership experience, Frederick provides simple frameworks and practical tools to help leaders make immediate incremental improvements. His new book, A School Leader’s Guide to Reclaiming Purpose, helps leaders master six stages to move from spending time putting out fires to investing time in growing teachers. Frederick hosts The Assistant Principal Podcast, writes a daily leadership email, and develops short powerful courses for teachers and those who serve them. Learn more about Frederick on his website at frederickbuskey.com.
     
     
    Warmup questions:
    ·      We always like to start with a celebration. What are you celebrating today?
    ·      Is there a story that will help listeners understand why you are doing what you do?
     
     
    Questions/Topics/Prompts
    ·      Why celebrate episode 200 this way, looking back and forwards at the same time?
    ·      When you began consulting in 2019, what core ideas did you have?
    ·      How have those ideas changed or evolved?
    ·      What do you want to achieve with the podcast?
    ·      You just finished the book, your academy has been quietly launched, what’s next?
     
    Closing questions:
    ·      What part of your own leadership are you still trying to get better at?
    ·      If listeners could take just one thing away from today’s podcast, what would it be?
    ·      Before we go, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
    ·      Where can people learn more about you and your work…
     

     
    Sponsorship:
    I want to thank IXL for sponsoring this podcast…
     
    Everyone talks about the power of data-driven instruction. But what does that actually look like? Look no further than IXL, the ultimate online learning and teaching platform for K to 12. 
    IXL gives you meaningful insights that drive real progress, and research can prove it. Studies across 45 states show that schools who use IXL outperform other schools on state tests. Educators who use IXL love that they can easily see how their school is performing in real-time to make better instructional decisions. 
     
    And IXL doesn’t stop at just data. IXL also brings an entire ecosystem of resources for your teachers, with a complete curriculum, personalized learning plans, and so much more. 
    It’s no wonder that IXL is used in 95 of the top 100 school districts. Ready to join them? Visit IXL.com to get started.
     
     
    Close
    ·      Leadership is a journey and thank you for choosing to walk some of this magical path with me.
    ·      You can find links to all sorts of stuff in the show notes, including my website https://www.frederickbuskey.com/
    ·      I love hearing from you so consider email me at frederick@frederickbuskey.com or connecting with me on LinkedIn.
    ·      My new book, A School Leader’s Guide to Reclaiming Purpose, is now available on Amazon. You can find links to it, as well as free book study materials on my website at https://www.frederickbuskey.com/reclaiming-purpose.html
    ·      Please remember to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast.
    ·      Have a great rest of the week, be present for others and, more importantly, take time to reflect and recover so you can continue to live and lead better.
    ·      Cheers!
     
     
    Frederick’s Links:
    Email: frederick@frederickbuskey.com
    Website: https://www.frederickbuskey.com/
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/strategicleadershipconsulting
    Daily Email subscribe: https://adept-experimenter-3588.ck.page/fdf37cbf3a
    The Strategic Leader’s Guide to Reclaiming Purpose: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CWRS2F6N?ref_=pe_93986420_774957520
     

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

JLehman30 ,

Great Stuff!

Thanks, Dr. Buskey for the time and energy you put into this podcast! This is my first year as an AP and I can tell you how valuable your insights and guests have been on my journey. I started listening last year to prep for interviews and haven’t stopped! Keep it up!

Nat35688 ,

Great resource

I am preparing for my first AP interview and this podcast has given me the language to express my beliefs and practices that I plan to help implement! Thank you for your wonderful guests and insights.

Kevinmcb7 ,

A Part of My Weekly Reflection Routine

I just accepted my first assistant principal role this school year. I have to thank Dr. Buskey for the ideas and conversations shared on the podcast and daily emails. I started listening to past episodes just before I started interviewing. He gave me some of the language I needed to express my thoughts in the interviews. Listening to the podcast has become a part of my weekly routine to reflect on my practices.I truly enjoy learning from this show.

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