Strategies to Attract New Teachers to Schools that Need Them Most

  This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education .   School principals from coast to coast are reporting that this year may have been one of the most tumultuous for hiring and staffing. The pandemic disrupted normal staffing patterns for a variety of reasons, including filling the voids left by teachers who needed to take leaves of absences and those who needed to work remotely (which means someone needed to be in the classroom with in person students). Principals had to get creative on how they would find new teachers, and many answered the call and gave a teaching career a try for the first time. In my school for example, I hired no less than fifteen teaching positions over the course of the year for my sixty teacher school. This is more than double the hiring rate that is typical for my school community. Many of my new hires were recent college graduates who didn’t necessarily study to be a teacher but pivoted when their original industry was having hiring delays as

What Does the Research Say About COVID19 Safety Protocols?

  This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education . I noticed the other day as I walked the halls of my high school that no one follows all the one way floor stickers we placed all over the building last summer --- no one. The funny thing is, no one has been following them at the Demoulas Market Basket grocery store I shop at either. Maybe that is why the grocery store got rid of them last week. I just told my head custodian to do the same this summer when they do their annual deep clean and waxing of our school floors. The floor stickers may be one example of a safety protocol that we won’t need this fall, but we know that COVID won’t be gone. The question is, what protocols will we need?  In a recent article, Education Week’s Sarah Sparks reports on Masks, Tracking, Desk Shields: How Much Do School Measures Reduce Families’ COVID-19 Risk? She writes, “The number and kind of protections schools put in place now can make a big difference in the risk that those students w

The Secrets of an Effective School Leader

  This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education . I know a lot of great school principals who are very modest when it comes to talking about how their effectiveness as leaders correlates with the success of their schools, but let’s be honest - school principals play an incredibly large role in the success (or failure) of their schools. In a recent April 2021 Educational Leadership article entitled What Great Principals Really Do , researchers and authors Jason Grissom, Anna Egalite, and Constance Lindsay completed a metaanalysis of six major research studies on principal effectiveness and concluded the following: “The quality of a school's principal is a big determinant of student achievement.” The authors then added, “Principals also affect all students in the school. And principals impact not just student learning but the experiences that students—and teachers—have in their schools. The principal can influence how often a student is absent or suspended, and how li

Support For School Counselors During The Pandemic

  This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education . We are just over a year into a pandemic that has already caused radical shifts and rifs in our society and our profession. Since it started, one of our profession’s unsung heroes that you don’t often hear enough about are our school counselors. This team, often a small group in a school, have been quietly trying to hold things together for the sake of our students, our staff, and our families. Have you checked in on your school counselor lately to make sure they are okay? In a “normal” year, counselors have a heavy workload. They advise students on academics and post secondary planning. They engage with students in career exploration and development. They help them through issues related to equity, gender equity, discrimination, bias, and conflict. They bridge the gap between home and school, leading to positive school-family-community partnerships. They assist students with disabilities. They focus on mental health and

How Can We Raise The Quality of Teacher Crowdsourcing Resources?

  This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education . As a society, we have developed quite the appetite for information that is received by way of “crowdsourcing,” which can be loosely defined by sites like Google as the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet. The rise of this strategy should not come as a surprise as it allows individuals to receive near instant feedback from a variety of sources on just about any topic. For some things, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. For example, last week I used a local community Facebook group to help me find a plumber to fix a leaky pipe in my home. I used another group to help me figure out if my dog’s recent loss of appetite was something I should be worried about or not.  This strategy is not new to me in my professional life either. I regularly crowdsource answers to questions I face as a N

Who is Checking on the Mental Health of Our School Leaders?

This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education .   Remember when you were a child at the amusement park, and the ride operator said if you want to get off the ride all you have to do is wave? Well, I’ve been waving furiously for several months and yet some days it seems no one is coming to my rescue. I am sure I am not alone. Being a school leader is tough enough, but doing so in a pandemic starts to take its toll on us as professionals and as human beings. Who is checking on the mental health of our school leaders during this challenging time? I hope all of you reading this can recognize if and when you need help, and know the signs of when to reach out to your fellow school leaders. I certainly practice this in my work as a New Hampshire high school principal each and every day.   As a result of the ongoing pandemic, mental health for educators has continued to be one of the most trending topics in our profession. This past month, ASCD ran a 10-day series of ar

Is the Pandemic to Blame for Lower College Enrollments?

This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education . As is customary for a high school principal who lives in the community that he serves, when I see my former students out and about in town I always ask them how they are doing and what they have been up to since graduation. This season, I have been surprised to hear about the number of my students who have chosen to defer their freshman year of college. Among all of the reasons given, these three pandemic-related ones are often cited:   ●       Uncomfortability with living in a dorm during the pandemic. ●       Dislike for a remote learning format (especially if paying the same tuition rate as an in person format). ●       Lack of money/finances due to other constraints in the family. This trend is not just reserved for undergraduates. In the last three months, I have hired five of my recent graduates as temporary teachers because they finished their undergraduate degree but want to put off starting graduate sc