5 Ways Principals Can Build Trust

One of the most important books that I have read in my career is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. In his book, Lencioni outlines the elements needed to build strong, cohesive teams. Here is a link to the book: Five Dysfunctions of a TeamTrust is the foundation in which productive teams are build upon. Remember: Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest (Seth Godin). Continue reading “5 Ways Principals Can Build Trust”

5 Educational Concepts We Need To Eliminate In 2018

It has been a year since I published the article, “5 Educational Concepts We Need to Eliminate in 2017”. It has been read and shared over 40,000 times since its publication. The feedback received from this article has given me much to write about over the past year, with many other articles from The Principal’s Desk originating from these exchanges. With 2018 fast approaching, I have five more educational practices to look at in order to reform our educational system and improve our schools. Continue reading “5 Educational Concepts We Need To Eliminate In 2018”

5 Ways You Can Be a More Involved Parent

Parents are an integral part of a school’s community. Without parent support, schools would not be able to perform certain aspects of the curriculum, programming, or culture at preferred levels. With many parents working full time, and some with two jobs, it might seem hard to find the time to volunteer at their child’s school. However, it is time to rethink traditional parent volunteerism and look for alternative ways that parents can both work and be involved in the school community. Continue reading “5 Ways You Can Be a More Involved Parent”

5 Jobs That Teachers Do Other Than Teach

The role of the teacher has changed greatly over the past few decades. Teachers have to take on more and more responsibilities with fewer and fewer resources. Gone are the days where teachers only had to focus on content delivery. In today’s educational landscape, teachers take on a wide variety of roles and wear many different hats. It is important to note that our society rarely recognizes these other aspects of the job of an educator.Continue reading “5 Jobs That Teachers Do Other Than Teach”

5 Ways to Get Dads Involved at School

This post was written in conjunction with ParentSquare. Based in Santa Barbara, ParentSquare is an award winning company focused on connecting schools with families to improve student outcomes and school success. ParentSquare simplifies communication by bringing together all communication solutions and features under one platform. You can learn more about ParentSquare by visiting their website here: https://www.parentsquare.com/

Research tells us that children benefit when their fathers are actively involved in their academic lives. This includes helping out with homework, reading together, and volunteering at school. However, if you look at any school’s volunteering log sheet and you will find that it is mostly the moms who are going into classrooms, attending field trips, and meeting with teachers. It is vital that schools actively recruit and engage dads so that they are involved as well.

Here are 5 ways to get dads more involved at school.

1. Doughnuts with Dad


Many schools have a monthly Coffee With The Principal meeting. These meetings can be run as a structured informational session or a loose meet and greet. More often than not, it is moms who attend these events. Creating a special event just for dads might do the trick. Doughnuts with Dads might not pass the strict healthy food requirements that many school have these days, but it will get dads into the school. Keep these meetings informal. Coffee, doughnuts, and dads is a great combination.

2. Lunchtime Sports Programs


Most schools do not have formalized lunchtime sport programs. While schedules might not allow for this on a daily basis, a group of dads could get a program running once per week. Dads could rotate the time to be at the school and organize and run lunchtime soccer, football, and basketball programs. The kids would love playing with their dads. Plus, it keeps children occupied and out of trouble at recess. For dads who can’t make it during the week, school fields can be reserved for weekend games.

3. Host a Career Day


Some moms and dads have work schedules that do not make it easy for them to volunteer at the school regularly. Hosting a career day is a fun way to involve these parents as most companies encourage their employees to be a part of these events. Children would love hearing about the careers of moms and dads in the class. Plus, career days can help guide their course selection and career-planning efforts.

4. Create a Dads Only Volunteer Day


Pick one day out of the year and make it dedicated to dads volunteering at the school. On this day, mom gets the day off. Put dads in charge of everything that day. Yes, you can expect some chaos and “deer in headlights” looks, but that is part of the fun. These events are special for all children and dads, but especially in the younger grades. This event could be built out more by including other important male figures such as grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and family friends.

5. Start a Maker Space


Many times, dads can be drawn to certain activities. Building stuff fits that category for some dads who shy away from being the guest reader or art project lead. They might not be into, or, let’s be honest, capable of leading the activity on creating a paper mache pig for Charlotte’s Web, but they might like building circuits or an electronic greeting card.

Dr. Franklin is an award winning school administrator, 2x principal of the year, education professor, curriculum designer, presenter and currently, CEO of The Principal’s Desk. Dr. Franklin has presented at national and international education conferences as is available for school and district professional development sessions. He can be reached at david@theprincipalsdesk.org or at http://www.principalsdesk.org.  

5 Ways Education is Like Game of Thrones

Winter is coming! With the return of Game of Thrones to the airwaves, I was inspired to write an article based on this tremendous series. As I prepared for the new season, I thought about the history of the series and began to draw some parallels to the world of education, specifically working in the K-12 environment. Yes, the ideas in this piece are a bit exaggerated, but I believe that they hold some truth.Continue reading “5 Ways Education is Like Game of Thrones”

5 Ways Today’s Parents Are Different Than Our Parent’s Generation

I am lucky that I get to see both side of the educational world when it comes to working with parents. As an educator, I get to see the perspective of teachers and administrators and how hard they work in the best interest of their students. As a parent of two school-aged children, I get to also experience the parent side of things. As I reflect on this topic, I am drawn to reflect on the differences between my communication methods and those of my parents when I was a child. The notion of school-home communication now is different than it was just a few decades ago. Changes in our world since I was a child have changed the landscape of education and communication.

Here are 5 ways that today’s parents are different from our parent’s generation:

Continue reading “5 Ways Today’s Parents Are Different Than Our Parent’s Generation”

5 Ways Leadership is Like Building a Sandcastle

Being a leader is not easy. Leaders must be steadfast during the storm and be able to remain standing through thick and thin. I was lucky enough to spend some time this summer on a beach building sandcastles with my children. As we built our castle, I was reflected upon my own work as an educational leader. I realized that building a sandcastle is a lot like navigating leadership.Continue reading “5 Ways Leadership is Like Building a Sandcastle”

5 Things Teachers Need To Do This Summer

As we come to the end of another school year, it is time for all educators to take some time to breathe, relax, and reflect. There are not many professions that have defined beginnings and endings every year. Educators need to take advantage of this opportunity in order to better themselves by paying attention to their well being in addition to fine-tuning and updating their craft. Continue reading “5 Things Teachers Need To Do This Summer”

5 Ways To Use Technology at Open House

It is Open House season! Every year at this time, teachers invite parents into classrooms to view student work, projects, and to share successes from the year. This year, spice it up a bit. By the time that parents get to the upper elementary grades, they have seen it all. All Open Houses will blend together for families especially if they have multiple children. Here are 5 ways to utilize technology to make your Open House stand out as one to remember.Continue reading “5 Ways To Use Technology at Open House”