Build Your Own Leadership Preparation Program

If you work anywhere or participate in any kind of organization, you need more formal and informal leaders.  You can either hire more ready-made leaders (expensive) or develop them on your own (less expensive plus they are already culturally integrated).

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I work in a school system.  You might not, but this is probably as true of your organization as it is of mine: Organizations need more effective leaders, authentically developed at a faster rate, and spread throughout all levels of their organization than most current leadership preparation programs are scaled to produce.  Executives must commit to creating an aligned, authentic, competency based system to recruit, select, develop, support, and evaluate leaders.

Life Schools and Primer hosted an Ed Leadership Preparation Summit, and this document represents a summary of many of the good ideas shared by the leaders we invited to the program.  I’ll develop the concepts in more detail in future posts, but wanted to give you the complete guide up front in case you are trying to get started.

The Primer Guide to  Leadership Preparation Programs

Connect with me on twitter to discuss the guide or to offer suggestions for building a successful Leadership Preparation program.

Further Reading:

Preparing School leaders for a Changing World.  Chapter 4 offers some excellent insight into characteristics of great programs.

Leading School Improvement   produced by SREB from 2001 but a great resource. Discusses what you need beyond a list of competencies or skills in a leadership program.

#Lifestreaming and four other results of self-casting

These predictions were first made in May of 2014, but I am re-posting this article with a few updates in light of ease of self-casting made possible by applications like Periscope.

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The list is not exhaustive so feel free to contribute your own ideas (by connecting with me on Twitter) as to what will happen once everyone is self-casting.

1. #Lifestreaming

Self-casting  will allow individuals to subscribe to other people’s lives and watch them rather than spend time living their own life.  At first people will make abysmal choices of who to subscribe to by choosing to follow celebrities and other people famous simply for being famous.  Soon though we will move on and start following adventurers, explorers, daredevils and other interesting folks like teachers on prom duty or principals in hallways during class change

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(This is banned by the NFL at the moment)

2. Life Channels

Popular people will then begin charging subscription fees for you to watch their lives and they will in effect become “channels”. Why watch ESPN tell you about an athlete when you can just virtually live that athlete’s life through subscription?  This shift will create the added benefit to society of drying up the market for paparazzi and entertainment news magazines since we can now directly find out on our own what the “stars” are doing.

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A daily view for any of my future #lifestreaming subscribers


We are entering a time when more and more people will be soon self-casting. People will be broadcasting many or all of the events of their lives for friends and strangers to watch. This will disrupt the way we teach and learn in our schools and classrooms.

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Tools like Periscope that create smart phone broadcasting platforms and hands-free live-streaming capable miniature cameras have brought a new level of accessibility to our schools and classrooms.  The use of these tools and devices will only increase because people love sharing the events of their lives.  While initially resisted, as most disruptions usually are, because of issues of safety and accountability self-casting will soon become common place.  Even where it will be prohibited by rule it will be more and more difficult to enforce prevention.

Self-casting will lead to various crises as our schools and classrooms attempt to adjust to the new reality of a 24/7 live streamed world.  The first principal who has a difficult, but maybe routine, live streamed discipline interaction with a student, or the first teacher who suddenly realizes in the middle of a less than engaging lesson that “The Whole World is Watching” will be unprepared for the social media shockwaves that follow.  The resulting crowdpounding from events like this will lead to rapid instructional and behavioral change. Any remaining veil of uncertainty about what is happening in schools and classrooms in America will be torn forever.

Two views on that new reality:


There are many great individually written National Education Issue blogs.

The National Education Blogs “100 TO READ” list is an annual peer awarded recognition of those blogs.  The award was created in March of 2015.  The selection criteria includes the following:

  • Recommendation by member of the Advisory Committee
    • In 2015, the inaugural year of the award, the advisory committee was informally selected and personally contacted for recommendations
  • Published by an individual working or residing in the United States
  • Primarily concerning education issues: Pedagogy, Performance, Policy, Procedure, Practice, and Most Importantly Students

The purpose of the award is to highlight superior individual contributors and to promote their work.  The content of awarded blogs is at the sole discretion of the blog creator and award status does not convey any form of support for actual post content.

To nominate a blog for the 2015 awards cycle please use this link

Teaching with the 5E Model in Kindergarten Science

The elements of the 5E model are Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate.


A short video on using the 5E instructional model in Kindergarten science.



The teacher or a curriculum task accesses the learners’ prior knowledge and helps them become engaged in a new concept through the use of short activities that promote curiosity and elicit prior knowledge. The activity should make connections between past and present learning experiences, expose prior conceptions, and organize students’ thinking toward the learning outcomes of current activities. 

Socratic Seminar

This video briefly explains how one teacher has implemented the Socratic Seminar in her classroom activities.


Connect with me on Social media and share your experiences with using the Socratic Seminar.

Is Leadership and Character education optional?

Students need our intentional focused instruction on leadership and character education as part of their curriculum.

If a man is stealing nuts and bolts from a railway track, and, in order to change him, you send him to college, at the end of his education, he will steal the whole railway track.

There is no neutral position on character and leadership education.  The school and its staff are either intentionally or unintentionally modeling these values for their students.  Take time to ensure that your school has a focused and intentional curriculum for leadership and character education.


Quote from D.L. Moody, retold by Ravi Zacharias, “The Lostness of Humankind,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 118.