Educational Leadership Booklist

My professor for my current Master’s class, Dan Major, a retired middle school principal, shared with us some texts from his professional library.  I respect a list put together by a man who has led decades of educators and students.  I included Amazon links.

Carey, Chris. bookshelf1.jpg. 10/12/1999. Pics4Learning. 20 Jun 2010 <>

Carey, Chris. bookshelf1.jpg. 10/12/1999. Pics4Learning. 20 Jun 2010

The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player by John Maxwell

Attitude 101 by John Maxwell

Relationships 101 by John Maxwell

The Heart of a Leader by Ken Blanchard

Finding Your Leadership Style by Jeffery Glanz

20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid Them by Marilyn Grady

What Great Principals Do Differently by Todd Whitaker

Survival Skills for the Principalship by John Blaydes

The Principal as Instructional Leader by Sally Zepeda

The Emerging Principalship by Linda Skria

Leading Learning Communities: Principals Should Know and Be Able To Do by the National Association of Elementary Principals

School Leadership that Works by Robert Marzano

Change Leadership by Tony Wagner (This one was highly recommended!)

10 Traits of Highly Effective Principals by Elaine McEwan-Adkins

So what titles would YOU recommend?

Backchanneling in the Classroom?

I was first introduced to public speaking backchanneling when I attended a session by my district’s technology coordinator, Ryan Collins, at eTech Ohio’s 2009 conference.  During the session, he used several different backchanneling methods (I don’t remember the specific services.) to relatively instantly gather background information about his audience.  Additionally, he was able to provide a medium that the participants were able to submit questions or reflect on comments he has made during the presentation.  Essentially, it was instant (and silent!) collaboration.

The thing I noticed most about this, was that all of the participants in the backchanneling process had to be completely engaged in the presentation.  That’s what I strive for EVERYDAY with EACH of my students.  Admittedly, the extent of engagement in my classroom is all too often listen-to-what-I’m-saying-and-write-it-in-your-notes.  Bleh.

So that’s where the idea of students backchanneling to me (I’m not sure if I used the verbiage correctly there) during lessons comes in.  Has anyone used this successfully?  What services are available?  Which are better than others?  How can one student backchanneling be beneficial to all my students?  Are there some hidden benefits here for absent students to utilize?  Other thoughts or advice?

Shortening the Clicks and Keystrokes

In an increasing effort to connect to/with/from my students electronically, I like to think that I practice several networking technologies including email, Twitter, GoogleWave, and GoogleVoice. Of this ever-increasing list, it appears that email is the most reliable, consistent, familiar, and is here to stay.

Several weeks ago, I asked our district’s technology coordinator to set me up a list-serve mailing list for all of my 168 seventh graders. While I don’t really understand the technicalities of a list-serve, I am at least familiar with the end result: I can send an email to one address and a whole slew of kids get the message. Continue reading