Matt’s blog about people, culture, & impact.

  • Ditch That Textbook, A Failed Hoax

    Look, it sounded great back in 2005 and 2010 to ditch that textbook. Folks made good money off of the idea and there are good reasons for it. Heck, I’m guilty of helping many teachers on my campuses move beyond textbooks and into embracing digital platforms – moves that resulted in increases in student engagement…

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  • Anchor, Focus, and Align

    My friends over in the Principals Masterclass (TJ Vari and Joseph Jones) taught an invaluable lesson on communicating with candor. In that lesson, they gave three concepts to use when giving feedback. These concepts also apply to communicating to a broader audience. Anchor. Focus. Align. We’ve been talking about story-telling this week here and again…

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  • I’m Not A Cat, The Second Story

    The I’m Not a Cat Zoom call is so relatable. It, in some shape, has happened to each of us. And the lessons are many. Regardless of the stories we tell, there’s always going to be a second story. The second story is the one our audience hears, and it could be vastly different than…

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  • Story Telling

    You have a story. Your team has a story. Your organization has a story. You are uniquely positioned to tell that story and craft that narrative. But if you do not tell your story, someone else will. While most stories are positive, if someone else is telling your story, it might have unintended negative consequences…

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  • The Case for Curiosity

    If you have a strong desire to know something, it’s much like any other strong desire humans have – the desire to eat, to drink, to breath. Once that desire takes place, there’s no obstacle that’s too large. It’s curious then, that not one single teacher preparation program has a course on curiosity. It’s curious…

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  • 9 Quotes About Discovery

    Yesterday’s post with the quote from da Vinci inspired today’s post about discover. Sometimes the best moments, and the best learning, happen as discoveries. So here are 9 quotes about discovery. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi “The real voyage of discovery consists…

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  • Sometimes Learning is Painful, A Quote from da Vinci

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci It’s true. Just like an hour of play, learning doesn’t wear us down. It invigorates, it energizes, and it enthralls us. Except for when it doesn’t. Remember that time when you went too fast on your bike and learned a lesson about inertia? That wasn’t energizing. Remember…

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  • When the Wind Blows

    When the wind blows, like really blows, and you’re in a boat, you have two options – go back in or head out away land. Option 1 has the dangers of strong currents pushing you into the shore or into structures. Option 2 helps you avoid the danger of land but introduces the danger of…

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  • When Holding Back is a Mistake

    Sometimes it’s timidity, sometimes fear. Occasionally it’s lack of skill, and usually it’s just trying to be nice – trying to maintain relationships. Because relationships matter, as you well know. That’s why Dr. TJ Vari and Dr. Joseph Jones are targeting 9 traps of giving feedback – traps that damage professional relationships. In this video…

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  • Masterclass Is Now Open!

    This is a limited seating professional learning opportunity. It’s a Masterclass from Principals’ Seminar featuring authors, superintendents, and educational leaders TJ Vari and Joseph Jones. You should consider registering. Here’s why. Compassionate Candor Creates Success You have audacious goals. But the reality is – you’re never going to accomplish them without mastering the craft of…

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  • With Feedback, Less is More

    As with most things, less is more. This is especially true with communication, but not less quantity of communication (redundancy is good). Less words is more effective. Think of this. Your communication includes numerous aspects beyond words: Eye contact Body language Attitude The delivery Listening (not just to the positive parts) Tone of voice What…

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  • No One Can Help You

    In yesterday’s post we looked at the quote that tied willingness to learn to helplessness. Essentially, without the will to learn, no one can help you. It sounds logical. You know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water… But it’s only half true. Yes, if you’re delivering a mandated curriculum in a…

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  • If you are not willing…

    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn no one can stop you. ??? I’m not sure who said this originally. Often it’s attributed to Zig Ziglar but can’t verify it. Either way, it’s true. Determination is more valuable than curriculum. Determination is more valuable than…

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  • Characteristics of Evergreen Videos

    Whether you’re making your own or trying to find a good evergreen video for to communicate your message, here are 6 characteristics to look for: Scalable. An evergreen video can be made by one person, a YouTuber, a teacher, an author, and be used by thousands of learner each day. Short. Relative to the concept…

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  • 9 Tips for Evergreen Videos in Virtual Learning

    They seem to be timeless, those videos of some of the world’s best teachers: Bob Ross at the canvas, Sal Khan teaching polynomials on his blackboard, and Bill Nye presenting scientific concepts like the one below. Let’s talk strategic pedagogy for a bit. Here are nine quick tips. When To Use Evergreen Videos Introducing a…

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