Bob Dillon Twitter Web Site is the Director of Technology and Innovation for Afton School District. He has been a middle school principal for 15 years in three different places and currently helps many other principals improve their practices.

  • Join the PrincipalPLN Voxer group
  • 1st order change - simple, fixit types of problems, typically exciting that help people feel good about things, but don’t really move the needle in improving a school.
  • 2nd order change - moving from management to leadership. Changes that will last after you are gone. People start to feel like they are part of a special organization. Sometimes it is messy, people don’t know how things will play out.
  • Doug Timm Principal in Delaware.
  • Need to focus on what matters in the long term.
  • 1st order change - painting over water stain on a house you just bought.
  • 2nd order change - taking off the drywall and cleaning (or replacing) studs and insulation.
  • Playing the short and the long game.
  • Higher-level conversations
  • Difficulty of dealing with minor problems.
  • If you are working hard daily, people will be more likely to give you a break.
  • Build up key communicators in the building.
  • Trust your teachers to say things in a way that you know will be beneficial.
  • People need to hear the same in multiple ways.
  • How to help teachers be comfortable taking risks.
  • Need to scaffold to the higher level of risk-taking.

Part 2

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Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


David Long, CEO of My Employees. Started the company from
Author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager.. This book is amazing, and I learned a ton from talking to David. He is a businessman, and not an educator, but he is really on point here.

  • Top 1% in all three industries he has participated in, so topics relatable to all industries.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • It’s not just plaques for employee recognition.
  • It is normal to procrastinate, forget, or otherwise delay awards and recognition for employees.
  • Great intentions last only 3 months.
  • Recognize 2 people from each department.
  • 20% or higher growth per year because of this employee recognition.
  • Employee recognition is the greatest way to get people to buy into your vision for the school.
  • Teachers will only be successful if the kids are successful, so we need to make our teachers and kids successful.
  • Metrics for schools: Don’t want it to be a popularity contest!
  • Measure what you are already using.
  • Recognition has to be administered every 7–10 days.
  • Employee recognition reminder chart. - Digital Version Recognize everyone 3 times a month!
  • If you can’t find something to recognize them for, you’re dropping the ball as a leader.
  • We do not outgrow the desire to be shown that we are significant.
  • If teachers don’t feel like they are part of the team, they want to leave you.
  • Two reasons people want to leave your school: 1) Not getting recognition or 2) the leader is forcing them to work with incompetent people.
  • You have to show the teachers that they matter.
  • People will listen to you because you care.
  • You will lose good people sometimes if you focus on them
  • Many employees receive no recognition for months at a time.
  • Find as many metrics as you can.
  • Demotivator: not using metrics to determine employee recognition, i.e., If someone comes in late and leaves early every day, and you reward that person.
  • Don’t make recognition about “It’s this person’s turn.”
  • 80/20 rule. Recognize top 20% of each department.
    Part 2

  • Student engagement surveys for teachers. Simplistic questions: How well do you feel the teacher teaches…? How well do you feel your teacher encourages you…? (What would be good)
  • Interview and assess what the kids are getting from their teachers.
  • Metrics he uses: Dollar/ticket, renewal sales, how many calls they answer, answering the phones by the third ring,
  • Kaizan - continuous improvement, monitoring something causes the production of it to increase by 10 percent.
  • TEDxCSDTeachers - increase attendance by 10%.
  • shoutoutcards.com - stubs or something to remind you of what someone did well.
  • Let your people shine.
  • Book clubs - teach your teachers how to improve their lives - personal development, not books related to our profession.
  • Dr. Tony Zeiss - 12 Essential Rules for Becoming Indispensable
  • Book clubs help teams that don’t usually work together work together.
  • Side note: teach kids how to use money and have their money spent effectively.
  • What can principals do? Use the recognition chart to make sure you are checking in on your teachers.
  • Invest in your own education, learn how to be a better principal, teacher, speaker, etc.
  • davidlong@top10manager.com
  • 800–489–0230
  • Buy the hardback copy, get the kindle version free by emailing Copy of workbook from the
  • “You’re impacting lives every day, or you’re not!”

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


David Long, CEO of My Employees. Started the company from
Author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager.. This book is amazing, and I learned a ton from talking to David. He is a businessman, and not an educator, but he is really on point here.

  • Top 1% in all three industries he has participated in, so topics relatable to all industries.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • It’s not just plaques for employee recognition.
  • It is normal to procrastinate, forget, or otherwise delay awards and recognition for employees.
  • Great intentions last only 3 months.
  • Recognize 2 people from each department.
  • 20% or higher growth per year because of this employee recognition.
  • Employee recognition is the greatest way to get people to buy into your vision for the school.
  • Teachers will only be successful if the kids are successful, so we need to make our teachers and kids successful.
  • Metrics for schools: Don’t want it to be a popularity contest!
  • Measure what you are already using.
  • Recognition has to be administered every 7–10 days.
  • Employee recognition reminder chart. - Digital Version Recognize everyone 3 times a month!
  • If you can’t find something to recognize them for, you’re dropping the ball as a leader.
  • We do not outgrow the desire to be shown that we are significant.
  • If teachers don’t feel like they are part of the team, they want to leave you.
  • Two reasons people want to leave your school: 1) Not getting recognition or 2) the leader is forcing them to work with incompetent people.
  • You have to show the teachers that they matter.
  • People will listen to you because you care.
  • You will lose good people sometimes if you focus on them
  • Many employees receive no recognition for months at a time.
  • Find as many metrics as you can.
  • Demotivator: not using metrics to determine employee recognition, i.e., If someone comes in late and leaves early every day, and you reward that person.
  • Don’t make recognition about “It’s this person’s turn.”
  • 80/20 rule. Recognize top 20% of each department.
    Part 2

  • Student engagement surveys for teachers. Simplistic questions: How well do you feel the teacher teaches…? How well do you feel your teacher encourages you…? (What would be good)
  • Interview and assess what the kids are getting from their teachers.
  • Metrics he uses: Dollar/ticket, renewal sales, how many calls they answer, answering the phones by the third ring,
  • Kaizan - continuous improvement, monitoring something causes the production of it to increase by 10 percent.
  • TEDxCSDTeachers - increase attendance by 10%.
  • shoutoutcards.com - stubs or something to remind you of what someone did well.
  • Let your people shine.
  • Book clubs - teach your teachers how to improve their lives - personal development, not books related to our profession.
  • Dr. Tony Zeiss - 12 Essential Rules for Becoming Indispensable
  • Book clubs help teams that don’t usually work together work together.
  • Side note: teach kids how to use money and have their money spent effectively.
  • What can principals do? Use the recognition chart to make sure you are checking in on your teachers.
  • Invest in your own education, learn how to be a better principal, teacher, speaker, etc.
  • davidlong@top10manager.com
  • 800–489–0230
  • Buy the hardback copy, get the kindle version free by emailing Copy of workbook from the
  • “You’re impacting lives every day, or you’re not!”

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Brian Edmister is the principal of Genesee Valley Elementary School in Genesee Valley New York.

Brian was a fellow participant of the Model Schools Conference.

  • Attended many different colleges to complete his degree.
  • Design your own session.
  • Standards based grading.
  • Must create your culture before you change anything.
  • When you create a grade, you create a label.
  • Giving the kids a chance to be in charge of their own learning.
  • Schools Attuned
  • Giving teachers permission to fail at something.
  • 1 page of all academic, 1 page of social development on report card.
  • Levels of access can be unlocked with badges for showing digital citizenship.
  • Robot Farm
  • Allowing kids to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Communication build trust.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Build culture.

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Kyle Palmer is the principal of Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Liberty, MO. Kyle was a presenter at the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta, GA. Here are the handouts from his session: Presentation and PDF

  • It’s about relationships, not programs.
  • Transformed school in last year.
  • Competition with others helps him be better.
  • Let’s not change the world, let’s just do our best.
  • Fostering belief in staff.
  • Growth mindset.
  • Katie Lawson, principal extraordinaire.
  • Need to know the “why” behind everything.
  • The Art and Science of Teaching
  • Angela Rosheim - Genius hour in the library, received grant of $8,000 of $10,000 of available resources, makerspace.
  • Focusing on being ready for the future.
  • Project Lead the Way - STEM Solution for schools.
  • Moving away from the sage on the stage mentality.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Looking into yourself first, before looking at others.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Today I am speaking with Ron Fortunato, President of Trillium Learning and employee of NASA AMES research center. Listen to learn how you can get more information about to get your students more engaged in REAL projects!

  • Project-based vs activity-based projects.
  • Coupling students with real-life working projects.
  • If students are able to keep up with the real-world work, they are given an opportunity to be at the table.
  • Relationships with NOAA, NASA, and other institutions.
  • Identify real problems, and get students involved in those projects.
  • How Ron got involved with NASA.
  • Winning a proposal with NASA: Pick a project they would have done.
  • Meeting with the scientists that put Viking on Mars.
  • How predicting earthquakes works.
  • First earthquake sensor ever created installed in Kodiak.
  • Real world projects cross many disciplines.
  • “We don’t learn a darn thing when we do something right!”
  • Rapid prototyping process - iterate and learn piece by piece.
  • How students have actually discovered that earthquakes were coming with up to 48 hours notice.
  • NASA gave actual reviews to high school students.
  • Life-saving potential of predicting earthquakes is very important.
  • Kodiak, Ketchikan, Craig, Copper River, and Old Harbor have the earthquake systems installed.
  • Tasks and organizations for students are similar to tasks given to scientists.
  • NASA Directors sit in with students on status reviews.
  • Other projects kids can get involved with. Nano-agriculture
  • It looks like chaos at first, but then it becomes transformative.
  • Challenges of doing real-time and real-world project-based learning.
  • Teachers need to adapt to this new way of doing things.
  • School board has to support the project.
  • Build a foundation so the entire district can participate. Ramp Up!
  • How to make it for more than just the gifted or smart kids.
  • 6th grade class suggesting how to improve the sensor.
  • The process of learning how to learn.
  • Trainer of Trainers model.
  • You move at the speed you can go.
  • Contact Ron
  • What to do to start: Look at local organizations and what problems they’re trying to solve.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Today I am speaking with Ron Fortunato, President of Trillium Learning and employee of NASA AMES research center. Listen to learn how you can get more information about to get your students more engaged in REAL projects!

  • Project-based vs activity-based projects.
  • Coupling students with real-life working projects.
  • If students are able to keep up with the real-world work, they are given an opportunity to be at the table.
  • Relationships with NOAA, NASA, and other institutions.
  • Identify real problems, and get students involved in those projects.
  • How Ron got involved with NASA.
  • Winning a proposal with NASA: Pick a project they would have done.
  • Meeting with the scientists that put Viking on Mars.
  • How predicting earthquakes works.
  • First earthquake sensor ever created installed in Kodiak.
  • Real world projects cross many disciplines.
  • “We don’t learn a darn thing when we do something right!”
  • Rapid prototyping process - iterate and learn piece by piece.
  • How students have actually discovered that earthquakes were coming with up to 48 hours notice.
  • NASA gave actual reviews to high school students.
  • Life-saving potential of predicting earthquakes is very important.
  • Kodiak, Ketchikan, Craig, Copper River, and Old Harbor have the earthquake systems installed.
  • Tasks and organizations for students are similar to tasks given to scientists.
  • NASA Directors sit in with students on status reviews.
  • Other projects kids can get involved with. Nano-agriculture
  • It looks like chaos at first, but then it becomes transformative.
  • Challenges of doing real-time and real-world project-based learning.
  • Teachers need to adapt to this new way of doing things.
  • School board has to support the project.
  • Build a foundation so the entire district can participate. Ramp Up!
  • How to make it for more than just the gifted or smart kids.
  • 6th grade class suggesting how to improve the sensor.
  • The process of learning how to learn.
  • Trainer of Trainers model.
  • You move at the speed you can go.
  • Contact Ron
  • What to do to start: Look at local organizations and what problems they’re trying to solve.

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal