If you’re like me, you’ve attended countless webinars on leading students during a pandemic. You’ve probably read so many articles on COVID-19 you feel like a cross between a therapist and a physician's assistant. You’ve likely been on video calls so much your eyes are blurry and you’ve contracted Irritable Zoom Syndrome. (Just a little humor there.) On top of that,

Many parents fret that they’re not having the same conversations with their children that they did with their parents when they were kids. Teachers fret that engaging students in the classroom is tougher today because they compete against YouTube, Netflix, and Tik Tok. Coaches and youth workers fret that keeping a student athlete’s attention is tough because they’re up against Madden NFL

Most of us have mourned what the COVID-19 quarantine has stolen from our teens. Less class time, more screen time, more boredom, and both students and teachers who are uncomfortable with the new normal. Many traditions were removed like sports games, recitals, school plays, proms, and marching bands on Friday nights. But I’d like to focus for a few minutes on

We’ve actually heard some good news from European countries like Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Norway. These nations have figured out ways to reopen their schools, some as early as mid-April and early May, without seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases. And, according to the New York Times, “Experts are cautiously optimistic that sending children back to school may be relatively safe.”  The

At Growing Leaders, we have the privilege of interacting with lots of school administrators, athletic directors, and department heads. Obviously, with such a strange spring semester behind us, these leaders are planning for a new normal this fall.  No one I have spoken with plans for life to go completely back to how it was in 2019.  One high school principal put

After teaching the art of communication to some high school seniors, I turned them loose to apply what they’d learned. In groups of three, students stood up front to speak on a topic they felt passionate about. One group specifically caught my attention. The group members spoke about how much they wished for a class on life skills. Respectfully, they praised their

Melanie, an 18-year old high school student, told me recently, “I am a planner, but these days I can’t really plan.” Such is the world for high school upperclassmen, especially seniors. As we leave behind the month of May, the time when schools typically host graduation ceremonies, students either experienced a virtual ceremony or they are having to wait until August.

Members of our team at Growing Leaders went and asked students how they’re handling the quarantine. One group of high school seniors offered the most telling insights on their final year of school: “It’s definitely not how I’ve pictured it all these years. I’m missing my senior track season, probably prom, maybe graduation, and the last couple weeks, I’ve missed school.

When I recently spoke to a group of eight students ages 17 to 22, I asked them what the biggest surprise was that they received since returning home to finish the semester online. I got my own surprise from most of them. Their top answer? How little their teacher knew about online learning.  Apparently, many faculty members struggled to get up to

I just finished reviewing my notes on colleges and secondary schools I’ve observed since 2005. The schools are located in Singapore, Canada, England, Germany, Egypt, India, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. I’ve listed below the “best practices” in those schools. Obviously, a key requirement when applying best practices to organizations or schools is the ability to balance the unique

I love the story of the 7-year old girl who grabbed her baseball bat, her mitt and a ball and asked her dad if they could go outside and play some baseball. She then followed her request with some clear instructions for him: “I’ll hit the ball, and you say, ‘good job.’” It has been said, “Encouragement is the oxygen of

Back in 1921, a radical experiment was launched in the United Kingdom. It was a school, if you can call it that, that was so unorthodox, it instantly created debate and controversy. It was called the Summerhill School experiment. Began by Scottish educator, Alexander Sutherland Neill, this school empowers students to choose what they’d like to learn, to experiment, explore and

Some of you may be leaders of the emerging generation. You lead schools, businesses, sports teams and families. Many of you who work with student-leaders want to help them navigate the privileges and responsibilities of their position. I recently sat in on a Student Government Association meeting on a college campus. It was immediately clear these were intelligent and active university

The Associated Press recently reviewed, data from more than three dozen public universities and discovered what I’ve suspected for years. The number of students seeking treatment for mental health problems has almost doubled in the past five years, while overall enrollment has stayed about the same. Did you catch that? The students seeking help has nearly doubled. Some educators explain the increase by

Did you know that public educators are quitting their jobs at a faster rate than some schools can replace them? As of last year, “public education employees are leaving their jobs faster than ever recorded,” reports government data reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Teachers, janitors and other education professionals departed their jobs at an ‘average rate of 83 per 10,000 a month’ in

Today’s blog is from Andrew McPeak. Andrew is a next gen researcher, speaker and the Vice President of Content for Growing Leaders. He is also the co-author of Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population. When I’m on the road and in conversations with leaders of various backgrounds across the country, I find that two perspectives

Three years ago, our organization, Growing Leaders, hosted focus groups of international leaders called Global Voices Gatherings. More than 30 leaders of youth organizations and educational institutions from 10 countries (including Singapore, Great Britain, Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, Canada, Egypt, South Africa, Italy, and the United States) joined us in Atlanta. Over the course of three days, I was consistently surprised by

Fourteen thousand students in California were surveyed recently. Each of their schools had given out awards to students for school attendance. The goal, of course, was to highlight the importance of showing up every day. What researchers discovered, in retrospect, was enlightening. Many of the students who received the award, started attending school less often. In other words, the reward did not

I recently read a report that congress passed legislation this summer for landmark spending on social and emotional learning for American students. It represents $260 million in what congress calls the Whole Child Initiative. This means our federal government believes it needs to spend money on kids beyond the education of reading, writing and arithmetic alone. This is amazing. In an era

It’s September and already, I’ve heard from a teacher who was ambushed by an upset parent in a hallway after school. Students and faculty were all around when an argument surfaced that failed to reach any resolution and, in fact, only built walls between the teacher and parent. All they accomplished was venting. Most of the time, both teachers and parents