Student engagement. It’s a topic every educator thinks about today. How do we get these kids with an eight-second attention span to stay committed to what they said they’d do? How do we get them to pay attention long enough to accomplish something significant? How do we get them to continue when they’re bored? Clayton was a good student, who performed

I met Uduak Afangideh, PhD, at Faulkner University five years ago. We met again this past fall when I spoke on her campus and talked about what we were both learning about engaging college students today. Originally from Nigeria, Dr. Afangideh is the Science Department Chair and Professor of Biology on the campus. She is also a gracious, life-long learner

You may not believe this, but one university just came up with some new rules—in order to make life easier for students. I think it’s a very bad idea. The journalism department at Leeds Trinity University in the U.K., has requested that lecturers avoid several “acts” that might frighten or intimidate students. This makes sense until you hear what those “acts”

Over the years, I will often launch the new year by posting some of my favorite books I read from the past year. These aren’t the only ones I digested this year, but these are ones I’ve recommended to leaders, educators, parents, coaches and employers I meet as I travel. Below are nine of the best books I read in

A growing number of schools and families today believe offering students choices can increase their sense of “ownership” in their learning. I am among them. I’ve seen students come alive when their teacher provides them options for their next project, paper, or capstone assignment. As choices increase, we believe student engagement will also deepen—and it does for the most part. The

After meeting with a national champion athletic coach, a president of a growing university and an amazing principal of a 3,600-student high school—I’ve drawn at least one conclusion about quality leadership: Great leaders create the campus culture. This means, when you arrive, you are the “Chief Culture Officer.” You improve the culture, through your own style and personality, and lift everyone to

Every year I post a list. It’s a list I think leaders like you will appreciate and benefit from. I’ve posted lists of my favorite leadership books, my favorite leadership movies and even my favorite leadership examples—and many of them are students! Today, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite leadership quotes. After serving with John C. Maxwell

When I asked student athletes recently what the number one change was that they’d like to make in their life—their response surprised me. Very insightfully, most of them agreed: “I need to be less impulsive in my decisions.” We live in a day where everything seems to be moving faster and faster. Additionally, we tend to be impulsive in our reactions, thanks

Once in a while, I hear something that stops me in my tracks. I recognize I’ve just heard a life-changing idea. One of them surfaced this year. During a recent Twitter chat I participated in, one of the educator participants asked a question: “Have you heard of design thinking?” The fact is, I had read about “design thinking” in a Stanford education

The fall semester is halfway done, and students are entering midterm exams. Ahhh—there’s nothing like the fall, with high pressure fronts coming in with colder weather, in addition to high pressure expectations among our students. I also believe this time of year is a perfect period to evaluate our leadership. Teachers and parents have experienced several weeks of this school year and

Sometimes, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry when I read some news stories today. Our world is more educated, more sophisticated, more modernized and more industrialized than ever before—but in our race to make progress, we often leave one important quality behind: common sense. Webster defines common sense as: “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way

I recently led a workshop for administrators at a university. Attendees were college deans, vice presidents, heads of schools and high school principals. When I placed them in small discussion groups and posed the question, “What changes do you plan to make this year?” I overheard one administrator say to his colleagues: “I’m just biding my time until I retire in

A news story broke recently that made its away across the country. At first glance, I couldn’t believe it.  My guess is—many of you heard about it. A Florida teacher was fired for refusing to comply with the school’s “No Zero” policy. This means, the school administration has created a rule that even if a student fails to turn any assignment

A new survey was taken among both educators and parents—which revealed that each has different perspectives when it comes to our kids. We gain a fresh perspective when we see life from the classroom as well as the family room. Both teachers and parents, however, agree on one thing for sure: that schools should assess students on both “academic knowledge”

Growing Leaders recently hosted a RoundTable for Principals in Atlanta. It was a joy to hear from best-selling author Dan Pink, authors Will Parker and DeeAnn Turner and an educational panel made up of Julie Diaz, Gary Davison and Dorothy Jerrett. One of my favorite learning moments, however, occurred during a break. Renee Hood approached me to talk. Renee serves as high

Last month, I enjoyed hearing best-selling author Daniel Pink at our RoundTable for Principals in Atlanta. Dan shared some highlights from his newest book, “When,” which is all about the science behind the best ways to leverage our time. Part of his session was about when we (and our kids) take time to play. Fred Rogers, from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, once said,

“The single best step I took to get students engaged in my classroom,” said one faculty member, “was to move from my typical lesson plan to using design thinking.” Have you tried “design thinking?” It’s a practice that’s gaining interest among educators, coaches and even parents across our nation. I have advocated for it for years now, believing it made the difference

Parenting experts all agree: your children will always need you while they live under your roof—but how they need you will change over time. One of our problems as parents is—we lock into one way of helping our kids; one leadership style that doesn’t change as they mature. This presents a problem. Take homework, for example. A recent article in Education Week reported the

The one conclusion I’ve drawn about standardized testing over the last several years is clear: no one really likes it. Students feel pressure to score well to get into the college they desire most; educators feel the pressure to ensure students do well, so they can get school funding; and parents feel the pressure because they believe high scores will

Reports have surfaced recently that some universities are disbanding “outdoor clubs” that have been going on for nearly a century. Why? They are too unsafe. For a century, these student-led outdoor clubs have enabled college students to get outside for hiking, biking, fishing and climbing. Today, however, all of these activities just seem…well, too risky. University officials from one of the schools, Penn

I recently spoke to an employer who hired several recent college graduates. After 90 days, he met with each of the new team members to assess how they were doing. In a meeting with a 23-year-old young man, the employer reviewed his positive qualities, then proceeded to challenge him to shoot for a higher level of excellence. The employee wasn’t

I’m not sure if you’ve heard the rumblings, but people in almost every context are demanding a new kind of leader. I see it in our homes, in our schools, in government, in non-profit work and in the marketplace. In 2001, I began speaking on this “new kind of leader.” I saw it even then, as we marched into the 21st

Well, ‘tis the season. Graduation is here for seniors at high schools and colleges. It’s that time when we celebrate the milestone of completing a phase of life requiring both performance and consistency—from faculty, staff and students. But what does our celebration reveal about us? We live in a day of “feast or famine.” Some of our parent population over-celebrate too many

Years ago, I began listening to my children. I mean—really listening. As they grew up, I began noticing the language they’d use and observing what it taught me about their learning preferences. As a teacher, I began applying this to the students in my classroom and saw the same positive results. Once I modified my teaching style to accommodate the

I recently met with my friend, Zach Thomas, to talk about his story. Not long ago, he released a book called, Leader Farming. He compares good leaders to farmers who constantly cultivate the people under their care as potential leaders. He reminded me that much of what he does he learned at West Point. You see, Zach is a graduate of the