Nick Hoover is a school leader in Delaware who has a real passion for leadership and learning. He wants to change the world one person at a time. One student, one teacher, one leader at a time. This passion has led Nick, along with his brother, to start a leadership development company called We CLIMB You CLIMB.

His greatest passion though is being a father. He has seen his knack for helping others, leading others and self-improvement get passed on to his daughter. And he can think of nothing more important.

Following in the Footsteps of an Amazing Leader

by Nick Hoover

Show Highlights

  • Hear how to follow the footsteps of a giant and carve your path of success. 
  • How to determine the expiration date on your core values?
  • When parents recite the school new values to you  
  • Brand your school’s values with intentional  messaging
  • Nick’s gives a master class on feedback. Get his framework to track trends and score your school’s learning goals. 
  • The 4 fs of evaluations and observations. Get Nick’s observational tips to have your hand on the pulse of every class.
  • You climb. We climb. Leadership that’s meant to change the world.
Nick Hoover: Following in the Footsteps of an Amazing Leader

“I’ll probably never go without being in a Mastermind. The rest of my life. It’s been a great way to connect with leaders. Sometimes I say like minded people, but I’m careful to say that because it’s like minded individuals in terms of people who are striving to get better and who want to improve, but it’s not like minded people in terms of diversity. We have a diverse group of people and the way they think, and that’s really important in the support and challenge.”

 – Nick Hoover

Full Transcript Available Here

Daniel (00:02):

I’ve talked about the imposter syndrome before. It’s that annoying little voice that belittles, every single thing that you do, if their voice is too loud, your performance will be hindered and you’ll consistently play small. That voice is natural. We all have it, but imagine how much more difficult it is to deal with the imposter syndrome. When you replace a principal who was highly effective and loved by his community, that was the situation Nick Hoover faced when he accepted his first principal position. We’ll talk first about what it’s like to follow the footsteps of a giant. Replacing an ineffective principal is easy, but replacing an all star that’s difficult and can be done. Stay tuned to find out how.

Daniel (00:49):

Hey, it’s Daniel and welcome to the better leaders, better schools, podcast, a show for Ruckus Makers those out of the box leaders making change happen in education. In just a moment, we’ll get a message from our show sponsors, but right now, an even more important message and that’s a happy birthday message. Bill Hoover, if you are listening, happy birthday, The better leaders better schools podcast is brought to you by organized binder, a program designed to develop your students executive function and noncognitive skills. Learn more@ organizedbinder.com

Daniel (01:34):

Today’s podcast is brought to you by teach fx. It’s basically like a Fitbit for teachers helping them be mindful of teacher talk versus student talk. Get a special 20% discount for your school or district by visiting teachfx.com/BLBS. If you’re waiting for your district to develop you don’t hold your breath. What would you be able to accomplish? If you poured jet fuel and your leadership development. Rob of principal, North Carolina had this to say about his mastermind experience. I have found myself trying more things because I know that I have the support from other amazing school leaders to help guide me through. If I get stuck, turn your dreams into reality and level up your leadership. Apply to the mastermind today at better leaders, better schools.com forward slash mastermind.

Daniel (02:32):

Hey, Ruckus Maker, I am here with a good friend and I’m excited to bring you his story today. Nick Hoover is a school leader in Delaware who has a real passion for leadership and learning. He wants to change the world one person at a time, one student, one teacher, one leader at a time. This passion has led Nick along with his brother to start a leadership development company called We Climb. You climb His greatest passion though is being a father. He has seen his knack for helping others, Leading others, and self-improvement get passed on to his daughter and he can think of nothing more important. Nick, welcome to the show.

Nick (03:11):

Thank you, Danny. Super excited.

Daniel (03:13):

So I want to start with your story becoming a principal because you really followed an amazing leader when you took over the school and I’m curious, how did you approach following in someone’s footsteps, who is genuinely a world class leader?

Nick (03:30):

Yeah, that’s a great question. So when I first came on board as assistant principal, he was taking over as principal at the same school we worked really well together and we built a culture and a great system. When he moved on, I knew I wanted to take over as principal at the same school. I also needed everyone to know I was not the same person. I was different and in order for me to be successful I had to be me. Which was really difficult. I had two people on my shoulder. Like the one person’s going just right as coattails, it’s going to be great. You know, you’ll, you’ll be successful, but the other person was saying, there’s just, there’s no way that you can be successful trying to be somebody else. Yeah. So I just had to be me and I even said that in my interview, like, listen guys, I’m Nick Hoover. I’m going to be different if you’re looking for the same person that just left, you gotta keep looking.

Daniel (04:31):

And do you remember how it felt to say that back then?

Nick (04:34):

Yeah. A little nerve wracking! I make a lot of jokes about being confident and stuff like that. I definitely, I love saying stuff like that. However, when you’re following somebody who was so ingrained in the school and such a great leader, I mean, I think he was really loved when you’re following somebody like that. There’s definitely the hesitation, right? Like, are you going to be good enough? I live that imposter syndrome sometimes where I’m thinking, am I going to be good enough? You know, can I do what this person did? And the answer for me is yes, I can do it. I just have to do it differently again. And I think that was some of my first year as principal was learning the things that I tried to do that we had done before, maybe didn’t work as well, because I was just a, just a different person.

Daniel (05:25):

Yeah. Yeah. I think some principals walking into a new situation definitely have an advantage when that prior principal wasn’t quality because then you could come in and be like a breath of fresh air. Like, Oh, this guy’s even, he’s organized. He follows through on his word. You know, that’s easy, but when you’re following somebody, it was such a high class performer that is challenging, but I’m glad that you’ve settled in. You’ve done a lot of great work. One of the most challenging things that you did in the beginning was changing sort of the vision and the values of this school. So talk to the Ruckus Maker about that.

Nick (06:01):

Again, like that was tough for me, I think. So just to kind of give you a background every two years, we did a two year cycle of review for our principles of instruction and our values. And so we were coming up on our two year cycle of review. It was going into the summer. We did that with our leadership team and as we were getting ready and I was preparing for those meetings, I looked at our values and I recognized that those values really represented what we were five years ago and we were a very different building. Now, we needed those values five years ago. Right. But as we were moving into year six, I just realized we were a different school. And so I was a little nervous about that because they were so ingrained in our culture, not just our culture, it was ingrained in our district.

Nick (06:52):

Like what we became known as for a school is having our pillars of success. Other school’s modeled their values after ours, to the point where even some folks at the state level made comments to me about our pillars of success. So changing those was a little scary to be honest. But when I brought that to the leadership team, everybody quickly realized, yeah, this is what we were, but it’s not who we are now. And so we landed on, on our new core values as a team and they really represented who we are as a school and who we want it to be, you know? So it wasn’t just who are we, but who are we striving to be? And I think that now we’re working on it because that was only last year. So we’re now working on ingraining that and creating that as our new tradition or new culture in the school. And so far, I think it’s been successful. It’s been well received by families and kids and staff and also the, the district folks as well.

Daniel (07:51):

Can you go into that a little bit? Like, What does that look like? If it’s been well received and you’re saying it’s successful just to break it apart to the Ruckus Maker listening so they know what to potentially look for too.

Nick (08:02):

Yeah, sure. So what we did was we started really with some of the prep work of saying, what are the values that we want to live here? And my school is Meredith Middle School. So what are the values we want to live here at Meredith? And everybody had to create some values and come to the table with what those were. We all shared our values and it really worked out great that I think there were five when we landed on six values, but five of those values were pretty much across the board. Almost everybody said, these are our values. There were a couple others, we had discussions and we were changing verbiage and all that kind of stuff. But, we landed on, on six values. Now what we knew we needed to do was not just have the value, but what does it mean?

Nick (08:46):

Because you can say integrity, but without giving a definition to it, people don’t really know what that means, so we need to define it and then we need to brand it. You know? So yeah, what we did was we kind of separated off some subcommittees. We had some people working on the brand and what could that graphic look like, people working on the definitions. And we landed on something that I think was just amazing what our school or the crusaders. And we landed with a shield and the shields has puzzle pieces and the six values are one of those puzzle pieces. So then what we did was we had to ingrain that with our staff, you know, we had to roll it out. So we introduced it of course, to the whole group, but we also did some PD around what each one of those values mean.

Nick (09:32):

And what does that mean because this isn’t just about kids. It’s about our culture. So when we talk about leadership, we’re not just talking about student leadership, we’re talking about adult leadership when we’re talking about positivity, we want our kids to be positive about themselves, but we also need to be positive too, as adults. So we really rolled that out. And what does that mean as a staff? Then we created some lessons on rolling that out with the kids, right? Here’s our new values. What does this mean to you? How can we live with this every day? Aye, communicated that with families. Really when I communicate with families, we really just focus on our vision, our values, our goals, and our focus. That’s really the only thing I’m communicating from the principal.

Nick (10:18):

Of course. So we did that several times throughout the year and yeah, I think it’s worked well. You know, again, we were just wrapping up year one on that. However, people have been commenting on what those values are when a parent says to me what the values are. I’m like, yeah, got it. Yes. That’s what we needed. And lastly, what we did too, was we changed our award ceremonies, categorized our awards to match with our values. So now there’s the positivity award, the leadership award, the connection award. And we also do that for staff. So when we do our staff meetings and we hand out awards to staff, we call them our core value awards. And so when we are giving an award to somebody, it’s going to be one of our values, it might be a connection. It might be inclusivity, integrity, whatever it is. So I think all of that really has to come together as one big structure.

Daniel (11:09):

Yeah. I appreciate you going into that and providing detailed illustration. The parent being able to recite a value and use it. That is exactly it. You have to be intentional with your communication and branding messaging here. I think folks that listen consistently, they know they’re Ruckus Maker and you see that on Twitter, right? They use that language or like the motto, everybody knows everyone wins when a leader gets better, everybody wins when you get better. So that was very intentional putting that out there and you illustrated that. Also, love the shield, the logo and the puzzle pieces and the fact that kids and staff have awards aligned with those values too. So let’s move from vision And values to feedback in observation because, and listen, I know this is like riding a bike for you, but for the Ruckus Maker listening they’re going to hear how you do feedback and observations and you’re going to blow their mind. So tell us about how your school approaches that

Nick (11:54):

Yeah, sure. It’s actually one of my favorite things to talk about and you and I have talked about this before . It’s so ingrained in what I do that it does tend to be relatively easy to talk about, but I think to try to frame it. I’ve said this over in my head several times. I always think of it as future focus feedback with a framework. So in the future, I think the most important part there is that we have our core values. As we’ve already mentioned, we have our three school wide goals.

Nick (12:44):

We don’t do more than that. We don’t do less. We have three goals and those goals are aligned to our district strategic plan, our department also has goals, but those goals are related to our school goals. So they choose one goal, but it has to be related to one of those three school goals. So I think the future is, you know, looking ahead, what are the big overarching things that really we’re shooting for focus to me, it’s more of what, what can we hone in on? What can we laser in on? That’s going to help us achieve those goals. It’s always about student achievement, right? And students, student success. So we have our framework there of what we call our 10 principles of instruction. Those 10 principles are really research based strategies for learning. So we’ve taken these from Hattie or Myra Marzano, there’s research out there that says, these are the things that work.

Nick (13:35):

So we have our 10 principles of instruction. But from there we choose three instructional focuses every year. Those three instructional focuses are one of the 10 principles. So it’s not three more things. It’s, again, we’re focusing on, we want to see the 10 principles of instruction in every lesson every day. But the three instructional focuses are what we’re going to focus on as a school and really what we’re focusing on to improve. We also have some social emotional focuses as well. Now the departments, as I said before, they have a goal, but they also have an instructional focus. That instructional focus is tied to one of the instructional focuses that we have. So we’ve narrowed it down to three instructional focuses, that department is going to choose one of those. And they’re then going to focus on that. So there’s your future and there is your focus.

Nick (14:25):

And now we got to get into feedback because all of that is great, but I really believe feedback is probably feedback and reflection, I think are the two most important things on how to grow, how to improve. So then we had to create a framework on how we’re going to provide feedback. So first off we do several things. Classroom visits are really our big ones like admin walkthroughs. The feedback that we focus on there is when we come into a classroom first, our goal is that we see every teacher every week. That’s our goal, every classroom every week. Priority one is focusing in on the instructional focus, the feedback or summarizing or collaborative structures, whatever those instructional focuses are. Priority two is going to be the rest of those 10 principles.

Nick (15:15):

But for the most part, we really just try to focus on those, those instructional focuses. So we do classroom visits. We have a structure on how we’re going to get those done again. When you’re talking about seeing every teacher every week, you have to be intentional with that. You have to have a framework. You’re just not going to get it done. If you go, yeah, I’ll get into some classrooms this week. So we have a structure. We also have a structure of video conferencing with an administrator. So the teachers do a video reflection and then meet with, are the administrative team to go through that. Of course we have our observations. We have a face to face structure. Our face to face meetings are about five or six meetings a year where we meet with our teachers. They could be focused on feedback, trends, data, or the video reflection, but we also have layers of department rounds.

Nick (16:07):

So our department leaders and an administrator go around a couple of times a year, get into classrooms. And they’re really focused on trends and scoreboard, right? So we’re focused on what are the trends that we’re seeing aligned to that focus. And let’s scoreboard that, you know, how are we doing? Are we hitting our 60% Mark? Are we getting an 80% Mark? What does that look like? We have our grade level lead rounds where our three grade level leads will go around to every classroom and they’ll focus on trends as well. But those trends are more about how we look as a whole school? And that helps us inform what our focus is going to be for the following year. If we were focused on summarizing this year and we, you know, we felt like summarizing, we improved, but we weren’t where we want to be.

Nick (16:53):

Then we’re going to keep summarizing on for year two. That makes sense. And lastly, we have another section there that is a little bit outside of this, but it’s still about feedback. It’s a new teacher rounds. So what we do is we have our, all of our new teachers to the building. We do new teacher rounds, three times a year, several new teachers and myself. We go around to classrooms. They have a specific focus that they’re looking to improve on. And then we get into classrooms so that they can take at least one takeaway no more than two, because if you chew for more than two, there’s just no way you’re going to do it. But I know that was a quick rundown, but it’s, it’s, there’s so much in it. And for people who are just starting, I’d kind of suggest let’s focus on an instructional focus and then focus on how you’re going to give feedback. I mean, those are the two big things. If you can land on one or two things that teachers need to focus on that are research based, then create a framework on how you’re going to give feedback to those teachers. And if you’ve never been in classrooms before, other than an observation set a goal of getting in maybe once or twice per month, we’ve worked up to the fact of getting in every single week. But that can be daunting for somebody who goes, I’ve only been in five classrooms for the whole year. How do we do that?

Daniel (17:50):

Yeah. What I appreciate about that is obviously for what you’re at now and it running like a well oiled machine, you’re seeing everybody every week and providing feedback and that feedback loop is leading to tremendous growth. I would think in the educators there, but for somebody just starting out the tip of helping teachers see what’s most important, there’s a lot of things important, but here’s the one or two things we’re going to focus on. And then the fact that if you’re not up to every class every week,just starting somewhere and starting small, and then you could always scale that up. So I really appreciate what was a master class on feedback and observation. So Ruckus Maker definitely rewind, hit play again, review your notes, take more notes. I encourage you to bring this to your leadership team and start thinking about how we can level up how we do observations and provide feedback within our school. So Nick here, we’re going to pause just for a moment. We’ll hear a message from our sponsors. And when we get back, we’re going to talk about, We climb. You climb

Daniel (19:13):

Better leaders, better schools. Podcast is brought to you by organized binder. Organized binder is an evidence based RTI, tier one universal level solution, and focuses on improving executive functioning and non cognitive skills. You can learn more and improve your student [email protected]. The better leaders better schools. Podcast is brought to you by teach FX school leaders know that productive student talk drives student learning, but the average teacher talks 75% of class time. Teach FX is changing that with a Fitbit for teachers, yeah, automatically measured student engagement. It gives teachers feedback about what they could do differently. Learn more about the teacher FX app. You can get a special 20% discount for your school or district by visiting teachfx.com/BLBS. That’s teachfx.com/blbs.

Daniel (20:14):

Alright, and we’re back with Nick Hoover and we’re going to talk, We climb. You climb, which is an organization that you founded with your brother. I don’t know that we’ll get into what it’s like working with your brother, but that might be fun to discuss, but we are very interested in why you started. We climb. You climb and what kind of change you’re trying to make in the world.

Nick (20:47):

Yeah. So, We climb. You climb Is an acronym for culture, leadership, integrity mindset, and balance. Those we really feel are essential principles of leadership. So it’s a leadership development company that’s across industries. I don’t say this lightly, Danny. I know I like to exaggerate in my stories, but I really don’t say this lightly. When I say I want to change the world.

Nick (20:59):

One person at a time in our company is looking to change the world. One leader at a time. We really believe that leadership and organizations live and die by it. So Mark and I, we have a passion for leadership and that was, we were fortunate because that was instilled in us from our dad pretty early on. We didn’t recognize it. Of course, when we were, you know, 10 years old. But as I grew into high school and college, I realized that, you know, my dad really instilled these principles in us. We were super fortunate with that. We also realized that we had coaches and mentors and support groups that were there for us, and they were there to support us, but also challenge us and get better. So the long story,I like to tell stories.

Nick (21:42):

So the long story short is that this started about seven years ago. It’s kind of been a long process, but seven years ago, my brother, he was still in the Navy and I had the honor to participate in something called a tiger cruise. He was on the ship, USS Enterprise. And as part of the, the last three days of the tour, they were allowed to take on some family members. And I got the opportunity to meet him on the ship and stay on there for three days while the ship finished out its last, last bit of the tour. During that time I was living, eating, working. I mean, it was, it was crazy. It was, it was an amazing experience for somebody like me who just really had no military experience and all that kind of stuff. But it led to some really great leadership discussions after that because we realized that there were some fundamental principles in leadership that no matter what industry, these things are just really important, as you can imagine at first, I thought, wow, the military is run so differently than school is.

Nick (22:46):

Yes. Which it is, but there’s just those fundamental principles that you just can’t deny. What we’re trying to do is tap into those principles with leaders to improve their effects in this and improve success. Just as you say, you know, about schools, when leaders improve, the whole school improves, it’s the same thing about any organization when the leaders get better, the organization gets better. And so that’s really what, what we’re trying to do.

Daniel (23:12):

So Mark, if you’re listening, shout out to Mark and love the work that you and Nick are doing, what’s been one of your proudest moments of the work that you’re doing. So I think it’s probably personal in tha we’ve really been able to recognize our dad a few times he wrote a guest blog, which was kind of a cool experience and we’re doing an interview series and he’s going to be our next guest.

Nick (23:42):

And so we’re super excited about that. And just for him to share his knowledge, he was in industry, he was a leader, both in his, you know, his company started his own company, but also a leader in the community. And so for him to share his knowledge has just been great and some of the things that he has said, we’re like, Oh yeah, okay. Dad said that, you know, 25 years ago and, and it’s kind of helped us, you know, recognize some of that. I think the other thing too is just hearing how it’s inspiring other folks, just even my daughter, she’s been doing some stuff with leadership and taking a few things on where I was like, wow, what my dad instilled in me. It sounds like I’m doing that now. You never know that until later.

Nick (24:25):

Right. But yeah, it’s, it’s really been kind of a cool experience. And honestly, lastly, it’s really been great to do this, with your brother, to have this, this connection and, you know, he lives across the country. I’m in Delaware, he’s in Washington and to have this connection, it’s really been nice and to connect every day and talk about the business every day, it’s also helped us push each other. Right. So like when I’m just not feeling up to it, like, Oh, I just want a night off. You know, he calls me up and he’s like, Hey man, we got to get on that blog or, Hey, we got to get on that video and I do the same. So that’s been awesome.

Daniel (25:03):

Yeah. I can imagine having that consistency of communication in a thought partner. That, you know, and trust to push you is so invaluable. Great. Before we close out with the questions I ask every guest on the show, I’d love to just hear a little bit about your mastermind experience. You’ve been in there. It’s going on year number two now, which I really appreciate. If you could just talk about what that’s been like since, you know, I serve Ruckus Makers through this podcast, but I’m always looking to serve more leaders within the mastermind as well.

Nick (25:12):

Yeah. I’ll tell you what Danny you’ve sold me on the mastermind. I mean, when I joined it was over a year ago. I actually, I think it was just a little over a year ago. I was sold from the first few minutes. I’ve said now I’ll probably never go without being in a mastermind. The rest of my life. It’s been a great way to connect with leaders.

Nick (26:01):

And sometimes I say like minded people, but I’m careful to say that because it’s like minded individuals in terms of people who are striving to get better and who want to improve, but it’s not like minded people in terms of diversity. We have a diverse group of people and the way they think, and that’s really important in the support, but also the challenge, I don’t want to share something and just have everybody shake their head and go, yeah, that’s a good idea. I want somebody to go, have you thought about this? Ooh, I don’t know about that. Right? Like that’s what I’m looking for. So my experience in the mastermind has been phenomenal and I’m talking it up everywhere, which is really, you’ve helped inspire me in my journey with our company, We climb. You climb that we were looking to start masterminds.

Nick (26:48):

We’re going to do them a little bit differently, but we’re looking to start masterminds as well with our company. If you don’t mind me sharing a quick little plug here with our listeners, a better leaders, better schools, we’re looking to offer a deal for, for the listeners. It is around mastermind. It’s definitely different than what you’re offering, Danny. We offer three month long mastermind around a topic, specific leadership topics. The mastermind would meet every other week for three months, somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half. But again, they’re focused on specific leadership topics, the topics that we’re going to focus on coming up soon. And that’s what we want to offer out here. Two things focused around our principles of balance.

Nick (27:33):

So one is managing time rather than it managing you. And the other one is developing personal core values to lead to better success. And the offer is for better leaders, better schools listeners the first month, absolutely free. If you join on absolutely free, no payment, no credit card, nothing after that 50% off. So you got two months left. If you stay on 50% off, we really just want to connect people across industries. Because again, we all have something to share. And like I said, because of the mastermind I’ve been in with you, I’ve wanted to turnkey that and get that out to other people. And you’ve inspired me to do that. So I really appreciate it.

Daniel (28:14):

Awesome. Well, you got a generous offer for a Ruckus Makers listening. I heard a little bit different in how you approach it. So every other week in topical and focus so if somebody wants to take advantage of that great deal you have, where can people find out more information?

Nick (28:30):

Yeah. Right on our website, we climb, you climb.com there’s information there, but we’re super accessible. So, you can reach out to us right on the website. Just contact us. The other thing I wanted to say too, is that you can reach me through that website no matter what. So the listeners who maybe want more information about the framework and feedback, if they’re looking for more, they can just find me right there. We climb, you climb.com.

Daniel (28:56):

Wonderful. We climb, you climb.com, check it out. What message Nick would you put on all schools? Marquees across the globe, if you could do so for just a day,

Nick (29:06):

Oh, I listened to the pod. I’ve listened to every one of your podcasts. And I always say, this is what I’m going to say, but it feels like it’s a different message every time. So right now, the way I’m feeling is I’ve got a couple of quotes that are just in my mind, but Beatles fan, of course, and all you need is love. I just, I really believe that love is what makes the world go round and love. Isn’t just about love. It’s about caring. It’s about supporting each other. And I know as we’re going through this many people are talking about the pandemic and all that kind of stuff. But I believe that that’s really something that we need more of. I love the quote. So I’m going to have to, I got two marques, one, one facing one way, one facing the other way.

Nick (29:50):

The other one is a quote from Martin Luther King, where, and I’m going to kind of paraphrase it, but darkness does not drive out darkness only light can do that. He cannot drive out. Hate. Only love can do that. We’re seeing a lot of things in the news about police brutality and inequities across our country. Hate isn’t going to drive that out. We have to find a better way. And I really believe the better way is love and caring and connecting with people and finding a way to do that. And our schools can not survive without that. We cannot just think we’re going to walk into the building and stand in front of the class and talk to kids and think that that’s going to work. We have to connect and we have to genuinely care for kids. So you’re building a school from the ground up.

Nick (30:35):

You’re not limited by any resources. Your only limitation is your imagination. How would you build your dream school and what would be your top three priorities? So I guess like, hot tub and stuff like that, like personal hot tubs that don’t count also. I’m sure.Your School you could do what you want, Nick. Oh, I guess so. Right. Yeah. And have a pool, but only for my use, nobody else. No, the top priorities, I’m going to go back to the message I just had. There was like, we really need to focus in on, on equity. And I know that’s a hot button topic and that’s an easy thing for people to say, but we really have to tap into what does that mean? Equity around race, around gender, around socioeconomic, around background. That’s one of the things that we really need to focus on.

Nick (31:29):

I want to admit though, I don’t know how to do that. I’m learning, I’m in my journey now of trying to explore what that means and just learning from myself first. And so that’s got to be one of the top priorities.two, I think what we want to do is build the structure. When I say build, I mean, a framework, for kids that includes research based strategies that work, and some of those are outside of what we typically do. I’m lucky enough to be in a district where they want to hear these creative ideas. I’m on a team where we’re pushing these things at the middle school level. We have a middle school transformation team and we’re trying to push things like recess. You know, recess went away in middle school. Who knows how long maybe we never had it.

Nick (32:16):

Well, we’re pushing to say the research says we need physical activity, way more of it than we were. Then we get kids outside, let them get some recess breaks throughout the day. We all need a break. You know, during this time I’ve noticed that I cannot do six hours of zoom. It’s just by hour or two, my brain is fried. And yet we ask kids to go class to class, to class, to class lunch class class. It’s just not what research says is what’s best for kids. So we need to incorporate breaks in there. We want to include things on, on getting kids engaged. What are interests that kids love and maybe just breaking our system of the way we’ve always done things. We teach things in a silo. I taught social studies. I taught social studies in a silo. How do we break that?

Nick (33:06):

You know, how do we change up the way we teach kids? And that’s going to change the way teachers’ work. Okay. I think this pandemic has taught us that we can, we can change. We, we just have to allow ourselves to do it so that wasn’t about the physical building. But I think those are the things that we really need to incorporate as we move forward in education.

Daniel (33:28):

Nick, thank you so much for being a part of the better leaders, better schools, podcast of all the things we talked about today, what’s the one thing you want a Ruckus Maker to remember? Oh man, that’s a good question, Danny. I like that. You end with that. One thing that people should remember, I think for me, it takes a lot of reflection in order to be a leader and that reflection doesn’t just come from personal reflection.

Nick (33:55):

You have to be challenged by other people. I don’t want my leadership team to be yes, people. I don’t want to be with other principals. And everybody just says, yes, we have to challenge each other. I like challenges from our staff. I like challenges from our community. It doesn’t mean that I always go in that direction, but we want to, we want to hear those challenges. We will want to hear a diverse group of people and diverse backgrounds because that’s going to challenge our thinking and hopefully that’s going to make us better. So yeah, that’s what I want. And people along the way.

Speaker 3 (34:29):

Thanks for listening to the better leaders, better schools, podcast, Ruckus Maker. If you have a question or would like to connect my email, Daniel F better leaders, better schools.com or hit me up on Twitter at alien earbud. If the better leaders better schools, podcast is helping you grow as a school leader, then please help us serve more Ruckus Makers like you. You can subscribe, leave an honest rating and review or share on social media with your biggest takeaway. From the episode, extra credit for tagging me on Twitter@ alien earbud and using the hashtag #blbs level up your leadership at better leaders, better schools.com and talk to you next time until then class dismissed.



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