Al Kingsley is the CEO of NetSupport and Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust
As well as his CEO and Chair roles, Al is an FED Co-chair of two groups, Chair of the BESA EdTech Group, member of Forbes Technology Council, and chairs his regional Employment and Skills Board. He’s a well-known face in EdTech speaking internationally; the author of “My Secret #EdTech Diary” and co-author of “A Guide to Creating a Digital Strategy in Education”.

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Show Highlights

Interesting ideas on how to roll out and adopt technology.
Create a school that’s actually responsive to community needs.
Be a firm believer in lifelong learning and become an Edu sponge.
Reevaluating how to effectively label, measure and validate high performing schools.
The misalignment between high stakes tests and student performance.
How to be a school responsive to the students and the community you’re in front of needs?
Stop buying technology that doesn’t deliver and adopt a strong digital vision within your school or district.
“I think that that love of learning really comes down to inquisitiveness and that sense of actually, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.” “The one thing I want every child to leave school with is a love of learning and a passion to learn more. Not a sense of `I’ve got through that and never again.’”
- Al Kingsley

Madeline Mortimore

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Read the Transcript here.

EdTech Secrets


Daniel: Are you providing knowledge or are you providing skills? We provide them both. That’s part of what we dig into today with my new friend Al Kingsley. He’s also the author of a book you should check out, which is called My Secret and Tech Diary. He is an expert around all things digital, so he has some really interesting ideas when it comes to technology and how to adopt it, roll it out, that kind of thing. We also talk about what it’s like to create a school that’s actually responsive to community needs. I hope you enjoy today’s show. This is Danny, Chief Ruckus Maker over at Better Leaders, Better Schools. Thanks for listening to the show. This show is for Ruckus Makers , which means that’s you and you invest in your continuous growth. You challenge the status quo and you’re designing the future of school now. We’ll be right back after a few short messages from our show sponsors.


Daniel: Develop your structures, systems, supports and culture for excellent teaching and learning in every classroom for every student as a part of leading learning. A brand new certificate of School Management and Leadership Course from Harvard. Get started at betterleadersbetterschools.com/Harvard. Teachers use Teach FX to record a lesson and automatically get personalized insights into their classroom. Conversation patterns in teaching practices. See TeachFX for yourself and learn about special partnership options for Ruckus Makers at Teachfx.com/BLBS. All students have an opportunity to succeed with Organized Binder, which equips educators with a resource to provide stable and consistent learning, whether that’s in a distance, hybrid or traditional educational setting. Learn more at Organized Binder. All right. We’re here with the ruckus maker Al Kingsley, who’s CEO of Net Support and chair of a Multi-academy Trust, as well as the CEO and chair roles. Al is in Fed co-chair of two groups, chair of the BSA EdTech Group, a member of Forbes Technology Council and Chairs as Regional Employment and Skills Board. He’s a well known face in EdTech speaking internationally. The author of My Secret at Tech Diary and co-author of A Guide to Creating a Digital Strategy in Education. Al, welcome to the show.


Al: Hi. Good to see you, Danny.


Daniel: Good to see you as well. This is exciting. You had me on your podcast, too, and I actually should remember. Let’s talk about that in a few minutes so we can point people towards your show as well. I want to bring you back in time, way back when you were a student. I’m really curious, what do you remember from your school experience and what does that remembering tell you?


Al: That’s a really interesting question. There are two things that I remember and these both, before I share them, might be more of a reflection on my academic prowess in my earlier years or just on the things that I prioritize. The two things I suppose I remember most. One is the teachers or certain teachers that I aligned with, and that gave me encouragement and support. It might be that actually, on reflection, they gave me more latitude. I don’t know. But either way, I embrace their support and nurture. The second thing, which kind of is something that’s been a driver for me in many ways when I’ve thought about education and the bigger picture has been some of those experiences, those experiences that allowed you to grow or seek some independence. The first school trip away when you actually stayed in a residential area away from your home, the experiences working as a team, going away on away sports matches. For many of us, those are the kind of things that stand out, are those kind of really fond memories or those experiences that helped shape you somewhat into your later life?


Daniel: You said your first trip staying away from home. Can you remember what that was like or where that was?


Al: I can , it was in Yorkshire and it was an overnight sort of residential camp where we did kind of building bridges to get across a river and rafting and climbing on things. I remember them because when you look back as a child, your recollections were that you did far grander things than you really did. When I was younger in my head, we kind of climbed a mountain when actually it was probably a small hill. These are the things I always maintain. The one thing I want every child to leave school with is a love of learning and a passion to learn more. Not a sense of I’ve got through that and never again. I think those experiences can feed into that.


Daniel: I could be ignorant, so correct me if I’m wrong, but so my wife, her favorite team’s Yorkshire tea, is that made in Yorkshire?


Al: It most certainly is. It’s a very special blend and something that people in Yorkshire are very proud of.


Daniel: We buy a gigantic bag. It has hundreds. It might even have 1000 tea bags in it. That’s how much she loves it. Whenever we’re over in the UK, we get as much as they’ll allow us to take back to the States.


Al: It sounds like your wife is Chief Ruckus Brew Maker.


Daniel: Chief Ruckus Brew Maker for sure. She has a fine, fine taste for tea. We won’t talk about that. You’re talking about this passion for learning. Not so much that you got through with it, but it’s like this moment in this love and passion for learning. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?


Al: It’s an interesting one. I’m sure many educators, probably most educators will kind of align with the views that many of us will share, irrespective of our kind of roles or experiences. I’m a firm believer that in lifelong learning, I often refer to myself. The people that bump into me are an edu sponge, which is my kind of polite way of saying. Many of the things I share are not things that I innovated personally, but I’ve learnt from others and will pass on to the next person I meet as good ideas. I think that that love of learning really comes down to inquisitiveness and that sense of actually, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. Sometimes that comes with a bit of age and confidence to recognize that. I also think it comes down to being equipped with the right skills to learn how to find out how to research, how to challenge the accuracy of things and information. I think when we come to learning for our youngest students, things like reading, we want children to be passionate about reading because of the adventure and the things they’re going to discover, not because they’re necessarily getting a grasp of the correct pronunciation and phonetics of every word that comes as a byproduct of a love and an appetite for consuming words and vocabulary. Often we start off in our early years making play an integral part of learning. Gradually, as we get older, learning by the nature of the pressure and the curriculum and the challenges becomes less and less fun and more working to deadlines. The more that we can maintain that sense of pleasure in learning, and that’s easier said than done. I’ve been by no means I’m coming to chat with you with all the answers, but I think the more that in the round we get that sense of education and learning is opening more and more exciting opportunities then the more likely we are to make education sustainable for the next century.


Daniel: There’s something to that. The play and the curiosity that connects it to making it fun. If you can figure out how to make it fun, then it becomes that lifelong process. I really appreciate you describing some of those conditions for a passion for learning. I know you love to talk about high performing schools, too, but it’s interesting. Schools are measured in a variety of ways. I’m curious, how do you approach measuring and validating, what a high performing school looks like?


Al: This is a topic that I do sometimes get slightly overly passionate about because of the high performing school system, no matter where you go in the world, as a general rule, there’s a standard set of measures often and fundamentally linked around academic progress that is deemed to be the measure of a high performing school system. If we try to aggregate across the world all the different countries with their education school systems, we use ranking systems like PISA, where we take a snapshot of 15 year olds and we look across core syllabus subjects and we identify the knowledge, acquisition and progress of a child in those key subjects. And then we can say this country is higher up the rankings than this country and so on, with a view that we can then look to those high performing systems and learn from them. And the truth is, there is some merit in that to a point. The challenge is, are we really reflecting on a successful school system and a successful school? If we drill down to purely being the sum of the qualifications, a child accrues at the end of their journey. For me, increasingly there’s a narrative that says, whilst of course, knowledge acquisition is key because it unlocks our ability to interact in a professional sense in the world and communicate more effectively. Increasingly, I think there’s just as much measure around skills, around the rounded child confidence, self-worth, our wellbeing, those skills we talked about in terms of challenging the validity of things. Fostering inquisitive inclusivity as well. Looking at all those different skills that wrap around that make us the rounded person that we are. Some of the most amazing people in the world don’t necessarily have to have the most certificates. Now, of course, there’s a happy medium somewhere in there, but what tends to happen is governments want to be able to evidence that school systems are successful and each new inbound government wants to prove in some shape or form they’ve pulled the lever to make the school system better than the last government. We always end up leveling down to the narrowest set of measures we can think of to provide those stats. Actually, one of those for me, one of the most important things in any school and think about within our own schools is, is actually breadth of curriculum. Because the truth is we’re all good at different things. And the more we narrow that field of measure down to those core curriculum measures, the less inclusive our education system becomes. And more likely we are to have learners who feel left behind because they don’t have that breadth. Shouldn’t music and the arts and sport and other activities carry greater prominence alongside not that in any way disregard that our math and English and our STEM subjects in the broader sense. But there’s more to life than the pressures on all of our school systems has been such that we’ve narrowed down and we’ve looked. Some really, really specific measures. If we take it to a really simplistic level, I’m sure all of us will reflect on our own experiences in education. Do we really think it’s fair that in many countries the sum of three years of learning should be judged and measured based on two or three hour examinations? Often the response I get is, “We have to do it some way,” and yet our students finish those exams, those two or three examinations that judge their complete measure of their success in the three years. They go on to a more important qualification in college or university. The bulk of that qualification is done based on coursework work done throughout the academic year, along with an exam that counts for a small percentage of the marks at the end. We kind of convince ourselves that the only way to do it effectively is to have these end of learning period exams. Yet for the really important ones, we managed to convince ourselves that assessing a student all the way along towards their final score is perfectly reasonable. For me, there’s a contradiction, and I think the more we can recognise that, the fairer we test and measure a child’s understanding and success in subjects, the more likely we are to actually have a reflective system of how effective our education is actually delivering in our country. It’s my soapbox.


Daniel: We welcome it and I appreciate that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard actually, if I have, I’ve forgotten. I really appreciate the point of the misalignment between these high stakes tests during the student’s early years, and then they finally get to uni or college and they’re getting assessed along the way. It’s not just the one test, the two tests to get out and to graduate. That’s a really important point. Then the narrow focus that you’re talking about in terms of classical education or that kind of thing, to me, it almost seems like a race to the bottom or something. If we just keep that focus and my soapbox, but I’ll keep it short because you’re the hero of this show. But I remember in Chicago, I really disagreed with this idea and I thought it was quite stupid, to be quite honest. They increased the school day. I’m not saying increasing minutes is bad. But they increased the school day, because their assertion was that our students are low in math and reading, so they need more math and reading. All they did was add more minutes. They didn’t change the instruction, the quality of the teacher, the quality of the curriculum didn’t change. You’re just getting more of the same. And what got what got cut, music, right? The arts play, curiosity, creativity, all these other areas which actually enhance a student’s ability to be successful in what we might call core curriculum. The people who made those decisions, the mayor and the other politicians, and their kids went to these private institutions that had almost an abundance of music and theater and art offerings. But for everybody else’s kids, it disappeared. That really bugs me. Free to respond if you want or I can.


Al: I’m going to I’m simply going to agree with you that the concept that when children are struggling, when it comes to academic achievement in a particular subject, the simple solution is so fundamental that fundamentally it will always be not just about more of, but it’s about how it’s delivered, whether you have the time to enrich, whether you have the time to introduce different ways of teaching and learning, different ways to actually get that engagement. Often the biggest challenge we find in schools is the gap between our most academic and learners and those children who become more disengaged. We always talk about wanting to make education as inclusive as we can. But what tends to happen is the more we narrow the field, the more we encourage that disengagement and those less academic children in specific core subjects feel that the curriculum doesn’t reflect them. The journey is one about highlighting their failures rather than providing them with platforms to highlight their successes. If we come all the way back to the start of our conversation about having that positive memory of learning and therefore that appetite to do more and whatever professional career you choose, there’s always learning journeys and needs to continue to develop your experiences. That’s fundamentally built on having positive experiences as a child. But learning is something that is stimulating and rewarding.


Daniel: I think what we’re talking about too is a school being responsive to the students and the community they’re there in front of. What can you share with the ruckus maker watching or listening to today’s show about being responsive to community needs?


Al: That’s a really good question. People always say, “What’s the recipe for a school?” And in that context, I always start by saying, “Well, the first thing is no two schools are alike, because you’ll have a different cohort of staff and students and a different community.” The same applies when you want to be reflective of a community. I think schools are measured on their curriculum standard and delivery. But actually high performing schools often, when you look in particular in areas where you’ve got very broad and mixed communities, are much more about their quality of co-production and community engagement. Actually recognising what community what skills we talk about in the UK is place based. In other words, if you live in a deprived area in the north of England where all of the children go to school and at the end of their academic journey there’s one large factory making cars at the end of the road. And beyond that there’s very few jobs. It becomes incumbent on you to adapt so that you can teach children skills, whether it’s on programming robots and automation and other skills that provide them with an opportunity to excel within their place, as well as not necessarily just having to leave the area. I think schools that engage with their community and by community, not just families, but businesses in the broader sense as well as the school community itself, are often much more effective on how they shape their learning journey. I like individuality in schools. It’s really important not to be too close to that, that, that magic recipe of if we all do it this way and that’s what works best. I see it wearing a different hat with my role as chair of an Alternative Provision Academy, which roughly translates as in my setting as young people who struggle in mainstream education. They’ve been excluded for behavioral reasons or find that the mainstream setting doesn’t work. Nine times out of ten that behavior is a result of challenges in their personal life, in their upbringing as a child, they’ve not had the best opportunities and don’t always have the tools to express that frustration or as we’ve been talking about earlier, find that what expected in the class is beyond them. They feel a failure and therefore they become disengaged. Sometimes, again, looking at that recognition that actually all stepping stones are one step towards progress and success, we shouldn’t always be racing to unless you achieve a level X, you are a failure. It’s about progress for some of our learners. One or two academic qualifications is a huge achievement for them and should be celebrated just as much as another child achieving straight level ones or A’s, depending on where you are in the world on their academic qualifications. In many ways I guess I try to preach the view and I do within our own map, which is actually breadth of provision, appropriateness of provision, a safe, nurturing environment are worth a few places down the league tables. For me, I’ll sacrifice the league tables if it means that we get a better experience for our learners. If the government wants to come and knock on our door and say, “Oh, you haven’t done as well as you could have done,” then we should have confidence that we can argue the rationale as to the decisions we’ve taken.


Daniel: I’m hearing progress over perfection in some respects, but seeing every kid and being personalized in the approach and celebrating growth versus like everybody has to be here at the end of the year.


Al: Absolutely. Absolutely.


Daniel: Really appreciate that. I’m really enjoying our conversation. We’re going to pause real quick to get in a few messages for our sponsors when we come back. I love to talk a little more about digital and digital tools. Learn how to successfully navigate, change, shape your school success, and empower your teams. With Harvard’s Certificate in School Management and Leadership, get online professional development that fits your schedule. Courses include Leading Change, Leading School Strategy and Innovation. Leading people in Leading Learning apply today at betterleadersbetterschools.com/Harvard. School leaders know that productive student talk drives student learning, but the average teacher talks 75% of class time. Give your students more opportunities to learn in class by monitoring this talk time. Check out to Teach FX for yourself and learn more at teachfx.com. Today’s show is also proudly sponsored by Organized Binder, a program which gives students daily exposure to goal setting, reflective learning, time in task management, study strategies, organizational skills and more. Organized Binder’s color coded system is implemented by the teacher through a parallel process with students helping them create a predictable and dependable classroom routine. You can learn more and improve your students’ executive functioning at Organizedbindercom. We’re back with Al Kingsley, CEO of Net Support, and also the author of My Secret EdTech Diary, which I’d love to talk about in just a second. I’m going to highlight Becky Carlsen, who left a few comments for us. And just for the podcast listeners, we also stream live. She is all in 100% on lifelong learning, and she’s asking too, “When do we stop playing?” That’s a really great question to ask. And I don’t know. Certainly not me. I’m playing all around like you could see up here too. I still have toys and I love to be creative and paint and play music and play all the time. Becky also highlights somebody, which I’m not familiar with, Professor Bill Lucas, but she said he’s doing some great work around portfolios of growth in the early years. So maybe check out Professor Lucas’s work. Al, you are today’s star. You wrote an awesome book that we highly encourage Ruckus Makers check out called My Secret EdTech Diary, looking at educational technology through a wider lens. When it comes to all things digital, how do we know it works?


Al: If only it was that easy. Yes, that is the nub of it, isn’t it? It was kind of the catalyst for me writing the book. First and foremost, by the nature of the title, I hope readers will get a sense that I don’t take myself too seriously. It’s meant to be a conversation and a walk through experiences, what we’ve learned, particularly in recent years, and therefore the opportunities moving forward. The key thing that’s definitely changed in the narrative. I’m preaching to the converted on this is is understanding that this is not about technology for technology’s sake, it’s about evidence informed technology where we can actually measure an impact we have back to that earlier conversation, learnt to widen the lens a little bit where impact is not just about shifting the dial on academic outcomes, but technology that can improve student or staff wellbeing, closing the feedback loop, improving communication from school to home. There’s lots of other ways that technology can support keeping our children safer when they’re interacting with new digital tools online. But fundamentally, it’s about making sure that rather than trying to adopt loads of different things all at once because, hey, aren’t we supposed to text cool, right? And we need to have more digital because that’s the future. It’s about making sure that for each solution, we start with that kind of co-production. What are we trying to achieve? How are we going to measure it? Why are we doing these things? And that starts with building, I always argue, a strong digital strategy or digital vision within your school or district. Then once you’ve got that co-production, all those stakeholders, and at the heart of that should be teachers and students, and then around that will be parents. Senior leadership of your school or district will want to feed in with your strategic priorities that you’ve got. You’ll have other stakeholders there, the tech team making sure you’re building on a solid foundation in terms of your infrastructure, data and privacy. Really hot topics need to be part of that consideration. Safeguarding online safety, thinking about the broader topics like inclusivity and accessibility so that our learners with special educational needs can access that benefit. There might also be finance, which I always argue dictates the speed of the journey but shouldn’t dictate the direction of travel. The biggest one that sits all around that is the thing that unlocks the potential of technology. Often we budget for new devices or new applications, but we don’t budget the support for the PD and then we’re shocked and surprised when it doesn’t have the impact we expected. There are things we can do as well as the PD. We can make sure that we look for the evidence sources, whether it’s anecdotal, while looking at what other peers are using, whether it’s the correlation or comparing in trials one cohort versus another, it could be some sort of causal stuff. Or we’re looking at research papers, white papers that are evidencing the if it’s a pedagogy, align technology, actually the measures of impact and outcomes. Sometimes it’s about looking at those kinds of broader economies of scale. Some technology isn’t about teaching and learning, it’s about making systems more efficient across our district or presenting data in a more effective way that can then feed and save time for teachers and learners. I’d argue, “Hey, I’d like to save money wherever possible. We’ve got more in the pot for the actual coalface of. Teaching and learning. Secondly, the most valuable commodity in our school is time. Anything I can do to free up time to allow teachers to do what they’re amazing at, which is that dynamic relationship with learners, then all the better. What I’ve tried to share in the book is experiences of wider projects from over the last 30 years succeed or fail. What have we learned during this huge accelerator of the pandemic and the way that educational technology has become much more prevalent within our schools? And then what are the next steps? How do you shape a digital strategy? And how do you make sure that you actually measure impact? And actually, it doesn’t matter whether I’m wearing my hat as a chair of a multi-academy trust in the UK or as an EdTech CEO. Nobody wants people buying technology but doesn’t deliver. It doesn’t do any favors for the sector and it doesn’t do any favor for our schools. We want the right tools in the hands of the right people and lots of it is good shows like yourself down there, many others, which is actually sharing good advice, practical tips that build as part of that ring on the on the professional development, providing people with sources to go and hopefully avoid a few pitfalls and signposting them on where they can go and find resources that will help them on their journey.


Daniel: It’s great. And you really gave us a framework there nicely to evaluate what tools we should be adopting and what the rollout will look like and what will work for the community and that kind of thing. Are there any other tips that you’d like to offer a ruckus maker watching or listening to the show in terms of using technology? Maybe, maybe some of the Ruckus Makers who had an experience that had less technology involved. How do I even build this relationship with technology and that kind of thing?


Al: Don’t be afraid to fail. Most things we try, don’t. They absolutely don’t have a track record where everything we try will succeed. My view is you have to take risks. You have to try things in order to innovate. And if you have a mindset within your school, within your district, where you are empowered to try new things but not held over your head, if it’s a failure, use it as a positive learning journey. If you continue with the mindset of sharing your successes and your failings with your peers, whether it’s in your social media or just within your closer teaching cohort, then actually we all benefit and we all move the dial further forward. I think that was one of the very few positives that came from a pandemic was we suddenly had to mitigate delivering a hybrid model of teaching and learning. Staff were empowered to go try stuff, go find solutions that might work, and some worked great and some just didn’t, and that’s okay. Sometimes within our professional lives, we’re always very nervous of trying things that might backfire and make us look bad because we made the decision. But you’ve got to try stuff. I think that’s kind of the thing I would encourage people to do. Don’t be afraid to try things.


Daniel: Back to the idea of progress, not perfection. If you change that relationship with failure and see it as a teacher, right in a learning moment, it’s a very powerful learning moment. Some of my more popular posts from time to time, I’ll write a failure resume or the greatest ways I failed in the past year because I know it’s taught me something. Growth mindset and I love to frame it right and talk about, hey, what’s an experiment? You could run? Because we know that experiments usually don’t work out, but it gets us a little bit further along the way. If we and it’s kind of back to the idea of play, like how are you playing professionally in order to innovate and iterate within our wonderful industry of education? Very cool. Before we get to the last couple of questions that I asked all my guests, do you mind just sharing the title of your podcast and what that’s all about in case some Ruckus Makers want to start listening over to you?


Al: I have a few. None as fantastic as yours, of course, Danny. But the main one that we’ve had a lovely conversation with your good self on is Net Sport Radio, that podcast channel that sits alongside our business and we interview educators and I.T innovators from all around the world on a regular basis covering all sorts of different topics. I also have a podcast called EdTech Shared, which is a platform for sharing edtech conversations. But if you head over to netsupportsoftware.com, you’ll see a big swish for net sport radio and it’s available on all good podcasting platforms. So by all means, do dip in and check out interviews.


Daniel: Net support radio and EdTech shared. Check those out. Ruckus Makers for sure. The last few questions, one would be if you could put a message on all school marquees around the world for a single day. What would your message be?


Al: It’s a tough one. It’s a message I like for younger learners so may not fit on every school, which is about aspiration. It’s probably one that many will have heard, which is that shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll end up in the stars. I think that aspirational message really works. Probably the last couple of years I might have just added on the end of that. How are you today? Taking a few moments to stop and ask people how they’re doing. Never underestimate the value of that empathy and just making time for other people.


Daniel: Just checking in. They’re human beings. They’re not cogs in the system. If you handle them appropriately. You’re going to love this question for sure. You’re building a school from your ground, from the ground up to dream school. You’re not limited by any resources. Your only limitation is your imagination. So how would you build his dream school? What would be the three guiding principles?


Al: I have to confess here that I have been involved as I trust and build three schools from the ground up alongside our established schools. Sadly, the budget wasn’t something that I provided unlimited. Slightly shaped. Things that would be my kind of key things that I would want to focus on and I think kind of tie in with the bigger picture. One is and you might be surprised you’re the environment. I actually think a space that inspires learning everything from the light, the temperature, the space, the color, air quality. There is so much increase in research about actually providing a space to learn as well as a place to learn that. I think we underestimate it. I reference that because certainly here in the UK and in many countries there are fixed dimensions for a standard approved classroom and every year they get a little bit smaller and a little bit less roomy and airflow gets a little bit more restricted. We just have to think as people, where do we best relax and learn? The second is probably not surprising, given my passion for technology. I think within a school I think there’s so much potential now to really integrate a diverse range of technologies in the learning spaces that allow for flexible teaching and learning and engage all learner types. And again, perhaps when the budget’s limited, we tend to standardize very quickly because of economies of scale, buy and kit. Sometimes the most exciting stuff can be when you’ve got different types of technology for different types of learners. I think that’s an area where if the budget was unlimited, I’d love to unlock the creativity of learners by giving them more technology to use where appropriate and where obviously evidence is informed. Danny, nonetheless, sometimes you just want those creative tools to just say, go crazy, show us what you can make for some of these tools. And then the last one, and it is the most important one is never mind the bricks and mortar and the technology, it would be having the funds to employ the right people. That would set the tone and ethos of our settings because fundamentally that’s the key. In every school we’ve either grown or built from the ground up, the measure of success or failure has been the strength of the staff, the leadership who bought into the vision and actually taken it from something that was written in a word document and turned it into something that actually could be felt and embraced by our children.


Daniel: Wonderful. I really appreciate having you as a guest here on the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast. We’ve covered a lot of ground as well as everything we talked about today. What’s the one thing you want a Ruckus Maker to remember?


Al: I think of all the things I’ve covered, it was a very brief tag in the end. Just take a minute to ask people how they’re doing. Take an extra minute either before or after meetings. Just go that extra mile. And now more than ever, I think we all value that.


Daniel: 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@ betterleaderbetterschools.com or hit me up on Twitter @Alienearbud if the better leader is better schools podcasts 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 @AlienEarbud and using the hashtag #BLBS. Level up your leadership at betterleadersbetterschools.com and talk to you next time. Until then, “class dismissed.”






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School leaders know that productive student talk drives student learning, but the average teacher talks 75% of class time! TeachFX is changing that with a “Fitbit for teachers” that automatically measures student engagement and gives teachers feedback about what they could do differently.

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Organized Binder is the missing piece in many classrooms. Many teachers are great with the main content of the lesson. Organized Binder helps with powerful introductions, savvy transitions, and memorable lesson closings. Your students will grow their executive functioning skills (and as a bonus), your teachers will become more organized too. Help your students and staff level up with Organized Binder


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