• SamTastic weekly Tip – 12/6/21
    Today’s Tip:  Make the last ten days count. Most everyone is thinking about the Christmas/Winter break.  Keeping staff and students focused on academic work can be challenging. It may be hard for you, too.  Some SAM principals elect to mix it up in December by seeing their school from their students’ point of view. An […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 11/29/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Go beyond evaluation. See, Talk, Listen. Most school leaders get it.  The formal evaluation system may be legally necessary, but it doesn’t necessarily improve teacher practice.  In many cases evaluation decreases trust and harms relationships. What can you do?  Effective leaders spend lots of time seeing instruction followed by conversations with teachers.  This […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 11/22/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Prepare to Take a Break. Leadership, to be effective, has to start with empathy.  This is hard to do when you are tired and out of gas. You have worked hard to make this school year positive and productive for your school community.  As the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving, give yourself permission […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 11/15/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Be a good leader for your school and district. It is harder to be a good leader today than ever before.  The pandemic, refusal by some to accept facts, staffing and substitute shortages and the constant pressure to raise test scores can be overwhelming. SAM teams from across the country share stories of […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 11/8/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Use links in TimeTrack Events Do you ever have a TimeTrack event scheduled and can’t seem to find the online meeting link or other websites you need? You can save yourself several steps looking for the link by including it when you schedule the meeting. You can paste the link in the event description […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 11/1/21
    I wonder if you are missing two professional development tools available at no cost to SAM team members?  The weekly Marshall Memo and the monthly Main Idea are yours for the asking.  No charge.  Both are free if you are doing the SAM process with efficacy. Kim Marshall, the nation’s preeminent authority on teacher supervision […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 10/25/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Connect your work. Effective SAM teams make a point to regularly connect events with a follow-up event.   If the leader observes a teacher in the classroom the SAM asks during the Daily Meeting what follow-up should be scheduled. If the leader attends a PLC, or other instructional meetings, the SAM asks about next […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 10/18/21
      Today’s Tip:  Are you available?   SAM leaders are more available, not less as they schedule their management and instructional work with TimeTrack. Increased availability happens three ways: SAM teams share the leader’s plan for the day by posting in the office, staff room or online.  People can easily see when the leader has […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 10/11/21
    Today’s Tip:  Take note: Your TimeTrack dashboard isn’t the only place you can keep a record of your work. TimeTrack has a wealth of data detailing how you use your time.    TimeTrack also has an embedded narrative system, NoteTrack.  You can keep a running record of thoughts and comments about work with each individual, group […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 10/04/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Ben Franklin would have loved TimeTrack.    Ben had a daily schedule.  He didn’t call it TimeTrack but it was very similar.  He scheduled an activity each day to meet a goal.  He posed it as a question: “What good shall I do this day?”   The SAM process is all about intentionality.  Asking […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 9/27/21
    Today’s Tip:  Consider a different way to see instruction.   Two birds with one stone?  Could you increase your impact when you observe a teacher work by helping?   The SAM process is all about intentionality.  When you do a Walkthrough or Observation, it is likely your intention to see instruction and then talk with […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 9/20/2021
    Today’s Tip:  Check that you’ve scheduled time for the management work you can’t give to a First Responder.   When new SAM teams first start using TimeTrack we suggest they schedule several daily management events.  This gives the team a frame to use for the day to begin scheduling instructional work.  In other words, it […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 9/13/2021
    The SAM Team Performance Rubric has been improved and is now three separate rubrics to assess your SAM process work and impact.   SAM Team Implementation Rubric:  This rubric guides new SAM Teams and their Implementation Specialist before a Time Change Coach is assigned. https://bit.ly/3C3FCEC SAM Team Performance Rubric 1.0: This rubric is for all […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 8/23/2021
    Are you up for a challenge?  I bet you are in the GREEN today and will have  your SAM Daily Meeting.  Great!  Are you up to taking on the Ten Minute Challenge?   Do you think you can do it?  Can you improve one teacher’s practice in the next ten days by spending ten minutes […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 8/9/2021
    Hello!  Are you in the GREEN this morning?   TimeTrack flipped to a new school year July 1.  If you didn’t set new monthly goals you can’t get to green.  There are two ways to do it:   1.    If the bottom of your day has a RED bar stating GOAL NOT SET, simply click […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip – 8/2/2021
    Hello!  Welcome to your new school year! Think about that first day of school.  It is happening today in some districts…in others, as late as mid-September.  One thing is true in all schools:  the first day matters. The first day creates a first impression that can motivate or deflate students.  Some teachers and principals think […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Manage the Management
    SamTastic Weekly Tip: April 26, 2021   This week’s tip:  Manage the Management   SAM teams work hard to be in the GREEN each day.  Scheduling instructional work ahead of time makes it more likely it will happen.  Talking about it during the SAM Daily Meeting allows you to be reflective, proactive and schedule next […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Easy Access to Tools for SAM Teams
    SAM teams know that they can find SAM process tools, like the performance rubric, instructional descriptor organizer and Daily Meeting Guide, by clicking the orange TimeTrack Logo and then Info. A new SAM at Moreland Road Elementary School, Janet Housely, noticed a change in the Info items during training last week.  The list is shorter […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Be Creative with Notes
    This week’s tip: Be Creative with Notes Most SAM teams use Notes every day.  Some use it for reminders.  Others use it to create lists or personal items.  Some use Notes to message others who have access to the TimeTrack. SAM Donna Varady uses Notes for inspirational reminders for her school district leader, Nia Campbell. “In […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Save Time Scheduling
    This week’s tip: Save Time Scheduling “I have tentatively scheduled all of my spring evaluations using TimeTrack Connected Events.  Now I have a helpful list I can use as a check off and as communication to my teachers. My TimeTrack is EVERYTHING!” -Beverly Smith, Principal, Essrig Elementary, Tampa, Florida (Hillsborough County Public Schools) TimeTrack has an […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Address the First Responder 3Rs
    This week’s tip: Address the First Responder 3Rs With most schools transitioning to in-person instruction it may be time to address the 3Rs of your First Responder system. During remote instruction you may have used your First Responder system differently.  With a return to in-person school address all three R’s: R-1:  Review your First Responder List:  […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Focus on empathy.
    SamTastic Weekly Tip: March 22, 2021   This week’s tip: Focus on empathy.  This has been a tough year and we are not done yet.   Spring is in the air and there are reasons to be optimistic.  Now is the perfect time for school leaders to double down on empathy.  Staff, students and parents need […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: There is more good news for children and schools this week than ever before in your lifetime.
    SamTastic Weekly Tip: March 15, 2021   This week’s tip: There is more good news for children and schools this week than ever before in your lifetime.   Bold statement…but absolutely accurate.    President Biden’s American Rescue Plan decreases child poverty by more than 50%.  Funding is projected to reduce the share of children who fall below the […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: You have an Intention Attention Device
    This week’s tip: You have an Intention Attention Device Your attention is limited by your willingness to focus and be intentional.  Instead of chasing shiny objects SAM team members pay attention to where they give their attention.  TimeTrack is your intention attention device.  The SAM Daily Meeting is your reflective time to make your intentions thoughtful, […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: SEL is necessary for ABC and I-2-3
    This week’s tip: SEL is necessary for ABC and I-2-3 Social and emotional learning is integral to your goal of improving teaching and learning.  It does not make sense to focus on teaching a child reading and math while ignoring their social and emotional health and well-being.   It does not make a lot of sense […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: You are the Best Bet
    This week’s tip: You are the Best Bet 1982:  Research suggests that principals should be instructional leaders. 2004:  Research concludes that principals are the second largest lever influencing student learning. 2021:  Research concludes principal impact on student performance is far greater than previously thought.   Example: the newest research demonstrates that improving one teacher’s performance to […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Speed Data
    This week’s tip: Speed Data   Today’s SamTastic Weekly Tip is how to speed your way to using TimeTrack data.    SAM teams measure their first level of success by being in the GREEN before a school day begins.  This is easy to see on your TimeTrack.  The bar at the bottom is either RED or […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: What Did You Learn From the Super Bowl?
    This week’s tip: What Did You Learn From the Super Bowl?   Did you enjoy the Super Bowl last night?  Did you like the commercials better than the game…or was it the snacks and drinks that you liked best? SAM team members can learn a lot from the Super Bowl:   1. Age doesn’t necessarily matter.  […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Use your data
    This week’s tip: Use your data Open any instructional event from last week on your TimeTrack.  Click the teacher associated with the event—the blue link.  Examine the options.  Before clicking on Breakout of Time Spent link, consider the last time you worked with this teacher and the next scheduled time.  What does your overall time with […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Five things to increase your skills and well being
    This week’s tip: Five things to increase your skills and well being Anniversaries are usually happy affairs.  This one…not so much.  We’ve soldiered through a full year of the pandemic. Many of us have lost friends and family to Covid-19.  All of us have had our lives disrupted.  It is trite, and somewhat saccharin, to keep […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Making Today Matter
    SAMtastic Weekly Tip: January 18, 2021 This week’s tip: Making Today Matter   Martin Luther King Junior Day helps us remember that what we do each day makes a difference.  It is built in to the Pledge of Allegiance ~  a promise to seek justice ~ to work to create a more perfect union ~ to […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Focus on what you can control
    This week’s tip: Focus on what you can control. What a disappointing start to the New Year.  Thousands of words have been written and hours of video shown about the undemocratic actions that occurred in Washington DC.So, what should a school leader do?  Focus on what you can control.  Help students and your school community focus on […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Hauʻoli makahiki = Hawaiian for Happy New Year
    2020 is over.  Have a Happy New Year!  Start by letting go of 2020 and focus on what you can do in 2021.You are likely in the Green today as you left last year behind by scheduling at or above your goal.  Great!  How about a New Year’s resolution to improve your listening and speaking skills? Research […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Breathe
    This week’s tip: Breathe Today’s tip: Breathe. How do you take care of yourself? Your staff? Your SAM? Your work as a school leader, principal or SAM, is stressful and can never be completed. Think about it. No matter how much you do today there will still be more. That’s the nature of working in a […]
  • SamTastic Weekly Tip: Get Unstuck.
    This weeks tip: Get Unstuck. It’s funny.  The busier we are, the more pressure we feel, the less certainty we have all tends to lower productivity and our sense of accomplishment. This leads to a condition of being stuck.  A feeling that no matter what you do it won’t make any difference.  TimeTrack and the SAM […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Value the People you Lead with 126 Words
    This weeks tip: Value the People you Lead with 126 Words Letting people you lead know you value them as people, not just as employees, is an important skill.  Take a minute to read how President-Elect Joe Biden did this in 126 words with his staff: “I would like to take a moment and make […]
  • SAMtastic Weekly Tip: Feedback can improve teacher practice
    This week’s tip: Feedback can improve teacher practice.  On the other hand, feedback is hard to do well.  Starting with the end in mind is a good start.  A specific concern requires directive feedback given with clarity, focus, compassion and optimism.  A recent article by Dan Rockwell, summarized in The Marshall Memo, lists a four-step […]