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SamTastic Weekly Tip: 12/17/18 - Who are you avoiding?

First, congratulations to Superintendent Curtis Jones. He was named Georgia’s superintendent of year Friday. Dr. Jones not only makes the SAM process available to each of his Bibb County (Macon, Georgia) schools but he does the process himself every day with his SAM team, Terese McGee and Lisa Norris. Kudos!


Today’s tip: Who are you avoiding?


Your TimeTrack has a lot of information about who you are working with this year. It can also tell you who you are avoiding.


Open your Dashboard and expand Top Five Individuals. Identify who you are spending the least amount of time with and answer these questions:

1. Is this by intent?

2. Who is helping these people if the principal is not?

3. What could I do differently to help?

4. What would the person want me to do?


Many leaders ask their SAM to schedule a non-directive feedback conversation for them with a person they are avoiding. Ibn the session the principal asks:

1. What are you working on to improve your practice?

2. Is there a way I could help?

3. (show graph) Here’s the time I have worked with you so far this year. What helps? What could I do differently?

4. How can I be better as your principal?


Being honest, open and vulnerable can be a very effective lever in opening up a coaching relationship. What do you have to lose? NSIP Director Mark Shellinger likes to say: “Principals have friends and potential friends. They can’t afford to have enemies. Their work is too important to give up on a single adult who could positively impact students.”


Your job isn’t easy but the impact on student learning and success is immense. Try, again, with a staff member who is still a “potential friend”.

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