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Michael N. Smith
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Blog Entries by Michael N. Smith

School Administrators Need to Limit Access. Huh?

Posted April 3, 2011 | 14:22:20 (EST)

At the District Administration Magazine conference this week in Phoenix (yes, I said Phoenix), there was a discussion on social media and its use in schools.

I'm never shocked when school administrators talk about limiting access for students (I'm not happy, but not shocked).

I...

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Professional Development Means Developing as a Professional

Posted March 14, 2011 | 12:38:43 (EST)

As I look back on my 16 years in education, I've seen many changes:

My hairline. My age. My weight. My paycheck. All have gotten bigger (I've noticed there's a lot more bad than good).

The biggest change deals with expectations.

There's ever-increasing pressure from the...

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Change Jobs, Change Everything

Posted February 21, 2011 | 12:05:53 (EST)

Getting a new job has opened up a whole new world to me.

More importantly, it's opened up a whole new world for a bunch of other people.

I never imagined the chain reaction that takes place when one person accepts a new position.

I leave.

Someone replaces...

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New Superintendent Job: Nightmare or Dream?

Posted February 13, 2011 | 19:55:17 (EST)

My internal blogging clock has been a little off the last couple of months.

Normally, something clicks in my head (normally a voice... oddly in a Scottish accent) every three or four days that tells me it's time to write (?) another blog.

But lately, I've been a little...

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I Thought All Decisions Were Black and White

Posted February 7, 2011 | 17:48:44 (EST)

In another life I'm positive I was a teacher (it's been so long, but I'm pretty sure).

Back in the good old days, running a school or school district seemed so easy.

I could sit in a teacher's meeting and come up with the correct answers...

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Facebook Told Me

Posted January 24, 2011 | 16:18:56 (EST)

Once again it's become apparent the world has changed.

The good old days are gone forever (at least to us old people).

When I was a kid we were free to mumble insults about our school administrators and no one was any the wiser (especially the principal or...

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Superintendent Fired for Blogging?

Posted January 17, 2011 | 12:16:52 (EST)

Time once again to open the PrincipalsPage Mailbag.

This question comes from a reader (as most of them do).

"Before I jump in and start writing, I just want to know if blogging has affected you or your career in any negative way. I am afraid, scared even,...

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How to Get a Snow Day in 4 Easy Steps

Posted January 12, 2011 | 14:58:40 (EST)

The Snow Day, always capitalized out of respect, is a complicated creature.

Everyone, except moms, loves them.

But they continue to be a mystery to the average citizen.

Why do they happen? Will we have one tomorrow? Why aren't they always on Monday?

While I can't answer these...

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The Problem With Schools

Posted January 10, 2011 | 12:12:30 (EST)

There's never enough money for education.

If you don't believe me, look at your tax bill (on second thought... don't).

It seems to me one reason school districts struggle financially is we continually add programs (by we, I mean schools, parents, students, teachers, states, and

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Skiing

Posted December 30, 2010 | 11:41:06 (EST)

The Evil Spawn likes a lot of things.

Sleep. Books. Video games. Basketball. Chocolate. Not doing chores in a prompt and timely fashion.

And she likes to ski (as you can see from the video).

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Post Semester Stress Disorder

Posted December 22, 2010 | 08:07:18 (EST)

The sound you hear are sighs of relief (at least, crying in some cases).

School employees are in full exhale-mode. The semester is winding down.

The holiday/winter/Christmas break is here.

Students, teachers, and parents are happy and relieved (although parents won't be quite so...

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The Graph of Snow Day Excitement

Posted December 17, 2010 | 12:06:14 (EST)

Snow Days affect us in different ways.

To break it down I've made a graph with words (it's all I got, so bear with me).

Students: It's a combination of Christmas, their birthdays, and a trip to the amusement park. In their lifetimes nothing rivals this special day.

...
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The Best Year of Their School Lives?

Posted December 15, 2010 | 15:12:01 (EST)

This blog is probably a little overdue, but I've been hesitate because I didn't want to jinx the situation.

If you remember (and you probably don't), the Evil Spawn is in her mother's class this year.

Yes, they are both confined to the same

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2010 Edublog Awards: It's An Honor Just to be Nominated

Posted December 10, 2010 | 12:43:28 (EST)

I've been nominated for two Edublog Awards. (which makes me openly question the sanity of the judges).

Best Individual and Best School Administrator Blog.

This means a couple of things.

One, I need a new dress (how horrified would I be if someone caught me wearing my...

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Vlogging about Teaching From Japan (VIDEO).

Posted December 7, 2010 | 15:15:19 (EST)

I'm so lame.

Before this very kind review I had never heard of video blogging.

It makes me wonder why I've been wasting my time typing blogs (and butchering the English language).

I had no idea I could simply walk around with a cellphone and...

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Teachertudes.

Posted December 3, 2010 | 01:26:33 (EST)

Another blog request has rolled into the email inbox.

Counting this one, I'm up to at least two (could be more, but I doubt it).

A loyal reader (and anyone who wades through more than one of these blogs has to be considered loyal) has asked...

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Educators (and Everyone) Should Give Thanks

Posted November 26, 2010 | 14:22:34 (EST)

Thanksgiving means several things.

Lots of birds die.

Gas prices rise because everyone is driving.

Summer is gone and it's not coming back.

The local news predicts terrible weather so you will tune in to their station (I think they cross their fingers for the year's first horrific...

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Conference Speakers: I Can Read. Now Make Me Laugh.

Posted November 24, 2010 | 21:00:02 (EST)

When I was a teacher, I often found myself wondering what superintendents did for a living (of course, this happened only after I had completed my lesson plans).

I was pretty sure they worked in education, but the specifics of the job were lost on me. They looked busy, but...

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Twitter is Changing Education. But Not School Desks

Posted November 19, 2010 | 19:01:09 (EST)

In 100 years, historians will be discussing the power of Twitter (and whatever else comes along and crushes it in the next 18 minutes).

In particular, they will talk about the impact of Twitter on education reform.

Books will be written (not on paper... for the computer chip...

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Waiting for Superman. Still Waiting.

Posted November 18, 2010 | 14:54:02 (EST)

The Evil Spawn was gone last night. I'm not sure I understand why sleeping at a friend's house is exciting to a 9-year-old girl, but I know why it's exciting to me.

Free time!!!

The Tech Queen took me out for dinner and...

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