Just a Little Tweak

After Sunday morning chats with the Tweeps of #hacklearning and #sunchat, I knew I needed to reflect on my #observeme goals I have posted outside of my office door.  Once school starts, it’s very easy to forget the goals you have set forth for yourself, so I believe we all need time to stop, reflect, and give things just a little tweak.

#ObserveMe- Bohler

Is student learning at the forefront of my conversations, actions, & activities?

Are conversations centered around appreciation, student learning, collaboration, teacher voice, support, and reflection?

How are teaching and learning seen as a priority by being visible?


Tough question as I think back to the conversations I have with my teachers.  After PGP (professional growth plan) meetings, my conversations with teachers one on one were far and few between.  This is mostly due to that dreaded word…time.  My priorities of being in classrooms came first, but I seemed to lack the conversation after the observation unless the teacher needed the support.  Saying this out loud helps me to affirm those conversations must take place.  They must take place in order to move student learning forward.  Meanwhile, I sometimes forget to have those conversations with the teachers who are doing a phenomenal job of moving student learning forward.  All teachers need reflective feedback, not just the ones who need the support.  I find myself just leaving them a short sentence or two, but I believe they need the face to face affirmation to let them know you have noticed.  I mean who doesn’t like to know they are doing a good job?  Time to tweak the conversations…

Let’s tweak the way we observe teachers…Each of our teachers has their own goals posted outside their classroom doors.  Some have the #observeme hashtag…some created their own #mydoorisalwaysopen.  Are we observing each other each week…well of course not, but we are making strong attempts.  The leadership team has been on one learning walk this semester and devised a plan for teachers to observe one another.  Instead of having a PLC meeting one week, teachers would choose a time during that week to observe someone who had similar goals.  At the following PLC, teachers would be given time to share and reflect upon their observation with their peers.  Teachers completed a learning walk form to provide evidence of their observation.  Can’t wait for the conversations surrounding student learning!

Just a Little Tweak…

ME.  I noticed today I needed to “tweak” myself.

Tweak the way I reflect (blog for my reflection).

Tweak the time devoted to reflect, learn, and grow (kind of got in a rut).

Setting an alarm today to give me time to tweak each week to be better than the last.

Do you give yourself just a little tweak every now and again?



Drink the Kool-Aide

Here’s Your Sign, Lindsey:  What Flavor is YOUR Kool-Aide?

  • Read the blog post, What Flavor is YOUR Kool-Aide, by Bethany Hill and Danny Steele
  • Read the chapter in Start Right Now about “Knowing the Way”

At the end of the blog post, the question was posed: “We are all in — day in and day out.  So… what is the flavor of your Kool-Aide?  And is everyone in your building drinking it?”

People are My Kool-Aide

Energizing. Through a survey in the book, Stand Out, my strength resonated true to my personality. Stimulator.  I always ask myself, “How can I raise the energy?”  At any given moment throughout the school day, I find myself thinking how can I make things better for not only our kids but our staff as well.  Sometimes I even get a little too ahead of myself and need to take a step back for the sake of my teachers. And I am thankful for those relationships because they know they can come tell me when I need to slow down!

lunchOur energy comes from morning music greetings and different classes leading the school with our kid mission song.  Last Spring, I began “Lunch with Mrs. Bohler” for the kids. Each Monday, I eat with 10 different kindergarten students (followed by Tuesday’s eight first graders and Wednesday’s eight second graders).  Selfies are taken and the pictures are given to the students at the end of each week.  The kids eat it up! (Ha!)

I am always looking for ways to encourage, motivate, and inspire the people around me.  I took on Danny’s “awesome colleague” challenge in February.  With some questioning the reasoning behind the challenge (just another thing we had to do), I chose to see the JOY that others were getting from reading their messages.  Some even said I read it over and over again…thinking someone thinks this of me? 

Missing a Few Kinder Teachers…


In January, I started Dinner with Mrs. Bohler. Since I do Lunch with Mrs. Bohler, some of my teachers thought I was inviting students over for dinner! Never did it cross some of their minds that their principal would have them over for dinner!  I feed off energy, so the more people together, the more energized I feel.  And so it began and continues…1st grade is up this month!  (Oh, and by the way…my husband does the cooking!)

February saw something new but filled with awesomeness! A school-wide Family Rally to celebrate our students and have fun as one big, happy family! It’s a time to celebrate and focus on being the best #seslearner possible. It’s encouraging.  It’s motivating.  It’s full of JOY. It will soon turn into a time to not only celebrate our students but our wonderful team of teachers as well.


These people aren’t ‘just’ students or ‘just’ teachers or ‘just’ staff members.  They are my kids, my teachers, my staff.  They are MY SES family.  I do whatever I can to become part of their lives.  I seek to know their passions, their likes, their dislikes, their strengths, their weaknesses, and more importantly their families.  I view this aspect of my job as number one priority.  

I spend time with my kids and teachers whenever I get the opportunity.  

Watching our boys play flag football
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Watching My Girls Perform (gymnastics)

Are they drinking the Kool-Aide?

I hope we are all drinking the kool-aide at SES where we put people first.  We say we are the best, and the best educators put people first.  I truly believe we are all drinking the kool-aide because we want to be full of JOY not only for ourselves but for our kids.

And if some aren’t drinking the kool-aide…

I got to keep on mixing it up until they are ready to take a DRINK!


Now: This Is For You.

Sometimes I wonder if a book is right for me.  Reading Start.Right.Now. The question came…Is this for me?  After reading the first chapter twice (yes, twice!), I knew this book was for me.  So…Is this book for You?

Read to Find Out More…


This Book is For You If You Have…

A Zest for Lifelong Learning.  Most teachers and leaders have a zest for lifelong learning. They never stop looking for reasons to grow and learn more to improve their instruction or leadership.  Ever since I got out of college with my first degree, I have continuously sought out opportunities to go back to school, attend conferences and professional development, read professional books, and participate in anything that would move my learning forward. I will always be a student at heart!

A Need to Share and Learn from Others. Most teachers and leaders have a need to share and learn from their peers.  They find the best resources with the teacher next door or down the hall.  I have always said teachers should be and are the best thieves.  I know I am! I am not afraid to borrow (steal) a great idea from another leader and implement it at our school!  And in return, I am willing to share the great things we do in our school so others can learn too!

A Desire to Connect.  Most teachers and leaders have a desire to connect with other teachers and leaders from all over.  They want to connect with others who are joyful in their position as a teacher or leader.  I connect daily through Twitter and Voxer to connect with leaders and teachers to learn how to be a better leader for my teachers and students. Through these connections, I have also had face to face meetings and gained awesome friends to learn from.

A Willingness to Change and Take Risks. Most teachers and leaders have a willingness to change and take risks if they know it is in the best interest of students.  They want to try anything that will help students be successful.  Though my learning and connecting with others, I have taken several risks to make things better at our school.  The risks sometimes are for the better and sometimes need to be changed to meet our needs.  Whatever the change or risk, we are willing to at least try!

#booksnaps for #StartRightNow


Excellent Teachers and Leaders Have these Traits in Common

Thank you, Todd, Jimmy, and Jeffrey for pushing EXCELLENCE in teaching and leading!

Join the Twitter Conversation: #StartRightNow or Join the Voxer Group Chat

Start.Right.Now. Teach and Lead for Excellence by Todd Whitaker (@ToddWhitaker), Jimmy Casas (@casas_jimmy), and Jeffrey Zoul

Through Our Lenses

Dewitt Jones with National Geographic said it best, “By being open to different angles, different mindsets, different backgrounds, we can open ourselves up to many more options and choices.”  As a member of the Compelled Tribe, we all have opportunities to see through the different lenses of each member.  We have district leaders, building leaders, and teachers that are part of the tribe and each bring their own expertise to the table. We hope you enjoy looking through each of our lenses as we take this journey together. Together we are better!

Lindsey Bohler (@MrsBohlerSES)

img_9744In my 6th year of leadership and 12th year in education, I believe I learn more and more each passing day.  Looking through my lens as a PreK-2 Leader Learner, I am 100% for KIDS.  I answer/ask each question with “how does this affect our kids?”  I make myself visible every day by being in classrooms, having lunch with kids, being outside at recess, on bus/car duty, and talking about instruction with teachers.  A #JoyfulLeader can’t lead from the office!  Relationships with my teachers and students are at the top of my list as I start each day. As you look through my lens as a lead learner, kids will always be around! Check out more through Bohler Reflections at lindseybohler.com

Allie Bond (@Abond013)

fullsizerender-32I am currently a Kindergarten teacher and this is my 4th year in education.  After living in Ohio for over 20 years, I fearlessly moved to North Carolina for a new experience. With each teaching experience, I fell more in love with literacy and giving kids what I believe is the best gift– the love of reading.  In 2016, I began my masters degree in literacy and strive to model best practices in my classroom as shown by Fountas and Pinnell, Jan Richardson, Donalyn Miller, Richard Allington among many other influential leaders in the field.  By providing students with a rich classroom library, choice, and time, I guide students towards becoming independent readers. I also strive to give my students an innovative education and took the plunge towards flexible seating in the classroom.  Being a connected educator gives me the opportunity to expand my PLN, gain new ideas, and most importantly, build relationships.  #wearebettertogether

Cathy Jacobs (@cathyjacobs5)

fullsizerender-37I am currently the principal at Matzke Elementary in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.  We are located in the northwest corner of Houston, TX. It is a Title 1, PreK-5th-grade public school with just under 1000 students and 104 staff members. This is my fourth year as a principal, 12th year in leadership and 18th year in education. I believe in servant leadership and keeping the main thing in mind, the main thing being what is best for students. I would consider myself a “Principal in Action” and believe that building relationships with students is our number one priority.  Along with teaching kindness, tolerance, and collaboration. I blog through the lenses of principal, lead learner, educator, and mom. I truly believe that working in education is a life calling and a mission.  I absolutely love what I do!

Hal Roberts (@HalLRoberts)

fullsizerender-35I am a retired superintendent after 38 years in education.I worked in 5 different districts in Texas and served in mostly Title 1 districts and campuses. However, when I was superintendent, there were approximately 10% low income homes, which is a whole other set of problems and issues. I taught from 4th through 12th grade. Of the 38 years, I  served 30 of those as athletic director, elementary principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, & superintendent. To borrow a phrase from a well known insurance company, “I know a thing or two, because I have seen a thing or two.” I use to say I have seen it all, but I am here to tell you I never saw it all and I feel pretty certain you will never see it all. A few things I have learned: 1. It’s all about relationships 2. Your classroom/campus is the only level playing field that your students have 3. The best thing about education is that every day matters; the scary thing about education is that every day matters. 4. The study of neuroscience is a passion I have acquired in the last couple of years and I believe every educator needs to know & understand its impact on teaching & learning. (I’m presenting on this at the National Title 1 conference in Long Beach later in February.)

I am currently writing my second book (Pirate On! Was the first) and currently the title is Leadership Lessons from Vineyard. This title could easily change as I try to follow the prompting of the Lord, as I write and finish my manuscript.

I value your input, innovation, & desire to enhance kids’ lives. Prayerfully I hope I can add value to you and your area of service.

Stephanie Jacobs (@MsClassNSession)

fullsizerender-34I invite you to take a look through my lenses! This Blog Is Why I want to share my story with you. I have been a member of the education community for over 18 years. My journey began as an eager, first year teacher working with elementary school students. Through the years, my career has evolved in many ways. By pure coincidence, I was offered the opportunity to teach college courses at our local technical college and have never looked back. What an amazing experience to facilitate discussions and assist those looking to change the path of their lives. About five years ago, I made the decision to take the next level in my career and plunge into administration. As an administrator, my goal was to bring positive, innovative changes to my environment. Maybe I was ahead of the game. Maybe my vision was misunderstood. One thing is for sure, my passion and drive were ignited more than ever. I now find myself back in the classroom, making the changes that I envisioned and impacting lives in a positive way. Want to hear more about my story? Check out my blog at This Blog Is Why to get a closer look through my lenses.

Jennifer Hogan (@Jennifer_Hogan)

fullsizerender-29I’m currently the Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Technology at Hoover High School, and I have been an educator for 23 years. My journey has been interesting, as I have been a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal, and not always in that order. I believe in the power of a team, and I try to join or create a team when I can because I know that I do my best work when I am part of one. I pull for the underdog, believe that we all have to fail our way to success, and know that every child needs at least one adult that they can depend on. What do I bring to the table? I bring encouragement, coaching, a “just do it” philosophy, and a desire to help others be the best that they can be. I blog at TheCompelledEducator.com.

Debbie Campbell (@debralcamp)

fullsizerender-25My lens resembles a kaleidoscope, as my role is not a traditional one in most schools. I currently serve as the Director of Communications and Instructional Technology at Bellaire High School. My adventure as an educator began over 25 years ago teaching third grade & then moving into instructional technology. After 17 years at the elementary level and raising three children of my own, I moved to the high school level. First focusing on communication between school and home and the transition of students from middle to high school and then adding the lens as an instructional technologist to support teachers as our campus went 1 to 1. I continue to strive to find the answers to how my school can communicate beyond our walls so that our families are informed and can increase their level of involvement while supporting teachers as they learn to integrate technology into their pedagogy. Continuing to learn new ways to leverage the use of technology is key in supporting all of these systems on our campus. You can follow my learning and journey at http://www.curiouseducator.com/

Craig Vroom (@Vroom6)

fullsizerender-26A teacher for 7 years and an administrator for 15, I have been fortunate to work as both in both the Elementary and Secondary settings. My passion is leading and learning. I believe that the world in which we see and therefore embrace is a collection of our experiences. The rich opportunities we are provided each day offer a look into the depths of our teaching, learning and leading. Like you, I am only as good as those in which I have served and with whom I inspired by. My lens in education begins and ends through the power of the relationships we keep with others. Being a middle school leader I have fully embraced the spirit of the teacher and the student. Minds that explore. Bodies that morph. Spirits the glow. We lead change. Our relationships with others will always be the difference. Read more at Fueling-Education.com.   

Jodie Pierpoint (@jodiepierpoint)

fullsizerender-30I am currently a high school special education reading teacher, although my journey in education has been diverse. I started as an elementary special education teacher and as I saw the struggles and social/emotional needs that my students faced I decided to get my master’s in school counseling.  I then worked in an urban high school for three years as a senior counselor. My journey returned me to the classroom and diving more into the specific reading needs students struggle with.  I have taught a specialized reading program at both the elementary and high school level. What I have learned through my teaching experiences is that all students, no matter what their age, or their environment, just want to be heard and cared for.  Relationships matter.  Kids need an advocate in their corner. We need to encourage, mentor and support.  My blog, Journey in  Learning is found at http://jodiepierpoint.blogspot.com/

Michael McDonough (@m_squaredBHS)

fullsizerender-27I am enjoying my 25th year in education and currently serve as a High School Principal. I’ve been a teacher, coach, Asst Principal and Principal all at the secondary level within Houston ISD.  I am at my best when working with others and riffing on new ideas.  I strive to bring both creativity and ingenuity to current systems or practices and enjoy working with new principals and administrators. A common theme within my blog is the idea that our students, our kids, are far more aware and far more powerful than we realize. Finally, I will always approach a new idea with the thought of how powerful it can be versus what will lead to its failure. Read more at MichaelMcdonoughBlog.wordpress.com.

Tim McDermot (@Tim_McDermott1)

fullsizerender-36This is my 20th year in education and my 7th year in leadership. I currently serve as the Principal at Alice Gustafson Elementary School and Early Childhood Center. This is my first year as principal at AGS and fifth in Batavia Public Schools, a mid size district in the western suburbs of Chicago. I have spent my entire career at the elementary level where I have been a teacher, interventionist, Student Services Coordinator, and Principal. I am passionate about all things leadership. I believe that as a leader I have a great deal of responsibility for setting the tone and creating that positive school culture that leads to high levels of collaboration. I recently completed my Ed.D. in School Leadership and my dissertation was about principal practices that influence teacher collaboration. I became a connected educator to continue to learn and grow. My blog covers topics like leadership, family, teaching, and my experiences in schools. You can read more at https://principalmcdermott.blogspot.com/

Jacie Maslyk (@DrJacieMaslyk)

fullsizerender-33Now in my 20th year in education, I have worn many hats.  I’ve been a classroom teacher, reading specialist/literacy coach, elementary principal, Director of Elementary Education, and Assistant Superintendent.  In my current role, I am responsible for curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology, and just about anything else!  I am love planning professional learning for teachers, especially when it comes to literacy, creativity and innovative practices.  I am passionate about STEAM learning and Maker Education and even wrote a book about it.  Check out STEAM Makers https://www.amazon.com/STEAM-Makers-Creativity-Innovation-Elementary/dp/1506311245  I joined the Compelled Tribe to connect with active bloggers and push myself to write more. I share my ideas at Creativity in the Making jaciemaslyk.blogspot.com I’m addicted to Twitter and love creating global connections with other innovative educators.  

Allyson Apsey (@allysonapsey)

fullsizerender-28I try to look through the lenses of others as I lead Quincy Elementary in Zeeland, Michigan. I am a work in progress, always, and love sharing my journey with other passionate educators. As a principal, my first customers are my teachers and staff. They are the ones doing the real work in our school, they are touching the lives of our students and parents in a direct and profound way. I work for them, and through them. I strive to help them bring passion for continuous improvement and joy to every moment we get to spend with students. My blog, Serendipity in Education, is a collection of my thoughts as I work to get better every day as I stumble upon the fortunes of life as an educator, mother, and wife.

Molly Babcock (@MollyBabcock)

fullsizerender-31I am in my seventh year of teaching and I am lucky enough to share my classroom with a phenomenal group of fifth graders.  I believe that when you have high expectations for your students (and for yourself!) and teach outside-of-the-box lessons, it inspires scholars to achieve things they didn’t even know were possible.  I find joy in teaching the soft skills just as much as the academics and I am constantly looking for new ways to make my classroom more student-centered.  My fifth graders run their own discussions, give each other feedback and jump in and teach lessons.  They even tell me when it’s time to transition to a new subject.  We sing, stand on our chairs, drum, smile, laugh and cheer for each other.  But don’t let all of the excitement fool you.  We are focused and down to business learning tough material.  We truly are a family and I feel so fortunate to be able to learn and grow with my class every single day.  My journey can be found on my blog, Sweet Tea and a Live Oak Tree.