Author Archives: Dr. Tim Uhl | Superintendent

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May 21st Newsletter

Here is the link to this week’s newsletter.

The top 5:

  1. In the blog section, I include a link to the Farnam Street article entited, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day.” This is far and away the most interesting article in this issue.  It will challenge you to examine how you are using your time.
  2. In the “most popular” section (which are listed chronologically by issue) the 9th link is “Chasing the Urgent” which speaks to the need to prioritize our schedules.
  3. The 16th link is the article on the “Gospel of Prosperity” which illuminates one of our cultural fault lines.
  4. In the “my favorite” section, the 8th link on communicating like a grown-up by Carl Braun is interesting. In the past week, I’ve applied that article three times!
  5. The 10th link is “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time” which tells me that I’m ready for a vacation!

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May 14th Newsletter

Here is the link to the newsletter.  The top 5 this week:

  1. In the American Catholic News section, there’s a great video from Notre Dame on serving American Catholic schools.
  2. In the Leadership section, the first article on “What the Best Transformational Leaders” is a great read.
  3. The second and third article center on school culture. As we turn our attention to next year, it serves us well to reflect on what makes a great school culture.  What practices can you change to support the school culture you want?
  4. The fourth article centers on breaking down silos. Even schools—which are supposed to be centered on student development & learning—can become “silocized.”
  5. In the Teaching & Learning section, “6 Traits of Life-Changing Teachers” is a great reflection on the value of teachers.

Two more great podcasts this week.  Tomorrow, Christine Healey, the president of the Healey Educational Foundation, talks about their work supporting Catholic schools.  On Thursday, the incomparable Roy Petitifils joins me to talk about the struggles of adolescents and his work.  Roy will be headlining our Diocesan retreat in August.


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May 7th newsletter

Here is the link to this week’s newsletter.  The top 5:

  1. In the Leadership section, the first article about giving students a sense of purpose is a perfect example of how charter and public schools are stealing best practices from Catholic schools. It’s become so common we don’t stop to recognize.  Giving students a purpose?  I think we (Catholic schools) should articulate this practice a little better.
  2. The next two articles from the Harvard Business Review deal with conflict: “When an Argument Gets Heated” and “Difficult Conversations.” Since this is the time of year when conflicts erupt (and we often lack the patience to deal with them professionally), perhaps you can draw some wisdom from these short, insightful articles.
  3. The next article from Tom Vander Ark analyzes and discusses different types of school systems. In Catholic schools we often criticize “centralized” systems and laud the “site-based” systems.  This article provides context for this solidarity/subsidiarity dichotomy.
  4. In the Teaching/Learning section, I present a link to the “MyEdExpert” site. It’s one of those “teachers share plans & resources” sites.  It looks promising but I don’t know enough to endorse it.
  5. In the Miscellaneous section, I really liked the first article about the “Gospel of Prosperity” and the health care overhaul. It’s important to recognize the pervasiveness of this philosophy and that this is not the teaching of the Church.

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NCEA Data Dive

Here is the link to the April 30th Newsletter.  The top 5:

  1. Pope Francis’s TED talk is worth the effort. You can’t multitask and listen (who does that?) because it’s in Italian with subtitles.  It takes focus.  It wouldn’t have been too long ago that we would have said, “Why would the Pope have to give a TED talk?  He’s the Pope.”  But there he is, meeting a new group of people and getting his message out.
  2. Beth Foraker, the champion of inclusion, has a great blog post about Pope Francis and the Inclusion Summit.
  3. In the leadership section, I’ve included two articles about introverted leadership and resisting narcissistic leaders. They read well in tandem.
  4. In the Miscellaneous section, there’s a great article on brain research and memory. It’s not a superficial read!  At least, that’s how I remember it.
  5. There’s been quite a buzz about the Netflix series “13 Reasons” based on the book. Because the show tackles teen suicide it should set off your alarm bells.  Roy Petitfils, the counselor/author/podcaster/former youth minister and the presenter of the Catholic Schools retreat in August, conducted a Facebook Live session which he recorded.  Roy does a fantastic job of putting the show in context and arming teachers & youth ministers & parents with strategies.  It’s the best “13 Reasons” resource I’ve seen.

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April 23rd Newsletter

Here is the link to this week’s newsletter.  The top 5 of this week:

  1. The article about the NCEA Convention in the American Catholic news section contains interesting facts and context.
  2. The white paper about serving diverse learners in Catholic schools in that same section is worth your time and should challenge your professional practice.
  3. In that same section, the article about the Michigan high court describes possible court influence in admission decisions and could have significant impacts on Catholic schools.
  4. In the Leadership section, the link to the Jeff Bezos (Amazon) article challenges our reliance on processes, procedures, and bureaucracy. Putting customers first is a rather radical idea in the world of education, especially Catholic education!
  5. In the same section, the article on Effective Feedback serves to remind us of the requirements for effective feedback—immediate, relevant, action-oriented, etc.

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Stress & Anxiety

This issue of Catholic School Matters is dedicated to stress and anxiety for school leaders.  Last fall, I published an issue on productivity and time management.  At this time the issue is less “getting things done” and instead keeping a clear focus amid all the turmoil.  My top 5:

  1. The first article (“Pressure Doesn’t Have to Turn Into Stress”) was the inspiration for this edition.
  2. “How Good Leaders Manage Anxiety” frames anxiety in much the same way as conflict. We can’t avoid anxiety because the situations can become quite serious.  We can learn tactics to manage it, however.
  3. “The Price of Leadership” echoes many of the same themes.
  4. “Your Anxiety Contributes to Your Bad Decisions” is the most important article you could read. With important decisions in your decision queue, you need to understand how getting the space you need is essential.
  5. “How to Make Stress Your Friend” will force you to think about how stress impacts your life.

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Special Issue on the Impact of the Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

Here is the link to the newsletter.  In this week’s newsletter, I blog about the crackdown on illegal immigration and its impact on Hispanic Catholics.  The first few articles are all worth your time:

  1. The first article from NPR examines the impact that the new immigration policies are having on children in the classroom.
  2. The second article offers a description about the change in policy away from keeping families together.
  3. The third article is one student’s story about DACA.
  4. The fourth article details Cardinal Tobin’s (Newark) efforts to stop a deportation in his archdiocese.
  5. The fifth article details the outspoken criticism articulated by Bishop McElroy (San Diego).

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Growth Mindset Resources

This is a special issue dedicated to growth mindset.  The top 5 link:

  1. “The Effect of Praise on Mindsets” is a video found as the 2nd link
  2. “Summary of Mindset” is the 7th link and is a great summary of Carol Dweck’s book by Shane Parrish.
  3. “How to Weave…” is the 15th link and is a great story of how a school weaved growth mindset “teaching” across the curriculum and into all aspects of school life.
  4. “The Logic Behind the Illogical Mindset of Poverty” is the 17th link and is illuminating especially for any educator who works with children of poverty.
  5. “The Intersection of Growth Mindsets and Maker Education” is the 20th link and explains how both movements support each other.

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Parent-School Communication

Here is the link to the special issue newsletter on Parent-School Communication.

The top 5:

  1. I slipped in my top 10 resources for Lent in the “For Principals & Teachers” section.
  2. The first article (“What Parents Want in School Communication”) is a great place to start.
  3. “4 Crucial Elements” details the perspective of Matt Harrell of MemberHub, which is a great website for communication resources.
  4. Carl Braun’s article on “Communicating Like a Grownup” is a thought-provoking article.
  5. The article on “Catholic Educators and Combatting the Abusive Parent” provides a unique perspective—that of how underenrolled schools in buyers markets tend to cater to parents whereas quality schools in sellers markets can take a different approach.

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New Podcast!

Category : Uncategorized

The new podcast “Catholic Schools Matter” has debuted on iTunes and wherever you get your podcasts.  Dr. Uhl interviews thought leaders in Catholic education about the bright spots as well as the challenges.  Here’s the link to the show on iTunes.  New shows drop every Monday morning.