Episode #182: Matt Moyer

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Matthew Moyer is a Nationally Distinguished Principal, and Pennsylvania Principal of the Year.  He is an elementary school principal with over 20 years of experience in administration, and over 25 years of experience in education. In addition to his job as principal, he is an Author, National Speaker, Adjunct Professor, and staff developer with Thom Stecher and Associates.

Matt started his career as a 5th-grade teacher in the Spring-Ford Area School District. He earned a Master’s degree and Principal’s certificate. He then spent 3 years as an assistant principal at Schuylkill Valley Elementary School in Leesport, Pennsylvania. From there he moved to his current position as principal of Rupert Elementary School in the Pottstown School District. He is in his 16th year as principal of Rupert, and absolutely loves it. He completed his course work for his letter of eligibility to be a superintendent.  For over last ten years he has been the district’s safety coordinator and certified CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention trainer. He has served numerous roles and on a variety of committees during his time in administration.

Trench story: Has thought a lot about it. Goes back to first year as principal. Chose an intervention, didn’t work, kid put hole in office wall. Reflected on it, got him to calm down. 10 years later, kids had moved away. Kid drove 1.5 hours to see him. He clearly had an impact on him.  

Matt won the Nationally Distinguished Principal of the Year in 2020. He didn’t do PD as part of it and had to wait to get the honor until 2021. PA assignment has a throughout process. Has to be nominated. Lots of writing. About all aspects of principalship. Committee decides on many things. They seek info about candidates. They weren’t able to do a site visit. Afterwards, committee selects winner. He’s now on the committee for future Principals of the year. At site visit, they interview teacher, superintendent, parent. No tour of the state. Usually, there is a huge celebration in D.C. All natl. distinguished principals do this. He did it in 2021. Everyone does a 2-minute speech. He did run an # of sessions of sessions. For this, ES & MS are combined. More than 50 principals- like Guam, Puerto Rico. Stories about how they got there. School change, or personal stories. 

PD at Natl. Principal’s Conference or other conferences he spoke at (PA principal’s conference early Aug.): topic was “hire for character, train for skill”. Main idea is you can train people, you can’t train ppl on everything. Comes down to core values. Hire based on core values. Build relationships with kids/colleagues, etc. You have the right mindset, or you don’t. 

Do you have any “Out of the box interview questions”?. No, he doesn’t- but it’s more the follow-up questions to a candidate’s answer. A “what would you do question” in terms of parents. He doesn’t claim to be an expert. 

Adjunct Prof of Ed. He teaches at Montgomery Community College (intro to communication class) & De Sales Univ (teacher prep program for ppl who already have a degree) and supervises pre-student teachers. Has been doing it for 5 years. Is there a challenge of recruitment in your classes? Yes, he’s seeing it there. Trends in teacher prep as opposed to when you did your teacher prep. Some t’s are actually working right now. It’s not fair to them. Some of them. We’re at a moment in time where t’s have to be better than ever. They have a lot of dialogue about what students have seen in their observations. He watches them do tidbits of teaching. B/c of lack of t’s you don’t need many credits- they’re paras or subs. Some already have their own CR. It’s concerning for the professions. They have a lot of hr they have to observe. Trend is more 1st degree w/ teaching degree- at Elementary level. 

Matt is an author, has written 3 children’s books. Are on SEL topics. He wrote them David on Donald books 2 are in a series. Hope is that teachers can pick up and use as a teaching tool. Theme behind it. Basketball Bewilderment, how to come up w/ fair teams. Using assertive voice. Illustrators are ppl he knows. Avail on Amazon-good teaching. Some with Tiara are for lower Elementary School. David & Donald are upper ES. Sunday night words of wisdom Journal type- for adults. 

Key quotes…point about ...as people in education, we have the opportunity to impact kids in both a positive or a negative way. People will remember you years later. Click To Tweet

Find Matt online on Twitter @moyermatthewd FB:fromtheprincipal’soffice w/ characture of his Face

 Twitter: @MoyerMatthewD       IG:@Moyersfromtheprincipalsoffice                          FB:     Fromtheprincipalsoffice

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/from-the-principals-office-mat/home?authuser=2  View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/D2siiqsC-S0

He is available for staff development with staff and administration. 

Are you excited that in-person conferences are back? I know I am! In fact, I am excited to announce that I will be at the 2022 Teach Better Conference this October 14-15 in Akron, OH. I’ll be recording episodes live, attending sessions, and connecting with a whole bunch of amazing educators. It would be awesome if you could join us! Head over to www.teachbetterconference.com/register and use code outofthetrenches to save $50 off your 2-day registration. I hope I see you in October!


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