Episode #215: Aaron Else

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Aaron Else has been principal since ‘14, AP since ‘08. Also, he works as an Adjunct Prof at U of N Texas. Aaron is an enthusiastic optimist entering his 23rd year in education. During his time in education, he has taught 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades. He is principal at Hosp Elementary in Frisco ISD. Aaron is married to Heather, and they have five kids combined and two dogs. He loves to read, work out, and watch sports.

Trench story: we’re in the trenches everyday now. Lean on teammates, co-workers. Sometimes u have to lean on significant other. Keep focus on students needs & how you can best serve them. Focus on their needs.

Can talk about some of his writing- Teach Better blogs like “Fuel for the Fire” about nearing retirement. Writing has been an outlet for him. You can’t be a purposeful educator if you don’t practice what you preach. Wrote about what he was feeling. Has also been writing for TEPSA also. One is an SEL piece, for the TX principal association. He wants to reach out & share what he knows. Maybe he can reach a principal & benefit.

Teaches at U NTex– “how schools work” twice a weekGets into policy, law, building a community within a school. How a school functions. Started this year. It gives him new fuel for the fire. He’d been out of CR since 2006. Deep dive into articles, research. Has always wanted to do, has M.A. from same univ. Even though at diff. ends of the spectrum, still have the same. Freshmen-senior. It’s interesting hearing their perspectives. They worry about supporting themselves financially. Provides an overview of what goes into a school. Students are college  sophomores mostly. Needs to make it engaging for 3 hours on a Wednesday. He encourages people who want to get back into teaching to teach @ the univ. level.

Has been in admin 14 years, how has that shifted. Started as AP in 2008. It’s not even the same job. Colleague who opened school 22 years ago-it’s not even same job. We focus a lot more on SEL piece. Needs of kids are greater. Didn’t have social media impact. Focus on structures. Changed your why in the school setting. We’re doing a lot more teaching right/wrong. What

happened to the integrity of finishing your job, seeing things through to the end? He sees it at home with 5 kids. Studies about more time ppl are on social, the worse they feel. We won’t know the full impact of COVID for a while. Some similarities like during Brown vs. BoE. Kids who were online 2 years. Even political piece impacts with charged parents.

Have discipline rates gone up a lot? In Frisco ISD, in Jan. 22 they said everyone come back, no virtual. There were gaps w/ management piece. Increased significantly. Have to teach right & wrong especially with littles. Had to spend more time on procedures. They feel like they can do what they want when they want. Have to follow structures for safety & well-being. His school is prek-5- 710 kids. Has been there since 2014. Opened school. Has been w/ Frisco 16 yrs. His own kids range from E.S. to 12th grade. When they play a game while in class, they have learned behavior “I want to do what I want to do”.

New teachers mentoring: Mentor piece is big. They are afraid to come to admin for help, so mentor t is big. They have instr. & digital learning coaches as well. They’re giving them language policies on how things work. He wants to help them feel like the job is a bit easier. Won’t have mtg just to have mtg. Wants current t’s to say it’s a challenging job but they love it. He wonders about if next t’s will stay in position. Colleges around Dallas, # if students going into education. # is significantly lower. There’s a “bidding war”, sign on bonus, retention bonus, etc. Certification requirements. He’s in a downward spiral. They’re doing a teacher incentive allotment.  TX doesn’t have a union; they have association that doesn’t carry a lot of weight. In MN where he started, sub & para role was higher in the 90’s than is today.

Out of everything…education is always worth it. His dad was an educator 50 years. Keep reminding yourself of your why. Make an impact on kids. Look at a new environment where you can make impact on kids if your current one doesn’t. Click To Tweet

Find Aaron online: He has no website. Twitter @principalelse & LinkedIn -isn’t too big on social.

View this episode on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/VQt5HgQlt1I



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