Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Thursday, October 29, 2015



Well, for those of you that have been following my blog you will notice that the blog has a new name. You probably also noticed that I haven't  blogged in a very long time. I recently connected with someone who joined my 30 Day Blog Challenge on Facebook and got the inspiration to start blogging again. 

So what with the new name?  Well, after 20 years in Education I am transitioning to the field of Executive Search Recruiting. Recruiting is really at its core  is being a matchmaker. Connecting People and helping them reach and maximize their professional potential. Well, isn't that we as Parents and Educators ( and former educators)  want for  their children and students.  I have written before about the importance of making connections and the value that people have, how important our family, friends, and network are to us. This idea that networking and making personal connections is crucial is probably more  important to me now than ever before.  

Even with a new name  for my blog, and  a new career, I am still the same old me. The same values and ideas that I have written about are still true today and some may even be more important. 

So what does it mean to network and be connected? 

There are a number of ways:

You can follow me on twitter at  and LinkedIn 

I also have been tweeting and posting on behalf of the Joel Paul Group so follow us on 
and like our Facebook Page 

I am looking forward to Connecting with All of You ! 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Embracing Change


This was my first post I wrote on LinkedIN and I am reposting it here

I don't want to get into a political debate or to discuss last week's debate, but the idea of change is something that is one every ones mind almost every day. While we are big talkers most of us want the change to just to happen. We often hope that when we wake up in the morning things would have changed on their own. This is true because in reality we don't like change, and we dont want to change and when it comes down to it we are afraid of change.

Change is scary! There are said it. At the same time we need to embrace change!

We wouldn't go to a doctor that hasn't changed and updated his practice and isn't aware of the latest in medical science. Imagine walking into a school that was using text books form 1950's ( OK maybe a bad example) But I think you get my point. Change is around us and we need to embrace it.

Both on a professional level and on a personal level I consider myself to be a change agent and one that embraces change .

On a personal level, five years ago i started blogging, and started becoming active on twitter and I embraced the uses of social media and technology. I also became much more of an avid reader and life long learner. These changes and ideas changed the type of educator I was and had a positive effect on my professional career.

Then the biggest change to both my personal and professional life. I resigned as a Head of School to start my own consulting business. Now that's scary and it still is. I am not regretting or complaining but starting your own business is not easy. So while I am still working on spreading the word about educational change and inclusion, I made another change. I joined The Joel Paul Group as a Senior Consultant. So your thinking now whats he doing taking on another type of job and another change. In reality I don't think so. My work with The Joel Paul Group is focused on helping organizations grow and change and as Jim Collins says, " have the right people on the bus in the right seats" , and help those individual change and grow so that they can be the right people in the right seats. My work with education is very similar.

Bottom Line I see myself as one that can help others embrace the change that is needed to grow and reach their personal potential, their organizations potential or seeing students reach their potential.

How can we or even better yet How did I embrace change? So after doing some reading ( you can see some of these articles posted on my Facebook page and LinkedIN) It boils down to the following ( in my honest opinion) :





As with anything in life and with any type of collaboration or working with people there needs to be trust. Really trust is a basic requirement in almost everything we do

Listening and Asking Questions- Honestly this is a bit harder. most people especially consultants, I will admit, think they have all the answers and they know what is best. WRONG! No one can no the unique culture of your organization. Therefore listening and learning about the organization and the individual is important. Listening to someone also shows you care about them and you truly want to help. what better way to show that you want to learn and that you care than by asking questions. we need to ask questions like How and Why and not come in with all the answers but be willing to ask what do you need?, how can I help you? and then listen for the answers.

Finally empathy. Change is scary and we need to understand that and embrace that emotion as we embrace change. Its people that are the ones that effect the change and people have feelings and we need as change agents and leaders understand that.

So while a lot on the surface has changed in my life in life in reality very little has. I am still a life long learner always learning and I am a people person wanting and hoping to help people embrace the change that is necessary for organizational and personal growth.

I look forward for the opportunity and the chance to EMBRACE CHANGE WITH YOU.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015



WOW it has almost been a month since I last blogged. Here I thought I had gotten better. So much for thinking. However what we think and what attitude we have such an effect on our performance, production and overall mood. While I know I haven't been blogging it didn't bother as me since I still felt productive and that I was networking and making the connections with people.

I find it at times uncanny how I often find an article that speaks to what I have been thinking or that sums up my mood and ideas. Today was no different when I came across the following article.

"7 Disciplines of A Leader" This is a post on Skip Prichard's blog about Jeff Wolf's book "7 Disciplines of a Leader"

Here a some highlights or keys for me from this post:

  • " Companies place the wrong leadership in the job 82 percent of the time.” –Forbes"
  • Attitude Matters and Leaders need to have a Great Attitude - " It’s important for leaders to be positive and have a great attitude ....You can always teach skills, but you cannot always teach people how to be positive; they either have a great attitude or they don’t."
  • " Leadership is not rocket science. It comes down to living and leading by the golden rule: Do unto others as you want them to do unto you."
  • "For a quick impact, work to understand what your people want, not just what you want,"
  • Asking the right Questions - We need to asking others not telling others What can I do to make you happier here? How can I be a better leader for you to be successful? What resources do you need that you currently don’t have ? Do you feel appreciated and receive the praise and recognition you feel you deserve?
  • " Recruit and hire people who fit the culture and brand and empower them. "
  • "You can’t lead without inspiring people to do great things."
Seven Takeaways for Seven Disciplines.

These truly are the Keys and important things that we need to remember. As Leaders, potential leaders, consultants who are helping find or create future leaders, we need to inspire others and our attitude is contagious both for good and for bad. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that its not about ME, of This is What I do, But rather How can I help YOU, What Do you Need!

How many times have e heard leaders say well its OK I a not the classroom teacher and what I do won't have an effect. Or leaders that say this what i have accomplished in "X" years and therefore.....or finally They just won't change and nothing seems to inspire them.
These are statements made by those that don't understand true leadership.

In any walk of life there are always people that are looking up to us and therefore we are all Leaders so remember that your attitude matters and we all need to be inspired but more importantly inspire others.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Full Court Press; Giving It Your All

I haven't blogged in a while and I need to refocus my efforts to blogging more. However the last few weeks have been busy.
I have new focus / outlook wing regarding to my consulting business ( and I recently joined the Joel Paul Group as a Senior Consultant.
Here is the announcement email I sent out.

       I am pleased to inform you that I recently joined the Joel Paul Group, as a Senior Consultant.  
The Joel Paul Group is an executive search & consulting firm that deals exclusively, with not for profit organizations and educational institutions nationwide. We have successfully aided many institutions in identifying exceptionally talented senior professionals and top administrators.

My goal is to help further the role we play in communal life and in educating the future leaders of tomorrow.

Please feel free to email or call me if I can be of help to you, your institution, or organization.
All the Best 

Akevy Greenblatt, Senior Consultant  | The Joel Paul Group |255 West 36th Street, Suite 502, New York, NY 10018 I Office 212.564.6500 Ext 213  | Fax 212.868.2671 | 

So whats the new outlook. Not really all that new but rather a new focus thanks to an executive coach.

That is until you give it 100% and make personal connections and actual meet and speak with people you haven't Given IT YOUR ALL!

It has given me a renewed energy and feeling as well as a number of possibly opportunities for bigger and better things to come.

Then I saw the following tweet:

Kim Garst ‏@kimgarst 23m

You have 3 choices...give up, give in OR give it ALL YOU GOT! What's it going to be?

I think we all go through those first two stages sometimes, and that is human nature especially when you have been put down and are feeling low but the key is to make sure you get to choice three and you GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT! If you don't get there you will never know how successful you may have been. 

This new focus has taught me a few things :
  • Never say Never until you have given it your all 
  • People and making connections matter 
  • Most people are good and want to hep 
  • At the end of the day it's who you are and not what you are that matters.YOU MATTER as my friend Angela Maiers  has taught 
Today as leaders, teachers, parents, you name it your skills, your character, and how you deal with people and relate to people will always be important no matter your role and what your position is.


Looking forward to meeting and making personal connections with you


Wednesday, June 3, 2015


picture by: amazon

I an currently reading the book "Learning by Choice" by A.J. Juliani. Here is a quote from the book that really spoke to me.

    Rick Wormeli, author of Fair Isn’t Always Equal, has a view on “Redoing work” hit home for me on so      many different levels: If we do not allow students to redo work, we deny the growth mindset so vital to student maturation, and we are declaring to the student: -this assignment has no legitimate educational value -it’s okay if you don’t do this work -it’s okay if you don’t learn this content or skill None of these is acceptable to the highly accomplished, professional educator." Juliani, A.J. (2015-04-01). Learning By Choice

So this idea of Wormeli also spoke to me on many different levels. I have often asked myself what is the purpose of homework? what does a letter grade mean and what is the purpose of giving a zero. 
Each of these ideas deserves its own post and many have written and spoken about each of these ideas and topics. 
I have my own ideas as well but I think Wormeli really ties it all together and gives it a common denominator. We need to ask "Does this have Educational Value" to everything we do and the answer needs to be YES!
Time is valuable and we shouldn't be wasting our time or that of our students.  

There is another underlying idea to his quote and that is that as educators we need to model and teach some of those more amorphous type skills and ideas like growth mindset and critical thinking etc. Students learn more by doing and from our actions and what we value than from what we actual teach. 

There is only part of the quote which I take exception to. The ideas mentioned in the quote, the importance  of time, and teaching and modeling are basics and crucial and not doing it is just not acceptable of any educator.  I would argue by definition all educators are professional and we wouldn't accept anything less. 

There is a great quote that says " Teach and Be the Teacher that you would want your own kids to have" 

If we use the this criteria along with Does this have educational value we will never have the issues that Wormeli discusses ( At least we can hope !) 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Those Other Skills


About two weeks ago I attended a symposium sponsored by SHEMESH, a local organization who brought Dr Rona Novick in to speak about social skills. 

I am currently reading Teach Like a Pirate, that at least in the beginning focuses on the importance of creativity and passion. 

Something struck me about social skills, passion and creativity, there seemed to be a common denominator between them all. Most people would agree that all three are important and our students need to possess all there but for many these three things seem to be different than other skills that we teach and for some reason people assume either you have passion, you are creative or you are social. 

That's not true! As Burgess says in his "Six Words" story there is no such thing as saying "But you are creative". We all can be and need to be creative. 

Dr Novick said the following regarding social skills;

Social skills is a journey. It is something we must have however it is hard to measure and the journey is different and unique for each child. However it is a skill that is teachable, learnable and can be taught like other skills.
When it comes to social skills we are ever done and really never reach our destination. It is ongoing and ever changing and all moments are teachable moments.
I believe creativity and passion re the same and require teaching repetition and reinforcement.

It does take a certain mindset to think more creatively and we all now those highly passionate people or those social butterflies.

What we need to remember that these people don't have any super powers nor are they different from you and me. They put the time and effort to learn a skill like one would learn math or a second language.

Below are two tweets I tweeted about creativity from the book "Teach Like a Pirate" I think it sums this idea.

" Creativity is not [limited2]some special class of individuals, but ...can b nurtured& developed in all of us— including your Ss" Burgess0 retweets0 favorites

"For most of us, creative genius is developed through hard work, directed attention& relentless engagement in the creative process" Burgess



Monday, May 4, 2015

Back To Basics


The curfew has now been lifted in Baltimore and hopefully things can return to somewhat normal. There are many takeaways from the events of the last week, and I am sure the pundits and talking heads have covered them. I would like to focus on my personal takeaways and I am sure others have said this as well but it is an important reminder.

It happened now what can we learn from the experience of the events from the last week? What can we as educators and parents learn from these events?

To me the answer is simple, and that is we need to sometimes GO BACK TO BASICS!

What do I mean. Well in my last post I mentioned how technology will never replace the teacher, which is true. We also seem to live in a generation where social media seems to set the norms and we talk in 140 characters or in abbreviations.

While there many be many benefits to technology, social media and living in such a fast world we need to remember the basics.

Some of those basic include but are not limited to:

  • Common Sense and decency
  • Respect 
  • Building  relationships and friendships
  • A sense of community
  • Responsibility
The last I check a computer cant teach these basic and important skills. Rather this is the responsibility of Teachers, Parents, Clergy, and other Role models. 

I wrote a blog a while ago that got a lot of push back when I said the role of the teachers is 24/7. What I meant is that we ( parents as well) are role models and our students and children are always watching us and what we do. 

Yes we lived in unprecedented times with information at our finger tips and things happen in real time like never before but if we are going to learn anything from the events of the last week we need to take a step back and slow down if you will and take the time t teach, instill, and more importantly model these basic ideas for our students and children.