2Principals Podcast

Are you tired of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Do you struggle to find balance between your work life and personal life? If so, you’re not alone. Many people, especially those in leadership positions, find it difficult to maintain their overall health and well-being. That’s where the 2Principals Podcast comes in. Hosted by Kevin and Jason, two experienced leaders in education who are dedicated to helping everyday leaders learn practical ways to live a more balanced and fulfilled life. With each episode, we tackle a wide variety of conversations related to leadership, mental & physical health, stress management and work-life balance. Regardless of where you are on your journey, the 2Principals Podcast has something to offer. Check us out at 2principals.com and join the 2Principals Community by signing up for our newsletter! Please email us at 2principalspodcast@gmail.com for all questions and or comments. We LOVE to hear from our listeners! Episodes drop every Wednesday.

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2 days ago

In this episode, Kevin Jost and Jason Paurus are joined by Bob Driver, the Executive Director of MASSP (Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals), to discuss how principals can leverage the summer months for rejuvenation, strategic planning, and professional development.
The hosts begin by framing the discussion around the shift in focus that principals experience during the summer, from managing daily operations to long-term planning and preparation for the upcoming school year. They highlight several strategies principals can implement, including developing a comprehensive summer plan, engaging in professional development opportunities, reviewing and refining policies and procedures, strengthening school culture, overseeing facility improvements, and analyzing data to identify areas for improvement.
The conversation then turns to the importance of prioritizing mental health and well-being during the summer. Bob, Kevin, and Jason emphasize the need for principals to take breaks and vacations, practice intentional self-care through activities like exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices, nurture relationships and support systems, and consider seeking professional support if needed.
Bob Driver provides a detailed overview of the upcoming MASSP Summer Conference, scheduled from June 24th to 27th at Breezy Point. The conference promises a comprehensive lineup of keynote speakers, concurrent sessions, a dedicated middle-level experience, team-building and wellness activities, and opportunities for networking and celebration.
In closing, the hosts offer final pieces of advice for principals navigating the summer months. Jason challenges principals to work on themselves and prioritize inner work, whether through seeking professional support, starting a new routine, or implementing strategies for better work-life integration. Bob encourages principals to practice disconnecting from their phones and embracing moments of digital detachment. Kevin emphasizes the importance of having fun and finding ways to laugh, as laughter can be a powerful source of rejuvenation.
Overall, the episode underscores the unique opportunity that the summer presents for principals to prioritize their mental health, engage in strategic planning, and prepare themselves for a successful and impactful school year ahead.

Wednesday Jun 12, 2024

The latest episode of the 2Principals Podcast hosted by Kevin Jost and Jason Paurus is titled "Maintaining Boundaries and Achieving Work-Life Balance as a Principal." In the introduction, Kevin and Jason discuss the importance of work-life balance for principals and school leaders, sharing statistics that highlight the prevalence of burnout and poor work-life balance among principals.
The hosts delve into the barriers that principals face in achieving work-life balance, including the "always on" mentality and guilt for not being available 24/7, lack of prioritization and constant reactive mode, and difficulty disconnecting from work and setting boundaries.
To address these challenges, Kevin and Jason offer strategies for maintaining work-life balance, such as prioritizing tasks and responsibilities, delegating when necessary, scheduling regular breaks and time off (treating them as sacred), developing routines and rituals to transition between work and personal life, and embracing imperfection and letting go of the need for perfection.
As advice for principals, the hosts recommend embracing imperfection and accepting that you can't be everything to everyone. They also encourage principals to prioritize intentional self-care during the summer months, engaging in activities that nourish their well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or quality time with loved ones.
Throughout the episode, Kevin and Jason emphasize the importance of prioritizing personal well-being to be effective leaders and serve their schools and communities better. By maintaining boundaries and achieving a healthy work-life balance, principals can thrive in their roles while avoiding burnout and promoting overall well-being.

2P78: Fit to Lead

Wednesday Jun 05, 2024

Wednesday Jun 05, 2024

The latest episode of the 2Principals Podcast hosted by Kevin Jost and Jason Paurus focused on the impact of physical health on leadership abilities. They kicked things off with the song of the day, "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers from 1977, and a would you rather question about prioritizing exercise or having more free time.
The hosts then delved into the importance of physical health for leaders, sharing studies that show physically active leaders are more productive, make better decisions, and have improved cognitive function, emotional intelligence, and decision-making skills. However, they acknowledged the common barriers principals face like intense workloads, the sedentary nature of the job, stress/burnout, and school culture expectations around long hours.
To overcome these, Kevin and Jason provided practical strategies principals can implement such as building physical activity into their daily routines, getting creative with meeting formats like walking meetings or standing desks, and prioritizing self-care through breaks and deep breathing exercises. Overall, they stressed making physical health a priority rather than an afterthought.
The two principals then discussed their current routines and looked ahead to having more intentional, in-depth workout routines over the summer when things slow down a bit. Their pieces of advice were for principals to start small and be consistent with any new physical routine (Kevin), and to enlist support and accountability from others rather than going it alone (Jason).
In conclusion, the hosts emphasized that while physical health is often overlooked, it's a crucial aspect of effective leadership. By prioritizing it and using practical strategies, principals can improve their energy, focus, and overall abilities to lead their schools.

Wednesday May 29, 2024

In this episode, Kevin Jost and Jason Paurus delve into the topic of resilience - the remarkable ability to bounce back from adversity and harness inner strength in the face of life's challenges. They draw upon their own experiences and insights to unpack practical strategies for building resilience, the role of mindset in overcoming obstacles, and how top performers cultivate the mental toughness needed to succeed even in the toughest of circumstances.
The hosts begin by highlighting the significance of resilience, citing research that resilient individuals are 33% more likely to achieve their goals, report 23% higher job satisfaction, and are 19% less likely to experience burnout. They also discuss the barriers principals often face in developing resilience, such as the sheer volume of demands, immense pressure to perform, the tendency to neglect self-care, and the perceived need to project an image of invincibility.
Kevin and Jason then share practical strategies for cultivating resilience, including cultivating a growth mindset, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, developing self-awareness, implementing stress management techniques like mindfulness and exercise, building a strong support network, and celebrating small wins and progress.
The episode concludes with two pieces of advice from the hosts: Kevin emphasizes the importance of building self-awareness by understanding one's patterns, thoughts, emotional triggers, and default behaviors, while Jason stresses the need to prioritize self-care by engaging in activities that nourish the mind, body, and spirit.

Wednesday May 22, 2024

In this episode, Jason Paurus and Kevin Jost tackle the critical issue of mental health challenges faced by leaders and the importance of breaking the stigma around discussing these issues. They share alarming statistics highlighting the prevalence of mental health struggles among principals and executives, as well as the costs of untreated conditions on leadership performance and organizational productivity.
Jason and Kevin delve into common barriers that prevent leaders from prioritizing their mental wellbeing, such as the perception of weakness, unsupportive school cultures, lack of resources, work overload, job security concerns, and generational/cultural stigmas. They then offer practical strategies for principals to help destigmatize mental health in their schools, including:
Leading by example and being vulnerable about personal experiences
Establishing clear mental health policies and providing access to resources
Offering training to recognize signs of burnout and coping strategies
Adjusting work environments, expectations, and protecting self-care time
Connecting with peer support networks and mental health professionals
Sharing anonymous data and personal stories to raise awareness
Celebrating small wins in prioritizing mental health
The hosts emphasize that by breaking the stigma, principals can create healthier school communities primed for success. They encourage leaders to lead with authenticity, cultivate cultures of compassion and support, and make mental health an utmost priority.

Wednesday May 15, 2024

In this insightful episode, the 2Principals welcomed Charle Peck, an author, podcaster, and global keynote speaker, to discuss improving school mental health, leadership, and overall well-being. Charle shared valuable insights and strategies for educators and leaders to prioritize their mental health and create a positive learning environment.
The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including the importance of being present, practicing self-compassion, and understanding the brain-body connection. Charle emphasized the need for educators to manage their own mental health and effectively respond to student needs, as well as the significance of building a positive school culture through effective communication and understanding intentions.
Charle also introduced the "Rapid Reset" technique, which involves a simple exercise to rewire the brain and shift one's mindset. She provided practical advice on combating burnout, finding work-life balance, and integrating mindfulness practices into daily routines.
Additionally, Charle shared her perspectives on leadership, stressing the importance of collaboration, listening to others, and recognizing individual strengths. She encouraged leaders to create a secure space for their teams and to be open to learning from diverse perspectives.
Throughout the episode, Charle's expertise and passion for improving mental health in education shone through, leaving listeners with valuable insights and actionable strategies to foster a more positive and supportive learning environment.

Wednesday May 08, 2024

The latest episode of the 2Principals podcast focuses on "Finding Motivation in Challenging Leadership Moments." Jason and Kevin kick things off by discussing May being Mental Health Awareness Month and mentioning their special "Mental Health Awareness" merchandise available to support the cause. The random question sparks an amusing discussion about whether you'd rather eat bland but visually appetizing food or disgusting looking but delicious tasting food. 
The main topic dives into the complexities of being a school principal, requiring a blend of managerial, instructional leadership, and interpersonal skills. Principals play a crucial role in setting the vision, fostering a positive learning environment, and ensuring the overall success of their school community. Statistics are shared highlighting the need for motivated leaders in the education field.
Several barriers to finding motivation are examined, including feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, isolation in the role, lack of resources, resistance to change from stakeholders, and the very real threat of burnout. To combat these barriers, practical strategies are offered such as setting clear, achievable goals, seeking inspiration from role models and mentors, practicing intentional self-care, celebrating small wins along the way, and continuous learning.
During the "Mental Health Minute" segment, the hosts remind listeners that it's okay to ask for help and take breaks when needed. Prioritizing one's well-being is key to navigating challenges with resilience. In closing, Jason and Kevin emphasize the importance of seeking support from trusted friends, family and mentors when struggling. They also advise practicing gratitude to shift perspective and boost mood during difficult times. Overall, the message is to stay motivated, resilient and lead with purpose through even the most challenging leadership moments.

Wednesday May 01, 2024

For principals, the month of May is a whirlwind of activity as the academic year draws to a close. It involves finalizing teacher and student schedules, coordinating exams, and meticulously planning graduation ceremonies and recognizing the vital contributions of support staff. Clear communication of expectations to all stakeholders is paramount during this busy time.
Ensuring balanced and equitable teacher schedules is a key challenge. Open communication and collaboration with department heads is crucial, as is carefully considering teacher strengths, certifications, and balancing preparation periods and course levels fairly across staff. Not everyone will get their ideal schedule, but an inclusive process can foster understanding.
Several strategies can help principals navigate May and bring about a smooth school year conclusion. Establishing clear communication channels with staff, students and parents is vital. Graduation planning requires triple-checking all arrangements from photography to streaming logistics. Meeting with stakeholder groups like department chairs, student councils, support staff and others provides valuable feedback. Proactively addressing potential disruptive events and planning transition ceremonies for groups like 8th graders is also important.
Building and sustaining a positive school culture remains a priority even amidst the year-end busyness. Recognizing and appreciating the efforts of staff and students, keeping communication lines open, encouraging collaboration, and making time for personal reflection as a leader are all key components.
With immense responsibilities, principals must also prioritize their own mental health. Effective time management, setting boundaries, engaging in self-care practices like exercise or hobbies, seeking support from colleagues, delegating responsibilities, celebrating personal accomplishments, setting realistic expectations and disconnecting when needed can all help prevent burnout.
Looking ahead, professional development opportunities are on the horizon such as the MASSP Summer Conference, trauma-informed leadership training, the Secretary Conference and student leadership programs.
As the school year culminates, principals are advised to be present and enjoy the celebratory events, directly address any lingering frustrations before summerbreak, and ensure no key groups are left feeling unheard or unappreciated for their contributions.

Wednesday Apr 24, 2024

Kim Strobel, a motivational speaker, author, and happiness coach, joined Jason and Kevin on the latest episode of the 2Principals Podcast. They kicked things off by discussing Kim's walkup song choice, "Beast of Burden" by The Rolling Stones, and their shared love for running. Kim then opened up about her journey, sharing her struggles with panic disorder in her younger years and how it fueled her purpose to help others cultivate happiness and joy. She detailed her daily routine, emphasizing practices like meditation, gratitude journaling, and setting intentions to cultivate self-love and self-compassion.
A significant portion of the conversation centered around happiness habits. Kim highlighted the power of gratitude journaling and provided a downloadable resource for gratitude prompts. She also discussed the neuroscience behind happiness, recommending books like "The How of Happiness" by Sonja Lyubomirsky. Throughout the discussion, Kim emphasized the importance of prioritizing one's happiness and well-being, recognizing that it is not selfish but essential for thriving in all areas of life.
Mental health and vulnerability were also key topics. Kim shared her perspective on mental health, stressing the importance of creating safe spaces for vulnerability. She encouraged leaders to share their struggles and be authentic, as it fosters a sense of safety and connection within their communities. When asked about role models and resources, Kim cited her 23-year-old son as a significant source of inspiration and recommended books like "Hidden Potential" by Adam Grant.
As the episode wrapped up, Kim's final advice for listeners was to prioritize their happiness and well-being, recognizing that it is not selfish but essential for thriving in all areas of life. Jason and Kevin expressed their appreciation for Kim's insights and the positive energy she brings to the world. Kim also shared information about her book, "Teach Happy, Small Steps to Big Joy," and her social media handles for those interested in connecting with her further.
Where you can find Kim:
Her book, "Teach Happy, Small Steps to Big Joy"

Wednesday Apr 17, 2024

Show Notes:
Guest: Mindy Chevalier, 2023 Minnesota Middle School Principal of the Year from Belle Plaine, MN
Mindy discusses her educational journey, from teaching health and PE to becoming an assistant principal and then a 7-12 principal
She talks about the importance of balancing work and personal life, finding joy through activities like pickleball, softball, and karaoke
Mindy shares how her district has made social-emotional learning a priority, implementing programs like Move This World and the curriculum from Joe Beckman
She emphasizes the need to give teachers and staff the time and resources to properly implement SEL initiatives
Mindy talks about her approach to building a positive school culture, focusing on visibility, connecting with students and staff, and finding the joy in the day-to-day
When addressing burnout, she suggests looking for ways to reignite your passion, whether through trying new teaching strategies or getting involved in different committees
Mindy's advice for listeners is to embrace a growth mindset, find joy in education, and maintain a work hard/play hard mentality
You can find Mindy @MindyChevsBPHS

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