Interview with Dr. Mary Hughes-Tutass, lecturer founder and ceo of TeacherTMI.com, and veteran ed leader
In this episode we chat with Dr. Mary Hughes-Tutass. Dr. Tutass has been in the educational arena for a couple of decades, she is a lecturer and expert in neuro linguistics for educators and is the founder of TeacherTMI: Ten Minutes of Information, where they specialize in bringing 10 minutes of information that matches the school calendar when and where teachers need it. We chat with her about the creation and inspiration for her company, discuss her educational journey as well as the struggles and success she’s had on her way.
Dr. Tutass grew up in a baby boomer neighborhood where the expectation was if you knew something you shared it otherwise you didn’t have anyone to play with. As she grew up in the educational era with a focus on cooperative learning she found herself leading groups and being a tutor to her peers. One thing naturally lead to another and in high school she had a P.E. class that focused on leadership. It was after that experience that she realized that education could be a profession for her.
She made her transition from college to P.E. teacher and during those 15 years she taught every grade before deciding to become a principal. The catalyst for that transition was a rapidly shrinking pool of talent in the principal ranks and noticing that those who remained weren’t as good as they could be. She decided to stop complaining and do something about it. Again her recommended books were
People are retiring faster and faster . .. better be ready to lead.
[As a principal] being scrutinized constantly is tough.
[As a principal]There is no planned day.
The choreography changes constantly, so do the players.
You need to focus on what to do instead of what not to do.
Students acting out in class are not always a personal insult to you.
No one comes into to this profession wanting to do poorly.
Teachers love to give, all the way until they feel taken.
Always listen to the ones that are quiet. It’s the loud ones you’ll hear repeatedly.
Words of Wisdom
I figure I better be properly trained rather than step in with no knowledge no empathy no experience.
You can go ahead and plan. You should plan. But don’t expect it [the day] to be planned.
Take smaller leadership roles first.
The words of positivity, the deeds of positivity are actions and words all moving you forward towards that goal.
The “why?” whine in itself is an accusation better to substitute it with “The reason”
When you say for what reason you’re making an assumption that there is a rationale and thinking behind what they’re doing and saying.
In talking about students acting out towards their teachers “If you can go one step further and unhook the blame and shame you feel all the time, you can move on knowing you are providing the service [to them].
Sometimes when kids name call it’s them showing their appreciation to you for keeping them on track.
Challenges as Principal
Always being public.
Always knowing had to be true to self and still represent education
Keeping public eye appropriately focused
Mentoring large number of teachers
Focused a lot on exactly what she would say and what she was going to do.
Continually reflecting on practice
Advice for Principals
You want to create pictures and images in their [the students’ minds] that move them closer to a goal.
Ask any teacher for a list that would show their individual support for a student, use that list and treat the teacher in that manner.
Assume teachers have something good to contribute. Assume they have skills. Watch out for the things they don’t have skills for and scaffold.
Treat your teachers as you would have them treat their students.
They Call Me Coach by John Wooden
The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz
Contact Information for Dr. Mary Hughes Tutass
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For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the www.howtobeagreatprincpal.com and order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, on itunes and podomatic, new episodes weekly. If you’re interested in sharing your experience as an edleader please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......