Montana Catholic Schools Weekly

January 4, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

As I promised in December, I unplugged and read a few books over Christmas break. I didn't look at my Twitter feed for over a week! The best book I read was entitled "Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads." The author gives interesting background on Pope Francis before he was the pontiff.

Whenever a parent of a young child came to him for confession or spiritual direction, Fr. Bergoglio asked, "Do you play with your children?" In Pope Francis's recommendations for New Years' resolutions (the article link is included below), he repeats that question with a recommendation that young parents play with their children.

Notice he did not simply say, "Spend time with your children." That's easy--I can drive my daughter to her practices, we can watch TV together, or I can check my email on my phone while my son puts together a puzzle. It's easy to be together, much more difficult to be engaged together.

This is a challenge for me, for you, and for the parents of our students. And amid all the important work we have to do, it's worth considering. If we want to improve our schools, we need to put our students first. And to be a student-first leaders, we need to model for our parents that we put OUR own children first in our lives.

Spending time with my 3 kids balances me as a person. It makes me a better educator, colleague, and leader in my "work" life. I suspect it does the same for you and for parents in your schools.

Pope Francis has challenged us to be more engaged with the children in front of us. They deserve our attention. And he has also called us to prioritize our time (and attention) to our families.

Dr. Tim Uhl

The Week Ahead

Monday: office day (Helena)

Tuesday: Great Falls meetings & Study Commission (5:00 pm)

Wednesday: Billings meetings, school visits, & School Board (4:00 pm)

Thursday: Butte meetings & accreditation meeting after school

Friday: office day (Helena

This week: 940 miles

Last week: 570 miles & 356 newsletter views

2014-15: 16,787 miles

On the Horizon

  1. January 12th & 13th: Virtual Principal meetings. Principals--please send in your suggestion topics and questions. Look for a separate email with instructions.
  2. January 19th: MHSA convention. The high school meeting for Catholic high schools scheduled for the 18th has been canceled.
  3. Jan 25-30: Catholic Schools Week. Bishop Warfel's schedule was released in December.
  4. March 10th: Catholic schools day at the state legislature.

American Catholic News

Catholic Universities

This article takes Catholic colleges and universities to task for not admitting more poor students (and thus drifting from their mission):

While this article paints a far rosier picture:

Educational Leadership Articles


Netflix raised a lot of eyebrows last year when it released this PowerPoint explaining its company culture. Worth examining in light of your own workplace culture:

Teaching & Instruction

Miscellaneous Articles