The Curmudgeon with Nat Ellis

The Assistant Principal Podcast

28-07-2022 • 53 minutos

Show Notes, Episode 42: The Curmudgeon with Nat Ellis

About this show:

When we talk about teachers resisting change, we often conjure up images of the curmudgeon – the 30-year veteran teacher who hasn’t changed and refuses to “get with the program.”  However, often times there are good reasons to resist change. Just as importantly, our veteran teachers can be great allies in building and improving school culture. Today, we learn from Nat Ellis, my favorite curmudgeon and a teacher whose passion and wisdom should inspire you.

Notable Quotes

Nat Ellis:

“Everything we did, we sat back and thought “is this what is best for the kids?” and that was our bottom line.”

“How can I have the most impact with what I have?”

“I had a principle that sat in his office sent emails. I never saw him.”

“When I look at the principles that have a presence in the hallways, they have a better understanding of their building. So walk the classrooms, know the kids… its crazy how a 10-minute appearance makes a difference”


“There are a lot of things we need to change. There are a lot of ways we can improve and get better, but I think what we don’t realize sometimes is that every time we decide to do something, that means there is something else we can’t do.”

“If we just go in a backroom as an administrative team and make decisions, we’re missing a lot of information”

“My choices reflect my values. And the challenge for us is that when we are in that urgent zone just running around trying to get everything done, we aren’t intentional about the choices. We’re not going to get it all done, so stop and be intentional about where you invest that time.”


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