Leading by Example & Teacher Evaluations: Interview with Akevy Greenblatt

Interview 14 of Twittering for Education

In the move for education transformation we need effective leadership. This means that administrators have to take the first step in showing teachers the path to transparency and effective instructional practice. Principal Akevy Greenblatt is one such leader who I had the pleasure of interviewing this past week. He talked about how he leads through video recording his classroom lessons and allowing his teachers to evaluate his classroom instruction. He also balances being a principal with teaching a class. He feels being in the classroom gives him insight and a unique connection to his teachers. They know he is in the trenches alongside them.


Rabbi Akevy Greenblatt is currently the Judaic Studies Lower School Principal at the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis TN. Akevy is also part of the adminsitrartive team for the Margolin Hebrew Academy/ Finestone Yeshivas of the South, which is a Prek- 12 school.  Akevy has been involved education for the last 20 years and is a leading change agent in trying to incorporate 21st Century skills with Judaic studies.Meeting students needs and differentiated instruction is something that Akevy believes to be at the core of teaching and is in the process of working on a Differentiated Instruction workbook for Judaic Studies.  You can learn more about Akevy from his “Principals Post” at agreenblatt.blogspot.com and by following him on Twitter @Akevy613. You can read his posts on the Connected Principals group here!

Previous Interviews

Check out the previous interviews Twittering for Education- Jo and Phil Hart, Twittering for Education- Eric and Melissa Sheninger, Twittering for Education- Will and Elle Deyamport, Connected Principals- George Couros, 1:1 Programs- Rich Kiker, Mobile Learning with Kids- Scott Newcomb, Effective Leadership: Interview with Patrick Larkin, Using Skype for ELT Lessons: Interview with Marisa Pavan, Teachers as Leaders and Continuous Learners: Interview with Dr. Doug Green, Blogging with Students: Interview with Greta Sandler, What Does the Innovative School Look Like? Interview with Dr. Tom King, How Do We Animate Lessons? Interview with Ken Wilson, and Building the Twitter Academy: Interview with Kelly Tenkely.

If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for FREE!

What do you believe is the ideal education students should be receiving?

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


  1. I like this principals understanding of the importance of continuing to connect with teachers and students in the classroom. It is rare that a principal will allow other teachers to evaluate their instruction. It is one way that a principal can demonstrate leadership to other teachers by setting an example. It also keeps the principal in touch with techniques that are required to effectively communicate with students who are in the classroom today.

    • Dr. Jones,
      Thank you for your kind words. I do believe that all educators are role models. Teachers are role models for their students and educational leaders are role models for both the students and the teachers.
      Again thank you for you comment


  2. “Try to shift the evaluation process to a process of growth” – I totally agree with you, Akevy! I truly believe that admins have more to learn from teachers than they can imagine, thus I cannot recall a more effective of achieving it than putting themselves into teachers’ shoes.

    Thank you for the great job, Shelly!
    Keep it up!

    • Bruno,

      Thank you for your kind words and comment. I believe we are in all education for the same reason and that is for our students. Therefore admins should want their teachers to be successful and create an atmosphere of growth.
      Thanks Again

    • Phillip,

      I am truly humbled and touched by your words.
      it through the encouragement from friends like you that I have such courage.
      I am truly lucky to have you as a friend

      Thanks a lot

  3. I can’t imagine what it would be like to video tape myself. I bet I would learn so much and… even grow as an educator. Your collaborative approach to leadership is inspiring. Thanks for sharing and great interview. Nancy

    • Nancy,
      Thank for your comment. I think we all need to find ways to help us grow. When I thought f video taping myself that wasn’t the intention but it had many ripple effects.
      I wish you all the best and luck and you grow as an educator.
      Twitter is a great place for growth.
      Thank you again

  4. Lisa,
    Thanks for the support. I am encouraged and motivated by people like you and Shelly and many others in my PLN. I feel lucky to have grown so much over the last few months.
    Thank you!!
    Lets keep on Rocking together

  5. I am truly honored and touched but all the comments. It was something that I did more for my teachers to learn from but I ended up learning and gaining even more.
    Truth be told it was all do to Shelly that this interview happened to me I didn’t think what I did was so special compared to what I see other people in Connected Principals and in my PLN doing.
    I want to thank Shelly pushing me and all of you for being my friends and part of my PLN


  6. Thanks so much Akevy for your bravery and practice in education. I am studying to be an Administrator and certainly believe that when possible Admins should take time to teach. What makes your approach unique is that you allow your teachers to review your recordings. Your method demonstrates a true connection as an educational team that I think is a great model for our future. Bravo!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *