5 Questions with… Hal Roberts

Having the right people in your Personal Learning Network (PLN) is key to taking advantage of social media as an educator. I have been blessed to connect with some of the most intelligent and reflective practitioners in education. One of these fantastic educators is Hal Roberts, who I met through participation in the #TLAP chat. We are honored to have Hal share his insight with us this week.

5 Questions with… Hal Roberts


1. What do you most want your students to take with them from your classroom, school or district?

For them to think at high levels, collaborate, &  create.


2. What are the most rewarding and/or the most frustrating aspects of education?

Most rewarding when students that I have impacted, come back to tell me. This coming week, my wife & I are having dinner with a former student; she is now an attorney.

Most frustrating when non-educators try to tell us how to do our job. That was the only reason I retired.


3. What advice would you give to young teachers?

Begin with creating healthy relationships with your students, everything else will follow.

Participate in Twitter chats and collaborate with your PLN & peers. You will learn, get inspired, gain friends, participate in free, amazing PD in each chat you are in. No matter what you teach, there is a chat for you.


4. What has influenced your career the most?

I so wish I had started using Twitter earlier. I have learned so much in the 2+ years I have been an active user. I can honestly say that the relationships here on Twitter, I have probably learned more from them, than the many other years in my career. However, you should know that many are nationally known, authors, speakers, & award winners. But even from the others, I still learn. I have found the best, brightest, and most progressive educators are on Twitter.

I am so blessed to those professionals that many I can call friend.


5. As an educator, what are you currently focused on?

I am currently writing my book on leadership. It is my passion to help leaders be exemplary leaders.

It took my inspiration from Teach Like a Pirate and write from a leader’s perspective. I take the same acronym, but I add an attribute or two on most of the letters and also add the S for service.

P- passion & perseverance; I-immersion & integrity; R-relationship; A- analysis & authority; T- transformation & trust; E- enthusiasm & edify; S- service. I talk about each, how I tried to exhibit each attribute, a lot of stories of real life education issues and each of these helped me get through them. I also have researched real pirates and how they exhibit these. In addition, I use the apostle Paul in Acts 27 (his journey/voyage to Rome) and how Paul was a true leader. I have a bunch of my PLN contributing to it, as well.


Hal Roberts is a retired educator after 38 years. 30 years in leadership. Speaker on leadership & neuroscience.Because of Twitter, he has spoken in several states and many conferences.
Hal served as an Athletic Director, Elementary Principal, High School Principal, Asst. Supt., Superintendent.
Taught grades 4-12. Played in NFL, punter for the St. Louis Cardinals. Hal is writing his book on leadership – Pirate On!, which he hopes will be published by December. Married for 40 years to Susan, retired educator and consultant for AVID. 2 Daughters (one is HS speech/debate teacher), 3 grandkids…life is good. Hal is currently doing some work for Remind along with speaking at conferences & districts.
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