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All Day, Every Day

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All Day, Every day
I was sitting in a meeting the other day and the room was filled with sneezing, coughing and running noses. It was apparent that not everyone was feeling 100%, but they were there trying their best to participate. Even though I was not under the weather, I started to think about how I can stay healthy when everyone else is coming down with something.
Reflecting on the day and the situation, I relate it back to education. As parents, students, co-workers get tired and unmotivated, it is our job to keep the focus on the right thing. The focus must remain on KIDS. During this time of year there are so many distracting elements that try to pull us away. Stay strong, stay focused and keep pushing forward.
I don’t wake up everyday with the energy and desire to get up and get after it. I must reach into my toolbox and use those tools to help myself, help others.
Here are some reminders on how to Bring It Every Day, All Day:
Celebrations and Acts of Kindness- How are you cele…

#ONEWORD2018

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I started 2017 by getting up and getting outside of my office on a daily basis and getting into classrooms to interact with kids and teachers on an intentional level. I wanted to be a visible leader and one that was known for being in classrooms. Taking every opportunity to get outside of the office I build a reputation for not sitting in the office.
My #oneword2017 was OUTSIDE. This word and motivation served me well and taught me that there was so much more to being a leader than office work. I needed to be intentional with my time and show others that leaders need to be seen and we need to get outside and be with those who we serve.
2017 had many ups and downs, professionally and personally. I finished my first year as principal, I was able to present at the National Principals Conference, I wrote a book, but I also lost a very close family member, and even broke my leg. The events of 2017 made me question life, some more than others.
I have gone back and forth on what would be my …

Create Moments and Be Intentional

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Having some time off for the holidays has allowed me to reflect on what has happened in the last month:
Students had just finished reading the book ‘Wonder’ in their classroom. They were studying empathy and what did it mean. The students wanted more than just having a conversation within the classroom. They wanted to start reading about empathy to other classes in the school. They began to read the book ‘We Are All Wonders’. At the end of every reading session with the classes the students led a discussion on what did it mean to look and be different and how those people should be treated. This class of students took what they learned in their class and shared it with the school. As the principal, I was receiving messages from parents about the conversations that were being had at the dinner table. Of course, nothing made me happier than to hear these stories.
I reflected on what was going on with these students a lot. I thought what could I do to reinforce the concepts and create a m…

Never Stop Moving Forward

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Never Stop Moving Forward

It’s a few weeks until Winter Break.  What’s a #principalsinaction leader supposed to do to keep the learning going, both for our students and our staff?  Now is not the time to change up the procedures and routines.  Now is the time to review them and make sure to keep learning at the forefront in our schools.

So...what ideas do you have to keep this going?  Mark, Ryan, and I suggest the following:

Get Out Of Your Office! (If you need a reminder, send Jay a DM on Twitter and he’ll send you a #principalsinaction bracelet!) You can only be a principal In action if you're in the hallways, classrooms, cafeteria, out front, and on the playground interacting with others.

Be intentional with your classroom visits. Make sure you're getting into classes, participating with students, and seeing the great things happening. There are a lot of fun things to see between Thanksgiving and winter break.

Maintain communication with families about the importance of attenda…

What Type of Person are You?

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If you had to lump humanity into two groups what would those groups be? In an inspirational speech, the late Randy Pausch asked his audience “Do you want to live your life as a Tigger, or an Eeyore?”

It is a fun, yet intriguing question.

Tigger is positive, energetic, fun, cheerful and confident. He always is trying to do his best, is up to try new things, keeps going even when he falls, and always sees the glass as being half full. We all know Tiggers.

Eeyore on the other hand is the opposite. Eeyore is usually gloomy, pessimistic, sarcastic, and never looks on the bright side. His glass is half empty and lacks confident. We all know Eeyores.

People and systems are going to let you down. Things and situations are not always going to go your way. We have no control over the actions of people that are in our lives. We have no control over the universe. But we do have control over who we are. I know that being a Tigger 100% of the time sounds daunting but being an Eeyore sounds unproducti…

Give Permission

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Just the other day a teacher reached out to me to let me know that there were two upcoming conferences that she would like to attend and asked if she could attend one of them. Soon as I read the email I reached back out to her to let her know that I think both conferences had value and since they were spread out I thought that she should attend both of them.

Think of the last time that you wanted to go to a conference. What was the response when you asked for permission? Did you get the same response that this teacher recieved?

I’ve had many experiences when it comes to conferences and professional growth that haven’t turned out the way I wanted them to. They left me with a feeling of not being supported and not valued as a part of the team. I can remember an experience as a teacher asking for permission to attend a state conference in Southern California. As soon as I mentioned it to the principal, the answer was no. Then through conversation that I was able to convince the principal …

Just Try

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When was the last time you needed to JUST TRY?
As a parent and educator, I often hear " I can't". These words uttered by our kids are most of time redirected and explained that you can do it, you just need to try. I remember back when I was a teenager and my parents really wanted me in AP English classes. I didn't want to be forced to read and write, when I could be having fun with my friends. They kept up the pressure and told me to "Just Try".
I did exactly that. I was in honors and AP english classes all throughout high school. I didn't always do great, but I tried. This concept has been something that has made me a better father, husband, educator, and person. We must continue to try at anything that is thrown our way.
In education we are constantly reminding our students of this simple concept. We want to expose our students to as many concepts that we can and we want our students to just try to accomplish the tasks at hand.
But do we practice wha…