Posts

It's Not Easy

Image
If being an educator was easy, anyone could do it.
Throughout my time in education there is one thing that stands out to me. Being an educator is not easy.  
When I entered my first year of teaching, I was not as good at building relationships as I am now. At least I wasn’t as intentional. Even though I knew that relationships were the foundation for everything, I wasn’t very good at building them. Every year I would start by doing some type of team building activities, where we create a culture of community and trust. We would build relationships and students knew they could come to me if they had a problem.
I was a elementary physical education teacher that traveled to six sites a week, and I was teaching anywhere from 90-120 students at a time. It wasn’t the easiest first teaching job, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. It taught me more than I could ever imagine and opened my eyes to even more.
I had standards that we worked towards each and every week. There were ass…

Follow The Leader

Image
There is a blind man in New York City that everyday wakes up and heads to the subway station, where he sits and begs for money from those riding throughout the day. Day in and day out this man heads to the same place, with only his knowledge of the area and his probing cane.
On the morning of September 11, 2001 this man was on the subway station platform when the first of the two towers fell. The power instantly went out and everything went dark. The subway riders  started to panic and were in complete hysteria, they did not know how to act and could not find their way out in the complete darkness.
At that moment of time the man had a choice: he could get out of there and avoid the mass exodus/confusion or he could stay and help others find their way out of the tunnel. With a loud voice, he got others attention and said “I have been walking around this station for years in the dark and I can lead you out of here now, but you need to follow me.”
He suggested that others would build a ch…

If She Can Do It, So Can I

Image
As I was driving to a principal meeting this week, I drove by a woman wearing a middle school sweatshirt from a school where I had previous taught. The school is a great middle school, but it wasn't her neighborhood school. She was walking in the rain in a direction away from the school by herself with only her umbrella in hand. Even though the school was a mile to a mile and a half away, the timing, the outfit, the situation, made it obvious that she was returning home after walking her child to school to ensure they made it.

The neighborhood that I was driving through is a low socioeconomic area, where choices are limited because of a variety of reasons. Having also taught in this neighborhood, the one thing that I knew was that a great deal of parents that would do whatever it takes to make their children succeed.

This woman made me start to think and reflect on my own journey.

We often make different excuses for why we can't do things. No budget, no time, no resources, th…

Empower The Right Person

Image
Empower The Right Person
I am sitting in my living room watching my kids work on their science projects and I quickly started to reflect on my own experiences with science fairs. As an elementary school student, I would enter the science fair every year, no matter the focus. I would always talk with my parents and/or my teachers about an idea I had and how I could make it better or test a hypothesis. I loved it! It was my time to experiment and work through challenges that were put in front of me. My parents/ teachers were there to pick me up if I fell, but not there to step in until I absolutely needed them.
This independence of allowing the child to do the project taught me work ethic and if I wanted something I needed to work for it. I never won the blue ribbon, but I won so much more. I won because I learned the value of hard work and if I wanted something, I needed to be persistent in my pursuit.
Fast forward many years to where I am now. I have taken those same lessons and passed …

All Day, Every Day

Image
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

Image
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 …

Never Stop Moving Forward

Image
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…