Showing posts from 2016

Thankful for the Magical Moments

This is the time of year where we reflect on what we are thankful for. As I started to reflect on this a few weeks ago, I was overcome with emotion, because my life is full on richness and joy. Since last Thanksgiving, so much has happened to me personally and professionally.
I am thankful to be able to serve at a school that has welcomed me and my family into the community and as a part of the team. I am humbled to lead a dedicated staff that wants what’s best for kids.

I am thankful that I belong to PLN that wants to make magical moments for kids all the time. I am thankful for my mentors, who are always there to bounce ideas off and give encouragement when needed.
I am thankful for my wife and kids, who have helped me achieve everything in my life thus far. My wife is always by my side, encouraging me to dream and chase after what is right for our family.

I could go on and on about everything that I am thankful for, but one of the things that puts a smile on my face each day are…

Find Your Rabbit Hole

Being an connected principal has helped me gain the trust of parents and staff. They have a question and they usually receive an answer back from me relatively timely. I pride myself in my quick responses and handling of situations in a timely manner.

In today's infrastructure it is so easy to stay connected and to be reached. Phones, watches, computers, social media, and email are constantly being checked and updated with contact information. Some nights as I try to disconnect and recharge, I may hear my phone make a noise or my apple watch vibrates in makes me want to check what is going. It is ingrained in me and sometimes drives me nuts!

The pressure that is constantly put on us(by ourselves sometimes) makes it hard to do our job. Principals need to disconnect and find a rabbit hole to recharge. We will do so much more for our students with a fresh perspective and a happy principal.

Take a moment to recharge and find your rabbit hole...

Relationships Don't Just Happen...

Thinking back to my experiences as an elementary student, I don't remember my principal. They didn't do anything to make me remember them. There wasn't a spark, there was no connection. When I got named principal of an elementary school in June, I thought what type of principal did I want to be? I had many goals, aspirations, and ideas for how to make education better. How was I going to motivate teachers and students to want to do better?

We have been in school for more than 30 days now and I feel that the honeymoon period is over, we are getting into the part of the year we need to keep the ball rolling, and not let the ball just roll by itself.

We as a school have created and are still creating an environment that kids don't want to leave. They are excited to come to school and excited to stay at school. I have played tether ball, kickball, football, ball wall, gone down slides and across monkey bars. I have eaten lunch with students, modeled behavior, and read to c…

I bet he is Twittering!

I love twitter! I love the fact that I can learn and grow from others. It is my way of constantly getting professional development. I can even get PD in my pajamas.

I have been on Facebook for years, but twitter for only a few. At the beginning, I was apprehensive, I didn't know what to expect. I thought that it would take away from my family time and other duties. The most important thing is I kept an open mind. Let me say, I have grown so much professionally because of twitter.

The other day at a district meeting, I overheard a table saying "I bet he is twittering". It caught my attention! I approached the table and I mentioned that I wasn't on twitter, but I do use it and love it. We then began a conversation on having an open mind. That is all I ask. Try something new today! Expand your toolbox!

With an open mind, anything is possible!

Attendance Is Always A Focus

Having worked at the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels, attendance is always an issue. As teachers and administrators we are always thinking of ways of how to increase attendance and get kids excited to come to school. How do we do it? How do we show parents that the learning happens at school?

Many individuals think that to increase attendance at the three different levels you must: high school students forced to wear ankle monitors will work, give middle school students candy to show up, and at elementary hang some signs that say Every Day Counts. They don't work! We need to do more.

Rather than looking at punitive measures, we need to focus on learning environments that are engaging, fun, and different. If we can create schools that provide a wide range of activities, students will latch onto something that they love.

Create relationships! Build trust with your students and parents that opens the dialogue. Learn their story and be compassionate to them.

Never to Early to Start Reflecting

Monday was our first day with students and I was extremely excited! I barely slept and set my alarm for super early, making sure I could get to school early and make sure everything went perfect. Music was playing while students arrived, talking to parents, giving high fives, and welcoming students to campus. Making classroom rounds, giving a little welcome back talk, feeding off the energy of the students. The entire day all I could think "It's all about relationships".

Tuesday was full of laughter, classroom visits, slides, and fun on the playground. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were full of the same. Once Friday afternoon came, there was some time to sit a reflect.

I started off the year with 4 goals:

1. Visibility
2. Communication
3. Interaction
4. Have Fun

Did I meet my goals this week? Did I make an impact? How do the parents/staff feel it went? Those were some of the questions that were going through my head.

All I could think was:

This was the most amazing we…

Bring on the Kids!

When I finished last school year, I was the vice principal at a local high school. The following week, I was appointed to be an elementary principal. Since that moment: my mind, body, and soul has been preparing for this school year.

I have been working on communication, culture, and building relationships with staff, community, and students. This past week, I have found myself in my office or at trainings. By the end of the day, I walk outside and remember what fresh air and the summer heat feels like. I can't help but stop and think:


My hope that all the preparation will make it easier, once the kids come. Nevertheless, I want to kick off the school year. I want the kids here, so we can start building those relationships and make education exciting, challenging, and plain fun! 
I have so many dreams for these little guys, that I hope that I will have the time to make things happen. Of course I am nervous, because I have never been a principal before.…

Building a Place That No One Wants to Leave

When people think of school it brings up a ton of different emotions. Some good, some bad. For me, school brings up many different emotions, because my experiences are vastly different. I went to public school K-2, which I loved. I was a social butterfly who constantly wanted to be with people and learn from them.

3rd-5th grade I was home schooled and that was extremely different. School had no walls, no boundaries, lacked a certain structure for me. During that time, I realized I needed to be with peers in a classroom, learning alongside others. During my middle school years, I attended a small private school where class sizes ranged from 6-12 students per class. Much bigger than 1, however still extremely small. From there I transferred to a public high school, where my eyes to the world were open. I LOVED school and the experience. Along with the content being taught in the classroom, I really enjoyed the experience of school. My school experience was a time to let my imagination r…

Growing and Sharing

This summer has been an amazing time of growth. As I take over a new school and as a first time principal I want to make sure that I go into the year with a good understanding of what it takes and how to make my site the best site ever!

As I try to climb this mountain I am constantly reminded that this principalship is a journey and not a sprint. I am extremely grateful that I am building relationships that will help me along the way. I love being connected via Twitter and Voxer.

As I plan for the first few days of school, I want to make sure that relationships are the priority. Building relationships with staff, students, parents, and community. How am I going to do this?

1. Visibility 2. Communication 3. Interaction 4. Have FUN!
These are my commitments that I am making to my school and community. As I continue to ramp up for the year, I want to read, relax, and rest. Have a great summer!

My First Post!

So I have been on twitter for awhile and have seen so many people utilizing blogs as a way of professional development and reflection. During my time as a teacher I would write educational articles as a way to help me focus and rejuvenate.

Two weeks ago I was appointed Principal of an elementary school and felt that writing a blog might be a good way to get my thoughts on paper and develop as a principal.