Showing posts from 2017

Be the One Who Makes School A Positive Memory

"Kids don't remember what teachers taught them, they remember how teachers treated them." 

Earlier in the summer I was interviewing for a counseling position and the candidate made the comment: "Kids don't remember what teachers taught them, they remember how teachers treated them." This quote made me think. It made me reflect on my own past and how much I remembered about my teachers. 
Reflecting on my own educational experiences and the teachers that I had, I can't remember specific details on what lessons were taught to me. I can however remember how teachers treated me and I can remember the details of some of those interactions. 
Kindergarten: I had a teacher who was so much fun. I can remember her riding trikes alongside us and how she always had a huge smile. 
1st Grade: My teacher shared her passion of reading with us and she had a unique sense of dental hygiene. I remember each day she would have us brush our teeth after lunch. It was her way of…

Reflecting on my NPC Journey

My alarm went off at 3:30 am on the west coast. It was time to get up and get to the airport to catch my 6 am flight to Philadelphia for the National Principals Conference. Due to security and ticketing lines, I ended up running and boarding the plane while out of breath, but we made it. My wife decided to take this opportunity to get a vacation away from kids and recharge while I attended to conference.
We arrived in Philadelphia around 2pm. Took a taxi to our hotel and started to explore the area around the hotel. At 6 pm I headed over to the conference center to check in and meet up with my co-presenters, Jay Posick and Mark French. We would be presenting the next morning and had never met face to face. Due to airport delays Jay was unable to make it, but Mark and I shared stories and went over the plan.
As Jay was running late, Mark and I decided to head over to our PLN (Principals In Action) meet up at a local restaurant. It was kind of surreal as I have been talking with many…

Simply Start Blogging

Recently at the National Principals Conference, I was sitting and learning with Eric Sheniger. He asked the question of raise your hand if you blog.  A group of hands went up, but mostly in the middle of the room, which happened to be members of my PLN Principals In Action. He then asked, who blogs regularly? Even less hands were left in the air. 
My hand was up through the series of questioning, but two years ago it would not have been. When I was first urged to start a blog by my friend and colleague, Adam Welcome, I felt that I had nothing to write about. The thoughts and feelings that went through my head were:
I am not a writer.  I am not special.  No one will read it.  I don't have the time. 
A year later, my professional life has completely changed for the better. I am now:
Connected   Have a Voice Motivating Others
People will listen. People want to know what you think. People want to know your story. Simply start blogging and writing down your thoughts. Use it as a way t…

Stop Making Excuses

I don't have enough time.  My custodial staff cannot get to it.  I am waiting for someone else to do it. 
Every school has someone who has said one of those three phrases. Time, staff, and certain district level roles are sometimes limiting schools on how they can get things done. As a leader in any business or school, you need to do whatever it takes to get things done. As a principal, vice principal, or teacher, I have never been above doing whatever it takes. If I need to show up to school in my work clothes and bring my drill, then you better believe that is what I am doing. 
A few years ago I was working at a school that needed another office built to house a counselor. After submitting a work order and waiting months, something needed to happen. I made a trip to the hardware store and quickly split one big office into two smaller offices. I built a wall because that is what was needed for my staff and for my students. 
Later in the year there was a an old home economics roo…

Keep Pushing Forward

I am so excited! 
School is out for the summer and the teachers/students are all taking a break. While I also will soon be starting my summer break, as of now I am going full steam ahead. I am so excited for teachers and students to come back in the fall. 
In the last two weeks, I have started planning and creating opportunities for student and teacher growth. One of the things that I am excited about doing this next year is running my school from google classroom. It is an idea that I have had for awhile, but now it is becoming a reality. 
What excites me is that I don't know too much about classroom, but I am learning. I am taking an area that I am weak in and growing as a professional. I know that running the school from google classroom will force me to grow and it will bring many teachers with me, ultimately making everyone stronger for kids. 
Summer is a time to:
Keep Pushing Forward
I challenge you to think about one area that you want to grow and push forward. …

Take the Time

How often do you unplug?
How do you take the time?
I was talking with my friend, Adam Welcome, last week and he said that he was turning his phone off for a week to kick off his family vacation. I asked him, can you really do it? His answer was quick and to the point. Absolutely, I am hanging out with my wife and kids. 
It made me think, can I unplug?
I just got home after spending 5 days camping in the mountains. When my wife asked me if I wanted to go camping months ago, my first reaction was yes! I love camping and I love letting my kids explore and learn to love the outdoors. My wife booked us a lake front spot that had enough room for my parents and 4/7 of my siblings to join. Booking these trips months ahead of time is sometimes hard. You never know what will come up between then and now. There were somethings going on in my professional and personal life that I felt I needed to be connected for. 
I was wrong. 
Thankfully I was forced to be mostly unplugged due to lack of servi…

What does your office look like?

School ended a week and a half ago and now I have had a moment to stop and think about the year. So many thoughts constantly ran through my head during the school year, but I didn't always take the time to make each of the changes. However there is one change that I reflected on throughout the year and I making sure that I take care of it this summer. 
What does your office look like?

I am not only talking about your office, but the front office, and every office on your school site. 
Is it kid centered?  What type of art is on the wall? Is it welcoming?  Is it professional looking?
When you walk into a school office, you should automatically smile. This is a place that should be welcoming and a place that everyone knows loves kids. Too often our offices are cramped, dim lite, not welcoming and have no pictures of kids. This summer, I aim to make our front office and my principal office a place where people know we are in the kid business and we love it.  
I challenge you to look…

Be the One... Who Knows Their Impact

Show up each day and bring it for kids! Every morning when students arrive at school, we don't know what happened since the last time they left our class. Even in our most affluent of areas, kids go through so much turmoil at home. A few years ago I worked with this 1st grade teacher who was amazing. She would greet her students at the door each day with an extreme amount of love and compassion. She genuinely cared for each one of her students. At the time the neighborhood was going through transition and kids were coming from all different types of homes. The school where we worked was Title I and difficult to get a lot of things done. This teacher could get a job at any school she wanted, I wondered why she chose this school. One morning during the fall, I arrived on campus around 7:45. As I walked to my classroom, I noticed something different in the air. There was a scent of uneasiness. As I continued to walk around the outside of the campus, I noticed something that I had never…

Be the One...Who Stays Positive

I interviewed for my first teaching position in February and didn't realized that the job started immediately. My degree posted on February 16 and I started teaching on the 18th.  I was a twenty one year old and not sure what to expect come Monday. I was assigned as a physical education teacher at six different elementary schools. My classes were anywhere from ninety students to one hundred twenty students, and I was assigned two instructional aides to help with the class sizes. Monday morning came and I met my two aides I had been paired with. From the get go, I was hit with some hesitation from these individuals. As soon as I walked into the room, one of them looked at me and said "you are too young to be a teacher." The other said, "I could be your mom." I rolled with it and provided an awkward laugh and then tried to remain calm and positive. It was 15 minutes before our first class was coming outside, so we went to set up the blacktop. As I rounded the cor…

Be the One... Who Self Reflects

As the academic year is coming to a close, every teacher should take a moment and reflect on how the year went and what can be improved moving forward. Throughout this process it is important to ask the right questions which allow you to see your effectiveness.  I challenge you to reflect on these questions and look at your year.  What does a professional look like? Let's say you wake up early and head to the gym in time to make it to that 5:30am spin class. In walks the teacher, who is overweight and still in pajamas. It's possible you have now lost some of your desire to be in that class, and that teacher may have lost a lot of credibility with the students and fellow staff members. It is important to remember that every day we step into our buildings we are representing the education profession as a whole. As teachers we are the "face" of a healthy lifestyle to our students. They look at us and see what they are trying to achieve, a healthy person with a healthy l…