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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…

Are You Willing to do What it Takes?

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I walked onto the blacktop like I do most mornings. I am there to connect with students and parents and make sure that everyone is ready for what the day entails. On this particular morning as I rounded the corner, I noticed a 3rd grader laying face down on the blacktop. He was crying and banging his hands repeatedly on the ground. He was visibly upset and shaken by something his twin brother had done. I walked over to this child like I would for any other child and asked him what was going on, and there was no response or change in behavior. I repeated myself and no change. Wearing a nice pair of slacks, a sweater, and a tie I got onto the ground and laid right next to him. With hundreds of kids running around on the playground this child and I just laid there. 
The bell rang and he looked at me. I asked him if he would come with me to the office to collect his thoughts and we could talk if he wanted. He was okay to come but required me to basically carry him the 500 ft to the offic…

Dreams

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As an adult, I think of often about what I dreamed of being as a child. I remember when I was little, my goal as an adult, was to be the owner of a cattle farm. I always wanted to be a cowboy and I thought this is the way to achieve it. As I got a little older, I realized that just owning a cattle ranch wasn’t enough for me, so I decided I was gonna split time as a MLB baseball player and rancher. My brother and I would go into business together being on the ranch. That way there would be someone back home tending to the cattle as I was on the road playing ball.

Obviously, once I got into high school I realized there’s no way I’d ever play major-league baseball and I realized that I probably wasn’t gonna be a cattle rancher either. But my dreams changed I want to be a dad and a husband, and I didn’t know what else. Working in college figuring out what I was going to do I found a girl to make one of my dreams come true. As I  thought about what profession I would enter I knew that I wan…

Lessons Learned

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I walked into the classroom and found the chair that was assigned to me. I happened to be sitting next to the same girl that I had been sitting next too for many of my other classes. Our last names happened to be very close and by happenstance our schedules were very similar. We sat there and made small talk and she jokingly told me to pay attention, while the teacher began to take roll. As soon as the teacher started to talk about the class and what we would learn, I can remember being excited that there were no papers to write or written tests. I was hooked as I was sitting in a intro to photography class as a sophomore in high school.

What I would learn in this class helped shape into the man I am today.

The top 3 things that I learned in photography class:

1. Be Social: When I entered high school, I entered back into public schools, a place I had not been since 2nd grade. I was a scared and awkward teenager that wanted nothing more than to fit in, but had no social skills to do i…