What I have Learned this Year (So Far)

I am 55 years old, and I am in middle school. Well, not IN middle school, but I have started my 30th year in a middle school. My wife would tell you I have always been a slow learner. But the beauty of it is that I am still learning, every day, about my job, my school, and the educational journey I have been on now for 33 years. Here is what I have learned this year, my 33 opening week of school.

I have learned that kids are remarkably resilient. Yes, they are nervous (so am I the first day of every year). Yes, they are unsure of themselves to varying degrees. Yes, they fumble their way through lockers, more freedom and responsibilities, and 1500 kids in the hallways. But you know what? They figure it out. Some quickly, some take more time, but the vast majority of them learn and grow and spread their wings to fly. It is quite remarkable to watch.

I have learned that it is not perfect. Nothing is. There are issues, there are problems, there are bumps and bruises along the way. But it almost always seems to work out. I look at it like a project you’re working on, like if you were building a table for your dining room. You put so much time and effort into it, and you see every little flaw. But those little flaws are not what everyone else sees. They see a beautiful product in your dining room. That is what I chose to focus on.

I learned that new people in new positions bring a whole different perspective to the work. And that is a good thing.

I have learned that a great administrative  team is more valuable than anyone can possibly know. I am fortunate to have a team this year that works together, has each others back and can laugh every single day. No words can express how much that means to me.

I have learned that having a staff that is dedicated to kids and flexible in their approach goes a long way to creating a positive school climate and culture. I have heard it said that starts from the top and goes down, but I will admit they are wrong. Anything I do or say means nothing if you do not have a committed group of educators that believe ion the school and support you.

What have you learned so far this year?

Advertisements
Posted in Learning, Middle School, School Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly DIigo posts for the week of September 18. Hard to believe that this is the last week of September already. Time flies…make the most of it!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for September 18, 2017. Working on a post for later this week so stay tuned!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for the week of August 21. My staff reports back to school tomorrow, so I am hoping to get back into a routine starting tomorrow. I wish everyone a fantastic 2017-18 school year!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for the week of August 7. Hope you are getting ready for the new school year and that your plans are both innovative and exciting.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Importance of Your Daily Routine

At least ten times a year, I watch Jimmy Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards. Every time I shed some tears. Every time. His words were straight from his heart, and the were raw with emotion. And they were so true. I watch the video to remind me of the fact that life is short, and that every day is an opportunity to make life matter. I just watched it again yesterday. It got me to thinking about those daily daily things in my life. Coach V said that everyday, we should laugh, cry and think. To quote the man himself, if you do those three things, that is a full day. I couldn’t agree more. During the summer months, I vow to establish a routine that had several goals. Each day, I wanted to do some professional reading for my own growth. I also wanted to get more in the habit of writing for this blog, so that got added to the list. Finally, I was determined to make exercising a priority in my life. After determining which items would be in my routine, I looked at my daily calendar. I scheduled these items as a repeating event on my Google calendar, so that every day at 9 AM I did my professional reading. 11:30 AM, right before lunch, was work out time. Every afternoon at 2:30 was my time to write for my blog.

During the slower months of summer, I am proud to say that I have been pretty good at establishing and keeping these routines going. Now, however, I am beginning to think about the start of the new school year. Not only do I want to keep these routines going (but probably NOT during the day!), but I also am thinking about what routines I want to add once school starts. Here are the things that I have added to my routine so far:

  • Visit at least 10 classrooms.
  • Post something positive about our school on our social media platforms.
  • Walk every hall at some point.
  • Look for one way to have an impact on someone’s day.

As a school Principal, we all know the demands every day brings. Well, we really don’t know from day to day what demands are coming, because there are so many of them. But I am determined to carry the momentum of my routine building into the new school year. How can you create your routines? Belle Beth Cooper wrote a great blog post a few years back, describing “The Daily Routines of 7 Famous Entrepreneurs and How to Design Your Own Master Routine”. You can learn something from Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill and President Barrack Obama on how to design a routine that works best for you. Then it becomes up to you to determine what works best for you and how you want to incorporate that into your day. Christina DesMarais, in her blog post “20 High Achievers Share their Daily Routines”, has some excellent ideas of things to add to your routines.

If you are still unsure of where to start, it might be beneficial to track your time for a few days. This will give you an idea of where you are spending your time, what habits you may have unknowingly developed and where you could improve. After you analyze the results, Elizabeth Larkin wrote a great piece called “5 Steps to Create a Daily Routine That Works For You”.

Now is the time to create that perfect (or excellent) daily routine to carry into the new year. Let me know what items you are putting in your routine.

Posted in Leadership, Life lessons, Personal Growth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for the week of July 31. We are getting closer and closer to teachers and then students returning for the 2017-18 school year. I hope your preparations are going well! Hopefully you can find something in here to help get you and your school ready for the new year.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment