What are Your Big 3?

I read a great post from Amber Teamann the other day called “What’s Your Big Three as an Admin?” (www.technicallyteamann.com/whats-your-big-three-as-an-admin). The post was a response to a challenge from Tony Sinanis’ blog “The Three” (www.leadingmotivatedlearners.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-three.html). I read that one too. It got me to thinking about my own “Big Three”. I have been an administrator now for 15 years. I preach reflection practices with my teachers all the time. We also live by the theme of “Getting Better Every Day”. I firmly believe that as educators, we need to constantly reflect and then apply what we have learned so that we can get better. These posts made me ask myself, when was the last time I reflected on my practice and applied what I have learned? So I decided I would take on the challenge as well. After much deliberation, here are my “Big Three”.

Be Present in the Moment

One of the biggest joys that I have in my job is actually interacting with the people in my building. It doesn’t matter if it is a teacher, a student, a staff member or a parent. Making sure that I am present in THAT moment, that very second, is so important in creating and improving relationships with those I serve. The question I ask myself now is, am I focused on that person and not thinking about some paper work or other minor detail that is awaiting me in my office. Being present in the moment has a new meaning for me now.

There is More to Education than a Test Score

The week before the Winter Break, I got a phone call from a parent. This mom had a seventh grader in our school. His brother, who is a United States Navy Fireman who was stationed in Honolulu for over a year, had surprised the family by returning that morning for the holidays. She asked if we could help surprise his brother at school. In two hours, we set up an assembly for the entire seventh grade, where we will able to reunite these two brothers. It was a priceless moment. Yes, it took away from “instructional time”. Yes, kids were out of class for 45 minutes. Yes, we missed test preparation time. I don’t care. The experience for those kids and that family was something that can never be tested. The question I ask myself is are we, as a school, doing more than preparing our students for a test?

Relationships Are THE Thing

Creating and nurturing relationships with the people in my school is the most important thing I can do. These relationships help to create a school climate that is positive and caring. This type of environment allows teachers and students to reach their full potential. It is an environment that does not focus solely on test scores, but on helping students fins their passion. I love middle schools kids for that very reason. I want our school to be a place where students, staff and parents want to come to. The foundation for all of this is relationships. Period.

So, what are your big three? I challenge you to do some reflecting, remember what is important and focus your work on your big three.  Leave me a comment and tell me what your big three are.

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About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
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