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Showing posts from July, 2016

Tales of a Rookie Principal, Lesson 3: Sometimes You Gotta Slow Your Roll

You know how they say that you shouldn't ask a question unless you want to hear the answer? I experienced this little reminder earlier this week when discussing a possible theme for my campus for this coming school year. I was pretty excited because I had identified a pop culture reference that I (mostly) understand and that I thought would be fun and relevant for learners. And maybe it's because I'm the new principal, but it also seemed that the facilitators I was working with could get behind it and they even contributed to fleshing out the catch phrase of "Gotta Reach 'Em All" (shout out to Brandy Osterberger for the particular word of reach). So feeling pretty proud of myself, I reached out to our counselor to get feedback from the learners on what they thought of the theme and how we could use it in the school.

And... the first piece of feedback I got completely devastated my theme. I'm gonna admit, I was pretty sad there for a minute. You never wan…

Tales of a Rookie Principal, Lesson 2: Listen

This afternoon, I was conducting some interviews with a panel of facilitators and learners. At the end of an interview process, I always like to incorporate the standard practice of asking candidates what they want to know from myself or others on the committee. Today, a whole three days into my adventure as a principal, I was asked what my priorities were in the coming school year and I realized that it really boiled down to one thing that would help set all other priorities for the year: I need to listen.

Part of joining any new school is learning about the climate and culture of the institution. Knowing what is important about the school to the learners, parents, facilitators, and the community is a vital first step to being able to do anything else. Of course, with it being only three days in, I am only beginning to scratch the surface of what this feedback looks like. When you also consider that it is mid-July, there are a number of these constituents that are out of town or tak…

Tales of a Rookie Principal, Lesson 1: Sometimes You Have to Laugh at Yourself

Yesterday was the BIG DAY; it was my official first day as a principal of my own campus. With it being the middle of the summer, I assumed that when I got to the school I would be rolling up into an empty parking lot and would have most of the day to myself to find things and prioritize my first tasks. However when I got to the school, I found a completely full parking lot due to a staff development. You know what I did? I laughed. I laughed because for a few seconds I was thinking that I might be a big deal. And even though it turns out there was a spot with a cone in it reserved just for me, I remembered in that moment that I don't matter as much as what we do and who we do it for. It was my first lesson and I think my most important one. I'm still laughing.

The Challenges of Being a Change Agent

The other night, I participated in my first #ASCDL2L chat over being a change agent. This is probably the largest live twitter chat that I have participated in and boy did it move fast. I was impressed by all of the thinking that people from around the country (and possibly world) brought to the very important topic. If you want to see more about this chat (highly recommend), please see the tweet below:

Here's the Storify of last night's #ASCDL2L chat: You can still tell us what you think! — ASCD (@ASCD) July 6, 2016 In all of the excitement in defining what a change agent is, how you can be one, and who lead you to be a change agent, there was an undercurrent of "yes, but". Anyone who has ever tried to initiate a change anywhere has probably run into this rather pernicious roadblock. I know that the "yes, buts" that I was picking up on came from real places of struggle and I do not what to trivialize the…

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