PR for beginners and more to come! Video brag!

We have been talking about improving public relations for our schools with our leadership team and the superintendent. In small districts, it can be tricky and very time consuming especially if you do not have a designated person to handle social media, web pages, etc.

I, for one, love to brag on my students and staff. I took it upon myself to investigate how else can I get the word out. I recently read a blog entry from Ryan McLane, and I quickly picked up his book, Your School Rocks…So Tell People.  It had super ideas!  So, I set out to take on the challenge of a video brag.

Each month principals are charged with providing a campus report for the monthly board meeting. It has typically been a handout or a PowerPoint of pictures. I read from Ryan’s blog and watched YouTube videos how to use iMovie, import pictures and videos and even learned how to use app Green Screen from Doink to help me get started.    I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make the video. I voluntold my twin second graders to help with the video. My intent is to enlist in students to make the interview parts rather myself. I will continue to make video brags!

So, I will now reveal my very first Points of Pride video brag!  I love my job!  I love my students!  I love my staff!!

Enjoy!

FES March Points of Pride

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Self-reflection- it’s key for progress.

Every night I think to myself about my day at work. My mind runs ninety miles an hour thinking if I did everything I needed to do, and if I did it with gusto, flare, purpose, passion, honesty, pizazz, and in a caring manner. As an instructional leader, I have many irons in the fire at one time, and it can be challenging to ensure that I take care of the needs of students, teachers, and the campus so we are successful and are progressing towards our goals. For this reason, I am constantly reflecting on my day.

For teachers, many of them reflect, but many do not. In the 1970s, Lortie (1975) described how failing to reflect on teaching decisions leads to teaching by imitation rather than intentionality. Teachers who enter the educational profession have already had years of “observation” as students themselves and have developed preconceived ideas of what teaching is through having watched others do it. Depending on the types of teachers they had growing up could very well be the same type of teacher they become and mimic in the classroom. My problem with this is that today’s students are not the same students that they were in the classroom. They do not learn the same way, and resources have changed as well.
With this said, I ask educators two questions.

HAVE YOU REFLECTED ABOUT YOUR CRAFT TODAY?
DO YOU REFLECT EVERY DAY?

Many times when I think about my day, in my head, I may have figuratively pointed the finger at a staff member for something that occured; when after self-reflecting, I find that I could have done something differently to help the situation. I always tell others not to point the finger at anyone because there are three more fingers pointing back at yourself. Self-reflection is key for your own progress and in any system.

Happy reflecting!

Lortie, D.C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Happy New Year! Out with the old, and in with the new.

That saying of out with the old and in with the new can be good in some cases, but I am a strong proponent for helping others. When it comes to teaching, administrators should want to help teachers grow in their craft. A good friend once told me that if you don’t grow, then you need to go. I think everyone, deep inside, wants to do well in their profession. I also think that some people are afraid of certain professional development opportunities. While many teachers jump at the idea of getting more training, I have seen some teachers over the years shy away from opportunities. I know that those pushing it away are the ones that typically need it the most. As an administrator, I take the time to have serious conversations about growth and reflection with the teacher that snubs PD. During the discussion, we cut to the bone and figure out what is truly needed to remain on top in the field. It’s not really out with the old, but perhaps a detour of hope. If that doesn’t pan out and they still are not willing to grow, then that leads to the other tough conversation of going. Fill the old with newer and better than what left! Surround yourself with quality and greatness. It’s what is best for the kids and the system as a whole. Happy 2015!

On your mark, get set, GO!

I am about to do something that I have wanted to do for a very long time!  BLOG!  I will join the ranks of bloggers and hope to make a difference in the world of education.

When I began my teaching career in 1996, I knew that I loved kids and teaching, but I never knew how much it really mattered until I had my own children.  When my twins started kindergarten last year, I was a nervous wreck!  I wanted my girls to have the best teacher in the world.  I wanted that teacher to love my girls and nurture them.  I knew that if the teacher loved them, they would love her back and in return, love school.  Lucky for me, the teacher that they had, was amazing, and my girls love school.  They even say that they want to be a teacher when they grow up.

As an administrator at the same school, I can honestly say that I look at each teacher and think to myself, “Is that the best teacher for my kids?”  As I interview for new teachers, I always think to myself, “Would I put my children in their classroom?”  As I said before, I loved teaching and I love kids, but when you have your own children, education suddenly takes on a new light and mission.

With the ever so changing standards and ways to teach, I hope that I can share my ideas and they can help others.

Here’s to shaping the world!