People who know me, know that I love quotes! Every morning I get to enjoy words of wisdom from Simon Sinek, and today this quote resonated with me.
Life is beautiful not because of the things we see or do. Life is beautiful because of the people we meet. - Simon Sinek
I instantly began to think about my life and how it correlated to this quote. Immediately I thought to myself that more could be added to this quote. For instance, Life is beautiful because of the people we meet, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. I am blessed because I have an amazing family, friends, and coworkers. These people support me, lift me up when I am down, help pull me through when I am struggling, and they are there whenever I need them. They make my life...”beautiful”! >>Click to Tweet<<
As a principal, I began to think deeper about staffing and how important it is to surround ourselves with great people. It is not enough to just hire a teacher, teacher assistant, custodian, or front office personnel I need to be surrounded by people who are able to share my vision, support my dreams, and help pick up where my shortcomings prevent me from excelling. None of us are perfect, and every one of us have areas where we could use some support. That is why we must be selective and ensure we are hiring the right people for our schools.
As a new principal, I was fortunate to be surrounded by remarkable people, who shared in a vision similar to mine. I was instantly drawn to the idea of a school staff being a family, and I have maintained this idea as it integral part of our school culture. Like any family, we have disagreements, and sometimes we do not see eye to eye on everything, but ultimately we stand side by side and support each other in order to make our vision a reality.
Unfortunately, like every school in America, teachers sometimes leave and a vacancy is created. Filing these spots can be daunting, but as I mentioned, it is important to surround ourselves with the right people.
Things I consider when hiring:
My focus when hiring is to surround myself with people who share my vision, will embrace our culture, and will make an immediate and positive impact on students learning. >>Click to Tweet<<
What ideas do you have about hiring the right people? Please feel free to share some of your ideas and thoughts in the comment section below. If you liked what you just read, please click the Like button. The more likes means more people get to see this.
This past week I spent three days with my fellow principals, assistant principals, and district level personnel as we came together for our annual leadership conference. This year was different than the past years, as we had the Flippen Group come out and lead us through their Leadership Blueprint program. If you haven’t worked with, or heard of the Flippen Group, I highly recommend that you look them up and try to get to one of their conferences. We spent two days reflecting, collaborating, and participated in some deep discussions around leadership. The trainer, Dr. Sean Dunphy, was funny, engaging, well versed in the material he was presenting. This made it easy for everyone in the room to relax and engage in the training. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to engage in conversations around how my leadership directly has an impact on bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other support staff around the district. You don't always realize how your leadership in your building, can impact others around the district.
When I left this training on Thursday, I drove off deep in thought about my leadership style, and the impact my behaviors and decisions have on others around my campus and beyond. Honestly, I left this meeting wanting more! I was wishing I had more time to absorb, indulge, and grow! I quickly realized on my drive back home that my experience at this training left me feeling fully recharged and ready to lead my staff into the new school year.
So how can every school and district leader leave trainings feeling this way? Here are some strategies that I have learned that I need to do when at conferences and trainings that allow me to leave feeling reacharged and ready to lead.
Next time you attend a training, or conference, try "Leaning In", engaging with others, absorbing as much as you can, and contributing to the growth of others in your group! By doing this, I hope you are able to leave every training and conference, recharged and ready to lead!
I would love to hear your ideas and feedback on this topic! Please take a moment to comment below and if you liked what you just read, please click the Like button below! More likes ensures more people see this.
As an educational leader, I am sure you have heard over and over again that good communication skills are key. If you pull up Pinterest and search for “qualities of a leader”, you will notice that communication skills is listed on almost every post.
As a new principal, I implemented “Friday Huddles” where the entire staff met in the lobby of our school every Friday after our students were off campus. Teachers shared compliments about other staff members, and we celebrated successful lessons, and personal victories/highlights. It was a time for celebration, and my opportunity to ensure that my staff was up to date on all the upcoming events. I was so proud of myself for putting this in place and ensuring that my staff was celebrated and received regular communication weekly! That is, until I met with my teacher advisory group in the beginning of my second year. Turns out, my staff were not big fans of my weekly huddles.
The reasons for their disliking of weekly huddles surprised me as they weren’t what I was expecting. They said that they would be up on Sunday nights finishing lesson plans and grading, and struggle to remember what I shared on Friday afternoon. They are exhausted on Friday afternoons and focused on getting home, getting their kids, and planning dinner, and they struggled to focus and try to remember everything I was saying. Basically, all the communication I was sharing, to no fault of theirs, was going in one ear, and out the other.
They asked if they could get a weekly email with important dates, and reminders about upcoming events for the week, instead.
I presented the new weekly communication plan on Wednesday at PLC’s to the rest of my staff. I also presented them with with a questionnaire asking for feedback on what PD they wanted for the rest of the year. I ended my PLC’s that day with over 20 different PD topics. I immediately asked myself how I could easily present them with weekly updates and PD information?
Along came Smore, and it has become my go to resource for getting information out to my staff weekly. Smore has it all, and it is extremely easy to use and design. Here are my 6 must have’s for using Smore to communicate with your staff:
To check out one of my Smore communications, click here. Are you doing something different with Smore to communicate with your staff? If so, please tell us all about it in the comment section.
I have kicked around the idea of starting a blog for the past several years, but never fully committed to doing it. I had so many "good" excuses, like being a new dad to 4 kids who range in age from 10 to 2 years. And let's not forget the easiest excuse of I am a new principal and I need to focus all my attention on my school and students.
So this year, I decided to add creating montly articles for a blog as my personal goal for the upcoming school year. According to #2 on this image I needed to "write down your goals to clarify and strenthen your intentions." I believe I have steps 1 through 3 completed. I have a feeling step #4 will be my biggest challenge!
Now time to publish my site and make my personal goal a reality!