Crickets are chirping in the evening and the number of daylight hours are decreasing each day, both signs that the first day of school is right around the corner…
Using a blog may be considered an unconventional way to deliver a weekly building update, but I am doing so for two main reasons. First, I believe in being transparent with you, with our students, and with our families. This blog is a way for me to be transparent with you all. Second, social media has become an important communication tool for us personally and for schools. We can reach a broader audience by utilizing social media to share our stories of learning with our community.
I wanted to share with all of you something that I have been reflecting on during this summer in the hopes that it may inspire you to reflect.
Since being chosen to be the next principal of Alton Darby Elementary my world became incredibly busy. This came as no surprise and I fully expected that to happen. It was like jumping on a treadmill that was running at max speed. I’ll never forget it and I loved that time because everything was new and exciting.
What I didn’t expect was that the emails, the meetings, summer school, and ending the school year started to take me away from the “why” of wanting to be a school leader in the first place. Let me explain what I mean.
Simon Sinek, who wrote Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, said “People don’t embrace WHAT you do, they embrace WHY you do it“. The WHY that Sinek talks about is our purpose, the reason for doing what we do. My reason for wanting to be the lead learner of a school is to help others, especially students, discover their passions and interests and to know themselves as learners. I am committed to that purpose and it is what makes me wake up each day with a smile on my face. (Sinek did a TED Talk on this topic. It is one of the best videos I have seen in a long time and I highly encourage you to watch it).
The details and the WHAT of being principal started to take over my focus and it took some downtime this summer to realize that if I wanted to be the best leader I can be for students, teachers, and families, I needed to start each day with my WHY.
I spent some of my time during vacation changing my morning routine around to give myself time to meditate and visualize my day. I started my mornings by reading and by doing some writing before I did anything else. I am amazed at how much more focused I am during the day. I am getting more done and the time that I spend working is more focused. I believe that I am in a better position to keep my WHY in focus this school year.
As we begin the school year, I encourage each of you to define the WHY for yourself.
What was it that inspired you to want to be an educator?
How can you share that WHY with others?
How can you use your WHY to inspire others to take action?
All the best to you and your family as we begin this school year!
ADE Upcoming Events
Monday, Aug 4 – Friday Aug 8 – Ohio Innovative Learning Conference, Hilliard Bradley High School:
-There is still time to register if you haven’t done so already. Here is more information about the conference: http://ileohio.org/.
-Tuesday at 12:30, see Jay and Karen present Reenergize, Inspire, Reconnect with Your Passion in room A13!
Monday, Aug 4 & Thursday, Aug 7 – Poverty Simulator presented by Son Ministries, Alton Darby Elementary
We are the host site for the Son Ministries Poverty Simulator that is one of the breakout sessions during the ILE Conference. The simulator will take place in the gym. Thanks to Dave for getting the gym setup! I highly encourage all of you to attend one of the simulations.
I am proud that we are making our building available to Son Ministries for the Poverty Simulation. I met with Kim Emch, Executive Director and Founder of Son Ministries, today at one of the Hilliard Free Lunch sites. I met some of our students there and all of the kids were having a great time. Kim is a passionate advocate for providing programs and services for families in poverty or who are in need. She wanted to make sure that we knew that we could reach out to her if we discover that there is a family in need in our building.
One of my goals as a principal is to build partnerships with other people and organizations outside of our building to provide amazing experiences for kids and families, and I am glad to be working with Kim and Son Ministries.
Monday, Aug 4, 6:00PM — PTO/ADE Staff Get-together at El Vaquero, Hilliard-Rome Road
Wednesday, Aug 6 — Kindergarten and 1st Grade Assessment Day
Articles Worth Reading
-“Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology“: via
-“The power of digital student portfolios”
-“5 easy ways to improve your classroom learning space”