What’s your brand?

Update for Jan 26-30


On Jan 1, an improbable event happened– a third string quarterback led OSU to a victory over Alabama in a convincing win.


During the broadcast of the game, there was a quick shot of a fan wearing a sweater with a phrase that summed up how many OSU fans were feeling that evening :



“Ohio Against the World” captured the range of emotions that many including myself were feeling during the Sugar Bowl — The frustration of hearing sports analysts predict our demise and the sudden reality that there was a good chance of a victory despite these doubts.


And I wanted one of those shirts!


So I jumped on my phone’s web browser and went right to Homage.com.  Homage is a Columbus-based vintage sports t-shirt company that sells some of the most comfortable clothes and who has this sort of eclectic reputation.  Basically, there was a reason why I thought to immediately go to Homage to find this shirt.


However, no luck finding the shirt.  So I checked out Twitter to see if Homage had posted anything about the shirt.  Sure enough…


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That was a pretty classy thing of Homage to do — to share the actual website where you can get the t-shirt — which is why I will continue to be an Homage customer.  And I also think this is a great example of why a “brand” is so important to develop. Check out this video about the Homage story:



So where am I going with this?  It’s more of a question than a point.  What implications does “branding” have for schools, for educators, and for students?  

In an era when access to information is getting easier, it’s going to be increasingly important to be able to stand out. I have a belief that it’s important to create a “brand” for yourself by sharing what you are passionate about, sharing your ideas, and sharing your reflections in a way that helps others learn and grow and also helps them connect with you. I think it is increasingly important for educators to do this so that we might be able to show our students how to understand and use branding in the future.


Is this important now? With 3 billion internet users in 2014, a case that this is important can be made.  Let’s put it this way — If you were a human resources manager, which gives you more access to someone: A paper resume or an online resume?  [Here’s a hint…]



Next week, I’ll share some of the tools I’ve been using to establish a digital footprint to help me create a brand. Until then, think about what your “brand” might be. It may just be one more way to consider utilizing your passions!




Articles Worth Reading

It’s Not All Bad…
http://willrichardson.com/post/108751397315/its-not-all-bad

[VIDEO] “Your Digital Footprint: School Leader Edition

What Happens When Students Are Simply Free To Learn? 
http://www.teachthought.com/technology/what-happens-when-students-are-simply-free-to-learn/ via @teachthought


Expert insights: Math in modern times 
http://smartblogs.com/education/2015/01/12/expert-insights-math-in-modern-times/ via @SBEducation

A Principal’s Reflections: How Digital Tools Improve Teaching and Learning http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-digital-tools-improve-teaching-and.html?spref=tw

Upcoming Dates

Jan 26
Yearbook Sale Begins (Ends Feb 6)
Student Committee Meeting, 10:30

Jan 27
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8:00am

Jan 28
5th Grade Data Team meeting, 1:00
AD/DC Staff Meeting, 3:35

Jan 29
1st Grade Data Team meeting, 9:00am
2nd Grade Data Team meeting, 12:30

Jan 30
FAMILY GAME NIGHT! 6:30-7:30pm

Feb 3
BIT meeting, 8:00am
Kindergarten Data Team meeting, 1:00
Teacher Steering Committee, 3:40 at ADE

Feb 4
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8:00am
Special Education Team meeting, 12:30

Feb 5
Admin Meeting (Herb), 8-11:00am
3rd Grade Data Team meeting, 9am
4th Grade Data Team meeting, 1pm

Feb 6
Yearbook Sale Ends
Newsletter home
BAC meeting, 8am

Feb 9
PARCC Testing meeting (Herb), 1:15
PTO Meeting, 7:00pm

Feb 11
Conference Night

Feb 13-16
No School

Feb 17
Waiver Day — Hilliard U

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The Energy of Our Words

Update for Jan 20-23

On this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday, I have been enjoying reading the different quotes others have been sharing throughout the day.  I am no wordsmith and I definitely far from being a literary analyst, but I appreciate the “simplexity” of Dr. King’s words.

“I have a dream”, “Keep moving forward”, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.  These are all famous quotes that I love because they invoke grand messages of hope and optimism but in simple statements. 

Simon Sinek suggested that the power of Dr. King’s words came from the “why” that was connected to them. Sinek argues that the 250,000 people who came to Washington in 1963 didn’t come just to see Dr. King. They came because they believed in the “why” of his message. Sinek also reminds us that Dr. King came to sell a “dream”, not a “plan”.

This has many implications for our work with kids, too.  We need to be mindful of the words we use with kids, especially when we are providing explicit instruction.  There is an art to teaching and we need to be artistic with the words we use.  Our words need to help kids connect to the “why” of the lesson, activity, or project.

Today also reminds me that our words are powerful because they can either lift others up or put them down.  The energy of our words can be positive energy or negative energy and it’s up to us which form of energy is used.  I love this video that features a project Massoud Adibpour did in Washington, D.C.  It’s inspiring to see someone try to use words to spread joy!

Video that inspires…fun!

Today’s Classroom…

Articles Worth Reading

“You are what you share” http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/01/you-are-what-you-share.html

“The Genius Hour Design Cycle: A Process For Planning” http://www.teachthought.com/learning/genius-hour-design-cycle-process-planning/

“How Integrating Arts Into Other Subjects Makes Learning Come Alive”


Jan 21 —
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center


Jan 22 —
Admin Meeting, 8am


Jan 26 —
Yearbook Sale Begins (Ends Feb 6)


Jan 27 —
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center


Jan 28 —
AD/DC Staff Meeting, 3:45


Jan 30 —

Family Game Night, 6:30pm

Feb 3 —
BIT Meeting,  8am

Feb 4 — 
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk

Feb 5 — 
Market Day Pick-up, 5:30pm

Feb 6 — 
Newsletter Home
Yearbook Sale Ends
BAC meeting, 8am

Feb 9 — 
PTO Meeting, 7pm

Feb 11 — 
Conference Night

Feb 13-16 — No School

Feb 17 — Waiver Day (No School for students)
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Expectations

Update for Jan 12-16

https://flic.kr/p/a9zFw

Over our winter break, I shared a Google Form with the staff that was set up to give me feedback about things like vision, expectations, and others’ perspectives on goals I was working towards.  It was good to read the comments some folks left.  They were honest and helped me get a better understanding of what others were thinking.


One of the comments left mentioned something about wanting to know what I expected of them.  My short answer is to do what’s Best For Kids, but I get it.  We are still in the getting-to-know-you phase of being the new guy in the building. Some folks may need a little more detail.


So, I’ll answer by saying I hope my expectations don’t come close to the expectations you have for yourself.  What I mean is this profession is serious business and if I am being serious with myself, I want to continue to learn and grow so that I can be the best I can for kids. I try to hold high expectations for myself to continue to grow, to always reflect and to treat others the way I want to be treated.


So, in response to wanting to know more about my expectations for the staff, here are the expectations I have for myself (mostly reflective questions).  Feel free to borrow any 🙂 —




Build relationships with kids — You are their official dream coordinator. Think about what you must do to do that job and to do it well.  Try to live up to the late Rita Pierson’s advice:


“Every child deserves a champion – An adult who will never give up on them. Who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possibly be.  Is this a tough job? You betcha! But it is not impossible. We can do this! We are educators! We were born to do make a difference!”


Allow kids more freedom to learn — How much time are you facilitating the lesson?  Is the balance of the lesson’s work on you or with your kids?  Think about the last time you learned something meaningful that stuck with you.  How much of the heavy lifting did you do?  How many times did you get frustrated, want to give up, and change your goals?  Now take that experience and work to create it for kids.  Remember that the key is allowing more freedom to allow this way of learning to happen.




Connect with others (across the hall and across the world) — The world is rich with ideas. With one tap of my phone, I am connected to a constant flow of ideas that I can take and use for my learning community. Yes, social media is cumbersome to learn. Yes, the lingo is confusing. Yes, not everything that takes place on Twitter is good. But I still say go for it. Go for it because it is a new learning experience that is relatable to what we do in the classroom in so many ways. Remember – It’s not about technology; it’s about the learning that we do with technology that is important.




Share what you do — Your lessons, your ideas, your thoughts matter. People just like you are looking for new ideas and ways to engage their students. Share what you do with the world and stop thinking that your ideas aren’t good enough. They are.




Use good data to inform instruction — That frown on the kids face or the diverted gaze? — Good data. If little Sally keeps flushing plastic forks down the back hallway toilet at 1:30pm each day, that should tell you something.  Data doesn’t have to be just about scores and percentages. It’s also collecting information to help determine a pattern of behaviors, positive and negative. Just remember that they are kids. They probably didn’t come to school thinking they were going to ruin your day. Something’s up and it’s up to us to figure it out.


What expectations do you have for yourself?
Video that…makes you smile 🙂


Articles Worth Reading

Future educators  

Intelligence is Important but Integrity Matters More   via  

School districts explore deeper-learning model  

 

Upcoming Dates


Jan 12 —
SOAR Conference, OSU – Herb out
PTO Meeting, 6pm


Jan 13 —
PD Calendar Closed (Limited Subs on these days…)
Testing Planning Meeting (Admins, Test Coords.), 9am
2nd Grade Math PD at CO – 1-3pm
Teacher Steering Committee, 3:45


Jan 14 —
PD Calendar Closed
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center
Parent Committee Meeting, 7pm Bradley HS Aux Commons


Jan 15 —
Band/Orchestra Demo for 5th Grade, 9:15


Jan 16 —
Interims due– Use your licensed professional judgement for this round of interims…


Jan 19 — MLK Day, No School


Jan 20 —
Testing Window Planning Day (Admins, Testing Coordinators), 8am


Jan 21 —
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center


Jan 22 —
Admin Meeting, 8am


Jan 26 —
Yearbook Sale Begins


Jan 27 —
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center


Jan 28 —
AD/DC Staff Meeting, 3:45


Jan 30 —
Family Game Night, 6:30pm


Team Times with Herb — These could just be one on one conversations, too!  No agenda, just time to catch up and help each other to reflect.  My first question will be, “How can I help you?”


Wednesday, January 21


Tuesday, February 3


Tuesday, March 3


Wednesday, March 18


Winter Data Team MeetingsPending Approval from Prof Development Dept.


Weds, Jan 28  — 5th Grade (PM)


Thurs, Jan 29 — 1st Grade (AM), 2nd Grade (PM)


Weds, Feb 4 — 3rd Grade (AM), 4th Grade (PM)


Thursday, Feb 5 — KG (PM)

The Energy That Comes from “Downtime”

Update for Jan 5-9


Made with Notegraphy for iPad


A new year, a new beginning.  This winter break has been a blessing for me because it allowed me the opportunity to take a breath, celebrate what we have accomplished so far, and reflect on how I can continue to improve professionally.


Here’s a quick list of things I noticed or thought about over break:


1. There really is enough time in the day; loads of it. The trick is prioritizing your time.  Little actions can help you prioritize.  For example, I shut off my school email on my phone.  No notifications, no “buzzing”, but it’s there for when I want to read it.  It has made a huge difference in prioritizing my time. I read more, wrote more, listened more, and was able to be in the moment more.


2. It’s okay to think about work. — The “curriculum of life” can lead to creating actual authentic learning experiences for our students. Watching the determination my youngest daughter had to keep ice skating even though she kept falling was inspiring to me. There have been times that I think to myself, “We need to teach kids to be resilient.” Well, guess what?  Kids already are resilient; we just need to connect that resiliency to learning situations.


Just living our lives can help us see connections that you don’t see in a professional development book or in a blog post. Being observant is part of having a what George Couros calls an Innovator’s Mindset (see George Couros’ blog post about this concept).


3. Napping — There is nothing else like it.


4. Maintaining a balance — I kept up my running schedule. I didn’t want to stop just because I am on vacation. In fact, I’ve run more that I ever had before.  I’m learning that I really enjoy the time I spend running. I’ve even started reading a book called Zen and the Art of Running.  Maintaining a balance means keeping time in your life to do the things that bring you joy.  I am learning so much about myself, about being mindful, and about leadership all because I committed to keeping a balance in my day.


5. Reconnecting with family — Enjoying the holidays with my kids has been wonderful.  My oldest daughter is 9 and this year the reality that the holidays will be different as the kids get older really hit me.  I reminded myself that I needed to treasure these moments because they are limited.


Continuously reflecting is something that I continue to develop each day.  “Downtime” has been really beneficial and productive for me and it has helped me to remember to build some downtime into my schedule each day.  


As we start “Act II” of the school year, let’s continue to focus our efforts into discovering what is possible.  Let’s be optimistic about the future! Let’s have the “imagination and bravery” needed to create a learning environment that meets the needs of our kids so that they can become the problem-finders, critical thinkers, and creative learners the world needs.  


When I consider the exponential change that is taking place in the world, I find inspiration in Lincoln’s words:


The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
— Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, 1862


Here’s to rising with the occasion and to a great 2015!





Videos that inspire:


This will happen on Monday (extreme frustration and extreme adoration within 2 minutes)



Ideas for reimagining classroom space…


Articles worth reading:



Fresh Eyes


If The Moon Were Only One Pixel: A Tediously Accurate Scale Model of the Solar System



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Love this!


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Upcoming Dates


Jan 5 —
Online Registration for Kindergarten Begins


Jan 6 —
Building Improvement Team, 8am Media Center
Assessment Meeting (Admins), 1pm


Jan 7 —
Yearbook Picture Day!
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk meeting, 8am Media Center
Gifted Services Meeting (Admins), 10am
Spec Ed Team Meeting, 12:30pm Conference Room
Dr. Marschhausen visit, 12:45pm
ADE Only Staff Meeting, 3:45pm


Jan 8 —
PK-12 Admin Meeting, 8am
Herb’s Admin Data Team mtg, 9:30
Market Day Pick-up, 5:30


Jan 9 —
Newsletter home
Building Advisory Committee, 8am
Staff Get-Together?, 4pm


Jan 12 —
PTO Meeting, 7pm


Jan 13 —
PD Calendar Closed (Limited Subs on these days…)
Teacher Steering Committee, 3:45


Jan 14 —
PD Calendar Closed
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center
Parent Committee Meeting, 7pm Bradley HS Aux Commons


Jan 15 —
Band/Orchestra Demo for 5th Grade, 9:15


Jan 16 —
Interims due– Use your licensed professional judgement for this round of interims…


Jan 19 — MLK Day, No School


Jan 20 —
Testing Window Planning Day (Admins, Testing Coordinators), 8am


Jan 21 —
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center


Jan 22 —
Admin Meeting, 8am


Jan 26 —
Yearbook Sale Begins


Jan 27 —
Children’s Mathematics Book Talk, 8am Media Center


Jan 28 —
AD/DC Staff Meeting, 3:45


Jan 30 —
Family Game Night, 6:30pm



Team Times with Herb — These could just be one on one conversations, too!  No agenda, just time to catch up and help each other to reflect.  My first question will be, “How can I help you?”


Tuesday, January 6


Wednesday, January 21


Tuesday, February 3


Tuesday, March 3


Wednesday, March 18



Winter Data Team MeetingsPending Approval from Prof Development Dept.


Weds, Jan 28  — 5th Grade (PM)


Thurs, Jan 29 — 1st Grade (AM), 2nd Grade (PM)


Weds, Feb 4 — 3rd Grade (AM), 4th Grade (PM)


Thursday, Feb 5 — KG (PM)