Here is my 1,2,3,4,5 Connected Educator Challenge via Kas Nelson and Todd Schmidt. A special shout out to TS as he and I found similar beliefs, ideals, goals, and are on to something big with #wordsDOmatter.
Thanks to all of my @voxer group friends, my @Twitter mates and those who are consistently pushing me to be a great leader!
1. What has been your ONE biggest struggle during this school year?
I chuckle at the site of this question. This year has been full of so many challenges, opportunities, victories, and wins for all, but to put the “struggle” category into a ONE and BIGGEST is truly daunting.
Similar to many of my #PLN @voxer and @twitter mentors, gurus, advisors, and friends I interact with and follow on a daily basis, the word balance seems to rise to the top, like the old, rotting coagulated milk in a thermos I found today on the lunch yard.
Balance in life, yes, I have two wonderful children and an amazing wife, who at times, seems like I see only when they sleep.
Balance in body and soul. Often, my 4:45am workout seems to get pushed out due to lack of sleep, too much on my mind, or “I’ll do it later”. We all know the importance of rest, exercise and mindfulness…it is the practical application that I am sometimes deterred by.
Balance at school. Yes, I want to do it all! #kidsfirst is almost on every @Tweet I ever write. It is my mantra, my way, my focus, my thinking and my motto. All I want to do from the time I wake up until I fall asleep is do what is right for all students. Whether it be a standing desk, a new pair of shoes, some food, a new curriculum, a different learning method to help with, clothing, classroom support, new friends, activities…you know the drill….everything.
At the same time, I CANNOT, WILL NOT, SHALL NOT overburden my incredible staff with more than they already have on their rapidly growing plates. We all know how much energy, time and effort a truly committed teacher gives, and for me to add unnecessary toppings would be incomprehensible.
So…Do I want to improve the lives of students, staff, my family and the community here? Absolutely. In time Jeff, in time…I think as my “7-second meditation application” dings.
2. Share TWO accomplishments that you are proud of from this school year.
First, I rarely say NO to a staff member that wants or needs anything that has to do with school, teaching, students or growth. Whether it be PD, Conferences, workshops, Per Diem, Equipment, Supplies, or whatever. I am here to serve in the interest of #kidsfirst only, and if it is something that a member of our team needs, then bring it! Let’s do it!
The second accomplishment that I am most proud of is that the teachers are embracing some of the changes that have been put in place since I came to CHE.
Some of our school-wide teaching goals were improved student engagement, and increased Depth of Knowledge in our teaching and learning objectives. Most of the staff have worked very hard to increase the rigor during the instructional times.
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3. What are THREE things you wish to accomplish before the end of the school year?
- A HUGE CALL TO ACTION is that ALL teachers take their classes into our MakerDen. Our evolving Makerspace has been a proud, pet project of mine, but some teachers are still hesitant on visiting. I don’t know if it is they feel it is time wasted, or they are afraid of fun, or what it really is, but for whatever reason, I can’t get them in. I want 100% Teacher and Student Participation in that space! #kidsdeservit
- I would like our teachers to become more data minded, which in turn, I need to lead them in that direction. Have recently looked at Progress Reports, and 2nd Trimester Benchmarks, and much more, we MUST use the data better to drive our instruction and fill those gaps!
- Our staff must increase the trust in each other here and now! Not one teacher is selfish, not one is better that another, and no stands on higher ground. We are an amazing and very talented team here, but often times, our gems are too hidden and hard to spot. I continually offer a “Free, 30 minute Pass” to teachers, and to cover so they can observe (a great tool used to improve as far as I am concerned), but rarely get any takers. Trust!
Give FOUR reasons why you remain in education in today’s rough culture.
- If I am not going to make a positive impact, then who is? I am committed to #kidsfirst 24/7 and do whatever it takes to make it happen. If I leave, then there is one less champion, advocate, and voice to give kids what they need to be whatever it is they aspire for.
- Personal Growth and Honest Reflection. Not a day goes by, or a moment unnoticed that I can’t improve upon what I’ve done. Not just as an educator with things like attending #CUE, #GAFE and Lead 3.0, or with my #voxer book clubs, and #principalsinaction power of my #Twitter PLN. But things like watching 600 amazing students grow, struggle, thrive, learn, play, and work so hard every day. This has been paramount to my development as an educator, parent and whole-person.
- The kids. The kids. The kids. C’mon seriously? They rely upon us, so that later, we can rely upon them!
- Teachers. I am in the presence of greatness everyday. Within every minute of everyday, I see true brilliance, commitment, perseverance, dedication and GRIT!
5. Which FIVE people do you hope will the take the challenge of answering these questions.
- Kris Corey. I would not be where I am today as an educator without her. Her strength, guidance, wisdom and knowledge are endless.
- George Couros. Seriously? Why wouldn’t someone want to see further into this brain of genius.
- Andy Jacks. I’ve just started following him and it’s SO cool how cool and awesome he is.
- Mark. E. Weston. If you don’t know or follow him, you have serious issues. Dude’s mind is epic to the core. WOW!
- Jenn Kloczko. She is the one who pushed me to blog at #CUEROCKSTARADMIN….Love her dancing, enthusiasm and especially her 24/7 365 positivity!