Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week 3 - Starting Off Right #SAVMP

Starting Off Right

I think that just about every new principal, teacher, administrator, etc. always thinks they will be the ones to break the mold.  We think that those we lead will know that they are around greatness.  That nothing has ever been done before as we are able to do it now, and IT WILL WORK.

This year, my teachers will have concrete expectations from me from day 1.  They will know what I expect their lesson plans to look like, how their standards should be labeled, when I should receive their paperwork, what their classrooms should look like, and the dress code they are expected to follow.  They will feel comfortable with what is expected and what they should know.  The handbook will be complete and have everything they could possibly need.  I'm sure your back-to-school list as a new administrator looks just like mine....

Back to real life.  I am a new administrator.  I will make mistakes.  I will grow from them.  I will upset some people.  I will fix it.  There is no possible way this year will be perfect.  But I will try and I will be proud of myself for doing it.

Week 2 #SAVMP - My Vision For the School

My Vision For the School - #SAVMP Week 2

As a new administrator, this has been on my list of things to think about since I was hired.  Our school is a small Catholic school, Pre-K to 8th grade, but relatively low enrollment.  Not "low enrollment" like "in danger of closing."  Just a small school.  Last year there were 4 principals.  This year there are 4 (out of 10) new teachers due to retirement and one who has a job in a public school.  It is a wonderful school with a rich history, but if there is going to be a change in the culture and/or vision of the school, now is the time to do it.

I have to admit, I very much enjoyed watching the video that was posted on George Couros' blog (  If you haven't seen it, Seth Godin discusses the difference between what education used to look like and what it looks like now (or at least what it should.)  It is about 16 minutes and well worth every second.

The mission for our school is "Pray, Work, Study, Play and Serve Others in Christ's Name."  We are implementing a 1:1 iPad program this year, Pre-K to 8th grade and are so very excited to have the opportunity to bring these devices to the students.  We are looking forward to teaching the students not only what the information they need to learn is, but also how to find it and how to utilize technology to research even further.

My vision for the school is that it be a place where the teachers are empowered to teach and lead in their classrooms.  They can utilize technology to the fullest and help the students to learn how to learn instead of just memorizing facts.  The classes will be collaborative and the students will understand what it means to truly work together.  They will have every opportunity that they deserve to have and that we can give them.  We truly have a remarkable staff, and I know that they will be able to do wonderful things this year and beyond.  My vision for the school is that they are always able to do that.  "The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher."  - Elbert Hubbard.

Why I Lead #SAVMP

Why I Lead


Starting my #SAVMP blog is a difficult thing for me as I am not someone who usually enjoys sitting down to write, but I really want to be.  I reflect constantly on what I am doing and what I have done, but don't do it often in writing.  I would prefer to do it this way as you can always go back to re-read and re-reflect.  I'm a work in progress - or a blogger in progress, if you will.

My entire life, I have been a leader.  I always ran for class office, was the secretary for any organization who would take me, and the teacher when playing school.  I have known my whole life I wanted to teach - there wasn't a doubt in my mind.  Ever.

As I continued in education, I realized that I love the process of education - learning, teaching,'s all "fun" for me.  My interest slowly began turning from educating the students to educating the teachers.  After all, your best students are usually the ones who love to learn, so it makes sense to love teaching those who love to learn AND love to teach!  My absolute favorite thing to do is help our amazing educators problem solve.  What a better way to make a difference than to help those who want to teach learn the tools to help them do it even better. 

This is my first year as an administrator, and my first year back in education after a slight hiatus (layoffs in Michigan hit pretty hard a few years ago.)  I could not be happier where I am and finally feel like I have found where I am supposed to be.  Life is good here.  I truly believe I have rediscovered the thing that makes me never have to "work" another day in my life.