Sunday, September 15, 2013

Catching my breath

Ok, so I've totally bombed my first week of trying to blog every day.  I'm not giving up!   We can do this, we can do this, we can do this….

One exciting thing that happened last Thursday is I finally got the final approval for my iPads!  The program was approved in July and the financing in August, but there was one more approval and now we're IN!  I am placing the order tomorrow morning and I cannot wait!

What was exciting that happened for you this last week?  I'll catch up today and tomorrow on my "missed" posts and re-hash everything I learned this week, but for now, thanks for the support!!

- T

Monday, September 9, 2013

Never let your guard down! #SAVMP #EdBDaily


It's the first Monday of school for me.  I woke up this morning refreshed (after our first #principalpodcast last night!) and ready to start a new and full school week.  It is my son's 4th birthday today, so we had snacks ready for him - it's gym day so everyone is in sweats (uniform sweats, but sweats nonetheless) and the coolest principal ever changed dress-down days from Friday to Monday this year.  Yes, it's a good day to start the week.

Never let your guard down!

Just when you thought it was going to be the perfect day - life gets in the way.  The doors are locked when I get to the building.  Latchkey substitute overslept, secretary isn't in until 9:30AM (which I knew about yesterday) and the kids have just spilled fish food on the floor.  Every question anyone had I either didn't know the answer or couldn't find it.  Then our new automated communications system test went out (it was planned, everyone knew, and the message was "This is a test of the SchoolReach System.  THIS IS ONLY A TEST) and I had people calling the office making sure everything was ok because they just had received a call from the school.  My normal composed self was having a little trouble keeping it all together this morning.

Image courtesy of idea go /

If God brought you to it, he will bring you through it!  (I'll remind my school kids of this one day!)

The day WILL calm down, and I will get out of this pile of papers so I can get into the classrooms today to see the learning happening.  Until then, we take it as it comes.

I'll remember the next time I wake up ready and refreshed that I should be prepared for anything and everything that may come my way.  And I'll make sure to not let my guard down.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dreams Continue to Come True #SAVMP #EdBDaily

For the last few years, I have really had the bug to podcast.  I can't see how my babbling for an hour (or even a half an hour) would be interesting for anyone to listen to.  Plus, I need some sort of accountability system (like the #EdBDaily crew!) so the answer to that was having a partner.

Enter +Jessica Johnson (@PrincipalJ).  She thought it would be fun to jump on the project with me as the "experienced" principal in our duo.  But how about a third?  Throw a little more excitement into it, and in comes +Spike Cook (@DrSpikeCook).  We have been using Voxer for the last week working with each other and getting to know each other.  This is a SUPER fun group!

Our first podcast recording is tonight.  We will be the "Principal's Podcast" and are most definitely hoping to have it on iTunes soon.  We'll be utilizing Google Hangout, and I can't wait.

I feel so truly blessed that there are so many people in my life that continue to jump on my crazy wagon and join in with me.  This is going to be an amazing group and I hope you get as much out of the podcasts as we do.

- T

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The first week is over #SAVMP #EdBDaily

I spent a TON of my time today putting out fires (figuratively of course!), answering parent concerns and handling building/scheduling/budgetary issues.  I guess this is what administration is ACTUALLY about, right?  A day in the life of an administrator, or "it's lonely at the top."

I'm kidding, I love this job.  Even a week in, it's awesome.  Today was an odd day - it was like the first three days everyone let me settle in to the schedule, and on day 4, it was time to hit me with the hard stuff.  It's ok - I can handle it!

Especially since it's Friday, there are 2 days to regroup, and a Michigan football game in my future.

Ahhh….the first week is over and we've all survived.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Week 4: The Importance of Trust #SAVMP

  1. How do you work to build trust starting in a new place?
  2. In a world with social media so evident, how do you use that technology to create a transparent culture within your community?

Trust is a touchy thing - not something to give away lightly and most people have a difficult time trusting those who are new.  I can't blame them - we've all been "burned" in the past.  Remembering what it feels like when you had a new boss or a new administrator as a teacher definitely helps the situation.  It is imperative to really focus on being transparent and open with your staff members so they feel like you are an open book.  

I have spent the last 2 months trying to build trust with my new staff.  Sending emails, sharing personal stories and anecdotes, making connections.  It's hard, but every little thing and every little piece makes a difference.  Part of how I have done this is through social media.  I have a twitter feed (@principalstager) that my staff knows about and can follow if they choose.  I have a twitter feed for the community that is on our home page.  I post things that are happening in the school, announcements, quotes, etc.  It helps the community feel like they know me and us, and that they are a genuine part of the school and not just because they drop the kids off every morning.  It helps those who can't volunteer in the building still feel a part, and that builds a ton of trust in and of itself.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

#SAVMP Week 5 - Developing Leadership

Developing leadership is what I am most looking forward to in administration.  I don't know everything and I don't pretend to.  Our teachers are so unbelievably talented and have so many wonderful ideas, it would be a shame for them to be lead my me exclusively.

As far as developing leaders, I find that empowering them to feel comfortable enough to make simple decisions is the first step.  As soon as they feel confident in themselves, their leadership abilities begin to show.  Being a new administrator in a place that had quite a bit of turnover last year is difficult because most of us are just trying to remember which was is up and hope it stays that way for a little while.  Once the comfort has been achieved, it's going to be a whole new ballgame.

Batter up!