Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Reflections on the first season of #PrincipalCast

I cannot believe the end of the year is here, and I am sure I'm not the only one.  PrincipalCast began as a project: a way to gain information and experience from principals who have been in the field, a way to help others who may also be in my first-year situation, and also a way to connect.  When Jessica Johnson and Dr. Spike Cook agreed to take this on, I was elated.  I have always enjoyed broadcasting and I love talking (those who know me will not take that as a surprise) so I could not wait to start this journey.  

I truly believe that the only way to get through your first year of ANYTHING is to become friends and/or colleagues with someone who has already been there.  Someone to let you know that what you are going through is (or is not) normal, that it will pass, that it will always get worse before it gets better, and that it WILL get better.

I love this job.  I love every moment of it.  I think part of what helps me to appreciate it even more are the people who travel the #PrincipalCast journey with us.  I have learned an immense amount from the principals, retired administrators and teachers who join us every Sunday night for the live PrincipalCast show, those who tweet through the week, and those I Vox with daily.  Side note - if you do not have Voxer or don't use it, you are missing out.  It gives the ability to connect even deeper.  You can send voice messages (in a group!), texts and pictures.  We do all of our show planning on Voxer, and even a lot of our support coaching as well.

We have been honored in 13 episodes to have special guests Todd Whitaker (@ToddWhitaker) and Dr. Bill Sterrett (@BillSterrett) and in our first episode back in 2014 we will welcome Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal).  We have had amazing chats during our live broadcast with Craig Yen (@craigyen),  Chrisopher Nesi (@mrnesi), Tony Sinanis (@tonysinanis), Peggy George (@pgeorge) and SO many more.  We have an audience of collaborators who join us without fail every Sunday night at 9:30PM EST to engage in the conversation and help Jessica, Spike and myself see all different views of the conversation and sometimes see things in a different light.  Our Professional Learning Network (PLN) continually helps us think and grow as administrators and as individuals.

We have been blessed to meet and work with the amazing Jeff Bradbury (@TeacherCast).  Jeff has been an amazing producer for our show, and he works very, very hard to make sure we are not only successful but that we are moving forward and continuing the mission of this podcast.

Spike and Jessica have become my mentors, and I have never met them in person.  It seems odd to many, but makes perfect sense to me.  Twitter and Voxer allow us to plan our shows, vent, and most importantly, support each other.  I think this school year would be going much differently for me had it not been for Jessica, Spike and Jeff.

One of my favorite things is receiving replies on Twitter on the PrincipalCast account.  

"Having a blast listening to your podcasts!  Thx for keeping it relevant and real." - @bretdom 

"You all are the best.  Love the stories.  2013 Highlight: Electrified Fence!" - @CraigYen (Episode 10/20 "When the principal sneezes, the school gets a cold")

"Thanks to the @PrincipalCast team for a great discussion tonight" - @BillSterrett

"I am really missing @PrincipalCast tonight!  All I want for Christmas is that it is Jan 12!" - @mrnesi

Knowing that others are getting something out of these conversations means the world to us.  Thank you to those who listen, those who participate, those who subscribe and those who support.  We couldn't (and wouldn't want to) do it without you.  Celebrate 2013 and let's bring in 2014 with a bang. We will see you on January 12 when we begin our second season of #PrincipalCast with Eric Sheninger.

To all, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.