Saturday, June 27, 2015

On a new journey, starting with AMLE Leadership Institute

I decided a while back that my professional and personal journey needed to combine efforts and I made the decision to move back to Ohio to be near family.  In addition to that, I also decided to look for a position that would continue my path of school leadership, but perhaps on a larger scale.  My job and home search have granted me the opportunity to go back to where it all started for me - Bowling Green, Ohio.  Effective in July, I will be serving the Bowling Green City Schools as the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning.  I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with staff, students, and families.  I am also looking forward to building relationships with Bowling Green State University to help benefit both entities.

As if a wonderful job opportunity isn't enough, I have also been blessed with living less than 30 minutes from all of my wonderful family.  I feel like it's not very often that this gets to happen to us, so I am both appreciative and excited about this move.

As I returned from Virginia, I had a few quick days to get myself together before traveling to San Diego - I know, rough life.  My trip to San Diego is not only relaxing and filled with blue skies, it is my first time serving as faculty at AMLE's Leadership Institute.  I remember attending this conference as a first year principal and remembering just how much I learned and was able to take back into the school.  I couldn't get enough.  Now, I get to be a part of people's learning who attend!

Yes, this past month has been a little busy, and July promises to be no different, but wow am I lucky!  I am looking forward to forging the path forward on my journey and to all of the new things I will learn along the way.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Year Approaches

As we look forward to the new year, what is it that we hope to accomplish?  What goals are you going to set?  Which ones will you keep?  I want this year to be about creating goals for myself that I know I can attain and will be a part of improving me and helping me maintain an attitude of gratitude.  I think in our busy schedules, we get away from realizing all of the good things in our lives.  We focus on continuous improvement which is not a bad thing.  However, I think we have to be mindful that this type of focus can keep us from enjoying our successes and celebrating things that are going well.  This year I intend to do just that.  One of the tenants of the PLC is celebration. We don't do nearly enough of that - big or small, we need to celebrate.  So I challenge everyone to keep your focus, remember that calm is contagious, and focus on being positive and celebrating.  Don't just make it about big events in life.  If you brought up your grades be proud of that.  If you made it to all of your classes on time be proud of that too - your teachers will appreciate both.  Be thankful for everything you have and maintain a positive outlook on life - it will make celebrating much easier.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Grading Final Projects

This week I have been grading the final projects from the GW Supervision class.  I am impressed by my students and the hard work and thoughtfulness they put into these finished projects.  I was worried that an 8 week compressed course on Supervision just wasn't enough - but the end result shows me that maybe it was adequate.  Kudos to my students in PG County!

I feel like you can't ever talk about supervision enough - and as administrators we are always improving our craft of providing feedback.  We must stay up on practices and really, really, know and be able to articulate what makes good instruction.  We cannot get fixed in one mindset and then continually provide the same feedback.  We really must embody ongoing learning and development - otherwise, we are guilty of not getting out of the time machine.  Our students are ever evolving - we have to keep up with them - and as instructional leaders, we have to prepare our teachers to keep up with (or ideally, stay ahead of) the curve for students!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Growing Leaders - Adult Development

While teaching the Supervision class at GW, I picked up this book to help guide my practice.  I have read several of her books and have found them all to be informative, easy to read, and most of all - relevant!  This particular book provides strategies and take aways, and most importantly, places for self reflection.  One of the most important tools we can use in our own learning is reflection - unfortunately, it becomes the thing we put to the side or neglect.  If you are working on  your own reflective practice and working with adults to "grow leaders" this is a great read that you can start using the day you read it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Beauty of the Anchor Chart

After completing an excellent lesson observation in an ELA class - I had a wonderful conversation with the teacher about going old school and using the paper anchor chart to aid in the lesson on predictions.  While I continually promote the use of technology, there is nothing like a reference tool to hand in the room to help students after completing a mini-lesson.  An easy way to decorate the room with learning tools that are helpful for students.  If you want to know more about these check out Laura Robb and the Reader's Workshop!