#SAVMP, year 2 begins!

SAVMP Installment 1

We would like to welcome you to the second year of the SAVMP (School Admin Virtual Mentor Program). This year, we have decided to keep the pairings and the overall group smaller so that we can try to create a better program for participants. I am also excited to lead this project with Joe Mazza, Paul McGuire, and George Couros, to help with the dissemination of not only work, but more importantly, expertise and perspective.

To start off the program, we are going to focus on a blog post that George has written previously on “5 Questions You Should Ask Your Principal”, over the next 5 installments of this blog, we are going to give you and your mentor time to discuss each question and use it as the basis of your program.

The first question we are going to focus on is in based on the idea of creating strong relationships to build a solid foundation in your school. From our collective experience, we have seen many administrators focus on the idea of being “innovative” before focusing on the spending time with staff, students, and understanding classrooms. As George would say, “Innovation is a human endeavor”, and it is important that we focus on these connections first.

So here is the first question, whether you are a principal, vice-principal, or on any part of a leadership team:

“What are some ways you connect with your school community?”

Please feel free to write comments on the blog, discuss this with your mentor/mentee, and then share a post on your own blog, whether it is through writing, video, or some other medium.

If you are not an “official” member, but would like to contribute, please leave your link in the comments below.

Thanks for your dedication to this program! We are looking forward to learning from one another!


15 Comments on #SAVMP, year 2 begins!

  1. Bob Sinclair
    October 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm (10 years ago)


    Unfortunately I was unable to connect with my mentees last year, but I would really like to remain a part of the program. Should I try to re-connect with the mentees from last year (if so can I have their information again 8-). If not are there new mentees that I can connect with?


    • mcguirp
      October 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm (9 years ago)

      You could try to reconnect with your old mentee – I am thinking of doing the same thing – I started with three and ended up with one, but we kept in touch for the entire year, it was certainly a mutual learning experience!

    • mcguirp
      October 21, 2014 at 9:13 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Tom – I love the cart! Really interesting idea to sit right out in front for P/T interviews so everyone can see you. This is a really important topic – we all need to consider how we can connect better with out community and get all the paperwork done too!

  2. Darren Mitzel
    October 15, 2014 at 4:16 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks again for inviting me back to #SAVMP Year #2. Love the concept and opportunity to connect with other admin across North America.

    How do I connect with my school community?
    My main two mediums are Twitter and MailChimp. These social media/E-News sites are the ones I spend most of the time on in terms of spreading the message about our school. We have a school website, but it is not user friendly and difficult to maintain (Sharepoint). I also don’t think many of the families or students use it very much. It doesn’t allow the manager of the site (me) much freedom to make it “stand out” in terms of web designs.

    I find Twitter to be quick and easy to share what is going on in our school on a daily basis. When I use our School Boards hashtag, the rest of the District sees it too. Great advertising.
    MailChimp allows me to provide a quick snapshot of what is happening during the week. I usually have it done by Friday and scheduled to be sent to the parents/students on Sunday night. This gives the community an idea of what to expect during that week. No more waiting until months end for a newsletter of what happened in the last 30 days.

    • mcguirp
      October 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Darren – terrific ideas. I love that you use Mail Chimp to connect with your community each week. We used Constant Contact and that was wonderful! I also use Remind to text parents – they loved this service and commented om it more than all the other services we used.

      Do you have to use Sharepoint? We switched to Google Sites this year for our school website and it is working very well.

  3. mcguirp
    October 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm (9 years ago)

    Coming out of the havoc of starting at a new school! How do I connect? I agree with George, I use all the tools – Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Facebook, Edublogs etc, but I still feel like I connect best when I sit with teachers at lunch and hang out with the kids at recess – nothing beats that for connecting. Thanks Amber for getting us started!

    • miboebo
      December 8, 2014 at 4:53 am (9 years ago)

      I like Google+, Twitter, etc, but agree that face-to-face is best for me, especially at the start of the year. I also like to leave a little comment or on the teacher’s class bulletin boards. I find those little moments of acknowledgement do a lot for staff.

  4. Denise
    October 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks for getting year 2 going. First and foremost I connect primarily face to face- greeting everyone every morning and saying goodnight every night – opening door daily. Love this -best part of my day.
    Use twitter – not as well as I can. Newsletter on website but very disappointed as I have to send newsletter to central office IT to be posted. Have no control over posting on my own as admin.

    • mcguirp
      October 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi enise – that is too bad, I don’t think anyone reads newsletters anymore. Maybe Twitter with your own school hash tag might work – once people know the hash tag they could easily find you on Twitter – this would get you away from the newsletter grind.

      Are you allowed to use other forms of social media? Facebook, Remind, Constant Contact or Mail Chimp?

      • Brett
        October 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm (9 years ago)

        Smore would be great for a digital format as well.

        • Melissa Kartsimas
          November 9, 2014 at 12:43 am (9 years ago)

          I agree with Brett! Smore has been an AWESOME, easy way to connect with families each week for me. I archive my SMORE weekly newsletter on our school website, too. It’s easy to push out via our School Messenger to all parents’ emails.

  5. Dominique
    November 22, 2014 at 11:27 pm (9 years ago)

    Is it too late to apply for the mentoring program?

    • mcguirp
      December 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Dominique, I think the partnerships for this year have already been set.



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