I don’t know about where you are in your planning, but I have to believe you are in a place where you’re starting to plan out next year. It is admissions season for us, and that means handbooks, tuition, dress codes, etc. must all be completed asap. As I look at our school handbook, I see a lot of outdated processes and requirements. There is 1 that I keep hearing about that I’m not sure what to do with and I don’t believe it is something that can be decided in a short amount of time or without quite a bit of debate.
Homework or no homework?
CNN.com posted an article in September 2015 regarding whether or not we should ban homework in schools. Mark Barnes has a book in the first wave of his Hack Learning Series titled Hacking Homework. You can find conversations all over Facebook and Twitter regarding the subject. I won’t share my opinion just yet, but I want to hear from you. Read some articles and chat with your mentors/mentees about your philosophy on homework on your campuses. Of course, much depends on grade level and subject area – or does it? It is an interesting conversation no matter which side you sit on. I can’t wait to read your thoughts.
Be sure to share on Twitter using the #SAVMP hashtag and in the title of your blog. I’m sure these will get some conversation happening! Add the hashtag #HomeworkOrNo to your tweets to keep it going!
A few resources:
TED Community Discussion
Charted by Statista – original article on Forbes.com
Hello all! Happy New Year to all of you! Now that the holidays are over we can really get moving (or I can really get moving) 😉
Every year as January begins, I find myself really digging into the year. I love it because it’s like the first days of school again, except that everyone knows the routines already! They aren’t always followed, but they are known!
As a private school, our Open Houses are early in the school year as we have to plan for enrollment and tuition for our budget next year. January is full-swing Open House planning. Our Open House is February 4, and I don’t think I’ve felt so busy.
The great thing about Open House planning is that it makes me really sit back and think about marketing for my school. WHY should people send their children to my school. WHY should they pay money when they can send them to public school for free? WHAT do we have to offer? WHAT is it that makes our school so unique?
I love my building. I feel that we have built something amazing, and I am so proud of it. I have to make sure everyone else sees that, too. I have created lists, solicited suggestions and comments from parents, alumni, current students, teachers, community members. They all have something to share and every time I hear a new comment it makes my chest stick out just a little bit more.
What is it that makes YOUR school amazing? What do YOU have to offer your community? What is happening in your school that the whole world should know? Let’s take January to brainstorm with our mentor/mentee groups on what you have, and how to share it! It is ALWAYS the perfect time to share how amazing your school, teachers, and students are.
I have added a few resources that may help you in your discussions from many in my #PLN who are masters at telling their schools’ stories and branding. Happy chatting!
Five Ways to Build Your School’s Instructional Brand and Connect with Families
If we don’t tell our story, someone else will.
A couple of reminders for this initial month…
- Make regular contact with your mentor/mentee’s…vox, tweet, email…whatever you’d like! Develop relationships that will allow for transparency of strengths and weaknesses.
- Write & reflect towards the monthly prompt. Prompts will be posted the first week of the month. You have the entire month to respond.
- Connect on twitter, sharing the posts, using the #SAVMP hashtag.
Not an “official” member? Write & connect anyway! We welcome as many voices in the conversation as we can get!
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!
Hi stranger friends!
I was Voxing with George this morning, 🙂 and we were lamenting how life just exploded for us both this spring. He was busy getting engaged and we all know how time consuming wedding planning can be, 🙂 Add that to an influx of speaking engagements, he’s been in high demand! Not just speaking locally either…the man has been ALL over. Meanwhile, I’ve been busy getting a new job in a neighboring district and had an award thrown in, just for good measure.
Excuses? Possibly. The reality of our admin worlds? Definitely.
There isn’t a calm “season” in education, especially when you are trying to live to the fullest outside of your building. Recognizing the ebbs and flows of what we do is important to recognize as you contemplate leadership. We talk about modeling what we want to see from our staff, and this balance counts too! Administrators have to set boundaries and limits. The purpose of leading is to show through your walk and talk, that you are genuine. Being busy, and letting things slide at times, (gulp.) is a reality. It’s if and how you handle that slide that speaks loudest to your staff.
That being said, it’s the end of the school year. It’s time for EOY procedures, it’s time for making plans for the next year, it’s time for goodbyes. Thank you for joining us on this SAVMP adventure. I’m going to let George close us out proper, but I wanted to remind you to value the connections you have made through this program. Reach out to me, or George, or your mentee’s/mentor’s, if you ever have a need.
Good luck and happy summer!
David Culberhouse shared this video in the Twitter stream, and there are several elements in the short video that are part of what I have envisioned for this program. Hopefully this two minute clip will help give some ideas for how to learn from one another.