A little moment today with my son helped me rethink our work with teachers and students. Random Saturday morning. I really should be thinking about anything else after a long week. Does anyone else have these random leadership thoughts that come out of the middle of nowhere? We stopped to get gas and he asked to get out and help pump the gas. This was a little thing, and really wasn’t that big of a deal to me, but for him this was such a cool experience. He felt empowered and special. It took longer of course to pump the gas, explain to him what to do, and make sure he was safe, but in the long run those seconds that I lost were really precious experiences that he gained. Pumping the gas also gave us a chance to talk about decimals, multiplication, and money. The thought that consumed my day was that as leaders we need to rethink all of these little moments and how much we can …
Category: Leadership Lessons
The first email was sent on a local network in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. He sent this to a computer sitting right next to his computer and the message was “something like QWERTYUIOP” in the email. Tomlinson was also the one who began using the @ sign in emails. 1 Historical Context Almost 50 years later and know emails have taken over our lives. EMAIL was developed by a 14 year old in the early 80s. The first attachment was added in 1992. Hotmail and Yahoo Mail emerged in the late 90s. “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks sealed the deal in 1998. The early 2000s brought Gmail, smartphones, and then we became fully dependent. 2 The average office worker between 2014 and 2018 sent about 40 emails and received about 90 emails a day. 3 Almost 50 years later and emails have now taken over our lives. If you are in your twenties, or even early thirties, you may not even know what …
Our annual tradition of mailing postcards home for information and to notify parents of students’ teachers saw an innovative twist the last couple of years by adding augmented reality.
In the instructional technology circles, the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) has provided a way to rethink how technology is not only used, but how it can enhance instruction in the classroom. Ruben Puentedura began creating this model in the mid-eighties as a Harvard graduate student. The main idea behind this model is to help teachers take next steps to take advantage of new technologies to substitute the task with something more advanced or innovative. Picture credit Kelly Walsh-read his article, 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle here In education, like many fields, sometimes technology is just used for technology’s sake, but it doesn’t always add value or aid in helping kids learn in better ways. Here is a great seven minute video by Common Sense Media hearing the SAMR model by Ruben himself. I used this video as a prompt for a quick post on how the SAMR model aligns to how many of us, especially our #principalsinaction crew, view educational leadership and the necessary …
Make sure to take any opportunity to save time and energy in your schools! Here is a quick how to video on pushing out one of your Outlook calendars onto your calendar on your website through School Messenger. Both Outlook and School Messenger are programs that we use in Prince William County Schools. Let me know if you have any questions or need help!
There are a handful of key considerations when using video to maximize engagement in your school community. These concepts are important because they will help others share in your journey and success in a way that is meaningful and interesting to them. Read more below on these tips and reflect on how you are using video communication at your school or division.
School is about to begin again and there is nothing is worse than an excited parent that goes to the school’s website to meet the administrator or teacher and all they see is a boring letter, or even worse, the person’s name with no other information. You had the parent right where you wanted them! They came to your site, they wanted more information, and they came to you! So how do you reward them? With nothing? With a boring description that is impersonal and shows a lack of effort? Not a great first impression especially if you are a leader. They start wondering how much work you put into the rest of your job. Maybe it isn’t fair, but it is reality. There are better ways through modern technology and videos to make an amazing first impression that shows you as a person instead of a position. This also helps to build a positive relationship from the very beginning even before you actually meet them in person!
Sometimes the most profound statements happen during random times. Today a guest speaker doing a keynote at the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals 2018 Conference was asking about how our ‘business’ was doing in our schools. He asked the crowd about this and Michael Santos, an up and coming school leader, said something to the effect of it being in constant improvement. He said it was like updating software, it’s always in need of upgrades and improvements every year, even if it’s a great product.
I led an “Ask the Experts” session this week titled “Grow a Relationship-Driven School Culture” at the National Family Engagement Summit in Richmond, Virginia. This post explains some takeaways and shows the presentation slides.
It was fun to lead this presentation at the National Family Engagement Summit in Richmond, Virginia this week. The group of educators were so responsive and I can really sense a growing desire to get back to the basics. Schools should be the center of the community and we should be the go-to place for family resources. In this post are the slides from my presentation at this event.