Instead of my usual 12 days of giving, this year I’m taking a page from the ever so smart Matt Arend, and focusing on being kind and paying it forward. There are a million different things you can do to brighten someone;s day and if we can help model that for our students, that would be better than any gift under a tree, or gift that fits within my budget. While I still have a couple of candy canes up my sleeve to show my staff how much I think of them, we’re going to share out this calendar in the spirit of the season. I also plan on sharing with my Wolves, and encouraging them to complete as many activities as they can. If they print it out and bring it in with the acts of kindness they’ve completed crossed out, I’ll give them a lil’holiday surprise!
Here’s the blurb I share in my “Get Whitt it” today:
Instead of the 12 days of Christmas this year…let’s have 12 days of kindness! I had a REALLY great conversation with one of you over the break about what kinds of gifts as adults we enjoy giving/getting…and she was laughing about how mine was love of gifts. MT thinks its made up love language…but I swear it’s not! One of my most favorite things is GIFTING people with something that is just perfectly them or comes at just the right moment. That is as much fun as getting something myself.
With our Wylie Magic theme, how fun would it be to come up with different ways to “gift” others with kindness this next three weeks? We are blessed!! Brainstorm with your class some things that you could do that would focus on being kind, and paying it forward. We’ll begin on Dec 1st and I’ll have cards for you to share your ideas in PLC this week, 🙂
Below is a calendar to give you some ideas, but feel free to make it your own! If following a calendar is not your thing, create a kindness chain- it’s a great way to see how much good you’ve done. You can even do both, check it off on the calendar and add a link to your chain. Or choose a chain link to do and record it on the blank calendar.
Do whatever works for you–kindness rocks no matter how you organize it!
What are you doing with your staff or classroom this year? I would love to hear it! 🙂
Frosty the Snow Am
I’ve had several people reach out asking if there are things they should be adding to their resume or experiences they should be seeking out while looking for a position. I think there are several key components that can contribute to landing an interview and ultimately, your perfect job!
Disclaimer: I FULLY believe that when you find the right fit for you, it will be the right fit for them. As someone who has interviewed and not gotten positions before, I know now that I am RIGHT where I needed to be, when I needed to be there!
Five tricks that can help separate you from the pack:
- Know your information. If you’re emailing, know who you are talking to and their role. Take the extra step to know more about the campus/district you’re applying too. A cut/paste generic intro letter looks just like…a copy/paste generic letter.
- Think on your feet! An interview is an opportunity to show you’re a quick thinker. Spend some time preparing yourself.
- Maintain professionalism. From your resume copies to your shoes. Bring your A game. YOu never know what little detail will separate you from the rest!
- Some key phrases that will stand out? “I’m a life long learner, always willing to grow!” “Feedback? I LOVE feedback!!” “I get the job done, no matter what it takes!”
- Examples, examples, examples…speak to specific examples from your experience that relate to the question asked. There’s a method called STAR that I’ve found to be really helpful, especially when I am nervous! The STAR method is :- S – Situation, background set the scene T – Task or Target, specifics of what’s required, when, where, who A – Action, what you did, skills used, behaviours, characteristics R – Result – Outcome, what happened?
It’s never to early to let your places of interest know you are interested. Every district runs a different hiring ship! Send a note, and then a follow-up when you see a posting you’re interested in, with your resume/letter attached.
Good luck if you’re searching!!
I love that Jetpack sends me this “summary” of my year in writing. I also love that my top post included Kliff Kingsbury, 🙂 (wreck’em!) This post is purely for myself…as Tony Sinanis just talked about, accepting the awesome that was my 2014.
My celebrations and “thanks” of 2014?
- Experiencing an earthquake while in LA for ASCD…gave new meaning to the “my job rocks my world”.
- After 12 years of being in the district that trained me up as a teacher and taught me so much, I took a leap to somewhere new and didn’t look back.
- Being named TEPSA‘s Region X Assistant Principal of the Year was humbling. It also connected to me several TEPSA members who have been an incredible addition to my PLN.
- I spoke more in 2014 then I ever have before…exhausting, amazing, and SO fun connecting with educators all over the US! So thankful for the opportunities!
- EdCampDallas in Wylie…gave me hope that school districts can embrace and support a different style of professional development.
- ISTE in Atlanta, where I got to hang out with some of my favorite people in the world…who were all ready to cheer on my cousin Evan!
- The connections. Meeting people I have gotten to “know” virtually is my favorite part of my PLN world. 2014 made this happen in a banner way. Curt Rees, Bill Selak, Melinda Miller…all people I respect & was able to meet this year. I am better for it!
I hope that your 2014 was as memorable, as incredible, as positive, as mine has been. Thank you to those who played a part!! May your 2015 be full of such fabulousness!
memory lane strolling,
One think after twelve years in education, I would have experienced this before. But I hadn’t.
I was fortunate enough to have worked with this young lady, (young because 58 just isn’t old) for over three years. We had a connection beyond just being her assistant principal, because she and I? Were Cowboy fans. Like the kinda Cowboy fans that other people called odd or stalkerish. We just called it genuine. We texted during games, and the ups and downs were just that…part of the roller coaster ride of being a real fan. Our last texts were on September 7th, as we lamented the lack of leadership.
From the sliver and blue jewelry, to the sparkle flip flops…she always had a treat to lift me up. She was thoughtful, she was kind. She was fiercely loyal. Her brother today mentioned her deep insecurities…right before there was a slew of students that got up and spoke about what an impact she’d had on their little lives. Several students spoke, their relationship genuine. What a tribute to an educator…having students speak of your influence.
Someone thanked the family for sharing her with us for the 20 years she’d spent here in Texas being an educator. I thought what a blessing that was for them to hear. I hope it warmed their hearts to hear the young voices talk about how she made them love to read, or encouraged them ,or converted them all to Cowboy fans.
Her sudden decline was documented via social media, which again, was a place for friends and family to share their well wished and memories. Again, in time, I hope her family is able to realize how many lives she touched by being not just a teacher, but also a friend.
If you are experiencing that October wilt…the one where you’re already starting to count down how many days till Thanksgiving, I encourage you to remember how important you are to the people around you. Your team, your campus, your students and your family. You matter. YOU are making a difference in people’s lives, each and every day. Never forget what an amazing gift that you have, to touch so many life paths.
I can only hope sweet Terry was looking down today to see her impact. She will be missed. She will be remembered.