Today’s question is being answered by two rockstars that I love following on both their personal and school social media accounts, Melissa Kartimas and Amy Fadeji They’ve both made me a better leader, and a more fun one, just by sharing the greatness that they do on a regular basis. If you are hesitant about “putting yourself out there”, I encourage you to A: follow them, you can’t not be inspired, and B: Read this post by George Couros, who challenges the notion that the publish button equals perfection. As someone who absolutely writes the way she talks, this hits home. I even have someone who proofreads what I write and I STILL manage to make mistakes. *sigh*
Good thing none of you are here because you think I’m perfect, eh? 🙂
Now, on to our question…there is no manual when it comes to being a principal, but as you get going through your years you will find that there are some things that you ALWAYS do.
#askanadmin Q2: What is something that you ALWAYS do as an administrator?
Melissa: How can I share just one? Here are several staples that I’m sure to do every year, without fail…..
*Sending a card over the summer to each staff member:
-It’s important that I handwrite a note to each staff member, letting them know how I excited I am to hear about their summer adventures and welcome them back in a few weeks. It’s my hope that however they spent their summer break– it was relaxing, leaving them rejuvenated and ready to start a new school year.
*Giving each staff member a personalized 1st day of school hand-written card & treat:
-What a great way to kick off a school year on a positive note. I want my staff to know I am here to support them and wish them well in making the school year successful for each of their students.
* 5 by Friday:
-Modeling the importance of making positive connections with our families. I want all of our students to feel a sense of pride when something comes in the mail from school….something positive! Phone calls were great, but who doesn’t like mail? I order positive postcards from Vistaprint & always keep them heavily stocked in the office. The expectation is that all staff members would make 5 positive connections with families by the end of each week.
*Making 100 positive phone calls on the 100th Day of school – self-explanatory – one of my favorite days of the year (hands down). Read more about it on my blog here.
*Every year, the best way to get to know each and every students’ name in the building (while sharing your love of learning and reading) is getting into classrooms to read a story! Make it a priority to be visible in the classrooms, not only as an observer but as a participant in learning with your students! It also gives me a good reason to grow the collection of awesome books in my office that I get to share with students and teachers alike!
This will be the fourth year I’ve unveiled a school theme at Penngrove Elementary. On the first day back for teachers, our office team helps me decorate and execute an epic reveal for all staff members. In addition to the fun decor, festive lunch, and swag that I try to shower everyone with, I attempt to give a motivational talk about our theme and how we can use it to keep us all connected and centered throughout the year. Some past themes have been “Dive In”, “Saddle Up” and “Power of One”. I absolutely LOVE preparing for our yearly themes and it really builds community in a fun way. When our students return from summer, we share our theme with them and I invite our PTA and parent community to join the fun as well.
What is something YOU do every year?