Make Your Campus a Place Where People Want to Work
Positive recognition and appreciation can transform your school from a place where people have to work into one where they want to work and enjoy bringing their best every day. And that transformation starts with the leader!
Your staff pours time and energy into learners every single day. As a busy PIRATE leader, you know that even the best crews need the direction of a great captain. But what does that look like? And how can you provide meaningful recognition and encouragement when your schedule is full and your budget is limited?
What you do matters.
You may not hear it often (or ever), but if you’re an educator, you’re making a difference in the lives of learners. And that impact has a domino effect.
In Because of a Teacher, more than fifteen of today’s leading educators remember the teachers and administrators who inspired and supported their careers. Through a series of heartfelt and uplifting stories, they reflect on their early years of teaching, offering advice and strategies suited to first-year teachers and longtime educators alike.
These personal stories offer hope for new teachers, encouragement for educators tiptoeing into burnout, and reassurance that the work you’re doing right now will inspire generations to come.
Here is just a smidgen of my piece, “He Saw the Me I Could Be”.
If you were to look back, the years that we were led by Mitt Price…you would see an assistant superintendent, three area directors, one director of technology (me!) 5 principals, and countless specialists and coordinators. Our campus was known for its ability to build capacity to grow future leaders. I can’t imagine what legacy that Mr. Price would hold if he documented all of the young teachers he grew under his leadership. He made us see more in ourselves than we ever thought possible and that, above all else, is the characteristic that I took away from my time with him. I was a single mom, then a newlywed…someone who was looking for a direction to go in..and it was the belief in me by a confident, secure leader that pointed me towards my professional forever. My leadership journey, the very best years of my career (thus far!) have been because of the path he turned me towards. A leader doesn’t allow their people to vanquish.
Mitt never once made me feel like I was just a teacher. He always saw me as more than I thought I was…and I will forever be thankful for that. I take great pride in the number of people that I have worked with, that I have “helped” see” see their own potential…when I left my last campus, my turnover rate was high, but it was also close to 100% that had left because of a promotion, because of a risk they took, and encouragement they were able to take the next step. I was able to brag on, lift up, and bring attention to the amazingness of the people on my staff…I am so incredibly proud of those that I have worked with that have moved on towards their next step. I may not have had everything with their next step, but I am sure glad that I was there to encourage, support, and help wherever I could.
I will forever be Mitt’s and my people’s biggest fan.
Pick up your copy of “Because of a Teacher” now!
Here is just a smidgen of my piece, “Changing the Way We Think About Leadership”.
The administration title carries a unique work load. Our days are filled with decisions. From decisions that have a major to a minor impact, we spend each day with a list of things to do, and then chase the many fires that occur instead. We know the good, the bad, and the ugly…from students to staff, to our community. On any given day we decide what goes in a coke machine to whether we feel a parent is mistreating a child.
Much of what we do is dictated by state and district policy, and yet, there is no instruction manual that you’re given when named “administrator”. While we are able to make a sustainable impact, we are still held to the highest of expectations. That’s why we get the big bucks, right? To never make mistakes and ensure that everyone is happy. Our decisions and the implications of that what we say goes is a heavy load. It’s an incredible honor, but it’s also incredibly stressful. There literally is no winning in some situations. Everyone will not be happy with the decisions made.
Recognizing that education itself is different than it was even just 10-20 years ago calls for also recognizing that the way we look at the role of “administrator” needs to change. It needs to evolve before any other of the changes we want to see happen in education can occur because like with most other decisions made in a school, it starts and can stop right at our door.
A quote that anchors much of what I believe and share is by David Weinberger, “The smartest person in the room, is the room.” Connecting to other practitioners in this day is too easy for it to not be happening in school district and campuses, world wide. Whether it a virtual relationship via social media, or a core group of peers whose opinion you value, there is such benefit in having a group to collaborate or share ideas with. It can also be lonely in that office all by yourself. By developing relationships and making professional connections, you are exponentially increasing your ability and opportunity for success within your walls. By flattening what we think of when we think “administrator” we have the power of changing everything about what we do. An administrator who dares to do things differently and challenge the status quo of what has been done before can not only transform their role, but empower all of those below…by bringing them alongside.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Education Write Now. You’ll support a great cause, and hopefully, be challenged to think differently about education, right now.