One of the challenges in being an administrator is never allowing yourself to forget the passion you had for your building when you first got there. Do you remember how excited you were when finally, after wanting and feeling like you were ready, you were named administrator? It’s an incredible feeling. It’s easy in the hustle bustle of what we do to forget how incredibly important every decision you make is, and that you’ve made some good ones! What then, are you MOST proud of? What do you think about when you think of your impact on your campus?
This question stems from again, valuing perspectives of two principals I admire, for totally opposite reasons. Different parts of the country, different focuses within their world…plus that whole male female thing. Ha!
Matt Arend is from Plano, Texas, and has been there 6 years. Melinda Miller is from Springfield, Missouri and has served as principal for 15 years. Both are great at telling their schools stories, and I don’t think get to brag on THEIR contribution enough. Here’s hoping this question allows that to come through!
Entering my seventh year as the principal of #SiglerNation there are many things that come to mind when you ask “What’s the thing you are MOST proud of as an administrator?”. Honestly, there are so many! As leaders we spend a lot of time talking about how we measure the success of our students and not defining their success based on the outcome of a single test and I believe that to be true when it comes to the work our teachers do as well. Our teachers are not defined solely on the scores their children produce. There is more to the story than that. Rather than celebrate the scores at the end of the year, I suggest we celebrate the effort our students and staff pour into learning. Yes, that’s right! Our teachers are learners too!
When you ask, “What I am most proud of?”, I think of the colossal effort our teachers put forth to ensure their students have what they need to learn and be successful. In fact, while I write this, I am reminded of the effort our teachers pour into their learning not only during the school year, but all year round. Who ever thinks teachers have summers off has another thing coming! Our teachers are writing curriculum, attending conferences, presenting at conferences, participating in online book studies, Twitter chats and hosting week long camps at school to expose students to learning outside of the “regular” school year. Teachers jump at the opportunity to teach summer school not just to make money, but rather to understand they will get to work alongside other teachers whom they typically do not get to work with, network and try new ideas before students return in August. I appreciate our teachers for meeting the challenges they face head on, not backing down and overcoming the obstacles to do what is in the best interest of our students. Yes, even during their summer!
I am so proud of our students and the gains they showcase socially, emotionally and academically. I am so proud of our parents who support their children the best ways they know how and work in tandem with our teachers to model the importance of teamwork and education. I am so proud of so many things, but I am MOST proud of the teachers who choose to make the commitment to grow themselves and grow #SiglerNation.
There are so many things I am proud of at Willard East Elementary! How can I possibly narrow it down to just ONE? I can’t. Here’s my list:
Families: Our school is blessed with very generous, awesome families. Every school leader needs support from the community and families. This support, or lack of support, can make or break a school. We are so fortunate to have families who are willing to help their kids at home and at school.
Students: Our students are excited to come to school! They are eager to be filled up by our amazing teachers. This year we are excited to bring Stephen Covey’s Leader in Me program to our school.
Staff: There are not enough words to celebrate the Willard East staff! Putting kids first comes naturally. Everyone is willing to try new things and take risks for student learning.
This will be my 15th year as the principal of Willard East Elementary. We are a family. It takes time. We spend more time with each other than we do with our own families. We spend more time with our students than they do with their own parents during the school year. We are a TEAM!
These two are rockstars. I’d encourage you to follow @SiglerStars on Twitter, and Melinda has an excellent YouTube channel worth checking out! I learn from them both regularly, and think you could too!
What are YOU most proud of???