Tuesday, March 17, 2015

School Culture: THIS is who we are!

We have all heard the phrase it takes a village, but what role do those villagers have to assume in order to achieve success?  And how is that success measured?  For me, the success of a learning community begins with the culture that is created by the "villagers".  As I walked the halls of my school this week and interacted with students and staff, a phrase kept popping into my head, "THIS is what makes us who we are!"

School Culture: THIS is who we are!

  • Custodians who are always ready to respond to a crisis
  • Veteran teachers who support and mentor those entering the profession and who have the courage to advocate for their students
  • Administrators who lead by example
  • Beginning and student teachers full of energy and enthusiasm
  • Parent volunteers who give their time so generously
  • Administrative assistants who are always able to locate and provide us with whatever is needed
  • Central office personnel that supports our school and raises.the bar to help us become the best we can be
  • Students who are the reason we all do what we do and our number 1 priority
  • Teacher assistants who provide for the safety and supervision for our students during lunch, recess, and offer support to whenever it is needed
  • School nurses who help children with their bumps and bruises and always keep parents and teachers informed about the well being of the youngsters


Note:  The format of this blog is a top 10 so I would like to acknowledge that this list could have easily gone on and on. There are many other roles essential to creating the learning community we strive for.  FIND SOMEONE WHO CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SCHOOL'S CULTURE AND THANK THEM!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yeah, I'm always smiling at school, and here are 10 reasons why

  • Smiling conveys positivity and optimism
  • Smiling is contagious
  • It takes far more effort to frown
  • “Peace begins with a smile" - Mother Teresa
  • Smiling helps build a positive culture
  • Great things are happening in our school
  • Smiling helps me keep everything in perspective
  • I enthusiastically chose this profession and am so happy to do it
  • Smiling makes me feel more productive
  • "I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite" - Buddy the Elf

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teacher? Administrator? What’s the Difference?

This is the first post to my blog since transitioning from being a “teacher” to an “administrator”.  If you have read my blog in the past you probably know I often use this space to self reflect on my own learning.  This may explain the long gap between posts, I wanted to try my position on for size for a few weeks first.  I have only been in my new role for a month, but have already realized the two have a great deal in common.


10 Things I Learned as a Teacher that will Help me as an Administrator

  • Organization leads to productivity
  • Having a plan in place each day will help with achieving your goals
  • The importance of  greeting children by name everyday
  • Whether you are in a classroom or around the school, being visible helps students stay connected and engaged
  • Collaboration leads to problem solving
  • Establishing positive relationships with parents is always worth the extra effort
  • Knowing the curriculum will help improve student achievement
  • Modeling is always an effective way to get others to buy in
  • Communication and transparency will earn you trust
  • Culture plays a crucial role in a learning community

Friday, September 26, 2014

What Type Of Educator Are You?

If you have used any social media lately you no doubt have seen those quizzes.  You know, the ones that ask questions that somehow determine, “Which Star Wars character are you?” or “Which utensil are you?”  My “quiz” is structured a little differently in that you get to determine the answer first.  Furthermore, my quiz comes with a challenge.

Find a colleague that best exemplifies one of these traits and thank them for being a great role model

What Type Of Educator Are You?

  • Passionate
  • Optimistic
  • Dedicated
  • Collaborative
  • Flexible
  • Reflective
  • Compassionate 
  • Knowledgeable
  • Committed
  • Innovative

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thank You Highlander

10 Ways Highlander Institute has helped me become an Innovative Educator

Thanks to the Highlander Institute…

  • I have COLLABORATED with amazing educators
  • I have OBSERVED skilled teachers in action
  • I have been exposed to the latest TECHNOLOGY TOOLS
  • I have attended numerous CONFERENCES
  • I have been able to EMPOWER students and teachers
  • I have CONNECTED with hundreds colleagues using Twitter
  • I have improved my skills as a PRESENTER
  • I have been provided with many RESOURCES and TRAINING
  • I have been a part of many LEADERSHIP teams
  • I have LEARNED how to better integrate technology 


Visit the Highlander Institute for more information

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Biggest Little Chat on Twitter…#EdchatRI

If you are my age or older and from Rhode Island, you no doubt get the reference (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDlurD-Sd1w).  With that tune now permanently stuck in my head for the next 48 hours, here are 10 reasons why #EdchatRI is the Biggest Little Chat on Twitter

  • Relevant Topics are discussed each week
  • Diversity of participants and opinions
  • Excellent resources are always shared
  • Enthusiastic educators that motivate and inspire
  • Healthy debate and dialogue
  • Notification of upcoming events
  • Thoughtful professionals with a sense of humor
  • It happens every Sunday night
  • Supportive colleagues to help navigate difficult situations
  • Chance to have your voice heard

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Teacher’s Back to School Checklist

Did I spend time doing what I love this summer?
As educators, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.

What are my professional goals?
Great teachers have been asking themselves this question long before it was part of any evaluation process.

What is my attitude like heading into the new school year?
Remind yourself of all the reasons why you chose this profession.

Do I know everything I need to know about my assignment?
Often times role and expectations can change. It is much easier to ask for clarification before the students arrive.

Have I received the most current information regarding initiatives, protocols, and procedures?
Things are constantly happening at the state and local levels, even in the summer, and it is important to stay up to date.

Do I have the materials and supplies needed to start the year?
Now is a great time to take inventory and look for those back to school sales.

Am I comfortable with the technology that is available to me and do I have all my passwords?
Have fun exploring what is out there and look for opportunities to learn from colleagues.

Do I have access to the information I need most?
Class and faculty lists, evacuation plans, case loads, email addresses…

Have I made the appropriate arrangements for the impending schedule changes?
With the start of the school year comes a new routine to adjust to.

Have I connected with colleagues lately?
Reach out to those you work closely with, they will be happy to hear from you.