Monday, January 11, 2016

Leading Resolutions

Principal ponderings...

If you know me, then you probably thought I made a typo in the title of my post.  Usually I am the one making 'reading resolutions', but this year I wanted to actually share my 'leading resolutions' with all of you.  If I put them into writing, it will definitely hold me more accountable, plus all of you who read this will remind what I said I would work on!

1. My first resolution is to be more mindful.  This job is fast paced, non-stop, all-consuming at times.  But I don't have to let it take over my whole life.  My goal this year is to make sure to not lose myself in the job.  I am working on finding the balance between the job and the rest of my life.  I need to work to support my family, but I also need to not work to support my family.  At this moment, as I type these sentences, I have a one year old reaching up to me wanting to be picked up, the oven timer going off, and this blog still needing to be written.  This is my life.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  I just need to be mindful about keeping a balance.

2.  My second resolution is to get into classrooms more and provide high quality feedback to my staff.  I need to keep putting classroom visits on my calendar and not let other things get in the way.  My day becomes full of meetings.  I know there are some good organizational strategies that I can apply to planning my week to help with this.  I am part of a principal group through DESE and my working group is focused on creating resources for principals and teachers around the topic of high quality feedback.  I need to make sure I am applying this work to the work I do everyday.

3.  Of course I have to put in a resolution related to reading.  This year I set a goal of reading 150 books.  It's a smaller number than I have previously set.  But I know I need to be realistic about what I can accomplish in a day!  Besides setting a goal to keep reading and reading and variety of books, I do also want to put it in writing that I will do more writing this year.  This blog certainly keeps me writing on a regular basis, but I would like to explore more writing, whether it's simply doing more personal journaling or writing professionally.

4. My final resolution has to do with continuing to connect and seek out my own professional development.  I love learning, and I know that I always have ways to improve my skills as a leader.  I still seek out connections and new knowledge through Twitter and Voxer.  I have also been challenging myself to get more involved in the associations that I am a member of, including the MA Reading Association, MESPA - MA Elementary Principals group, and NAESP - National Elementary Principal group.  I have even begun to present at these different organizations and am excited to share that I was just chosen to speak at the National Conference this summer in Baltimore!  I am looking forward to connecting with administrators and educators across the country.

So what are your professional resolutions for 2016?

Currently reading:
I finished listening to Dear Mr. Henshaw on my drive this week.  It was good to listen to that book again.  I just started listening to a new book in my car.  It's called Three Times Lucky and takes place in a small Southern town in North Carolina.  The person who recorded the audio for this book is speaking in a strong Southern accent so if I start saying "ya'll" more'll know why!
Thanks to Dianna for sharing Tear Soup with me.  If you want to read this picture book that talks about dealing with grief, she left a copy in the staff room.  

Events this week:
Monday - Zumba with Mary Kaye at 3:30 in the gym!
Tuesday - 2nd grade library trips
Wednesday - 4th grade chorus practice @ 2:25 in the gym, School Committee Meeting
@ 7:00 - HS Library
Thursday - Student Council Meeting @ 8:30 am, 4th grade chorus practice @ 2:25 in the gym
Friday - District-wide half day, 12:15 dismissal, no lunch, multi-part series in the afternoon

Great things I noticed last week:

  • A first grader came to my office to share the problem and solution from a book that she had written about in class.
  • Mrs. Fulreader got to fill in as Mrs. Cahill and read a story and led a discussion in Mrs. Wilkins's class.
  • I caught some kindergartners reading about ice.  Did it say anything about what to do when there is ice all over the play structure on the playground?!
  • Mrs. Lanctot's class has been delivering heartprint notes to people in the are a few that Mrs. Kinneen received. 
  • Thank you to Irene for opening up her home and hosting our staff holiday party.  It was so nice to come together and enjoy food and some much needed laughter.

Check it out:
Here is a blog post about a 30 day teach happy challenge.  James Lin had shared it with of his staff had shared it with him.  So know I wanted to pass it on to all of you...

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