Monday, August 27, 2012

The power of positivity...

Check out these 4 short posts below on positivity!

Positive Teacher Pledge

Be sure to sign the "Positive Pledge."

14 Simple Strategies to be More Positive

An Original Tale for Teachers... Nikki the Giraffe

~ Your enthusiasm and positive energy set the tone for your students. Your attitude is one of the few things you can actually control, be sure to use it wisely!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What I'm thinking about right now...

Historical origin of the word 'administrator' is 'ministrare' (serve). Consider today how you can better serve your teacher leaders...

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." by Kurt Vonnegut

"Nothing in education puts a bigger ceiling on learning than limiting kids to what’s in the textbook. We live in the age of iPads, Google, and Skype. To the learner that wants to know more, do more, and explore more, the opportunities are there. We just have to think outside the book." via @mcleod

The Voice of the Active Learner:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Educator Motivation Video

I created this video for a back to school kickoff event in the Union R-XI School District. I want it to inspire, motivate, and encourage our staff to reach beyond their level of comfort in an effort to take learning and growth to the next level for Union R-XI students...

If you are interested in creating a similar video, please email me ( and I would be happy to share the files with you so you can modify for your own school or district.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's Okay to Say, I Don't Know...

I have been thinking a lot about teamwork and growth lately. As much as I believe we hold the cards for our own destiny, I also believe our level of success and growth are closely related to our environments, in particular, the teams with whom we work and surround ourselves.

The last 30 days have been quite interesting to say the least... a new position in a new district has proven to be quite the challenge thus far. It would seem that I am learning about an entirely different world of education that has somehow alluded me throughout my career. Yes, of course there are certain topics that are easy to pick up on and just require the time and experience, but there are many others that are much more complex and demanding of their understanding and application.

I find myself being uncomfortable way more than I am comfortable with, and I find myself saying, "I don't know," far more often than I am used to.

One of the beauties of this new position is the people with whom I work. They are helpful, they encourage me, and they are understanding of the learning curve I have. They have embraced my curiosity and lack of knowledge by providing me a plethora of opportunities to learn and garner valuable experiences. They have made it clear that they have high expectations, but they are also realistic and understanding of the time it takes to achieve high levels of growth and forward progress.

Teamwork requires vulnerability... and when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable we open the doors to trust, and once the doors of trust are open any organization can move forward and grow. Great organizations and great leaders encourage "I don't knows," because they allow for and make room for growth and progress. To be honest, I would be scared to be a part of an organization where "I don't knows" are discouraged and frowned upon...

How do you respond to "I don't know?"

How do those within your organization respond to "I don't know?" 

BONUS: We have all heard someone say, "I don't know, let me find out for you." This response is something we have all experienced and we have all personally said at one time or another. There is however quite a big difference in how it is remembered. If you tell someone you don't know but you will find out, then you better well do what you say! There is nothing more frustrating than asking someone a question and having them say they will find out only to find out they never followed up with your question.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to school inspiration...

I wanted to share some blog posts, images & some videos that could be beneficial to building and district administrators preparing for back to school meetings and kickoffs. If you have other great resources worthy of sharing, please be sure to leave a comment with the link!

Run your day by @bjnichols

The positive pledge by @jongordon11

Here there be dragons by @biebert

Today is YOURS by @coolcatteacher

Swimming against the tide by @lookforsun

Leave a legacy by @justintarte


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Don't be afraid to fail...

You've failed many times, although you may not remember. 

You fell down the first time you tried to walk. 

You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you? 

Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.

R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.

English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.

Don't worry about failure.

Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.

~ This was shared with me by one of our district's high school assistant principals during our administrator retreat meeting. It resonated quite a lot with us as we discussed the focus & vision of our district moving forward...