Engaging Schools Through Social Media (68:365)

Amber and Troy Aikman

Amber and  her idol, Troy Aikman

Last week, the PrincipalCast Podcast hosted Amber Teamann, an Elementary Assistant Principal, from the great state of Texas. The purpose of her visit was to chat about the power of Social Media in schools.

 

In this podcast, Amber reveals how she has harnessed the power of Social Media to connect with other educators throughout the world, tell her school’s story, and grow as a professional. She was an excellent guest, and we hope to have her on soon.

 

Be sure to connect with Amber on twitter, and check out her blog Technically yours, Teamann.

 

 

Show Notes:

 

Tell your story: GLHS did (67:365)

So I am going through my twitter feed and I see a tweet from my buddy Dwight Carter. He posted a video that was created and implemented by his students.

 

Sure there have been “lip dubs” before, but this one was different. In just a little under 6 minutes I feel like I know Dwight’s school. The students did a fantastic job of involving everyone. I saw all the groups represented, cameos by teachers (and Dwight), and I felt the energy. Please take a few minutes and enjoy the GLHS Lip Dub 2014. #impressive

 

Do you know the Web Genie? (66:365)

source: en.akinator.com

source: en.akinator.com

Recently I was sitting with my daughter and she was so excited to show me a website. “Daddy, you have to help me guess a character!” She was on the website Akinator. So I began to play the game with her. She asked me to think of someone famous and I asked he if I said it out loud, would the Great Akinator hear me? She laughed and said no!

 

The first character I thought of was Brad Pitt. He is one of my favorite actors, and has starred in some of my favorite movies. As we played the game, the Great Akinator asked us questions that could be answered: yes, no, don’t know, probably or probably not. Sure enough, after a few questions the Great Akinator showed us a picture… you guessed it… Brad Pitt.

 

Then I went through a bunch of more obscure choices such as Genghis Khan, William S. Burroughs, Jesus, and Joe Rogan…. The Great Akinator got them all correct!

 

According to the website, the Great Akinator uses a mathematical algorithm to determine your character based on your responses. I think this site could be a good opportunity to help students understand deductive questioning, while blowing their minds. I plan to use it in the upcoming Talent Show…. Until then, keep guessing

The Principal-ler (65:365)

Source: www.craveonline.com

Source: www.craveonline.com

In honor of Dr. Seuss and Read Across America, I thought it would be interesting to write a story about the Principal-ler.

As the Principal-ler looks back on his career, he reveals how hard it was to transition to the 21st Century. He became overwhelmed with the systemic holdings, the observations, time…

 

He just couldn’t do it anymore.

The Principal-ler

You used to find the Principal-ler out and about,

He was young, vibrant and about to sprout.

His glass was half-full and everyone knew,

his best years were ahead and he grew. He grew and he grew and grew.

All the while his complaints were few.

He was piled on and piled on from near and far,

With his outlook undeterred, and his devices ever stirred, he continued to raise the bar.

Yet with any understanding of this, and his technology a miss, the Principal-ler decided to bow.

Bow? Bow, you ask?

The Principal-ler was responsible for each and every task!

Why did this happen, how did this happen? You want to know why?

The budget I tell you! They cut my staff! The cut them in HALF!

He became so busy he forgot to laugh.

His life became an alphabet soup: SGO, SGP, IRS, and PARCC

In order to handle this he slowly retracted to the dark.

He sat in his office all day, and night

He signed papers, watching his test scores with fright!

He watched from his window and began to sob

He figured it out, and he had a new job!

He banned kickball, running, and all types of fun

Teachers, he said, would wear their hair in a bun.

He wanted stricter and sticker measures, yes dear

Extend the minutes, the day, and the year.

All students wore grey, all teachers wore black

They filled out worksheets and bubbles, with no slack.

Then one night, when all was quiet, he dipped from his office went to the door

He posted a sign so that all could adore

“Kids are widgets, and teachers too

There will be no more trips to the zoo”

The next morning as the kids and the teachers marched to the door

They saw the sign, and looked for more.

“We can’t go the zoo?” said one girl who started to cry

A teacher whispered in her ear, “Please don’t try

Fill out your worksheets and don’t look at the sky.”

Things got darker and darker like a coal mine

Soon everyone stopped coming on time.

The Principal-ler thought this was fine

Without the kids and the teachers to bear

He could spend all day, alone in his chair.

No more questions, no more answers, no more silly chances

The school soon became covered in branches.

As time went on no one dared to arrive

They weren’t even sure if the Principal-ler was alive.

Then one day, as luck would have it

There was a little girl chasing a rabbit.

She came to door of the school that used to be

What was this building because she could hardly see.

The sign at the door had been covered in vine

She yelled to the window “Is everybody fine?”

The Principal-ler let out a gasp

He couldn’t believe somebody would ask.

“There is nothing to see here, nothing I tell you!”

The little girl thought for a minute or two

She opened the door and pushed through the webs

and ran up the stairs past all the old beds.

When she got to the office, she shivered and shook

I will get him out of his nook.

“Hey Principal-ler,” she said as she knocked and she knocked

“My Mommy wants me to go to school, but these hallways are all blocked”

“I think if we try, we could polish this up, And the kids could come back the teachers too”

“And we could take a trip to the zoo!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Across America 2014 (64:365)

Source: Vineland Daily Journal, Cody Glenn

Source: Vineland Daily Journal, Cody Glenn

Our school recently participated in the Read Across America Event to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Each year we try to do something a little different and this year we tried to bring the love reading alive!

 

The 6 grade levels (K-5) worked collaboratively to choose a book, and deliver the book using technology, song, storytelling, and imagination to the students. Teachers came out of their comfort zones to show the kids how fun reading can be. We had teachers dressed up as cowboys, Little Red Riding Hood, and even a group of color-icious characters. The staff went ALL out.

 

The event was coordinated by Becky Benson. Our local newspaper covered the event and if you want to learn more, check out the article.

@teachercast: Making a Difference (63:365)

Teachercast is a comprehensive professional development site that is extremely valuable.  Take a few minutes to go through the site and you will realize that there are so many helpful blog posts, app reviews, podcasts, and video interviews with influential educational leaders.

Teachercast is committed to providing the following for you:

1) Produce high quality shows that are steamed live, commercial free in high definition
2) Support new, innovative ideas from educators who want to improve student engagement
3) To continue to build a platform where educators can connect and establish their PLN
4) Highlight educators who making a difference

Are you a true leader? (62:365)

source: I tried to find the original source but was unable. Please let me know so I can give proper credit

source: I tried to find the original source but was unable. Please let me know so I can give proper credit

I saw this infographic the other day on twitter. Then I saw it in my literacy coach’s office, and then I saw it on facebook. I think the universe was sending me a message… make this a blog post! Ok, universe, you got it!

Although this infographic is simple, it is so correct.

You don’t try to be right; you try to be clear: As a leader, I have learned that I do not have to be right. There are so many different perceptions on what is right. Perceptions are reality, and there are some people that no matter how hard I try, I can not share their reality. So, I just have to be clear.

You try not to have the last word: Having the last word is something that I learned early on in life… I think anyone who is married, or grew up in a big family can attest, it does not really matter who has the last word.

You no longer try to show that it was your idea. You empower other people to own the idea: I have learned from many great leaders who taught me that it is better to be a king maker then a king. Most of us struggle with this one. We want our credit! We want to be recognized and acknowledged! Yet, if we take a step back and empower others, then as Jim Collins (Good to Great) we achieve a level 5 leadership. So no matter when we leave, the organization will continue to perform at a high rate.

 

I suggest to take this infographic and place it somewhere you can see it everyday. Reflect on it. Embody it.

 

Breathing LIFE into your school via @PrincipalKafele (61:365)

I recently came across a video posted by Principal Kafele for aspiring administrators. In the video, he talks about the importance of a morning message and how it can breath life into your school. It seems, as I have learned recently, that not everyone is greeting students as they arrive or even doing morning announcements. I think this is a lost opportunity to connect with the school community. As the school leader, it is crucial that you deliver the message of your school each and everyday.

 

Hopefully, you will learn from Principal Kafele as he has become one of the most sought after educational leaders in the country.

Want more information on Principal Kafele? Check out his blog

Look at how we have grown (60:365)

Student and Teacher use of technology as measured over 4 years and 1300 walkthroughs

Student and Teacher use of technology as measured over 4 years and 1300 walkthroughs

As I was preparing my monthly newsletter (yes we still do a paper newsletter and I think it is still important) I came across some data that I needed to share with our community. I looked at the technology use from both students and teacher as captured by the McREL Walkthroughs, and wow have we grown!

Each walkthrough is from 3 – 5 minutes, and using the McREL system, creates a mosaic of the academic climate of our building. One of the areas we have focused on the past few years has been technology use. Teachers are supporting each other through Professional Learning Communities, informal conversations, and the infamous “ed camp” style professional development known as Tech Friday.

 

This data is based on over 1300 walkthroughs in our building. As you can see, our technology use has grown!

Image is everything (59:365)

source: ikea.com

source: ikea.com

When I first started as a principal here at RM Bacon, I used a theme with the students and staff, “Your image is our Image.” This theme is still on the marquee (that is not in service anymore and will eventually be taken down) on the parking lot side above the door. I still look at it everyday I walk in. My image, I say, is the image of this school.

I would like you to reflect on your image…

What is your image?

Who do you represent?

How do your represent yourself? Your school? Community?

 

Think about this…

As educators, every time you post, like, tweet, and podcast just remember… Your Image is Our Image….