It’s all just a click away

Welcome guests from the NJASA that may have attended our workshop on Social Media and Administration: It’s Just a Click Away by Steven Engravalle, David Gentile, and myself! Or, maybe you attended my recent presentation through the NJ Leaders to Leaders Program at RM Bacon Elementary. I hope you will find these resources valuable. It’s all just a click away.

“If you don’t tell the story of your school, someone else will.” Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal)

 

Steven Engravalle, Superintendent, Fort Lee Public School District (@iSchoolLeader)

Check out his “scoop it” – http://www.scoop.it/t/ischoolleader

Here is his presentation on Technology in and Beyond the Classroom

@Web20classroom, @drgentile_mps, @tomwhitby

David Gentile, Superintendent, Millville Public Schools (@drgentile_mps)

Check out his blog: http://drgentile.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Pamm Moore, Assistant Superintendent, Millville Public Schools (@drpammoore)

Check out her blog, especially, “I Tweet, therefore I am” : http://leadership123.edublogs.org/

 

 

Resources from our “tweep” @Joe_Mazza:

Here are a few of the free websites your students, and teachers could be benefiting from:

http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/

http://kidblog.com/

http://storybird.com/

 http://www.edmodo.com/

Learn from the Best! Upcoming Professional Development on Social Media:

Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) is hosting a FREE webinar on Social Media for Educators.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM ED :

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/768258768

 

 

Sign up for an un-conference: http://www.edcampleadership.org/ I am going on May 19, 2012!

Want more information? Especially on New Jersey Education?

 

It’s Spring Break, and we are in School

“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.” Daniel Pink

Photo by Dr. Pamm Moore

Even though we were on Spring Break this week, Dr. Pamm Moore and I ventured to school an hour and half away. Our session was facilitated by Lyn Hilt, Principal of Brecknock Elementary School in Eastern Lancaster County.  We arrived for class excited for a day of sharing and expanding our Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Photo by Lyn Hilt

Brecknock Elementary is tucked neatly in the rolling hills of Eastern Lancaster County.  The roads, which must be shared with the occasional horse and buggy, are narrow, and winding, and they take you up and down, over, and around just like my own experiences as a principal this year. In all honesty, Eastern Lancaster County is beautiful farm country.

lynhilt.com

When we arrived, Lyn welcomed us into her office.  We assembled at a conference table and began chatting. We had no agenda other than to learn from one of Twitter’s most famous elementary school principals. Lyn has close to 7,000 world-wide Twitter followers.  When she Tweets, educators listen. Her main blog, Lyn Hilt: The Principal’s Posts have been viewed by over 33,000 visitors. In recognition for her hard work and determination, she has been nominated for multiple Edublogs Awards the past two years.  Her school blog  has been viewed close to 2,000 times.

Photo by Lyn Hilt

Lyn enthusiastically described the 21st Century teaching and learning strategies that are integrated into her school’s daily practices. We talked about her foray into Social Media and its subsequent impact on the district, school, and most importantly, the students. Lyn’s Social Media crusade is specific and measurable; intending to arm her teachers and students with the most up to date applications to continuously advance their learning to new levels. She makes no apologies for this.

After our discussion, we toured the classrooms of Brecknock where the ideas are put into practice. We were able to visit with Kindergarten students who had recently Skyped with a class in Peru. When asked where Peru was, one student quipped,  “South America, of course!” We all laughed.

Next, we visited a 1st grade classroom where the students were enthusiastically sharing their blogs via kidblog.org. One student in particular, Dakota, and I chatted about Social Media, blogging, reading, and life.  I encouraged her to finish her blog, have her Principal send it to me, and I would have my 1st graders do the same.

Photo by Dr. Pamm Moore

In 4th grade, students were using Storybird to write their own stories. This was the first time I had seen Storybird in action. Lyn highly recommended this, and she described how the company uses images from real artists.  One student read their entire story to us. I found it interesting that right next to him another student was working on a traditional story. You know the ones that are photocopied and the students color in and write their own story. I picked it and up looked at Lyn and said, “Basically, this is what Storybird is for the 21st century.” She replied, “You got that right!”

Photo by Dr. Pamm Moore

As we walked from room to room, we felt the embrace of the positive and stimulating learning climate that permeates throughout Brecknock Elementary School. Each classroom had its own decorations and distinct character. Some were of the traditional elementary variety and some classrooms made us feel as if we were in someone’s living room.

Clearly, Lyn resonates with the students, and teachers. As we entered classrooms, everyone was excited to see her. It was also obvious that she was in high demand. There were many students who wanted to eat lunch with her. I am not talking one or two students; there were at least a dozen who wanted to be put on her “lunch list.”

Photo by Breaknock Student

We ended our tour and reviewed some of the resources that she imparted on us. She agreed to send us some additional information that would aid us in our transition to world class. I told her that I would get in touch with some of my teachers and that we could connect with her students through one of the various online learning applications. We had one of her student’s take our picture!

Resembling the enthusiasm of Lyn’s lesson, we ventured back over the Delaware River to finish Spring Break. We talked about what we could immediately integrate into our district, and what would we need to research further. We were extremely thankful to spend time with Lyn because we too want to be put on “the list”. The state of New Jersey recently unveiled a directory of Reward Schools and like Lyn, our goals are specific and measurable; we want to be on that list!

 

Resources:

Her personal Blog – Lynhilt.com

Brecknock Elementary Blog – http://blog.elanco.org/br

Free Blogging for kids – Kidblog.org

Artful storytelling- storybird.com

Pink, D.(2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Riverhead Trade. New York.

 

The Open Refrigerator Stare

source: dinnerwithmaxjenke.blogspot.com

Please tell me you know what I am talking about. Prompted by an unsatisfied feeling in your stomach, you wander into the kitchen, open the refrigerator door, and stare deeply into the depths of the cold, giant box. I have been doing this since I was a kid. Sometimes, I even pull a double where I have both the refrigerator and freezer doors open simultaneously. This drives my wife nuts! She says it wastes money, and can affect the contents in the refrigerator. She is actually right on this one. Shouldn’t I have a plan before I look into the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry?  Then I think to myself, is there a lesson here for education?

Many administrators throughout the world are doing the “Open Refrigerator Stare” in their schools.  Here is how it goes. Once we know the curricular shelves are stocked, we wonder curiously down hallways and begin opening doors, classroom doors.

source: sites.google.com

Some of our purchases are front and center. They look as delicious as they did in the store and gulp, we eat it right up. But as we stare longer, we notice numerous items in the back, sometimes piled on top of each other. We may remember buying them, or not. Some of these things have really nice packaging, but when we open them up they spoil quickly. Still others don’t have a very long shelf life, bruise easily, and we just end up staring at them. Often partially satisfied or even unsatisfied, we close the door.

Invariably, someone goes shopping again and announces, “The new packages are in!” Then, we begin the process all over by packing the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Sometimes we throw out dated items, sometimes we think maybe we will use them later, and other times we store them somewhere else. Either way, it all gets packed in there.

source: stillwaterpubliclibrary.blogspot.com

So, how do we thwart the Open Refrigerator Stare and subsequent wasteful practices that plague Education? The plan is simple-we need to refine our practices and operationalize a methodical and process-centered system that is focused on results. The results can be anything from saving money, improved student achievement, increased professional development. It really depends on what you want in the refrigerator.

Systems thinking

source: modernanalyst.com

According to Senge (1990) systems thinking is the process that helps leaders perceive how aspects of the organization influence each other. For instance, in schools, there is a system of influences on student performance. In addition to teachers,  there are parents, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries, Board of Education, administration, technology, laws, mandates, nutrition, etc. that impact students. If everyone understands that they are part of the “system” and understand the mission/vision of the system, then the system is dedicated to student achievement. Seems easy, right? Well, it isn’t.

Process Centered not people centered

Hammer (1996) coined the phrase “process-centered” to describe the importance of organizations’ understanding their own processes. For a school, this is a way to view all purchases, interactions, curriculum, etc. in terms of the mission/vision as opposed to someone with a “bright idea” or “money to spend.” In order for process-centered to work, people have to put aside their positions, personal beliefs, and power struggles to do what is in the best interest of the organization. Under a process-centered school district, the central administration (with a balcony view of the district) becomes more of a “quality control” focusing on the inter-working parts of all the schools, curriculum, etc with the mission/vision driving the way.

Focused on Results

source: one-now.com

W.E. Demmings coined the phrase “We inspect what we expect.” He believed that organizations, if focused on quality, needed to follow a simple mathematical equation: “Quality= Results of work/ Total costs.” In education, we have been accustomed to our “feelings.” Often administrators will say, “I feel our students are not behaving lately!” The first question, in response to that, would be, “How do you know?” Then you would ask, “What data do you have to support that? Is it a trend? Was this an outlier of a month? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” Asking the right questions can lead us to create the necessary system or processes to achieve our goals, and overcome real (and perceived) problems.

See, it’s not that simple anymore to go on feelings. In fact, I believe the “feelings” of educators have us going in a million different directions. No wonder we are constantly being criticized and vilified in the press. What are really focused on? Do we have the capacity to tell our story, with appropriate data to support? Furthermore, if we want teachers to make data-based decisions, then we as administrators need to lead by example, and open the refrigerator door in a systemic, process-centered way that is focused on results.

Resources:

Hammer, M. (1996). Beyond Reengineering: How the Process Centered Organization is Changing Our work and Lives. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. New York.

Senge, P. (1990). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Currency Doubleday. New York.

Transforming Schools Through Powerful, Systemic Walkthroughs http://www.wix.com/missdiscepola/ascd12

Two all beef patties, special sauce….

Henry and "Big Daddy"

Last night I took my 7 year old son to his first NBA game featuring the Philadelphia 76ers vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. As we settled in our seats, Henry asked, “What is the Sixers theme song, Daddy?” Every song that came on while the players were warming up was followed with Henry asking, “Is that the theme song, Dad?” Honestly, I haven’t been to a Sixers game in some time, and I wasn’t altogether sure what song they were using this year.

Finally, with a few moments before tip off, the lights dimmed, and the introductions began. I finally figured out that their theme song was 1 2 3 4 5 Sixers. We had a lot of fun throughout the game, and the Sixers dominated the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. So much so, that with about 4 minutes left, fans were heading for the exits. “Henry,” I said, “Let’s go down as close as we can to see the end of the game.” He agreed, and we literally were 20 feet from the court. We heard the college kids behind us yelling, “Big Mac!” Of course Henry asked, “Why are they yelling Big Mac, Dad?” “Not sure, bud,” I replied. As soon as the Sixers scored their 100th point, it became clear why they were cheering. The announcer came on and said, “Congratulations to all fans tonight! Since the Sixers scored 100 points you will receive a free Big Mac tomorrow at Mc Donald’s.” So, that is why they were cheering.

Henry and Daddy

Unfortunately, around 2:00 am Henry woke up and went to the bathroom to get sick. Mommy and Daddy helped him with that ever so unpleasant experience. In the morning, as we were getting his sister ready for school, he asked about the Big Mac. We told him he couldn’t eat a Big Mac today because he was sick last night. So then he asked, “What is in a Big Mac?” Mommy shouted from the other room, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!” Then she looked at me and said, “You should blog about the importance of mnemonic devices as a learning tool. It is very important!”

Then it hit me, what Henry was looking for the whole time was the mnemonic device that would help him remember the experience. He was determined to make a connection with the Sixer’s theme song to provide a context for his first NBA game. In schools, we try to use mnemonic devices to aid with short, and hopefully, long term memory in applying skills and knowledge that they can link to their everyday lives. Acronyms, acrostic poems, rhymes, and keyword strategies are at our finger tips. They are designed to help our students learn.

I will never forget that night, and I am sure Henry will never forget it either. We both have our mnemonic devices!

Here are some resources:

http://www.mnemonic-device.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Use-Both-Sides-Your-Brain/dp/0452266033

#ASCD12…12 Giveaways for your next conference!

OK, you can have my pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, program guides and folders because I am not going to need them anymore.  For the most part, I went through ASCD12 on my BlackBerry. I simply tweeted, typed notes, and followed the “back-current” of the conference from the palm of my hand. It was so nice to not have a lot of “baggage.”

I know most people focus on takeaways, but I am going to try something different. Here are my 12 giveaways:

1. Using Social Media is a precious gift, but you still need to chat with people. People like Tom Whitby will hold court with you, make you laugh, and make you THINK!

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for pictures. The pictures, I hear, will last longer than the moment.

3. Don’t try to do lunch at Reading Terminal Market with more than 7 people during the busy lunch time. You won’t be able to find seats together.

4. Be selfish – You control your learning. If you are in a session and it is not what you thought, “punch out” and go to another, or back to the Exhibit Hall. I preferred the Re-Charge station so I could charge up my phone.  Thanks ASCD for all of the options!

5. Flank out and spread your wings.

6. When in the elevator or in line for coffee, ask someone where they are from. Ask them about their experiences at the conference.

7. Wait the extra few minutes after a session and thank the presenter.

8. Ask people about their technology. See a new gadget, ask someone if they can tell you about it. Might help you in future purchases.

9. Fight through a cold. I kick myself that I missed the 8:00 AM session on Sunday.

10. Buy at least one book that a presenter recommends. I bought Brain Rules, by John Medina. So excited to read it.

Who doesn't want to be Simply Better?

11. Convince your highest ranking administrator (Think Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent) to buy a set of books by an ASCD author, and agree to run the book club. Dr. Gentile, fingers crossed, will be purchasing “Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most To Change The Odds For Students Success” for administrators who are interested in motivating our students and teachers. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/111038.aspx

12. Blog, Google+, facebook, or tweet about your experiences and “give” them to someone.

See you in Tampa, St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, Dallas or Chicago13?

 

ASCD12 Day 2 Reflections… and takeaways

For me, day 2 started out rough. I woke up with a continued cough that I can only attribute to allergies. I decided to sleep in, and ended up skipping the 8:00 AM sessions. I think the extra sleep helped and it was also important to spend time with my family before I departed for Philly. I ate a little breakfast and 2o minutes later I was parking in the City. It pays to live so close the National Conference site this year.

I attended the general session. Byrne Creek Secondary Schools was awarded because of the work they are doing with students. I was impressed with how  Principal, Mr. Dave Rawnsley told the story of his school, Byrne Creek Secondary Schools, through a poem “I AM” written by the students. I thought it was touching.

After the general session, I went to the recharge station and met up with my superintendent, Dr. Gentile and Joe Mazza, Principal of Knapp Elementary. Please check out Joe’s blog http://efacetoday.blogspot.com. We discussed the power of social media and parent engagement. Joe is doing a lot of research on this issue through his doctoral program. He shared a video with us that we will defiantly be bring back to Millville to help teachers, administrators, parents and students recognize this awesome tool.

Joe Mazza and David Gentile at the Re-Charge Station

We went to a 1:00 PM session, but it didn’t work. Sometimes, what is written on the description is not what it seems in the presentation. No worries. We met up with Dr. Moore and Alicia Discepola and hit the Exhibit Hall. I was able to get a picture with an energetic representative from ADRENNA.

She was dancing to get people to visit

At 3:00 PM I attended Bored to Death: What we know (and Ignore) About Student Motivation by Bryan Goodwin. Bryan did a fantastic job of taking the attendee through the research and practical strategies that both identify and assist students who are unmotivated with their learning. I highly suggest that you purchase his book Simply Better: Doing What Matters to Change The Odds For Student Success. http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Better-Matters-Student-Success/dp/1416612955/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332715356&sr=8-1

Here is a video Bryan showed at the end of his presentation. Enjoy

All in all the day was filled with learning, connections, and resources that I can use to be a better educator.

ASCD12: Day 1 Reflections

Day 1 Saturday

ASCD12

I arrived at the convention center a little before 8AM. My goal was to get registered quickly and make it to the Marzano session. Registration was so easy and everyone at ASCD was extremely helpful. When I arrived at the Marzano session I quickly began to listen, make connections and, of course, tweet. I was so happy to see that many other attendees were tweeting as well. Bob Marzano’s presentation was enlightening, humorous and, most of all practical. His research has enlightened me to the fact that teaching is both an art and a science.

I went through the exhibit hall. There were so many resources available to increase learning, technology integration, and student achievement. I met up with my Superintendent, Dr. Dave Gentile and another Principal, Dr. Brian Robinson, from the district and we went to the keynote address by Reed Timmer, storm chaser extraordinaire. I have never seen the show, but I will say that the other day as I was doing a walkthrough in my building, a 5th grade teacher was using Reed’s work to illustrate the powerful impact of Tornadoes for a project they were doing. What I liked about Reed was that he modeled effective instruction- he made real world connections, integrated story telling, and utilized technology.

After the Keynote, I went to lunch and had a wonderful conversation about Elementary education from one of my in district mentors, Dr. Brian Robinson. Brian always provides me with with insights into education, and he is a really good sounding board for all of my ideas.

It was all laughs before the presentation

I tried to attend an early afternoon session, but all the early birds got the worms. I attempted 3 sessions but they were closed. So, I helped out the team from Millville who were presenting at 3:00 PM. Their session on Transforming Schools Through Powerful and Systemic Walkthroughs (Dr. Pamm Moore, Dr. David Gentile, Mrs. JoAnne Colacurcio, and Ms. Arlene Jenkins) was the one I was looking most forward to. By 2:45PM the room was packed and the session was closed. My job for this session was to run the twitter feed. I think I sent out 35 tweets during the session. I felt like a court stenographer.

As a celebration to the amazing presentation the team from Millville went to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. We laughed and joked while we snacked on a very diverse appetizer tray. As soon as we were finished with dinner, Dr. Pamm Moore and I headed over to tweet up.

@timito4 @web20classroom@NMHS_Principal @betavt @tomwhitby @drpammoore @katrinastevens1

At first I didn’t know what to expect from tweet up. I wasn’t sure what I would do or who I would talk with, or for that matter how long I would stay. Fortunately, Eric Sheninger arrived and we caught up and reflected on the visit to his school. He introduced us to some people. Before we knew it, we had met colleagues from all across the country, with various participation with twitter and blogging. We had so much fun! I thanked Tom Whitby, and Steven Anderson, the innovators of #edchat, for all they did to pave the way for all of us who have followed. And to think, only one day completed!

By the way, I sent out about 100 tweets throughout the whole day and I was able to complete this post before going to bed. I have to say this is very invigorating!

It’s all about the Journey AND the Destination

Scholastic cover: @NMHS_Principal

Our superintendent was able to secure a visit to New Milford, NJ to visit with Eric Sheninger, principal, blogger, presenter, leader, father, husband, traveler, and more. In Millville Public Schools, we use a systems approach to everything. One of the most important principles in systems thinking is to look to the “best in class”. Eric is considered to be the “best in class” when it comes to social media, leadership, and technology. Who can argue with his close to 20,000 followers, books, presentations, keynote addresses, Scholastic Administrator of the year, and other accolades?  Rightfully so!

We were scheduled to be in New Milford High School (NMHS) by 8AM.  Our crew (Dr. David Gentile, Superintendent; Dr. Pamm Moore, Assistant Superintendent; Mrs. Kathy Procopio, Principal, Millville Senior High School; and Dr. Spike Cook, Principal, Rebecca Mulford Bacon Elementary) assembled at our meeting place at 5:30AM in order to beat the traffic and allow ourselves time to get there safely.  We knew the journey would be part of the experience, so we all set our alarm clocks – EARLY. Armed with my contribution of coffee, we were set to take off.

The ride up was both comical and inspiring. We dealt with a lot of technical issues, including a new GPS system and our lack of experience in commuting in North Jersey.  We talked about how our lives were going. We learned about each other’s families and our recent experiences at school. Somehow, we even managed to make it there on time!

Once we arrived at NMHS, Eric’s secretary greeted us with a warm smile. The office was quiet, and all the students and teachers seemed to be in their places. Eric brought us into his conference room and spent the first 30 minutes discussing the day’s planned events, as well as what to expect in this school building. We had prepared questions to guide the discussion, but after a while that was not necessary. Conversation and ideas just flowed. We were curious about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, technology in the classroom, cell phones, culture and climate of NMHS, and of course, Eric. He took great care in crafting his answers making sure to let us know that he was no “prophet” but rather a man on a mission to bring 21st century learning to the forefront of the educational experiences for his students. Eric feels that the way NMHS embraces technology speaks to what students already understand – that phones are now devices, and making them taboo only adds to the problems, as opposed to being part of the solution.

NMHS's new 21st Century learning environment

As we walked through NMHS, it was clear that Mr. Sheninger was in his element. Students approached him with ease, said hello and some continued their conversation with him from earlier. One student, in noticing the visitors remarked, “The suits are here. This must be something important.” We laughed. Eric had us visit a few classrooms to experience what he can only describe to his Twitter followers or presentation attendees. His classrooms are, in some regards, traditional-looking from the hallway, but once inside, I felt something much different. As the students texted answers to their teachers, or looked up resources on their cell phones, there was something oddly normal. As a young lady in a Geometry class articulated, “Using our cell phones in class is really no big deal. When we are finished with it, we just put it away and move on with something different.”

Solve and text

In another math class, the teacher used the responses from the cell phones to understand the learning process of his students. In one question, 100% of the students answered correctly, and he moved on. Following a second question, 55% of the students missed the answer. Using that information, he promptly revisited the skill to address the needs of his class. To me, this was evidence of data driven and learner-centered education at its best!

After our classroom visits, we went back to the conference room for more discussion. Eric showed us his new “interactive white board in a bag.” No, Eric is no magician, he showed us a newer device that connected his iPad, Apple TV, and HDMI display tool to create an interactive display wall. Of course, he mentioned, this can be purchased for a fraction of the cost that an interactive white board costs.  Ideas were swirling around in our heads.

Eric was excited to show us the cafeteria. We descended upon one of the first lunches to watch how the students used technology at lunch. Sure enough as we walked through the cafeteria, students were on their devices watching videos, playing Angry Birds, or reading. Dr. Moore and I chatted with two sophomore girls. Similar to the other student in math class, they both said that having their cell phones out at lunch, and when the teacher lets them in class, is nothing big. I asked if they felt that students used these devices to bully, harass, or cause problems at the school, to which one of them said, “Maybe at other schools, but not here.”

MPS and Eric Sheninger

We concluded the visits by getting our pictures taken with Principal Twitter, as his secretary jokingly mentioned, “I knew him before all of this, you know.” Eric signed a copy of the Scholastic Magazine featuring his story. He encouraged us to keep Tweeting, blogging and modeling the way for our teachers and students. 

On our car ride home, we reflected on the day. It was obvious to us that Eric had developed a culture and climate that valued technology and treated students with dignity and respect. It was also clear that the stakeholders of NMHS mutually agreed that learning was priority number one. We each shared our “takeaways” from the day (in between navigating Teaneck, New Milford, and the NJ Turnpike – think Clark Griswold from European Vacation, “Hey Kids, Big Ben, the Parliament”). Mrs. Procopio, who took 4 pages of notes, felt the experience helped her see how technology can be an integral part of the high school experience. She reflected on the many positive teachers at NMHS, and how she couldn’t wait to explore options for her school. Dr. Gentile felt that the whole experience, both the journey and the destination, was worthwhile and inspiring. Dr. Moore saw the important benefits of technology and curriculum integration which was neither forced nor contrived at NMHS.

Spike Cook and Eric Sheninger

As for me, I am looking forward to our district’s journey through technology exploration and our future destination of becoming a world class district.

 

 

 

 

Are you going to ASCD12?

Check out Dr. David Gentile, Dr. Pamm Moore, Mrs. Joanne Colacurcio, and Mrs. Arlene Jenkins, as they present on Saturday 3/24/12 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm #1335 — Transforming Schools Through Powerful and Systematic Walkthroughs

http://myeventmarket.com/ascd12/pre-conference-and-conference-session/44734/1335-transforming-schools-through-powerful-and-systematic-walkthroughs

Turtle On The Fence …Post By Dr. Pamm Moore

Source: beeryblog.wordpress.com

“If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know someone helped him get there.”  I’ve been reflecting on that saying lately as I settle into my assistant superintendent position. Many people have offered encouragement, guidance, and much needed support throughout my journey. I realize that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people who were placed in my life.   So my question for you is who have you helped along the way?

Each of us has an obligation to reach back and bring someone along with us as we journey through life. I’m often saddened when I hear comments such as “He/she will just have to learn through their own mistakes,” or my favorite, “If I help them, they may do a better job than I can.”  You may say that these comments are not the norm but I beg to differ. These sentiments, whether vocalized or merely demonstrated through actions, are present in each of our work environments.  

So I offer a challenge to you today.  Call one person in your organization and do one the following:

  • Offer your support
  • Help them avoid a potential landmine with one of the written or unwritten policies
  • Have lunch with them to help them brainstorm ideas for one of their current challenges
  • Call to see how they are progressing with their new position
  • Send them a note of encouragement
  • Listen

This list is finite but the possibilities are infinite. This is just the beginning of what you can do.  Each one of us is in a different job situation but everyone of us can do something.  I encourage you to do something today to help someone else.  My name is Dr. Pamela Moore (@DrPammMoore) and I am proud to say that I am a turtle sitting on a fence.  I would like to offer my deepest appreciation to all of those who helped me get there!