Each year I take some time to reflect on the blog posts on this site. It is a very cathartic process as I re-read the posts from the year, and it also inspires me to keep blogging. At it’s core, this blog serves as a digital footprint of my year as a learner!
Here are my Top 5 Blog Posts from 2018
5. You Can’t Pour out of an Empty Cup
This was originally posted on December 2, 2018 but was shared throughout the Holiday Season. I wrote this to both remind everyone (and myself) of how important self care is to our longevity!
4. How to Spread Gratitude at your School
This January 7, 2018 post was one of my most meaningful posts of the year. Gratitude has been an integral part of my life since October 2016. The daily practice of Gratitude has transformed the way I see the world. As I become more comfortable with the practice, I shared it with the staff and students at Lakeside Middle School. It is amazing how much it has grown!
3. Celebrate Two Staff Members a Day
I wrote this post on January 15, 2018 after interviewing Lindsy Stumpenhorst on the PrincipalPLN Podcast. Lindsy developed a system of recognition cards with her secretary to celebrate teachers throughout their building. Her secretary keeps track of the list to ensure that everyone is included. When Lindsy comes into her office every morning there are two cards with teacher names. Lindsy’s sole mission for the day (on top of all of the tasks she already has) is to fill out the cards and get them to the teachers. I tried this and received a lot of positive feedback. As with anything, if you do not stick with it then it goes away. Re-reading this post has encouraged me to go back to this recognition process.
2. 5 Takeaways from the National SAM Conference
I love learning at conferences and the 2018 SAM conference was such an amazing experience. Not only did I turn 44 during the conference, I got a chance to hear inspiring keynotes, breakout sessions and to connect with educators from around the country!
1. School Security: A Serious, Comprehensive Issue
I wrote this post after the Parkland, Florida tragedy. I was very specific with my intentions of this post which is why I wrote a disclaimer, “This post, however, is not about the politics, mental health or gun debates that are currently filling up social media networks as well as local, state, and national news. This post is about the seriousness of school security and the reality of being a principal having to deal with it.” Since this post our district has increased our training and preparation to better equip students and staff in case of an emergency. I have learned so much more and have enjoyed working with local, state and federal law enforcement officials.
I want to thank you all for your support of this blog. Very soon in 2019 Insights Into Learning will turn 7 years old! Stay tuned for more and Happy New Year!
About the Author
Spike Cook, Ed.D., Principal, Lakeside Middle School, Millville, NJ. In addition to being a Principal, Dr. Cook published two books through Corwin Press (Connected Leadership:It’s Just a Click Away; Breaking Out of Isolation: Becoming a Connected School Leader). He is the co-host of the popular PrincipaPLN podcast and his blog, Insights Into Learning, was recognized as a finalist for Best Administrator Blog by the EduBlog Awards. Spike earned his Doctorate from Rowan University and is featured in their Alumni Spotlight. Connect with @drspikecook via Twitter.