Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Walk To School Wednesdays

I am sure that most educators can relate to a "big book of ideas" that is compiled while you student teach, or in my case, when you are an Assistant Principal just waiting for your big chance. Those little gems of goodness that you just know we will fabulous implemented in your OWN space.   I LITERALLY had a binder of ideas, articles, outlines, and blackline masters of all kinds of stuff when I was an assistant that I compiled of ideas from my graduate work, my former principals, and my mentor principal for several years before I was appointed to my own school.  These days you likely use an online application, a blog, and/or file on your cloud drive to compile and save these gems.  These days, I am a big fan of Pinterest and often take to "pinning" things when I get inspired.  I know that there are still things out there that I want to try and implement and so I save them for when the moment is right.  

One such"big idea" that I was knew I wanted to implement was the idea of Walk to School Wednesday. This was an idea that I had not actually witnessed by the great leaders that I am honored to have worked with over the course of the year, but rather a body of educators that shared their experiences and success with Walk to School Wednesday.  

Last Spring, I was driven to "vlog" about Walk to School Wednesday.  This video explains my reasons for bringing this initiative to McCall and also sets my expectations for the staff about this program. Please excuse the windy day that blows over the mic of my phone, but the day we were having is EXACTLY what inspired me to film my thoughts.  I hope this little youtube clip helps you understand the essence of Walk to School Wednesdays here at McCall. See below for a revised dress code for Walk to School Wednesdays!

Dress Code to Participate in Walk To School Wednesday:
  • Running/Walking Shoes
  • Jeans
  • Loose fitting athletic wear
  • Hoodies
These items may no longer be worn for Walk to School Wednesday:
  • Form fitting athletic tops

Fresh faces and fresh spaces--New Teachers are AWESOME

It's the time of year that I absolutely love; all the elements of the system we call school are finally coming together.  While this past spring and summer have been hectic keeping up with all the needs we have for this year, I feel 100% certain that we've got the best new people for our little people and their families.

For my brand new teachers, welcome to the profession.  In my opinion, teaching is the hardest job you will hold aside from being a parent.  In my years of experience, I have found that teaching will:  keep you up at night, make you worry that you didn't give enough of yourself, make you break down and cry when you make your first CPS call, make your families hold dinner for you more than once this school year, give you a high when you realized you orchestrated the "light bulb" moment for a child,  make you angry when parent does not realize the potential of their child; but above all, teaching WILL give you more rewards and love than you thought possible.  I simply cannot imagine a more worthy calling than teaching. Thank you for answering the call and working with the children at my school.

I promise to help you in every way that I can possibly help you this year.  You will have a mentor, teammates who will become your second family, and a principal who loves her staff, students, and school with her WHOLE heart.  We are a team.  Please come to me if you are struggling, worried, stressed, overwhelmed, or dissatisfied.  I cannot help you if you don't let me into your thoughts, fears, concerns, or needs.  We can find a solution together for most everything this first year will throw at you.

I LOVE watching new teachers come into their own in the classroom.  You all are MY lightbulb moments that I go home and tell my family about around the dinner table.  I am in awe of your courage, energy, and endless new ideas.  It keeps all of us fresh, so please do SHARE.  None of us would grow if it wasn't for all the new teachers who keep us fresh.

I am on your side.  However, we work with children and I will always keep them at the forefront of any tough decision that has to be made. There may be times that we have to have hard conversations, but in those moments, you have to remember that at the heart of every conversation and decision I will make is one that is only centered around children and their best interests.  One request that I make is that we have completely open conversations and that you realize that YOU are the STUDENTS in my classroom. That's the

I have a sign in my office that reads, "Teacher who love teaching teach children who love learning" and I try to inspire all my teachers to keep that at their forefront.  How do we do that?  Well, I think that continuing to learn and try new things keeps that fresh spirit in the classroom.  consider myself a principal who loves the craft of teaching with my whole heart.  I adore learning new things and helping everyone find their niche.  I can talk "school" for hours and hours.  I try hard to be wide read so that I can be a great partner for ALL the content we have on an elementary campus.  That said, reading will forever hold me captive and draw me in above any other content area.  I have often said, if I was told tomorrow that principals were being eliminated, I'd be very happy back in a kindergarten or first grade classroom.

I love walking through the classrooms and watching all the fantastic educators we have at McCall making learning come alive for the kids.