Friday, October 19, 2012
One Year Later...What Have I Learned?
Today was the day I sent all of the paperwork in and feel a genuine sense of relief that the year of not seeing my kids, wife, and friends is over.
What have I learned through all of this new schooling to be a "leader" of a school?
I have learned that you need to listen more than you talk.
You need to take the time to get to know the people you work with as people, "human beans" as the BFG from Roald Dahl's classic children's book would say.
You need to focus. Not only on the big picture but on all of the individual details.
You can't be afraid to make mistakes. "If it weren't for mistakes how would we ever learn." That's my motto.
You need to be honest with yourself and others around you.
Admit what you don't know and then learn what you don't know.
You need to stop throwing all of those educational acronyms and initiatives around and get to the heart of the matter. What will help kids learn the best way possible.
To go along with this, use plain language the third grader can understand.
You need to empower others. All people need to feel valued. Equally.
You can't play favorites. This I learned form Bo Schembechler, the former Michigan head coach. He was a born leader. I recommend his book to anyone.
One kind comment can make someone's day, week, month... Try to do this often.
Complaining only gets you so far...So far, I don't know where that is. Don't complain. (We are all guilty of this sometime :)
I love working with peers to get better at teaching. I love observing them and having them observe me... then...talking about student learning and understanding.
Be more creative in the classroom everyday. I learned so much of this from my teachers at Sacred Heart University and from my Cohort 24 crew. I miss seeing them and talking about the important stuff very much.
Laugh a lot. Then laugh again.
You need to keep meetings short. You need to not meet at all when there is no need to meet.
Walking the beat often is probably the best thing you can do. Your colleagues appreciate this.
Hanging in the cafeteria and on the playground will allow students to see you as a human bean. You will see them just as they are, kids who need time to play, have fun, and feel safe in a positive environment.
Working with small groups of kids for short periods of time is very powerful.
People want to be led. They want to learn. They love what they do.
Parents want to help.
I'm sure I missed a whole bunch. I hope to add more real soon.
It's time to play!