Saturday, August 13, 2016

The First Day - I Can't Wait!

A new year, a new beginning. 

Most people get to say that on New Year's Day every year, but for me, it also comes in August. The start of a new school year. 

I've been preparing for this school year since the last one. Every time I would do something I'd reflect on ways to change it for the future. I made my list all summer of things I want to do this year. Things with my staff. Things with the kids. I read books, I read blogs, I listened to ideas over Voxer, and I added more to the list. Not only did my list grow, but so did my excitement. 

All of those things inspired me and motivated me to do what's best for kids. It's about them.  

I run into people and I hear the tone in their voice or see the look on their face when they say, "Oh, school starts soon, you have to go back. Sorry." It's said like it's a bad thing, like I should dread it.

I don't dread it, I'm excited.  Yes, it's always a lot of work starting off a new year and I'll miss the time I got to spend with my kids, but that doesn't mean starting school is a bad thing.

I'm excited to see the kids on the first day! I'm excited for the school year!

Let's all be like Nemo :)

To all of you in education- 
May this be the best year yet!  Have a wonderful school year! 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Reading and Learning Together via Voxer

I can easily say I love to learn and I love to read. This summer I had the chance for both as I committed to reading quite a few books, both educational and non-educational. My books were piled high with hopes of getting as much reading done as possible.
Just the educational ones -
forgot to take one of my others. 

No matter which book it was, there was inspiration found everywhere; something to take away for the future. But what inspired me the most was The Book Whisperer and  Hacking Leadership.  These two were different than the others.  They were different because I didn't just read them on my own; I participated in a book club via Voxer. I read The Book Whisperer with teachers at our school and Hacking Leadership with educators across the country. The experience was something that added to the reading; it made it more enjoyable, increased my learning, and made me even more excited for the new school year.

My top reasons for loving my book clubs via Voxer (and why I think everyone needs to be a part of one!):

1. Learning together is better than alone. I could have easily read the books on my own and reflect on next steps, but it's so much better to have someone to talk to and share ideas. Hearing one idea would spark another and we could continue a discussion for multiple days.

2. It's inspirational. Every week I was inspired by listening to our staff share ideas that will benefit the students at our school. Their enthusiasm was evident and I can't wait for the year to begin! Daily the Hacking Leadership group inspired me with their innovative ideas and willingness to try new things.   Unknowingly they pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to take risks.  Lots of plans were made for the school year. 

3. It creates a common language and network of support. Now on campus I have people I can talk to about The Book Whisperer and refer back to ideas I read and strategies shared.  I can support teachers as they implement new ideas and we can support each other as we try things school wide.  With Hacking Leadership I have connected with other leaders and we continue to brainstorm  ideas on how we can try the hack in our schools. I know we will continue to share our successes and failures as the year goes on.  

4. It's anytime, anywhere.  I'm not good on a set day and a set time to meet for book clubs.  There is always something going on and I miss a date (or more!).  Voxer allowed me to participate when I could no matter what day or time.  There were some days I listened in late at night when the kids were asleep and other days I skipped it all together while I disconnected.  That's the beauty of it.  I could get caught up and join right back in!

After this experience I've decided a book club via Voxer is a must for every summer.  If you haven't been a part of one, I suggest you try! :)