For the love of education is why many of us are called to be teachers and administrators. Without this love, many of the challenges would break us down. Without this love, many of us wouldn't continue to challenge ourselves. Here is a quick look at how my love has been at work this year!
What has been your ONE biggest struggle during this school year?
As a first year principal, it's rather difficult to pinpoint ONE big struggle. To me, every aspect of the job is new. I love how my days are unpredictable and full of new challenges. If I have down time, I fill it with visits to the classrooms so that I can see learning in action. Otherwise, I am working on one fire or another. Every single moment is a learning experience to me.
However, if I was going to pick one struggle that I have, it's finding balance. To my husband, this comes as no surprise. When I start something new, I throw my whole self into the process. There are many times that I come home and I am still processing my day while trying to keep up with house and family. I come home later than I should, work at home more than I should, and I beat myself up about how I could do it all differently. It's a struggle, but I need to offer myself the same grace I would give others.
Share TWO accomplishments that you are proud of from this school year.
1. I'm proud of myself for being me and not changing to fit some standard. Like I mentioned in an earlier blog, I'm a little weird. I tend to be forward thinking and I'm all about thinking outside the box. I think this way of being is reflected in many of my decisions.
2. Bringing coding and STEAM into my building. I'm very passionate about computer science and STEAM activities because they get students working together, problem solving, and creating. I think all of these skills will be important to them as they go through school and life.
What are THREE things you wish to accomplish before the end of the school year?
1. Survive my first year with out any major incidents!
2. I hope that some of things I am passionate about will have inspired my staff to do at least one thing differently.
3. I also hope that every single staff member feels comfortable with coming to me about anything.
Give FOUR reasons you remain in education in today's rough culture.
1. Because our students and staff need a voice who is willing to stick their neck out for them. Our profession is often criticized and I don't mind being the voice that speaks up against those who criticize educators and treat them as anything less than the professionals they are. (#ksleg)
2. I can't think of a single thing that I'm more passionate about.
3. I love learning alongside other educators so we can continue to grow and do what is best for kids.
4. And most importantly, kids deserve having a group of people who will do whatever it takes to help them.
Which FIVE people do you hope will take the challenge of answering these questions?
I really hope that some of my staff take this challenge...so I guess that's going to be more than 5! I think it's always good to reflect on what is going well and why we got into this profession in the first place. It's a great way to feed our souls and reconnect with our purpose.
One thing I've learned about myself over my years in education is that I'm a little weird. Yep...weird. I think differently and I do things differently. And over the years, I've learned to embrace it.
At first, I didn't know I was different because of the educational experiences I was lucky enough to have. First, I went to a magnet high school located in Wichita's City Hall that was always doing things outside the box. Then, in college, I worked at a preschool that was all about project based learning and doing what was developmentally appropriate for kids. In these settings, apparently weird was the norm.
With the adoption of CCSS and the Next Generation Science Standards, I feel like my weirdness has been vindicated. If you unpack the standards, you find these precious little things called practice standards. Within these practice standards, it becomes clear that we no longer just want to know what a child knows...we want to see what the child can do with that knowledge.
Tamara Konrade once told me something that I hold true to this day....our standards are the curriculum and textbooks and the other tools are resources we use to teach them. If we allow that statement and those standards to lead us, our kids will be able to apply their knowledge all the way up to the top of the Bloom's Ladder!
Principal of PreK-6th Grade