When School & Family Decisions Collide

There have been many times when I have heard administrators talk passionately about their schools, then with conviction say, “Our families always have to come first.”  I wonder, as I have gone through an internal battle with a decision about my family & school over the summer, how many other Principals and educators have dealt with this similar “battle?” When I came to my isolated rural school 3 years ago, I was questioned by many family members, friends, and colleagues as to whether my daughter, who was going into 2nd grade at the time would come to school with me,…

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Creating is a Beautiful Thing

The idea of student CREATION has become an expectation in classrooms across America. No longer do our school children only create in their art classes or when doing the yearly science experiment. Thanks to amazing educators and the empowerment students from all different locales have now with access to technology, students are creating in all different disciplines…and I FOR ONE…LOVE IT!!! Students aren’t just “creating” in our classrooms, I am excited to say I have seen many examples from all over the World where they are taking this creation beyond our school walls. While I was at ISTE in Atlanta…

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Building Relationships with Staff MATTERS!

This week I have had the opportunity to bring 9 staff members to the 22nd Annual Model Schools Conference in Orlando, Florida. Newsflash: Orlando is a long way from St. Paul, Arkansas! Check out this #selfie of me & our 21st Community Learning Center Co-Coordinator: This was her first time on an airplane ever!  Talk about an awesome thing to experience with someone! We have already seen several great keynotes; admittedly, MY favorite presentations have been from other practitioners “doing the work” in their schools & being able to have conversations with them about their work and the work we are…

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Personally: I Choose to ‘Fail Forward’

I haven’t read John C. Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward, but let me give you my personal version: May & June have included a series of what I consider both professional and personal failures. I have failed when I just “knew” I would succeed and I have let people down when that was the last thing I ever wanted to do. My family, friends, and colleagues have done exactly what great friends, family, and colleagues do; they tell me “I’m too hard on myself,” “I haven’t failed at anything;” but I know… Here’s where I have a choice; Feel sorry for…

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Digital Leadership: Book Share

Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times by Eric Sheninger is a “can’t miss” book for education administrators. This book is awesome for administrators who are firmly entrenched in technology and social media as well as those who are just beginning in their journey. There have been so many amazing book reviews highlighting awesome points of this book…I wanted to come up with something “Different” I could do to share this book with other administrators, particularly in my home state of Arkansas. After much thinking, this is what I did: I purchased 10 copies of Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for…

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Much More than a Field Trip…

Every year as a Principal, I have made a conscious effort to be a part of AT LEAST one field trip with my students.  Today was one of those days (Bus ride & all)! WHY is this a priority to me as a principal? To me, as an administrator in rural areas with low socio-economic populations…it’s so much more than a “Field Trip.” Field Trips are about: 1)  Teaching social skills 2)  Exposing students to the “unknown” 3)  Having fun outside of the school walls 4)  BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS 5)  Understanding social norms of students 6)  Letting our “guard” down 7) …

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21 Quote Salute to Teachers

It’s time for “Teacher Appreciation Week!”  In my World there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate all the amazing educators out there making a difference for our children. So…HERE’S TO YOU Teachers: My “21-Quote Salute” to Teachers 1. Teacher: “Where is Your Homework?” Student: “Lost it fighting the kid who said you weren’t the best  teacher in the school!”        (so-relateable-tublr.com) 2. “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” –Tom Brokaw 3. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” –Nelson…

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I’m not Promoting…I’m Sharing

Recently I had a really great conversation with an outstanding principal (and now friend) I met through connections on Social Media. One of the things that came up was my distain for negativity, specifically among our peers.  I’m not talking about dissenting viewpoints; I am completely fine with those and see their value in this space that is social media. I’m talking about “negative nellies;” people who have obviously had a bad day and want to ‘share it with the world!’ Let me confess: I am an extremely positive person and also a Type A ‘southern belle’ so it is…

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Disengaging with Age?

As a PreK-12 Principal the past three years I have had the unique opportunity to be involved in the entire spectrum of parental involvement. (Until 2011 my entire experience in education was secondary.)  From my observations throughout my career of my own schools as well as many other schools (many of them award-winning) as students get older…parents consistently become less engaged in their students’ education. SO WHAT’S THE DEAL? How can we get 100% attendance at Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences…yet we might go an entire school year without seeing some of our secondary students’ parents? First, let’s talk about ownership; who…

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Invest in What Matters

As educators it is extremely important to utilize our time efficiently. One way I am trying to do this for myself is by prioritizing the things I INVEST my time in. My Top 3 MUSTS to:  “Invest in What Matters” 1) Relationships I believe relationships are the very foundation of everything we do in education. Without genuine relationships the amazing tools and research based strategies we employ in our classrooms and schools will not be as effective. Teacher/Student Administration/Student Teacher&Admin/Parent School/Community Administration/Teacher All of these relationships together create an inclusive school culture.   This culture provides students, teachers, parents, community, and…

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