Waiting on Amazing…….
Aug 17, 2013
As an educator I am always looking for ways to make my students’ learning experiences better. One of my favorite sayings to use with both my students and teachers is “Let’s go for Amazing!” I have noticed I’ve been saying that a lot; not just with my teachers and students but also when I’m talking with my friends and family. So I started wondering….”What in the World am I talking about?”
IN EDUCATION with Students:
A great example of this comes from my 2014 Senior Class who last year came to me and wanted to paint Fleur de lis (our school symbol) on the on the streets leading people to our school gymnasium. Not a class known for their organization or leadership skills at this point; they had no plan and no money, but they did have an idea. To me, the idea that these students wanted to improve our school was such a huge step for that class in terms of #stuvoice it almost brought a tear to my eye! They probably could’ve asked to paint Daisies on the walls and I would’ve said yes! (Don’t tell them!) My only directive to them was this: “Let’s go for Amazing!” I was encouraging but firm in that, if you do something here at our school that represents all of us it’s got to be “top notch.” Now we have beautiful blue Fleur de lis painted on the streets leading to our gymnasium; and it definitely is looks AMAZING! But more importantly, I have an incoming Senior Class that understands whatever idea you have, whatever goals you want to accomplish, the end result should be simply “amazing.” If that’s not the goal, you need to back up, aim higher, and restart.
IN EDUCATION with Teachers:
As a K-12 Principal I work extremely hard to provide my teachers with an environment where they feel comfortable experimenting with new teaching methods, trying new things, and stepping outside of their comfort zones. I am blessed with an amazing staff and as the only administrator on campus (within thirty minutes); I definitely rely on them heavily! One of the things I appreciate most about them is their ability to be positive teacher leaders. Many of my teachers might not naturally want to pursue a leadership position themselves, but when called upon they always come through. Specifically, this summer, I asked one of my amazing elementary teachers @audrakimball to provide some training for our whole school. She was somewhat (ok VERY) reluctant. After talking with her and going through hours of what you might consider less than exciting material, I reassured her she was ready and then of course said, no pressure; “Let’s go for Amazing!” Her summer training received some of the highest positive feedback I’ve had for professional development in the three years I’ve been at my school. I’d say she made it pretty AMAZING!
IN EDUCATION as an Administrator:
If you are taking the time to read this blog, you are undoubtedly a super-driven & dedicated educator. (Or you just like me a lot….and I appreciate that!) As a principal I find myself in a constant search for the next “Amazing” opportunity for my students, school, and self. I feel like I am on the giant “hamster wheel” chasing one “amazing” success after another. Does that sound familiar? Admittedly, other educators are definitely more grounded than I am about this. I was a coach and college athlete, I am extremely competitive, so every success my school attains is not only great for kids, it feels like a “W” in the win column! To me, once I obtain success, I get extremely “greedy” and just want more! I am even more motivated to achieve every time something new is attained. So, when it comes to me professionally, I am always pushing myself, I am the first one to say “Let’s Go for Amazing!” I’m working on the, “Let’s enjoy the successes” part!