Thursday, August 10, 2017

#LeadersAreReaders

"Yes, we have very busy lives. We have time for exactly what we choose to make time for." 
I'm pretty sure that it was Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd) who spoke those words during a session at the National Principals Conference this past summer.

We all have the same amount of time. Yet, we all prioritize our time differently. What are your priorities?

Two books recommended to me by my friends:
 Jessica Cabeen and Lindsy Stumpenhorst
We can probably ALL agree that reading should be a priority for our students. Few would argue that kids need to read. However, students aren't the only learners in schools. In schools, learning starts with us - the adults, the educators.

Reading is a way of learning. Reading is how we grow. Reading is a way to develop empathy. Reading is how we become inspired. Our kids must see us as readers. Our kids must see us as learners.

So if we're asking our kids to read, which we are (or probably should be), we better be reading. I believe that we should never ask our kids to do things that we aren't willing to do, ourselves.

Are you assigning your students independent reading for X amount of minutes throughout each week? This is an assignment for most of our Students. I am not questioning this assignment. In fact, I think that this is one of the more logical homework assignments that we give our Students.

However, what I do question is the educator that assigns 20 minutes of reading, each night, to his/her students...or 100 minutes of reading, each week, to his/her students, but then claims to not have the time to read him/herself. We're busy. Kids are busy. We're all busy. If it is important, we'll make the time for it.

So when do you read? When do you learn? When do you grow? When do you develop empathy? When do you become inspired? And how do you do it? Wake up a little earlier. Listen to an audio book.  Figure out a way to consume books while you commute and/or exercise. Be creative, and share your hack for how you make time.

This image was taken from Chris Doyle's Twitter feed.
He is constantly inspiring learning through his sharing the books that he is reading.
Read. Inspire Learning

#LeadersAreReaders and Readers are Leaders.


Friday, August 4, 2017

ThingLink - Summer 2017

After seeing a blog post written by Melinda Miller (@mmiller7571) - A Non-Traditional Back to School Letter - ThingLink (linked), I was INSPIRED to TRY something NEW. Here is the interactive image that I CREATED, which includes some highlights from my summer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

#DadsAsPrincipals - Dear Coach Arians:

Dear Coach Arians:

First off, I am a football fan. I love it. It was my first love (see the strand of pictures at the bottom of this post). Throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school football was my priority. Football was what motivated me to perform adequately in regards to my academics. Football kept me out of trouble. Football was what inspired me to adopt a lifestyle of health and fitness that has continued into my mid-thirties. Football taught me character traits that I credit for shaping me into the adult that I've become. Football, and the possibility of coaching football, is why I got into education. I owe football. I love football.

But this letter isn't about my love for football.

This blog post is about my love for something that I love even more than football. Being a Dad.

Recently, I stumbled across an article (linked) that quoted you from a recent Sirius XM NFL radio (linked) interview as saying,
"For our coaches, I tell them, if you miss a recital or a football game or a basketball game, I'll fire you. You can always come back and work."
Thank you.

You see, I'm an elementary school principal. I stay pretty busy with work. Probably not quite as busy as you, however. My job is important, nonetheless; children's futures are at stake, which coincides with our society's future being at stake.

If I let it, I could be consumed by my work. It's a struggle because I love my work.

Anyways, thank you for making it okay to prioritize being a father and a parent. I am involved in a couple of newly created movements made-up of educator Dads that are working to keep this focus in the forefront of our minds as the school year gets underway. Traditionally, the narrative only allows us to be great at one or the other - home or work. That isn't something that we're okay with. That isn't something that we'll settle for - we want to be great in both roles. We think that it is possible.

So I know that you're extremely busy as the football season is getting underway, but if you're interested, we'd love to connect with you.

On behalf of the #DadsAsPrincipals, #DadsOnDeck, and #MakerDads - thanks in advance for reading this, and good luck with your upcoming football season.

Sincerely,

Eric Ewald

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