Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year's Resolution

Prior to the beginning of  this school year, I started to use Voxer. And it has been great. I know that I've shared this sentiment before, but the benefit I've gained from this application that is downloaded onto my phone is worth repeating.

  • Connecting with principals, coast-to-coast, regarding a myriad of topics that principals encounter on a day-to-day basis
  • The convenience of these connections taking place on my terms, anywhere and anytime
  • The ideas that other principals share that I am able to tailor and make my own
  • The positivity that we inspire within each other.

Two groups that I am a part of have been especially motivating. Principals in Action is one of the two groups. The focus of this group is simple. Principals being out of their offices, and instead spending their time in classrooms working with kids. Work. Life. Balance. is the other group. This group focuses on helping us (principals) find a balance in life; we talk about how we (principals) can maintain a commitment to our job that allows us to be effective while at the same time making enough time for ourselves, our families, and our friends.

I wholeheartedly believe in the messages that both of these two Voxer groups communicate.

As a principal, I believe, that I need to be in classrooms and I need to be working with kids. That being said, a principal has many additional obligations. Like most jobs, there is never enough time to
do it all. This is an internal battle that I struggle with, daily. I want to be a great principal. But I don't want to let my work consume me. I want to be a great husband and a great father; I want to go home
and be able to comfortably disconnect for a few hours so that I can spend quality time with my wife and our young kids.

This brings me to a few school related New Year's resolution that I want to share.
  • I plan on recommitting to being-in classrooms in 2016. I felt good about how I was doing with this to begin the year. However, as the year has gone-on and things have come-up, I'm no longer where I want to be in this regard.
  • Something that I've never done, previously, but plan to start doing is taking my laptop (and/or iPhone) into classrooms and doing a little bit of my own work alongside students who are doing their work. This was an idea that was shared in our Work.Life.Balance. Voxer group (thanks!). This idea that became my primary New Year's resolution was the inspiration for this blog post, as I am hopeful that this resolution will help me find a better work-life-balance in 2016.
  • I still plan to talk with kids whenever I am in classrooms. 
    • Last year, I was at a school (that I'd been at for three years) with approximately 250 kids. I was very proud of the fact that I knew ALL of their names! This year I am at a new school. This year I am at a school with approximately 375 kids. I am embarrassed to admit that I do not know all of their names. I need to get into classrooms, more and increase the amount of students that I am able to refer to by their first name. This matters.
    •  Also, as a result of being in classrooms more often, I will be able to do a better job of sharing our school's day-to-day celebrations. It is my job to tell our school's story. If I am not doing this, someone else will. I want to be the one that frames our story. We have Facebook page and a hashtag (#StarryShines); I want to do a better job in 2016 of promoting ourselves through those platforms.
    What are your school related New Year's resolutions for 2016?

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