I wanted to begin this blog with a little bit about who I am and what is at the core of my educational beliefs.
What I know about myself is that I’m very driven, almost obsessive at times. I find myself consumed by topics, especially in education, which leads me to read, research, and discuss them as much as possible. Attending the MEMSPA (Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association) annual conference earlier this month only fueled my fire for these three topics.
- Leadership – Whether it has been as a teacher, coach, or principal, leading, inspiring, and motivating others to be their best has always been what I’ve enjoyed the most. I love to support others by putting them in a position to be successful. In my current role as a building principal, this is something I must be able to do for teachers. This begins by building a relationship with each person and learning as much as possible about them. Leadership begins and ends with relationships. Education is a profession based on relationships, with adults and students.
- Innovation in Education – Over the past year, I have listened to two people that have really helped shape my thinking on innovations needed in public schools. First, I participated in the SUPES Academy sponsored by Michigan Leadership Institute. I was able to listen to Fraser Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Richards. His creative and unique ideas to the way school districts could be structured really caught my attention. Recently, I heard George Curous speak. He is a Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Alberta, Canada. George spoke a lot about a “culture of innovation” that he believes is necessary to move the educational world forward. I do believe we are using traditional, correct that, archaic structures to educate students in a world that is asking something very different of them. While I have initiated a few minor changes along these lines (http://www.schoolnewsnetwork.org/index.php/2015-16/library-or-classroom-how-about-both/), I certainly want to go much further.
- Chasing Greatness – Mediocre. Average. Ordinary. Standard. Regular. Typical. Do any of those words sound like those you want to describe you? My guess is probably not. Then what is it that makes someone great, truly great, at anything? What is it that prohibits people from achieving that greatness or their true potential? I love to read and hear about how people have risen from nothing to something special. Something legendary. When I wake up each morning, the pursuit of that greatness is what gets me going. It is what gets me to come in early and stay late. It is what I think about when a student, parent, or teacher puts out a challenge that I feel we haven’t yet solved. It is at the chase, that pursuit, that is the single biggest consistent motivator in my professional life.
I’d love to hear from you and your thoughts on any of these topics as at this point in my journey, I truly can’t get enough!