In the past two months, I attended quite a few graduation ceremonies and celebrations. While sitting at one college graduation, I witnessed people graduating from college for the first time with their bachelor’s degrees. In the same ceremony, I witnessed people graduate with advanced degrees… masters and doctorates. I sat and reflected on the dreams sitting in that room. I wondered how the graduates thought their lives would magically change because of the new pieces of paper they had to hang on their walls.
It provoked me to think about the word commencement. Commencement means “a beginning or start”. The “feel” of graduation is one of anticipation. It evokes a sense of celebration. There are only a handful of events in life that evoke such a celebration… graduations, weddings, baby births (especially the “first” baby), perhaps promotions. When thinking about these celebrations, I wondered why we would wait until one of these special events in life to “begin”.
Each day when we wake up, we have the opportunity to start over. We have the opportunity to begin the day a bit differently with our family members in our homes. We have the opportunity to begin the day differently with our colleagues. We have the opportunity to be a better leader. We don’t have to live our lives on autopilot. Switch gears and aim to be better each day.
What will you do differently this week to be better?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me (One Innovative Educator). This month, One Innovative Educator, turns 2! Two years ago, I launched out and began this journey of providing leadership tips to all who would listen. Allow me a moment to reminisce.
Two years ago, I presented at a professional organization. I remember being completely overwhelmed with the interest in my session. The room was packed with elementary principals and assistant principals wanting to hear from me about how to allow data to drive instruction in their schools. I remember the session’s facilitator (a retired principal) pulled me to the side after the session and told me how “special” I was. He said the way I captivated the audience and taught on how to lead was truly phenomenal.
This experience is what helped me realize my next step in education. I knew my time as a campus administrator was coming to an end, but I didn’t have clarity on exactly what my next step be. The “teacher” in me was awakened. I decided at that time that my next step was in the direction of professional development.
I took that yearning and did two things. First, I began looking at job openings in PD. Second, I made the realization that I didn’t need to wait for someone to hire me to do the job. I could do this myself… and thus, One Innovative Educator was born. In the end, someone did hire me to provide professional development for their district. I was able to do both… work in the area I felt I was being “called” and begin my own business.
The point of this blog is to ask you… where is your future leading you? Do you have a new “calling”? If so, what can you do to put yourself on that path? Don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity, begin to create your own future!
In the state of Texas, we have just completed our first week of testing. We are all exhaling, but only for a moment… because there is another round of tests lurking around the corner. In about a month, we’ll be doing this again, but for more grade levels. How do we keep everyone’s focus on learning when spring has sprung?
Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
They key to a successful springtime leading up to May state testing… monitor, monitor, monitor. We all know what is monitored is what gets done. With this in mind, monitor what is priority on the campus. Priority this time of year should be instruction and school culture.
Tips to monitor instruction:
Make sure intervention and acceleration groups are going smoothly. There is still time to help students prepare for the high-stakes test. Take full advantage of the time you have. Schedule your class visits when interventions/acceleration should be taking place. Also, monitor PLC/Planning times. This is the time of year that we can’t slack on teacher collaboration and planning.
Tips to monitor school culture:
Keep expectations high. If your expectation is for students to tuck shirts in, continue enforcing that expectation. If your expectation is for student traffic to flow in a certain direction during passing periods, continue to enforce that expectation. Make sure you and your admin team are visible during high-traffic times (arrival, dismissal, lunch, transition times). Recognize teachers and students for their efforts and smile often! J
It’s hiring season and this brings about a lot of anxiety, nervousness, and for some, major frustration. Searching for a job is a job in itself, but there are some people who have been on countless interviews and are at a place of major frustration. The question is, how do I know when it’s time to stop looking and try something else?”
This is a difficult question, but one that is commonly asked. There are many educators who find it challenging to land that first counselor, instructional coach, and/or assistant principal job. Attending more than 5 interviews and never landing the job can get daunting. I’m going to answer the question with a series of questions.
Did you put in the work to prepare for interviews?
Does your resume accurately portray your skills and talents?
Does your cover letter explain how you are an asset to the new company?
When you interview, do you answer the questions they ask?
During the interview, do you carry yourself with confidence?
Honestly answer those questions. If there is a “no” to any of the questions, I am here to help! My services are as follow:
Group Training Sessions ($25/training) April 13th
I will be offering group sessions on general information concerning the job search.
How to STAND OUT Part 1
The first session was on March 30th. During this training, we discuss how to make your resume and cover letter stand out. We also discuss how to make a great impression during the interview process.
How to STAND OUT Part 2
This session will be a follow up to Part 1. During this training, we will have mock interviews, practicing on each other. The coach will facilitate the mock interviews and offer feedback.
Personal Coaching (Prices available upon request)
The personal coaching cycle is best when there are at least (2) 2-hour sessions. The first session focuses on your specific industry. We discuss how they ask questions and what employers are looking for in your answers. We discuss a few questions as the coach supports the client in the process. The second session is a full mock interview. The client arrives dressed for an interview and the coach becomes the interviewer. The client goes through a full interview with no coaching. The interview is recorded and shared with the client. After the interview is completed, the coach offers feedback. A few additional questions are asked with coaching provided during the process.
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.