Love analogies, especially in education. Watch this two minute video of Tony Hawk before you read!
I think about kids a lot!
I also think about teachers a lot, I'm surrounded by both every day.
With two of my own children at home and this being my thirteenth year in public education, I've had plenty of interactions and time to reflect. Plus my dad was a teacher for 38 years and I grew up spending lots of time in his classroom.
My dad taught in some really low income and inner city schools, many of the students did not have great support at home. The memories I have from his classroom are so vivid, with him always encouraging his students, always being a champion for them, pushing them to succeed.
There was a poster on his classroom door that was visible when you entered the room, it said 'Only Kind Words Allowed.' Kinds words are only the beginning to encouragement and success, but one heck of great start.
Thinking about this more deeply, it can sometimes be challenging to see outcomes on a daily basis. I feel as Principal I'm always looking for those small wins that happen on a daily basis. Celebrating those with kids, teachers and parents is at the core of what we should be doing throughout our day. You don't build a house all at once, brick by brick and room by room!
Patience is also important, waiting 5+ years to see students as they grow and mature, then celebrating the bigger wins down the road, that's where the bigger payoff comes in.
At the end of the day, I just want to be awesome for kids.
- Give high fives, showing them that you believe in them can be more powerful than simply telling them.
- When visiting classrooms everyday I always sit on the carpet with kids, at first they're surprised to have the Principal do this. After time they realize I'm interested in their work, tell me more!
- Give parents high fives, maybe that will help them believe in their kids more.
- Show them examples of other students around the world doing new and amazing things, that will give them the mojo to do the same.
- Talk to kids like you would an adult, they know, they understand, they interpret, they know if you're real or not.
Make all kids and teachers feel like Tony Hawk in the video above.
-Support - Encouragement - Belief in Success - Be Awesome!
You know what movie this image is from.......would your class/school stand on their desks and disobey an adult to show support for you? Because they know how hard you've worked for them, how much you care?
Just be awesome for kids!