Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Sometimes Feel Alone - It Makes Me Sad #savmp

Not everyone will understand how I feel, it's not that typical type of alone feeling. It only really comes about when I'm in large groups, and with people who I know in real life. Don't get me wrong, the people are smart, passionate, energetic, caring and great to be around. We have good conversations about kids, curriculum, leadership ideas and much more. That alone feeling comes when I know many of them aren't 'connected' - they're missing an entire conversation that's happening behind the scenes. We're missing out on conversation together, it could be much deeper. It's so hard to have deep conversations with people you only see or talk with once a month.

I'm in a room full of people but I feel alone -

Where does this feeling come from? I feel more connected to other educators who are hundreds or thousands of miles away. It's because I actually talk or interact with those other educators more! My daily Voxer conversations with Principals keeps us updated on each others lives. We know what their wins are and also what they're struggling with. Those details about their daily Principal life is important. 

Sometimes it feels like I know little secrets because I've already read about the articles/ideas being discussed. Or already talked about the articles/ideas with others on social media. Or maybe I've even connected with the author or speaker we're talking about on social media - that's actually most often the case. I want to speak up and tell others about my interactions, but I sometimes get that 'alien look' and decide to not raise my hand. I want to let others in on the secret, but if you're not connected you really won't understand. 

I want others to understand the power in connection, how easy it is to connect with others, how powerful it is to connect with others, that I wish we were more connected and not just during our once a month obligatory meeting. We only get together with the 'in real life' colleagues once a month or so. And when we do, it's usually a scripted conversation, following an agenda, making small talk, it's a very un-connected conversation. It can make me feel like I'm alone.

It would be such an extreme challenge to work as a Principal without Voxer. I couldn't imagine being where I am today without Twitter and all the amazing connections I've built.

Every awesome opportunity that happens to me in my professional life is because of my social media connections.

Even though I feel alone sometimes when I'm in large groups, I'm thankful for my behind the scenes connectedness, it's what keep me going, day

This continues to be my favorite Twitter Story video and can't believe it only has 12,000 views. Get connected, discover the possibilities, you'll feel more connected, I hope I feel less alone!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Start With An Idea - See What Happens

If you haven't seen the video below it's amazing, check it out! It has almost 10,000,000 views in just a few days!

You should now take the time to watch this next video below. Watching all of it would be great, and really at 10:03 is why I'm writing this blog post.

Casey Neistat is amazing, super creative, hard working and tons of energy. He makes a vlog everyday and posts to his YouTube channel, chronicling his life and adventures. All of his daily videos don't go viral and have millions of views, but this one did.

It all started with an idea Casey says! 

What's your idea? Do you have an idea? I'm sure everyone has an idea they would love to see into fruition? What do you need to make it happen? Money? Time? Support? Confidence? Colleagues?

I challenge you to take off with your idea! Talk about your idea with others and see where it takes you. Start small, but you must start, one foot in front of the other. You got this, make it happen!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Cried Last Week #KidsDeserveIt #savmp

I'm blogging about this event because I don't cry very often, it's rare. It's not that I try to withhold my emotions, my tears just don't flow that often.

Last Saturday I was invited to an Eagle Court ceremony for a student I had in 4th grade, he's now a senior in high school and applying to colleges. To be honest, when the invitation came in the mail I started to get choked up, this kids meant/means a lot to me. There hasn't been a student in my career that I've spent more time with. It's been eight years since he was in my class and I still think about him a lot - and I'm so proud of who he's become.

It all started when he was in 3rd grade and I'd see him at recess or outside of his classroom because he was in 'trouble.  I knew right away he needed to be in my class - I needed him in my class. He glommed on to me pretty quick as well, his teacher in 3rd grade wasn't very nice to him, he needed to be in my class for sure.

I can still remember that first day of 4th grade, he was the first one in line when the bell rang. Ready to see our class for the first time, smiling ear to ear, excited beyond belief - I was too!

It wasn't all smooth though, we had some major challenges with behavior, academics and self esteem throughout that year. When the first report card came out his mom was at my door right after school. She gave me a hug and said he'd never had a report card like this before. The positive comments, good grades - her son was so excited for school everyday already and now this awesome report card.

He'd earned it - sometimes all a kid needs is to have someone believe in them. To help them find their awesome that's already inside.

Fast forward eight years and his mom is speaking during the Eagle Court ceremony. She's talking about the men in his life - dad, grandparents and then she starts talking about me. I couldn't hold back anymore and really started crying. Like I hadn't cried that much since my dad passed away a few years ago. These were tears of joy, celebration, excitement, pride and so much more.

After the ceremony I went on stage to congratulate him in person. He gave me the biggest hug and thanked me for always believing in him. Are you kidding I said, I'm so proud of you!

I know our paths in life were meant to cross, he needed me and I know for a fact that he's made me a better educator/person/dad with our experiences that year in 4th grade.

Educators - take the time, go the extra mile, put in the work, build those relationships, connect with kids. They won't remember what grades they earned, their scores on a standardized test or how many words they spelled correctly every Friday. They'll remember how they were treated, if they knew you cared about them, if you made school fun and exciting. It's not about the grades, it's about the relationships we build and how we make kids feel. Be awesome for kids - they deserve it!