Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Something New

Recently, I was challenged with writing about something new I have tried as an educator this year.  My problem wasn't finding something to write about, it was finding a way to narrow things down.  This has been a remarkable year for me as an educator, because of the new things I have tried.  And what I have found is that trying new things, leads to (you guessed it) trying new things!  Here's a quick rundown of some of the new things tried this year.

Twitter!  In October, I started a professional twitter account dedicated to connecting and sharing with inspirational educators. The amount of information I have received and the amount of inspiration I have gained from my Twitter PLN is astounding. Weekly chats, sharing blogs, and just little pick me ups have ignited my passion for education like never before. I daily get that inspired feeling that I used to get from attending the state conference once a year.  What an amazing tool for educators!

MEMSPA  I have been a part of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association for over ten years, but this is the first time I ever presented.  In December, I had the honor of presenting to my peers at the state conference. I blended my love for Education and Star Trek in a session called "Leadership Lessons from Captain Kirk". I hope the excitement I have for education was passed on and shared by those in my group.

TLAP  For those that work with me or follow my blog, you know how impacted I was by Dave Burgess' book, "Teach Like a Pirate". It was like someone put into words how I instinctively feel about what education should look like.  Teachers channeling their passion into the classrooms and students excited about learning.  Yes, my staff all received eye patches...why should pirates have all the fun?!

ADVANC-ED  Formerly NCA, this accrediting group is comprised of educators who visit schools for days at a time and observe, interview, and give feedback to assist with continuous growth. Having had a visit of my own not long ago, I was impressed by the way the focus of this group has really shifted from reading reports to a focus on teaching and learning. I recently went to a school in Detroit for two days as part of a review team and got to spend time in the classrooms and really talk with teachers and students.  Most importantly, I had the chance to tell them the great things they were doing (I don't think they had heard that in a while) and collaborate with dedicated professionals.

Next school year will mark my 20th year in education. From a classroom teacher to a school principal, I have considered myself very fortunate to do what I love and feel that I'm making a difference each day.  This year has been an exceptional year of trying new things, but in trying new things I found something that wasn't new at all...my love for educating, inspiring, and helping all students succeed!


"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic." - Unknown

"Do one thing every day that scares you." Eleanor Roosevelt

"I am always doing things I can't do - that's how I get to do them." - Pablo Picasso


Monday, April 13: School Resumes
Thursday, April 16: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
                                 Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00 - 4:30 pm
Friday, April 17: Lunch from Mangia's in the Lounge

Tuesday, April 21: PBS Committee 8:05 am
Wednesday, April 22: Parent Conference (Nadon) 8:15 am
Thursday, April 23: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
                                 4th Grade Class Picture

photo credit: quiettimediary.com


  1. Here's to a great year of trying new things! I also am having a hard time narrowing down my list - so many things tried for the first time.

  2. Jon,

    It's inspiring to see educators who have been in the field 20+ years still trying new things. Thank you for being a role model!


  3. Thanks you for the list of new ideas. I loved the Picasso quote too!
    Amy West