Thursday, February 2, 2017

Take all Vendors

Several months ago, I was contacted by a vendor about a program to assist my English Language Learners. Like most administrators, I am inundated with requests and emails from vendors. However, this person wanted to have lunch with me and was being accompanied by Paul Liabenow, the executive director of MEMSPA. Now, I know Paul and more than that I trust him. If he was putting his name behind this program, I was willing to look into it. A week later, I had lunch with the vendor and Paul and his wife. During the conversation, the vendor said something that really struck me. He said that he had formerly been a superintendent and during that time he made it a point to take all the vendors that came to his district. I was astounded! As a principal, I feel I don't have the time to meet with vendors and I couldn't imagine a superintendent being able to fit visits in with an even busier schedule. When I asked him why, his answer was simply, "I don't know what I don't know." He wanted to be knowledgeable about all the programs that could possibly help his students. He wanted to learn.

At the time of this lunch conversation, I was working on a presentation focused on Growth Mindset. I knew in that instant that this conversation would make its way into my presentation. He didn't see learning from vendors as a distraction to his work, he saw the learning that came from it as part of his work. He was modeling a Growth Mindset by being a continual learner. Since that encounter, I have been more open to hearing from and even meeting from vendors. However, I still rely heavily on recommendations from educators that I trust.

As educators, our time is precious. We only have so many hours in a day that we can work with students, meet with teachers, and communicate with parents. Yet, continuous learning is something that needs to be a part of what we do as educators and not something that we don't have time for. It may be reading an article, it might be attending a conference, and it could also be meeting with a vendor to find out about a way to assist student learning. Now I believe in moderation, and I still limit the amount of meetings I have with outside vendors. However, whenever I start thinking I'm too busy to learn something new, I think about that lunch, where a former superintendent reminded me whenever possible to take all vendors.


"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." John F. Kennedy

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandhi

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

Carol Dweck - The Power of Yet



Monday, February 6: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 am
Wednesday, February 8: IEP (Merchant) 8:20 am
Thursday, February 9: Collaborative Learning Time 7:50 am
                                   Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm
Friday, February 10: Daddy Daughter Dance 6:00-8:00 pm

Monday, February 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 am
Tuesday, February 14: Happy Valentine's Day!!
Wednesday, February 15: Achievement Team (Merchant) 8:20 am
Thursday, February 16: No Staff Meeting
                                     Data Dives in the LMC (rotating subs)

No comments:

Post a Comment