Sunday, January 2, 2011

5 Things To Do Today

1.  Reach out to parents. As educators, the majority of our parent communication comes after a student has done something wrong. We seldom contact parents simply to talk about their child's academic progress. Today, contact a parent for positive reasons.

2.  Get out of the office. Too many days go by without getting into classrooms to see student learning in action. Classrooms represent the life blood of our schools and administrators need to know what's going on. When visiting classrooms, be an active participant. Schedule your visit in advance and let the teacher know that you would like to help. Lead a small group, read to the class, or simply walk around and help as needed. One of my greatest rewards as an administrator is working with the students. Today, get out of the office.

3.  Observe a colleague. Teachers rarely have the opportunity to observe their colleagues and this needs changed. Administrators must make it a priority in their school. I'll be the first to admit that I am lacking in this area. Today, arrange your schedule to cover a class so teachers can observe each other in action.

4.  Write a thank you note. Let's be honest, we all like to be acknowledged for our hard work. Your staff members need to be acknowledged too. Don't just think about your teachers. Include your support staff, bus drivers, food service workers, parent volunteers, community members, and anyone who has a role in your school. Today, write a thank you note.

5.  Share your ideas. Too often teachers become islands working in the sea of education. A professional learning community (PLC) or professional learning network (PLN) will help build a bridge between the islands. Sharing your work and ideas with colleagues expands your educational repertoire and helps you grow as a leader. Today, share something.


  1. I love this post, as well as your ideas! I especially liked number 4. Encouragement notes are a strength for my principal and it is amazing how much they mean to me. I have kept them over the years and really appreciate his acknowledgement of extra-curricular efforts or some classroom efforts that are making a difference. I have followed his lead and try to take time in my role as curriculum co-ordinator to affirm our staff - be they teachers, teacher's aides - anyone. For the 5-10 minutes it takes... the impact is long lasting. Thanks for a great post!

  2. I really like how you make sure your time is divided to include parents, students and all staff members. No where in your list does it say to stay locked away in your office filling out paper work...although, I'm sure you do plenty of that. Being visible in your school is so important.