Last week, I was preparing an introductory presentation for my school staff on Google Drawings. To give them choice in their learning and allow them to learn and find resources that appealed to their needs, I wanted to provide them with time during the class for some guided independent learning, but I wanted to use Google Drawings to teach them about Drawings in such a way that they could then turn around use the same template for a different lesson in their own classes. Here’s what I came up with (click to explore): Continue reading
The first week of school this year, my amazing assistant principal partner, Julie Clements (@jclements01), had a brilliant idea: to be more efficient and use less paper by keeping a digital contact log rather than a paper and pencil version (as we have both done for YEARS). She ran a spreadsheet from our district’s student database and then used autoCrat to create a separate Google Doc for each student that contained their contact information as well as a place for her to take notes for each parent phone call.
Make a point to talk to staff members individually.
We all have natural tendencies to gravitate toward the same people, the same sides of the building, the same time of day to visit classrooms. If we don’t intentionally schedule time to seek out each staff member, we could potentially go an entire year without talking one-on-one with that teacher in the far corner of the building – not because we don’t want to, but because our natural patterns and schedules don’t have us walk past her room when she doesn’t have students. This is why we MUST be intentional about taking time to talk to each staff member individually. This doesn’t have to be a formal meet up. But make sure YOU guarantee it happens by putting deadlines or reminders on your calendar. I typically don’t even schedule these meet ups with the staff member ahead of time. I simply keep myself accountable to check in with individuals, ask about their families, how things are going, and follow up on previous conversations.
Lately, I’ve started using voxer to send voice messages of praise and appreciation to students, staff, and parents. If you aren’t using Voxer, it is a walkie-talkie app that you use to send voice recordings. If your intended recipient has the app, you can send your voice message of encouragement directly to them through the app, but even if they don’t have the app, you can record your voice and then email the recording to them. I have seen these messages have a HUGE impact – at times, bringing others to tears as they hear the honesty and sincerity in my voice that sometimes does not come across in writing. Continue reading
When I think about my purchases – even those I make with my kids – more often than not, I am making those purchases online. Why? Not only does it save this busy mom time, it is just so much easier to shop from the comfort of my home than to fight traffic and battle crowds only to find that they don’t even have my size or the color I want.
Research shows that students achieve more for teachers who believe in them.
Knowing that, what steps can we take as educators TODAY to ensure the students we interact with know we believe they CAN achieve? Here are some ideas: Continue reading
Several years ago I heard Jack Canfield speak at the Rigor Relevance Relationships Conference held annually in Cy-Fair ISD. During his presentation, Canfield referenced the E + R = O formula. This is the theory that Event + Response = Outcome, meaning it is not just what happens to you, but how you respond that determines your outcomes.
We are all in this education business for kids. That’s why we come to work each day. And even though for all of us the overriding goal is to do what’s best for our students, sometimes we disagree on what’s best in our state, our district, our school, on our team, or in our classrooms.
After the initial threat of Hurricane Harvey passed and we all began dealing with the aftermath and devastation, I began thinking about and brainstorming ideas for a lesson plan to use in helping students process and work through what happened as well as their fears and anxieties. Continue reading