For me, five priorities are lining up for these opening six calendar months of 2015.
1) I will actively engage with teachers, students, and parents in the teaching and learning at my school. This means participating in departmental discussions of pedagogy, implementation of the Common Core State Standards, and student engagement. It means seeking out student voices and challenging my school community to talk about what, how, and why we learn at Diegueño.
2) I will seek out and embrace the critical conversations needed to make my school the best it can be. As principal, it is my obligation to have the honest and sometimes difficult discussions needed to create and nurture a system in which learning is the top priority. While not every conversation leading to this end is easy, if I approach them with respect and transparency, these conversations will lead to a better school.
3) I will celebrate others and the good being accomplished at Diegueño every day. Publicly and privately, I want to support the amazing people I work with. Whether daily on Twitter or our school’s Facebook, weekly in blog posts or staff emails, or monthly in parent meetings and my principal’s message, I will shout from my proverbial rooftop word of the great work at my school.
4) I will be silly. Education is a serious enterprise, and as with all experiences of importance it benefits from a sense of fun. Every week I want my teachers and students to see that I’m willing to be a little goofy (alongside them) as we make sure play and laughter have a place alongside learning.
5) I will give thanks. Diegueño Middle School is a dynamic and caring place, and I want to always keep the gratitude I feel prominent in my daily work. This means letting those around me know how much I appreciate them and what they do, and making the time to say “thank you.”
The nature of working at a middle school is one of rollicking distraction, and I know that these five priorities will occasionally take a back seat to rats in the trash compactor or leaks in the D-pod, but just as my mission statement helps serve as a compass for my work, I hope these five priorities for 2015 can help form a road map for what I do.
Rats and road maps, leaks and learning, conversations and compasses, 2015 will be a great year.
I’ll end this post with a heartfelt appreciation. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by this blog over 2014. I appreciate your interest in education and other sundry topics, and hope you’ll visit again in 2015. Thank you and Happy New Year!