Saturday, February 28, 2015

Is That In Your Job Description?

We must become the change we want to see in the world.— Mahatma Gandhi

This past week, while I was shoveling snow at our middle school entrance I had several parents and staff walk by me and ask, "is that in your job description?"

Of course, without losing a step in my shoveling duty, I replied, "Yes, I'm responsible for the safety and well being of all the students and staff." (Little did they know at the time that our dedicated superintendent was doing the same thing on the other side of the building.)

Yet, to my unbeknownst, when I asked one of our well known veterans why everyone reacted that way, she stated that they had never seen an administrator get their hands dirty, let alone shovel snow. 

As the week concluded, that question, "is that in your job description" was still lingering in my head.  I also could not help to wonder why is it that some parts of our society still has a fixed mindset as to what a principal (Lead Learners) does during the day?

Below is just a small sample of this past week:

-Privileged and honored to speak to Dr. Michael Curran's class of pre-service student teachers at Rider University. Being that the course title was Social Media in Education, I couldn't resist the urge to share how being a connected educator has helped my staff, students and I to create an amazing passionate learning culture in our building. It was also an opportunity to discuss methods and ideas with an passionate professor and a group of future educational minds. (Follow them at @mgcjusa and  #tec207)

-Attended a board of education meeting for 3 1/2 hours and developed ideas as to district and school goals to become more rigorous in our academics. Many thanks to a presentation by a representative from the NJ School Boards Association. 

-Sent out numerous email blasts with an abundance of resources to not only improve teachers' daily lessons to strengthen our students skills, but also to create a growth mindset that we are role models of life long learners. These resources ranged from curriculum improvement, technology apps/websites to improve their instructional lessons, and blog post from various educators from across the globe who were willing to share their stories.  Those who work in my school know that these are all suggestions as I empower them with trust, respect, and empathy to create a future ready school. 

-Improving my craft as a Lead Learner by going for my doctorate degree.  Each night I take time to read or produce required assignment per class.  I also take the time to utilize Twitter to share and grow with my PLN.  As a Lead Learner in my building, it is my responsibility to improve my personal craft so that I can be a role model while assisting my staff and students. 

-Setting up (yes, manual labor) for standardized testing and working with an outstanding team of individuals (testing coordinator, school coordinator, IT, secretary, and custodial) to be ready for day one of testing.  

-Oh yea, don't forget about: staff observations, student/parent communications, curriculum revisions, lunch duty, school security meetings, celebrating a 90th birthday of a beloved cafeteria lady, overseeing our spelling bee, meeting with vendors, announcing students of the month, union leadership collaborative meetings, counseling/cheerleading students/staff, setting up a class trip, and questioning students about what they were working on each day.  

Yes,  I know I left out so many more details as to what takes place in a day/week, but I wanted to reinforce the point of this post. 


What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.— Nelson Mandela