Friday, April 24, 2015

Grateful To Be A Connected Educator

This past Sunday, I was contacted by a good friend, colleague, and member of my PLN, stating that he was nominating me for the Middle School Principal #bammyawards  The person who went out of his way on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to nominate me was none other than Steve Santilli (@SPSantilli). 

I am very much humbled and honored by his nomination as he a remarkable Lead Learner and Bammy award recipient that I am proud to call him my friend. 

Being a connected educator has opened my eyes to innovative ways to improve my school that I never knew were possible. It allowed me to connect with outstanding educators who were willing to share their success stories as well as their failures, all in hopes that someone would build off of it to make their school communities better. 

You would think that in our highly competitive society, individuals would not be willing to "share their secrets" to success without compensation in return. Yet, I believe I speak for many of us that it's about bettering each other, our teachers, our schools, and most importantly our students! No egos are needed if you want to make an impact in a student's life. 

There are so many amazing educators in our country and they all deserve to be nominated. All you need to do is simply go to and provide a voice for someone who deserves it. If you're still unsure as to who to nominate, you can still vote for others. Stand up and let someone know what they mean to you. 

Personally, my "award" is seeing the dramatic transformation that my school has gone through in my three years there. To have staff and students smiling each day as they enter the building means everything to me. As with any new position this was a challenge at first, but the hard work was certainly worth it.  The process of placing people before programs through trust, respect, empathy, encouragement of autonomy, and transparency has been an "award" for all at our school. Students and staff are given a voice, which resulted in outstanding ideas. They are trusted and respected to utilize a BYOD program when many schools in our area still collect electronics from students and staff are written up for having their devices out. The cultural transformation, while developing a 21st century learning environment that strives on teacher pedagogy of risk taking, and not being micromanaged or yelled at has been an "award." Everyone is as good as those around us. I am grateful for the team of teachers, students, families, and all community stakeholders who make OUR school better. 

Nothing makes me more proud than having our ambassadors (staff and students) bragging to their familes and friends about how incredible their school is. No piece of hardware could ever triumph the joy of teachers and students learning in an educational environment that strives to be better each day. 

Lastly, I am whole heartedly grateful for the votes being submitted to me. The words being shared about me to the Bammy community has been one of the most powerful, emotional forces to ever "hit me." The words, thank you, cannot be said enough! Those votes/statements are the best "award" that I could ever receive. As I mentioned earlier, everything that I do, is to enhance the lives of all of those around me. 

I can certainly promise everyone that I will work harder than ever to ensure that I will not let anyone of your words go to waste. 

My vision and goals each day are to provide an educational environment that truly prepares our students for their future and not ours. 

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