Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Day 2 November 8, 2017

5:20 am Up before the cutest alarm clocks. Check email. Twitter.

552 am The littlest is stirring. 
Dress her. Get her a bobble. 

600 am outfit decided upon

Yes. That’s an ostrich mug shot. 

615 am breakfast with E. 
625 texts from a teacher who is sick. Emails with sub clerk to clarify what sub is needed

645 the boy is up. Momma takes care of him 

715 reminders on phone to do some stuff later in the day. Update school blog. Get info out about day Wonder round 2

742 off to work 

830 arrive at work. Erin bought me a hot chocolate at Tim’s!
840 am respond to an email to a teacher. Clarifying my approach to a number of incidents. 

845 welcome a sub to the building. Get them started. 

846 helped our caretaker find the YouTube announcements. 

847 walked around school confirming staff shirt orders. That’s done now. 

850 am in halls welcoming kids

855 am drop in parent meeting with a student who is struggling. A good start to his day. 

9:00 am ROEs done encouraging kids to get to homerooms. And saying goodbye to kids going curling for Day Wonder. 

9:05 am respond to two text message for parents excising their child for the day. 

918 am attendance follow ups with staff who haven’t done it yet

920 day Wonder is starting. My kids getting their ukuleles to get started. 

922 am visiting each day Wonder session (17 of then) to say hi and take some pics to share on social media 

935 Post Day Wonder quations on the Wonder walls. Asking kids what they learned during the first round of Day Wonder. 

1000 am talk to a teacher about subs coming up. 

1015 am playing ukulele with kids and watching them play in Day Wonder. Not a kid in the hallway during Day Wonder

1030 grade 7 microwave meeting. 

1050 am send in golf shirt order for staff, approves invoices and sign cheques. In office now. Turning on computer for the first time today 

11:00 am Post Day Wonder pics to social media feeds 

1115 emails emails emails 

1130 discussion with a teacher about school class culture. Importance of how we welcome kids back into class after an issue

1140 Chromebook malfunction. Explore ways to fix it. 

1150 get ready for lunch. Get microwaves into place. 

1155 supervise hallways at the start of lunch. 

Noon grade 8 Boys Volleyball Practice 

100 work with a student who had an issue at lunch. Resolved quickly. 

105 visit 6 teachers to talk about attendance. 

110 pack up clothing samples to get sent back to supplier. 

115 fix Chromebook 
120 lunch 

130 begin visiting class. Post pics of kids engaged in work. Visited 11 classrooms. While walking in halls work with kids and discipline issues that have come up. 

2:00 pm back in office looking at emails. 

208 call to our learning coach about the agenda for our committee that meets tomorrow 

210 more emails. Crossing off things on my ‘to do’ list in Google Keep. Got a few things done!

2:15 pm iPec coaching session. 

251 pm done coaching call. Went better than expected. 

255 pm recess issue clean up. Will try our restitution form. 

325 two parent phone calls made.  Meeting with students done. Meeting with one of the parents after school. 
335 phys ed issue with subs. Meeting tomorrow to discuss with kids to figure it out. Will call home. X2

Meeting set up tomorrow with both kids to discuss. 

348. Meet with a sub who will be here for a few days to talk about discipline. What are they expectations etc.  

400 called both parents with kids with the PE issue 
Meeting tomorrow am set up

415 adjusted meeting agenda for tomorrow’s meetings.

418 read a number of discipline referrals that were submitted. Student care team to respond. 

420 cleaned up inbox and desk

435 just hit 10000 steps for the day
445. Heading home 

535. Got home. Made calls to the vet and calls for a trumpeter for our Remembrance Day service

600 family supper 

630 numerous phone calls to try and find trumpeter for our Remembrance Day service. No luck.

700 pm Bedtime for the little one.

7:30 - 9:00 pm Feet up. Going through emails. Creating forms for a restitution process for kids experiencing difficulty. Testing eventbrite for our Day Wonder set up. A couple of emails reviewed and sent.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A day in the life... part one. November 7, 2017

Some days I get home and I think, what happened, where’d the day go? What did I exactly accomplish today?

I’ve seen some other administrators do this, so today, I’ve decided to keep track of my next two days.

This is more for me than anyone else. But to take the advice I often give my staff and students is, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth sharing, so  I’ll share it.

I’m going to keep track of my next two days. From home to work and back again....

So it begins.

November 7, 2017

4:30 am World’s cutest alarm clock goes off. Quickly settle her. I’m up. Check emails and Twitter. 

5:15 am Snooze button on the world’s cutest alarm clock goes off. Get milk and bring her to the big bed. 

5:45 am Super mom takes over with Emilia (aka cutest alarm clock ever). I start this blog after looking for the Blogger app, which no longer exists? Download this app - wants me to pay $6.99. Uhm. No. Going with the free, limited version

6:00 am Time to get up. I’ll save the details. But two of my hardest decisions of each day were made. Which socks? which tie? 
Tie in honour of Movember.  Take care of yourself gents!

Socks in honour of our Winnipeg Jets who are flying high right now. Go beat Vegas on Friday!

6:25 am  Mom now resting with Bennett. Emilia slowly (and when I say slow, it’s not slow at all) pulls all of her toys out. So, it’s breakfast time in front of the news with me and Emilia (and Meeko, our ever so patient pooch). 

6:30 am It appears our 3 year old is up. Nope. From his bed to our bed. It’s cold out. Who can blame him. 

6:45 am Post to our social media feeds the recess cancelling policy. We are a hardy people. Also set up a scheduled email to all families reminding to bundle up because it’s cold out! But not cold enough. It’s an outside recess kind of day. 

7:20 am Find the boy in bed watching Paw Patrol. Accident in the bed. Him. Not me. Mom takes care of the kids. I throw a load of sheets in the laundry. Time to get ready to head to work. Start the car. Brrr. 

7:31 am Out the door and off to work. Podcast on. Stopping for a Hot Chocolate on the way. Brr.  Garage door remote not working. Grr. Really need to get winter/snow tires on. 

8:22 am Arrived at school. Slow drive because of icy highways in parts. 

8:35 am Run up to the roof to take a comparison picture of what the farmer’s field next door looks like to today compared to what it looked like on this day last year

8:45 am Walk around school to say good morning to staff and confirm staff shirts sizes we are purchasing. 

8:50 am  Welcoming kids as they come in. High fives all ‘round

8:55 am Welcome a new sub to our building and walk her classroom for the morning and help get her set up. 

9:03 am Quick hallway meeting with 3 students involved in a conflict yesterday. All did a good job reminding me what they will do to have a better day. 

9:08 am Write on the Wonder Walls - What’s the best part of winter? Positive comments only. Then on to the PA to remind teachers to do attendance. 

9:15 am Quick chat with a teacher to confirm that the app she requested is the one she wanted. It’s a flyer app for Unit Pricing in math. All is good. 

9:15 am Phone call coaching session with a principal who is doing the iPec coaching training with me. She is coaching me through an issue I need to work through.

9:18 am Received a very kind email from my Superintendent about a newsletter we recently sent out. Nice that he reads it and takes time to send a message. 

10:15 am. Coaching call over. Positive phone call

10:16 am Student sent to the office for ‘not working’. Helped him get started. Finished problems easily and showed off how smart he was. Good way to connect with a kid who needs something extra.

10:30 Met with all the grade 8s to go over microwave safety. New microwaves for student use starting today with grade 8s. Due diligence. 

10:40 am Began visiting classrooms. And posting to social media showing off kids learning. Visited 12 classrooms and posted kids learning from 5 different classes. Great stuff going on. Kids are making, hands on and making work public. This brings my class visits that I’ve logged to 99 visits for the year. 

10:50 am Quick chat with a teacher who submitted a discipline referral. Confirmed that her response was perfect. Asked her to contact home. 

11:30 am Back in the office to look at emails. 

11:35 am Followed up on google doc of latest discipline referral so teacher knows how I responded. with the student 

11:37am Same student back in office for not working will help him get started. 

11:43 am Walk Student back to class. Did great. Quick chat with teacher who has this child on his workload about how to support the teacher to best help the child to keep him in class. Dropped into one more class to see grade 5s in action. (French class) 100th classroom visit for the year 

11:46 am Quick chat with a teacher who was given the morning to visit another teacher in the division about a Day Wonder project our school is doing. (Photography). He’s excited to get that started. 

11:50 am Approve invoices for purchases that were made for our Makerspace through an Imagination Grant. 

11:52 am Help our grade 8 helper get the microwave to its appropriate spot. Go through expectations of his new job. 

11:55 am lunch begins! Quick check in with all homerooms. Make sure microwave is being used well. It is. Kids are great.

12:13 pm off to visit another principal in the division to have a coaching session. I’m coaching him (iPec coaching training). Working lunch. Picking up lunch along the way. 

12:38 pm Arrived at the other school. 

1:36 pm. Back in to the car. Chat was excellent. Good to see a new school (new to me). Off to staples to pick up a few items for teachers and secretaries. 

2:03 pm Back at school. A few notes about kids and discipline that need responding to on my desk from lunch time. Plus a couple of phone calls to return while I was out. 

2:07 pm Spoke with a person from the Pistons hockey club (Steinbach). Set up a meeting with 2 players that will visit MMS regularly to mentor some grade 5 students. 

2:10 - 240 pm spoke to 3 groups of students about incidents at lunch. Will call home to inform parents. Parent meeting set up for today to discuss one of the incidents. 

2:45 pm Parent phone calls x 5 regarding behaviour. Spoke to all 5 sets of parents. Excellent conversations and support. 

3:05 pm Finished phone calls informing about lunch behaviour. 87th phone call home logged this year.

3:10 pm Another student discipline issue. Good chat. Lots going on with this boy.  Good chat and a plan made moving forward. Sending to fitness class to get a good run in. 

3:20 Another incident with a student. Will set up a meeting with a parent after details are sent to me. 

3:25 pm Parent meeting. Re: behaviour of child. 

3:50 pm. Parent meeting done. Positive outcome with a plan moving forward about how to connect the kid to school positively. 

3:55 pm Staff meeting in 5 minutes. 

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Staff meeting. 
I've been so lucky to work with amazing teachers in my career. MMS staff is no different. Not afraid to have hard conversations for the benefits of kids. Conversations start with simple enough question but never simple solutions and staff get it. Staff get that it's messy and growth is what it's all about.

518 pm. On my way home after a positive staff meeting with some good hard conversations about stuff happening at school. Meeting was done at 5:03. Didn’t get through entire agenda. Oh well. 

559 pm Arrived at my kids music class 30 minutes s late. Will be able to catch the last 15 minutes. Fun to watch them play,

9243 steps for the day. A bit shy of my 10000 daily at school step goal. 

625 pm. On the way home for supper with the family. 

6:32 pm Erin (momma) makes a great supper in about 45 seconds for both kids before she has to run out for her curling game. I change out of work clothes. Supper time for the kids

7:00 pm Bath time for the little ones. The littlest one is a trooper. Went to the doctor today with mom and big brother. Got 4 big shots. I don't know how Erin manages her job and everything the kids need. We are all lucky to she is who she is.

7:21 pm Bath time done. The boy cleans up his room and then watches a show while I put the girl to bed. First, the girl attempts to sabotage the boys show. Bottle time for both. Bed time for the girl. 

752 pm. The littlest one is asleep. One of the best parts of the day. The littlest is such a snuggler. Such a happy little person.

755 pm Make bed from the mornings mishap. The boys. Not mine. Throw in my supper into the oven. 

807 pm. The boy’s bedtime. A couple of stories the lights out. Amazing little man. 

825 pm The boy is asleep. Supper time for me while watching Life in Pieces. Then CNN. Should have stuck with Life in Pieces. 

915 pm Clean up kitchen after all the suppers. 

9:25 pm Make sure announcements for tomorrow are up to date. Look at Twitter for a bit while having a ‘coke’.  Updating this blog.

9:50 pm Get caught up on the world's events by checking Twitter. Part inspiring. Part terrifying. So many smart people out there... 

10:00 pm Bedtime soon. Will try and read 1 chapter of the book What Kind of Citizen for the HELP (Hanover Education Leadership Program) I'm in (being a new admin in the HSD). Great book and group to be a part of. Focus is ethical leadership. Definitely having an impact on what I think schools need to be for kids. Also re-affirming many of my thoughts.

'til tomorrow...

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Ultimate Warrior

An Introduction to ‘The Ultimate Warrior’

An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.  ~Author Unknown

On Monday, February 27, 2017 we introduced something called ‘The Ultimate Warrior’ to all of MMS. These are grade level values that we will expect all of our Warriors to live up to daily to become ‘The Ultimate Warrior’.

The core value for all grade 5 students is to be ‘BE READY TO LEARN’. We will talk with grade 5s about this in the coming weeks to determine what this exactly means at MMS. To me it means to come to school with an open mind, to try new things, have supplies, listen, and question and so much more. When talking with grade 5s we will focus the conversation on what it means to ‘be ready to learn’.

The core value of all grade 6s is to ‘BE READY TO HELP’. Since our grade 6s have been at MMS for a year they know the school expectations, rules, and the people. We will expect our grade 6s to help themselves, their classmates, their teachers and the environment in and around MMS. The grade 6 circle also includes the grade 5 value so this means our grade 6s will also be expected to be ‘ready to learn’. Again, we will speak with our grade 6s to come up with what this will look like at MMS.

The core value for our grade 7s is to ‘BE READY TO PARTICIPATE’. When our kids reach grade 7 a number of new opportunities open up. Grade 7s have more choice in their classes, athletics, arts and we will have a higher expectation for students to be active citizens in classrooms, school and community. Grade 7s will also be expected to ‘be ready to help’ and ‘be ready to learn’. Grade 7s will also be given the opportunity to help us define what this means at MMS.

Our last, and greatest responsibility lies with our grade 8s. Their value is ‘TO BE READY TO SERVE’. We will get our grade 8s feedback to what this will look like as well. The expectation will be for our grade 8s to serve our school, community locally and globally. Expectations for grade 8s will also include ‘be ready to participate’, ‘be ready to help’ and ‘be ready to learn’.

School culture is of utmost importance to me. If we can get our students, staff, and community to be using common language as the year goes along, we all grow. In ‘edu-speak’, this is a variation of a PBIS or Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports. The goal is to get our entire school talking about what we should be doing and what we want to see rather on what we shouldn’t be doing.

This may change and evolve over time. The goal is to positively an already great school culture. By using common language and focusing on positive behaviour we will make sure that everyone associated with MMS has the best chance to learners and thrive everyday.