Motivation BINGO - #Leaderinme

Games make everything more fun! Right? Different versions of staff BINGO make their way around the interwebs all year. I probably love 99.9% of them and want to use them all. However, I really do want activities to be relevant to my staff.

Last year my social media BFF Amber Teamann and I created a PD BINGO board that was super popular! You can read Amber's blog post about that here.
In our Principal Productivity Facebook group Amber also created "Git-R-Done" BINGO to inspire all of us busy principals to "Git-R-Done!" You can find that one HERE.
This year my school is participating in the Leader In Me training. Just like any program or initiative there is a learning curve. For me, I am trying learn and live the 7 habits in both my personal and professional life.
  • What does "Be Proactive" mean for me?
  • How can I develop positive "habits?"
  • What exactly is a "habit?" :)
So when the BINGO phenomenon hit my principal PLN I asked myself how to make it relevant to my staff. So here you go! The copy linked below is a "generic" copy. The copy I used for my school had some personalized information that would not apply to your hashtags/mascot.  

WHOA! Before you download let me explain "prizes." This was strictly a way to make teaching/learning/working on the 7 habits more engaging. A visual reminder. Something to hang in their classroom, hang in their home, hang on the bathroom mirror. You know what I mean. I am not giving them the prizes I have listed!! No, No, No!! Look at them....GURL!!!(BOY) Do you think I could afford that? They could come up with their own prizes to reward themselves.

Click here for your copy!

10 Year Blog-A-versary & Makeover

Anyone out there been blogging for 10 years?!!! (I feel like I am asking if you're out there in outer space. Um...NO. You know what I mean.) I cant' even believe it myself! My blog was seeming dated and I had noticed that other bloggers had updated their designs. I thought what the heck! Then when I started looking back....HOLY COW! I have been doing this for over 10 years!

Five Reflections

Re-purposing posts - Things have obviously changed in 10 years! Did I even have an iPhone back then? Going to have to take time to rewrite some things.

Tons of topics - Over the years I didn't realize all the topics covered in my writing. Check out all the labels. I tried to keep my writing organized so I could refer people to posts that were helpful. Now I probably can't even find what I am looking for. I moved "Search" to the top of the sidebar.

Productivity still wins - Most of my information seemed to be about productivity. I just like it. It's something I am passionate about and I can always learn about being more productive. Think of all the technology apps and devices that have been invented in 10 years?!
Connections win the internet! The absolute biggest gift this blog has given me over the years are the connections with amazing people. Never would I ever imaging meeting and connecting with so many amazing educators! 

Where am I now? Blogging may have been the only sharing social media 10 years ago? Twitter was just getting started too I think. (I don't have time to google all this stuff.) When Facebook became a "thing" I dabbled in that until my brother and I made a bet to see who could get the most followers. There wasn't even a reason to have a lot of followers at the time. I just wanted more than my brother.

Now it is even easier to connect and share. I would not be the mom/principal/person I am today without BOTH real life connections and the connections I have made online. You can find me here now:
  • Instagram - Love that it is visual and not too much reading.
  • Instagram stories - These are fun quick videos you can post. These posts can happen at the spur of the moment when you think of something or are doing something that could help someone else.
  • Personal Facebook - My personal feed/story is pretty boring. I don't really post much there. It's connected to my instagram so I can post to both at the same time.
  • Facebook Page - This page is for principal stuff and sharing ideas for school. If I like it I post it if I remember. I usually just sync this blog to that page.
  • Facebook groups - I. LOVE. THESE.  Groups are the greatest was to connect that I have found. If you're a principal you can join my 2 closed groups for principals. I am glad that I initiated the groups but I cannot take any credit for the amazing information posted in these groups.
So there it is.......Happy Blog-a-versary to me! You should try it! It's about the journey and it's been amazing!

Notifications Poison Productivity

Turn off your notifications! I dare you! Turn off the badges, banners, sounds, lock screen, previews etc. Turn it all off!

I bet you are having an anxiety attack right now just thinking about this right? It will be okay. It's not like you are going to forget to check your email. Maybe you just wont check it every 15 seconds. Is that such a bad thing?

This summer at #NPC2017 (National Principals Conference) there was a challenge started to put a picture of your most important people on your home screen. When you turn on your phone (actually I think our phones just turn on when we look at them right now:):) your home screen is that picture, then you have to swipe left to get to your apps. Now THAT makes me have an anxiety attack!

My phone is not a picture frame! I do not need my phone to remind me who my most important people are. My phone is for work and getting things done and connecting. Now that I have offended almost all my PLN principals, let me explain. It would take me FOREVER to move all my apps around off the home screen, to another screen and move the 2nd screen apps somewhere else. No. I could not accept that challenge. 

If any of you are still reading here is my thinking:
  • Decide if there is an app or two you have to leave on. (Messages because I have kids. Facebook pages because parents contact me there sometimes. Facebook because I manage a new principal group so I had to turn those badges back on.)
  • Turn off ALL other badges. Those red circles with the number of notifications waiting.
  • You can actually leave previews on or banners as long as they go away easily and quickly.
  • You are not going to forget to check your email, or Voxer, or Instagram, or Twitter. You're just not going forget. Try it. It has become habit so you know you are going to check at some point.
  • Messages clarification - I do not get a lot of text messages. At least I don't think I do but I don't really have anything to compare it to.
If none of the above apply to you maybe you can just turn off your work email at night. Yes, my work email is OFF my phone at night. I check it first thing in the morning when I wake up except on the weekends. Yep, I am guilty of emailing my staff on the weekend at times. They don't have to read it until Monday morning. I just have to get it done when I have time. If it's super important I can send a text through Remind.

Who is going to take the challenge! Let me know if you take the notifications off or turn off your work email. Regardless if your successful or not I'd love to hear how it worked out for you.

Principals Aren't Perfect - It's ok!

This image was making it's way around my principal friends' Facebook pages recently. Let's face it...We are "supposed" to be perfect-ish. Never make a mistake. Have all the answers. Solve all the problems. Know all the things.

You know, principals can really tick people off. Kids, parents, teachers, co-workers, custodians, kitchen staff and other principals. There is no shortage of people I have probably rubbed the wrong way.

It is never my intent to get all up in your business and make you mad. (Unless you do something that hurts or has a negative impact on kids.) Oh no you didn't! It is also not my intent to upset you by telling you to be at work on time. It is not my intent to turn you sideways over "the next new thing." You know what? We are all trying to figure out this crazy world of education!

Principals are still human, moms, dads, siblings, brothers, sisters, grandparents and all the things that go along with all of those rolls too. Believe me I have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours outside of work....working. Teachers do the same if not more.

Hopefully November will bring peace, calm and thankfulness. With all these gratitude challenges on Facebook everyone I know should be happier and more thankful right? I am thankful for my principal friends!

I might not do the dishes every day either!

Holiday Planning for Your Staff/School - Join our group

The holidays are quickly approaching. Don't wait 'til the last minute! (Ok, some of my best ideas have come at the last minute.) 
This is my 15th year as an elementary principal. I can't even believe it myself. I know you are all thinking, "WOW! You look so young!" You don't have to say it, I know you're thinking it:):):) Even after 15 years I still need help coming up with ideas. I sometimes think I've tried it all then, low and behold someone shares the greatest idea.

In my infinite administrative wisdom I thought I should start a Facebook group of principals only to share ideas. AND I thought it would be even better if I drug my principal BFF +Amber Teamann along for the ride as my co-administrator of the group! I think she likes when I come up with these hair-brained ideas. Little did I know that everyone else feels the same way we do. We all need fresh ideas.

If you'd like to join our principals only "Holiday Planning for your Staff and School" Facebook group click on the link/image below. You HAVE to be a practicing principal and answer the two questions before you gain access to the group.

Let me shoot straight with you....I want my holiday treats to be a surprise for my teachers. But they follow me everywhere! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it. (You can follow me too BTW. I strategically linked my accounts. Wink, wink.) My goal has always been for them to gain as much from social media and a PLN as I have. But come on! I can't surprise them anymore!

This is a TEMPORARY group! This group will not live on forever and morph into something else. After the holidays I am deleting the group and it's GONE. So save the ideas as we go. I could probably be persuaded to start the group back up next year. Actually, I already have other ideas for temporary groups for principals. Stay tuned!
What do you think? Want to join us? Click below!