Why I Joined #PTCamp

Everything is changing, including parent engagement with schools. You'd think after 10 years as elementary principal I would have things figured out. But just when you think you can predict the next move.....something changes.

When I became a principal 10 years ago PTO was a big deal. We had some stay-at-home moms who devoted their non-family time to our school. It was amazing! A little overwhelming for a new principal but we all settled in. They were a well oiled machine! Fundraiser......DONE! Ice cream social......DONE! Carnival....DONE! Then the recession hit and everyone went back to work.

It's just different now. We have amazing parents who are willing to help.  Parents want to be involved and in the know with their children's schools. It's just going to have to look different. We have to meet them where they are and it may not be the physical location of the school.

So I joined #PTChat. Hopefully between the 100 of us and the online chats we can renew/revive/reinvent parent/community partnerships! What do you think?

Practical Uses for Voxer In Schools

Thank you @PrincipalJ for introducing me to Voxer! Lately  the use of Voxer has taken off. Seems
like there are multiple Voxer shout-outs and twitter references these days. It is going to be exciting to see what the Vox says in the coming months. (See what I did there?)

But let's get practical for a moment. How are you really using Voxer as a useful tool/productivity?

Staff connection: Use like a walkie-talkie with your staff. The majority of my staff have smartphones. However, I do not think you can really use it like a walkie talkie in an emergency situation. Not all teachers will have it. They may not have the right type of phone.

District connection: My fellow principals are on Voxer and we can connect across the district when we are not in our office and not able to be in a long phone conversation.

Planning committees: Listening to @joe_mazza on @Techlandiacast today gave me the idea to start a group for a planning committee I am a part of. (Great ideas in this podcast.)

Office workflow: My secretary has Voxer and I can send quick messages. When running errands I can ask/answer questions for the office.

Collaboration: The ability to bounce ideas off of others around the world has been amazing. We share ideas in emails/Twitter/Facebook etc. But there is nothing like talking through an idea in real time.

Click here for educators on Voxer ---> #Eduvoxers

How are you using Voxer?

#ISTE14 Starbucks Map

How about I share with everyone this time? I usually create these maps for fun for the staff that goes
to conferences for me. But why not share with all of you? Sometimes you need extra coffee at conferences:)


End of the Year Check Out... Lists for the Office

Principals have lots of lists! This year a group of my principal friends shared their end of the year check out lists. Super helpful as I have not updated my lists in a few years. And now that I have 2 new secretaries we had to figure out our system together.

This is too many lists/documents so I will condense for next year. Maybe these lists will help you. We tried to have everything in Google drive this year and seemed to be successful.

Preparing for check out 

Furniture inventory  -  (This is separate from the gigantic classroom inventory they submit. This is for custodians when we are moving and changing classrooms to make sure furniture gets back where it needs to be.)

Check out  - This is the day of check out, check out!

Sign up to Check out:)

Would love to see how other principals organize their end of the year check out systems.....