Back to Work Principal To-Do List

Get ready for the scroll of death! Not sure what better way to share my back to work to-do list other than to just start typing it. Actually it's easier to screenshot most of my lists.

First, I really do empty my head onto whatever device I have at the time. Evernote, post-it note, Reminders, iPhone notes, clip board next to me, etc. Getting it out of my head and onto paper relieves more stress than whether or not I actually do the item. In the end, everything ends up in my Evernote "reminders" even if I have to retype a paper list.

Let the images do the talking for me:
This is pulled up on my computer all the time.

Click HERE for link to actual list.
When things happen too fast.....just write it down!
What's on your to-do list? Did I forget anything?

#EdcampLDR Women in Leadership Session Reflection

Even I was intimidated by the quality of female leadership at #EdcampLDR! After the session a couple of women came up to share they loved the session and wanted to carry the conversation on in a more intimate environment with a smaller group. Well......the conversation has started and we ALL need to carry it on:) 
Facilitating the session: We started a group on Voxer a couple days before #EdcampLDR. Our purpose was to be able to connect and plan a little bit before the craziness of an Edcamp started. We wanted to make sure there was a space for us to talk about women tips, tricks, organization, and challenges we have in our leadership rolls. +Jessica Johnson and I put our session on the board as soon as we got a chance. After that we had no idea what would transpire:)

During the session: AMAZING! How awesome was it to hear from female principals, teacher leaders, aspiring principals, and many more?! We basically just threw it out to the group to talk and ask questions. 
I think it is important for women to know each others support systems so we can better serve each other. 
  • Single moms with 4 kids with or without  support.
  • Women with 1 child, no children, 6 children.
  • Women wondering if they should have more kids.
  • Women with no family support.
  • Women with family support that sneaks in criticism about their job.
  • The women in the room that we have no idea what successes and challenges they are facing.
The male voices in the room: Yes! We had some male leaders attend our session. AND they spoke out.  +Jimmy Casas shared with us that we should embrace our roles. Both men and women. We chose this career and we love it so let's support each other. +Tony Sinanis talked about how much he understands what women and mothers are accomplishing and how he supports his female staff. I don't remember what +Joe Sanfelippo said. LOL!

Session take-a-ways: 
  • Support each other! 
  • Share anything and everything that will help other leaders, men or women, feel validated in the work they do.
  • Keep the conversation going!  
I am not necessarily a fan of women beating their chest and yelling, "I am woman, hear me roar!" If that's your conviction then, YOU GO GIRL!!! We can support that too. I started the session by confessing that I have lived a charmed life as a woman in leadership. My immediate family is 6 hours away but I have developed other support systems. My husband is very supportive and picks up where I leave off. My hope is always to gain practical tips, ideas, and solutions to every day challenges so that I can serve others.
  • My daughters ate cereal and ramen noodles while I was on the phone helping a teacher with a family situation. My daughters will live.
  • I missed a day of laundry so I could watch Pitch Perfect with my daughters. No on has to know I wore my Friday T-shirt twice:) 
  • I ordered 3 meals worth of food from the Schwann man because we had softball games then pool party. But I didn't have to go to the grocery store. SCORE!
We are all in this together! 

#EdcampLDR Chicago

Sharing Presentation Resources Through @Remind

My good friend +Kyle Pace started a Remind.com community last year to share all things Googley. Well of course I signed up, it's Kyle Pace. I have been using Remind for a little over a year so I am familiar with the platform. Seems like most people have their cell phone with them all the time regardless of all the other devices in their possession. 
What's the fastest, best way to share presentation resources before/during/after you give a presentation?
This summer I am giving Remind a try. Below is the first slide in my presentations this summer. While we are waiting to get started and the room is filling up (or hopefully filling up:) attendees can sign up to receive presentation resources delivered directly to their mobile device. My secret strategy is to have the text messages scheduled through Remind the night before. Then 5-10 min. into the presentation....BOOM!
What other ways are you using Remind?

Leverage Leadership with Google Apps - MO #gafesummit

Today I had the privilege of sharing how I use Google Apps to leverage leadership. Our job as principals is so important to so many people. Using these apps helps me save time on the management and paperwork so I can focus on the students and school community that is so important. Take a look! Maybe it can help you leverage your leadership.

That's a Wrap! #NAESP15

Better late than never! Below is my final post as the official blogger for #NAESP15. 
 This post was originally published on, NAESP 2015 Conference News page.
Wrapping up #NAESP15, both my head and heart are full this week. Let me break it down for you.
My brain is on overload from all the great information shared this week. Where do I start to plan and use all the information? It's easy! Start small.
Pick three things you learned that you would like to implement or try during the 2015-2016 school year. Be sure to write those three things down and put them in a place you will see every day. Whether it's your desk, your bathroom mirror, or the door of your house, post your list.
My heart is full from connecting with so many principals who put the needs of our students above all else. All our conversations came back to what's best for kids. We could have talked policies, regulations, legislation, and I can assure there were some conversations about those things too. But the topic always turned to what's best for kids. It makes me proud to work with such devoted principals.
This post brings us to the end of the 2015 NAESP Conference in Long Beach, CA. It has been an honor to serve as the official conference blogger. However, there have been some other amazing blog posts to come out of this conference that you may not have seen. I would like to take this opportunity to share the words of other great principals who use blogging as a platform to share the great things going on in their schools and about our profession.


Meet #NAESP15 Conference Blogger Melinda Miller

This post was originally published on, NAESP 2015 Conference News page,  where I served as an official conference blogger.

Welcome to #NAESP15! My name is Melinda Miller and I am honored to share my NAESP experiences with all of you as the official conference blogger for the NAESP 2015 Annual Conference.
This year I am celebrating my 12th year as the proud principal of Willard East Elementary School. Willard East Elementary is located just outside of Springfield, Missouri, with approximately 320 K-4th-grade students. You can find Willard East Elementary on Facebook, Twitter(@WEEPrincipal) and the Web.
This will be my third NAESP conference. I thought I would share some tips and tricks for navigating this year’s conference.
Build your network.
It's amazing to have to so many like-minded administrators in one place. One thing I enjoy most is meeting other principals and sharing ideas. Once the conference is over, the connections last a lifetime. The connections you make are a phone call, Tweet, or Vox away when you need advice or an understanding ear to vent.
Leverage the technology that is available.
Definitely download and use the conference app. Everything you need to communicate, curate information, and connect are neatly packed into one easy-to-use platform.
Stay fueled and hydrated.
Take care of yourself! Unlike during the school year you--at the conference you will have more than 15 minutes to eat your lunch. Pack your favorite water bottle or treat yourself to a new one.
Backpack instead of bag.
Save your back and keep your hands free for coffee and handshakes. Carrying a bag and switching shoulders all day takes its toll. I will not make this mistake a third time. My backpack is packed and ready!
Connect with me!
You can find me in the Innovations Lab. Gathered there will be a great group of connected leaders ready to share and help with your conference needs. Online you can find me on Twitter @mmiller7571, at The Principal Blog, and The Principal Blog on Facebook.
Tips and tricks adapted from Renovated Learning
—Melinda Miller
Melinda Miller will serve as the official blogger for the 2015 Annual Conference. Visit NAESP’s Conference News page to find the latest updates from Long Beach.

#30SecondTake Special Edition #NAESP15 - New Principals

You do not want to miss this! During #NAESP15 I finally got to meet +Brad Gustafson. Brad and I have been connecting online via Twitter, Voxer, and Facebook for a few years now. He has an amazing connection with kids and sharing student voice through video.

#30SecondTake is a series of videos where principals and other educators compete and/or share about an educational topic for 30 seconds.
This particular video was created at the National Association of Elementary Principal's conference in Long Beach, CA this week. Brad used his video and interview skills to collect advice for new principals. 
Check it out..........

Organize Your Digital Paperwork - #NAESP15

Today I will be presenting about digital organization to elementary and middle level principals at #NAESP15! This is super exciting so I'd like to share my resources with any principals or teachers who can't make it. Hopefully you will find something in this presentation that can help you get organized.