Category Archives: Inspiration

6 Simple Reminders for Effective Leaders in Education

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The six simple rules provided by Dr. Ramsey, are simplistic in nature and effective if remembered by educational leaders when looking to develop and implement “in the name of children”. I believe that to be an effective leader in education, we must remember our customer is not only the child but our parents. Parents, who have a voice and could choose any school. Given the many varied school options  available today, what makes your school the best choice for their child? Parents are looking for a collaborator, not a dictator or an organization that isolates and creates feelings of inferiority.

From conducting a needs assessment, drafting a strategic plan or developing a backward designed  curriculum utilizing a Universal Design Learning mindset, we must always keep the child as center focus. Programs that lose sight of the child have failed before implementation has even begun.

As a principal, I know how “busy” and unexpected a school day can be. However, the reasons why there are so many blogs and books that share best practices and strategies for principals and educational leaders alike to get out of their offices and into the classrooms, is because we all at one point or another get stuck behind our desks attending necessary managerial tasks and we need to be reminded that the reason we chose to be a principal in the first place was to be change agents for children and a champion of teachers!

It is so important to remember the “why”! We cannot allow ourselves to get caught up in the tasks at hand but read and research that strategy that will work best for us  to spend that necessary time in the classroom seeing learning in action on the part of both student and teacher.

We cannot discount the importance placed on the positive development and cultivation of a healthy team of faculty and staff. A healthy and effective faculty and staff are crucial in the development of our future, so it is essential that we as educational leaders get up, get moving and motivate, lead and develop our teams.

As second semester begins for many of us around the world, I encourage you in 2017 to seek out new ways to tell your faculty and staff, “good job” or “this needs some attention for the sake of our children and all those placed in our care.”

Be the educational leader you wanted to be when you first said, “YES” to the opportunity.

Seek to be the difference in the lives of the children, parents, faculty and staff placed in your care. When we choose to be  and see the good, it is simply life changing.

6 RULES FOR PRINCIPALS

By  Robert Ramsey, Ed.D

  • Rule 1:  Listen to parents; their the kid’s first teachers.
  • Rule 2:  If its good for kids, it’s good.
  • Rule 3:  If there’s NO fun, there’s not much lasting learning either.
  • Rule 4:  Kids are more important than teachers.
  • Rule 5:  Teachers are more important than principals.
  • Rule 6:  Principals are ONLY important if they HELP kids and teachers.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, educational leadership, Educational Resources, Inspiration, Principals and Administrator Tools

Being an Agent of Change…Why is it Important

When after working 21 years within the world of education, I pause to reflect and review the amazing opportunities I have had, hopefully making a difference in the lives of students, faculty, staff and school communities I have had the pleasure of developing programs, serving, and training.

I most recently shared with my children (12 & 14) that we will be relocating to the Washington, D.C./Maryland  area. My husband has recently moved to the area with his employer and after twenty-three years of marriage, I know it is important for us to move together as one family unit. To my surprise, both my children without hesitation were excited about the “adventure” and quoted me as often saying, “life is short, let’s embrace a new chapter of life.”

Given the relocation plans, many in my life are surprised by my excitement about the adventure and all the uncertainty that relocating can bring. Many have taken the time to voice their amazement on how well my children are taking to the news and quite honestly surprised by their excitement.

Our family have spent time talking about the responses from family and friends. I have had numerous conversations on the topic of relocating with my educational leadership peers, faculty and staff. Ultimately, I am thrilled to join my husband Michael. I am grateful for the grace of life and having two healthy children.

In education, I have spent years teaching and encouraging students to embrace change as a new concept or topic of learning is being taught. I have spent years developing programs and training and encouraging educational teams to include my own faculty and staff, to change the lens in which they see their classrooms, teams and school environments, and embrace a new idea and or theory all for the betterment of enhancing the learning experience of the students placed in their care. These experiences have all been successful and repeated throughout the world by many.

In education, we are called to be change agents, and yet so often, we have a difficult time stepping out of our silos and changing the lens in which we use to see the world around us. As I embrace this new chapter in my life, I am excited as I  interview within education, various industry leaders and agencies, I am seeing just how small (and global) our world is.  I cannot wait to see which team I will join and grateful for the wonderful years of working within the world of education in Michigan.

I encourage all those who play a role in the life of a child to continue to encourage them to seek out the new, embrace the changes as opportunities and help them see global connections all around them.

I will continue to post blog entries on those topics I find most interesting and educationally worthy. I am grateful for all the feedback and the hundreds of thousands of views this blog has received.

My next blog post will be on Microsoft’s HoloLens. I have recently read a few articles on this product. You can say you read it here first, when I say that this product will change the way in which we teach and learn in the future. As you know, educational changes often move as pond water, and we may not see this product changing education best practices tomorrow or even in the next 5 years but this is an amazing product and it is definitely one to watch when it comes to enhancing education for our leaders of tomorrow.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

 

Denise

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Filed under Change Agents, Healthy Classroom Environments, Inspiration, Interesting Topics, Microsoft HoloLens

Never Underestimate the Power of Believing in a Child

As educators, we have been blessed with an awesome responsibility to educate the whole child to become productive citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

As an administrator, one of the blessings of my job is to help my faculty and staff be the best they can be in the lives of those placed in their care.

Simple reminders:

*to greet students at the door and actually “see” them each day

*to remember that as an educator, we are the rational adult called to model behaviors for our students…forgiveness, flexibility, humor, compassion etc.

*it is okay for students to know that mistakes have been made or something is not “known” …demonstrate how to build the muscle of “recovery” and “collaboration”

Never underestimate the power we have in lifting up our students to new heights…if you BELIEVE they will ACHIEVE!

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Curriculum Resources, Inspiration, Team Building/Positive Work Environments

A Huge Thank You for Helping Unlock the Teacher Blog Reach 50,000 Plus Post Reads

A very special thank you to all of our faithful supporters who have encouraged us and helped this blog surpass 50,000 posts read since 2012.

Since I took a position as an elementary principal, our posts have been random as I acclimated to the new role. However, I am working on a new academic eBook book for summer publishing, and the Unlock the Teacher team is currently sending out proposals on a resource book for early childhood parents and teachers.

The goal of this blog is to share the good in education for the betterment of our future…our children.

This blog has seen parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, publishers and a few Department of Education and government leaders comment and support its efforts. Thank you for your support.

Here is to another great year…cheers!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Inspiration, Our Statistics, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Learning Blogs, Sharing the Good, Sharing the Good in Education

Let 2014 be a Year to Inspire

Happy New Year!

Today we celebrate and welcome a new year. What a wonderful opportunity today provides for us to take stock of all the lessons learned from 2013, and pause, reflect and prepare to make a difference in 2014.

Regardless of the job we report to each day, each of us has the awesome power to CHOOSE to make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us. We will always experience hills to climb and obstacles to work through ( mentally and physically)…this is life. However, it is amazing what can happen to a person’s own mental attitude and perspective when each day begins thinking of others. Sometimes the transition is slow and I have personally experienced an immediate change, but when we make a conscious choice to be the difference in life, our lens in which we see the world and the people in it, changes.

I encourage everyone to join the Unlock the Teacher team …pause, reflect and make a concerted effort to really be “present” each day in 2014 and really live life and maximize your potential!

For all of our educator friends, we wish you all the strength and courage needed to inspire those placed within your care each and every day…YOU make a difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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Words are POWERFUL…Motivational Quotes to Lift Up and Inspire this Holiday Season

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Motivational Quotes to Lift Up and Inspire this Holiday Season

Words are POWERFUL…what words fill your inner conversation and what words do you use for those around you?

Are you a beacon?

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.”
Steve Prefontaine

“… run with patience the race that is set before us …”
Heb. 12:1-3

“Pain is temporary; Pride lasts forever.”~ Unknown

“Respect the distance or the distance won’t respect you! It will eat you up, spit you out and make you beg for mercy” – Unknown

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
T.S. Eliot

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

“Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don’t so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head.” – Joe Henderson

“It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.” – Emil Zatopek

Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” – Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” – Emil Zatopek

“To be great, one does not have to be mad, but definitely it helps.” – Percy Cerutty

“Life is a positive-sum game. Everyone from the gold medalist to the last finisher can rejoice in a personal victory.” – George Sheehan

“A runners creed: I will win; if I cannot win, I shall be second; if I cannot be second, I shall be third; if I cannot place at all, I shall still do my best.” – Ken Doherty

“Those who say it can’t be done should not interrupt the ones doing it”
— From Carol Ann

My advice…be an action verb, choose to live and share the gifts you have been given this holiday season. Laugh as often as possible and truly look into the eyes of those around you and smile that smile that says, “I see you and I care!”

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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