Who Says God Can’t Be in Our Schools?

Passion for the Profession: Learning and Leading

ImageAlmost everyone has their own opinion about religion and the role it plays in schools. Often opinions are strong and on the extreme edges of the subject. I happen to live in the Bible Belt, where many people complain about God not being allowed in our schools. I wish we had the freedom to pray with students and remind them to seek God when they are troubled. It would be incredible to have the opportunity to lead a student to Christ. Those are things that simply cannot happen in our public schools. I disagree with people who say that God has been taken out of the public school setting, because I believe God is present. He can be present through YOU.

Think of how much power you have as an educator. Each day approximately 440 students and many of their families see me. This is an incredible opportunity for me…

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Leading, Learning, and Balancing

About one month into the new school year in my role as a lead learner, I published a blog post entitled, Being a Lead Learner is a Balancing Act! I recently read my own post, and realized that I was attempting to balance by differentiating my personal and professional sides. The late nights at the office to catch up on paperwork, the even later nights of getting into bed only to grab my iPhone and scroll through emails, and the early mornings of getting to school around sunrise were beginning to take a toll.

Since September I have learned that separating my personal and professional lives is not the answer to balance, at least not for me. I am in the business of children. This is who I am. My purpose is to be an advocate and an innovator in order to support kids. This doesn’t change just because I leave campus. I am proud to take that home and out into the community. Passion and purpose should be embedded throughout every aspect of us. We cannot separate ourselves from what we love in order to find balance. Balance is where our purpose lies. My purpose and passion provide the balance and stability needed in my life.

The relationships I have involve people who inspire and challenge me to become better. I surround myself with others who will never allow me to remain comfortable for long. People who think differently, work in different fields, and have different goals make up my circle. People often make the mistake of surrounding themselves with only like-minded people who have the same vision. I have found that accountability for learning and adapting to change lies heavily within how much I am challenged by others who see things differently than I do. Not only does this challenge deepen my core values and beliefs, it also provides me with more perspective and clarity. Purposefully including people of all backgrounds in my circles gives me opportunity to connect, learn, and grow. It provides me with balance both personally and professionally.

Purpose is the pathway to balance. When we allow it to shine through, our passion shines through along with it. This is how we balance ourselves. This is how we change the world, or at least the world around us. My purpose provides me with two very powerful forces…

HOPE and JOY.  

I have hope for a future of impacting others around me in a positive way. I build hopes and dreams for myself and for others.Where there is hope, there is always an unlimited pathway of possibilities.

I find joy in every aspect of what I do. We should never wait for joy to come to us; we need to seek it out. There is joy in everything, and sometimes the journey of the search is the most rewarding. I choose joy to find balance in all aspects of life. I believe that is the way we are intended to live.

I wake up each day full of hope and ready to find joy in everything I do. These two little words combine with my purpose and my passion to keep me perfectly balanced. The moments arise where I feel unsteady, but I have all the tools I need in order to find my stability. Passion and purpose via two little words. That’s all I need.

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What Matters Most to Kids: Lessons Learned from My Elementary Students

Passion for the Profession: Learning and Leading

The role of an educator becomes increasingly difficult each school year. The pressure to have all students score proficient on high stakes tests, the mandates and laws that sometimes overpower the profession, and the dynamics of our students make being an educator more challenging than ever before. The one constant is the obvious: KIDS. They are always there, waiting for us to acknowledge them, teach them, and love them. Even the most defiant, rebellious child longs to be loved and appreciated by us. While the curriculum, mandates, and expectations of the profession are a must, those are not the things that mean the most to our children. Deep down I have always known this, but was recently reminded by many students and staff. I received a journal from the school where I serve as an assistant principal. Inside the pages were filled with notes from students, teachers, and staff. I…

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Fostering Motivation and Love for Reading: Looking Beyond Levels

Passion for the Profession: Learning and Leading

goodmanreadinggroupThat little moment when a child realizes he can read is pure magic. He feels empowered, accomplished, and ready to tackle any book. This realization normally happens when a child is in first grade, or around age 6. Learning to read is a developmental process, and is different for all children. Over the years we have seen the shift in education from exposing all students to a grade level basal type text, to grouping students according to their reading ability level. Small group reading instruction is necessary in order to gently nudge students forward in their reading development, but have we gone too far with the leveling systems? Are we becoming so focused on the number attached to a book that we are missing other factors involved in a child’s reading development? There are implications we must consider when using leveling systems to match books with readers. Keep in mind…

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