Sunday, December 13, 2015

Student Voice: The Possibilities are Endless

It was great to see how the #LeadLAP crew took time to promote shared leadership from our last challenge! This week, we continue the theme of sharing the enthusiasm of what is happening in our schools, but challenge you to turn the reins over to your students. How can our number one stakeholders help tell the stories of learning from their perspective?

I had the chance to get a jumpstart on this challenge last week by creating a school blog that will consist of posts from our students, staff and parents. It is a work in progress, but you can check it out here: Shelley inspired this idea as she shared how she had created a similar blog at the district level when she served as an assistant superintendent. What better voice to tell the story of our schools?

Shelley and I now challenge you to think of how this could become a reality at your district, school or classroom. What forms of communication are you already using? How could your students take ownership in this current practice? Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are social media tools we use to share our story with our community. The posting has primarily been by our tech teacher and myself. We are now brainstorming to figure out how we can have guest student contributors. Something else we are going to do at our school is ask our students how they would like to share the story of their learning with the public. The possibilities are endless! Please share your ideas and implementation in action all week on #LeadLAP. We cannot wait to see the creativity from our #LeadLAP crew!

Have a great week!
Beth and Shelley

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Creating the Ripple

Last Monday morning I was fired up and ready to immerse myself into our first enthusiasm challenge. (If you missed it, check it out here: I couldn't wait to start taking pictures and capturing moments of awesomeness throughout our school. I got my raincoat on, grabbed an umbrella and headed out to greet our students from a long Thanksgiving break. Apparently, my enthusiasm got the best of me, because the next thing I knew, I had fallen from the top to the bottom of our concrete steps to our parking lot. FYI...Pirates cannot fly. As I laid there, trying to keep my cool in front of our arriving students, their parents and our staff, I made a huge realization....I can't do it all alone. As I clung to a colleague to get into the building, my only thoughts were about how I was going to get around the building and take care of others.  This same feeling of guilt continued all week as others took on my supervising roles and extra duties. Looking back now, I realize that to be a truly effective leader, I have to let others help support me. And you know what, when you take time to build the capacity and shared leadership in your staff, they will go above and beyond to do it. 

The leader also cannot be the only person telling the story of our schools. There are so many other rich perspectives from our students, families and staff that we want to honor and share. Our remaining two enthusiasm challenges for December will focus on inspiring others to share the story of your school. For this week, we challenge you to start with your staff. How can you (or have you) built a culture in your building to systematically and enthusiastically share the awesome happening in your classrooms each day? Start a school Instagram, Facebook, Twitter account or hashtag. Create a Twitter Challenge with your staff to tweet out the amazing happening throughout your building. Contact the local newspaper to come to a classroom that has something special happening this week. Or, honor the voice and choice of your staff to come up with ideas that they think would be best. There are so many different ways to share the awesome with your stakeholders, so find the way that works best for your school and share your reflections on the challenge all week to #LeadLAP. We've changed our chat format to an all week slowchat instead of once a week. Shelley and I can't wait to read about how you are empowering others to share the story of your school. 

Have a GREAT week!
Beth and Shelley