Showing posts from August, 2015

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!

Photo Credit As we finish week two, I feel like our ship is ready to jump to warp speed for the school year.  Only I am not sure that all of the supports are in place to allow for the jump.   I feel like Scotty in the Engine Room saying we need more power or the engines won't hold for warp speed (my sci-fi alter-ego).  And then I had the opportunity to talk to some of our new parents about what we do at Notre Dame.  This conversation--for which I was joined by my colleague Rebecca Girard , who among other things is our Ed Tech Instigator--reminded me of Carol Dweck's work and the idea of a Growth Mindset.  And suddenly, I was looking at the fact that the "ship" is ready to make the jump to warp speed (or FTL as it is known in the current sci-fi shows) without all the supports fully in place as my own opportunity to model Growth Mindset.  How perfect! As educators we constantly are talking about the idea of FAIL = First Attempt in Learning, and that being Life L

Informing the Year Ahead

Photo Credit Wow!  It has certainly been a week.  But isn't the first week of the year always a little hectic?  No matter how well you plan over the summer, you never quite know how things will go once you add the students and staff.  This year was no different.  In reflecting on the week, I noticed a few points that I feel are going to inform my year and help me to be a better administrator. Photo Credit 1.  Lesson one: flexibility and patience!  Technology will always start off a little rocky so don't expect it to go smoothly!   We had so many IT issues I was ready to just hand out paper and pencils and call it a day.  But the faculty kept plugging along and the more I communicated with them, the easier it got.  By Friday, most of the challenges had been smoothed out.  We still have some big issues to tackle in the coming weeks in order to get everything up to full speed but I was very pleased with the progress and the patience exhibited by all. Photo Credit

Sponge Bob and School

Photo Credit The first day of school is upon us.  And I have been so busy trying to get summer projects completed, I really haven't had much time to reflect on the first day.  So today I made it a point to really think about the message I want to send. To this end,  my inspiration has come from my son.  You see, in addition to Monday being the first day of school for our students, it is also his birthday.  Every year he gives me a theme and I create a cake for him.  This year he asked for Sponge Bob.  Oh Boy!  Well, I pulled off a decent cake to give homage to Bikini Bottom but as I worked on it, I thought a lot about the draw of this crazy show to kids. What struck me was the undeniable friendship between Sponge Bob and Patrick.  They do goofy things together, they back each other up, they have disagreements, they reconcile, they have adventures, they laugh.  A lot.  And it struck me that this sort of unconditional friendship is exactly what I want for our students.  There i

Strength for the Journey

Image Strength for the Journey   is one of my all-time favorite worship songs.  It was written by Michael John Piorier  and the lyrics really sum up my reflections from this past summer. This summer was a lesson in humility and patience.  Traditionally summer is a time to set new goals for learning, improving, tinkering, and rest in order to prepare and rejuvenate for the year ahead.  Summer is a time to reset, take the long view, recalibrate, tackle larger projects.  All of these were part of my to-do list.  Now that we are a few days away from welcoming students back to school I see that the path this summer was far different from my vision.  And in the end, I am grateful for the challenges and hard work that came with the different path because I believe that our school is in a much stronger place than if the summer had adhered to  the path I mapped out. The typical list of summer conferences that I like to attend did not happen due to a variety of reasons.  In