Challenge: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

My boss indirectly challenged me, and I haven’t blogged in a while…

What has been your ONE biggest struggle during this school year?

Switching roles from teacher to principal has been fantastic. I have loved (most of) the challenges and changes, but the biggest struggle has been feeling helpless when teachers are struggling. I don’t mean struggling with classroom management, instruction, or technology. I’m talking about all of the things that I can’t control: overcrowded classrooms, uninvolved parents, excessive testing, etc.

Taking a step out of the classroom has given me new perspective on helping my peers. I had to work hard at listening to what people actually need, instead of assuming what I think they need. Sometimes I help the situation by covering a class so that a teacher can actually pee, or write IEP’s, or take their daughter to the doctor, or just cry for a little bit. Other times, it’s as simple as providing them a cup of coffee, a donut, a handwritten note, or just taking time to hang out with them during their plan. I’ve had to realize that I can’t fix everything in a huge way, but I can let them know that I’m standing with them against the garbage mandates that fill our state.

Share TWO accomplishments that you are proud of from this school year.

#Ourschool had a large amount of staff turnover last year. One of my goals was to make Jarman a fun place to serve. We serve a diverse community, which has experienced considerable trauma. The teachers that have endured through the years deserve a safe and fun place to teach. We started a program called “Rocket Raves”. Any staff member can complete raves about any adult in the school. The principals read the raves at the monthly faculty meeting, and we get to celebrate each other. The majority of the folks on Lincoln Blvd attempt to demoralize us; we choose to encourage each other. Whether it’s the spirit days, Thanksgiving potluck, sixth grade Friday hallway hangouts, or seventh grade’s hilarious weekly team meetings, we make the choice to have fun.

I feel that I have gained the trust of the staff. I work with amazing people.

What are THREE things that you wish to accomplish before the end of the school year?

I want teachers to choose to stay at Jarman.

I want to help the public understand what it’s like to be a teacher. I wish our Legislature understood that our wrap-around services should be integrated services. I wish our elected officials walked our halls, attended our parent conferences, participated in team meetings, helped us find resources for our families, or tried to educate nearly 50,000 additional students with funding that is less than what we received in 2009.

To become a dad to a healthy baby.

Give FOUR reasons why you remain in education in today’s rough culture.

I love the kids.

Schools are the center of the community. A strong school can change a community. I also love the community that the staff can create…it’s fun to work with your friends.

I’ve always had a “damn the man” mentality, and I just can’t give it up. There are people determined to destroy #oklaed, and I can’t let that happen to the kids.

I love learning and watching people teach. I covered a (special ed) math teacher’s class last month. In the middle of whole-group practice, the kids were able to explain the concept. Their teacher walked in and witnessed that her students had grasped the skill. The pride that I saw on her face was priceless. I love watching people succeed, even when it may be difficult at first.

Which FIVE people do you hope will take the challenge of answering these questions?

I would love to hear five people that are involved in higher #oklaed education. Whether it’s a professor, adjunct, or a pre-service teacher, I would love to hear your perspective.

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