Moldmakers, it’s Self Care Saturday & today we are focusing on our spirits by spending time in prayer & meditation. These are just a few tips & suggestions for creating time, space, & purpose to spend in prayer & meditation. Leave a comment or other suggestion on how you pray, meditate, or reflect! #prayer #meditation #selfcare #reflection #inspiration#motivation #scholar #moldmaker #scholarvlogger
I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Marilyn Rhames at an educational event in DC this past week. Marilyn has taught in district and charter schools in Chicago since 2004 & now serves as an alumni support manager at a K-8 charter school, helping graduates persist through high school and on to college and careers. Rhames authors a popular self-titled blog for Education Post. A 2016 Surge Institute fellow, Rhames is dedicated to promoting more diverse education leadership to improve the education of students of color. She was also a Teach Plus teaching policy fellow in Chicago from 2010 to 2012. In 2011, Rhames founded the Christian nonprofit Teachers Who Pray, which to date has more than 70 school chapters nationwide.
This particular blog is a dynamic piece that speaks to the realities of parent choice & public education as it relates to school vouchers! I appreciate Marilyn sharing her experience as it sheds light on the realities that parents are facing in the cornucopia of issues surrounding public education. Check out her blog here & leave a comment on this unique perspective: http://educationpost.org/when-the-only-real-choice-is-private-my-unlikely-attraction-to-school-vouchers/.
My professional journey has led me through a labryinth of experiences – some stellar, some challenging, & some utterly exciting! However there are those experiences that will forever be etched in my mind as absolutely unforgettable, & Friday, March 3, 2017 was one such experience. As I entered the Umstead Hotel, the faintest smell of cedar filled the impeccably carpeted hallway & I immediately realized that this would be no ordinary day. As the representative for the Sandhills region for North Carolina, I am honored & humbled to serve in a cohort of eight school leaders from across our great state who exemplify amazing school leadership! From the Mountains to the Piedmont to the Coastal region, these seven administrators are as diverse & talented as the students we represent, & I could not be more proud to serve alongside them for the next year as an amabassador for public education! It is a rare opportunity to share time, space, & ideas with like-minded leaders in your field, but the dialogue shared among us on Friday inspired me beyond belief. The 2017 NC Regional Principals of the Year are change agents dedicated to student achievement, teacher leadership, & championing the role of school leaders. Watch out North Carolina, because this cohort of amazing administrators is blazing a path toward greatness!
“It’s time to start listening to our students as stakeholders in their education.” – Dr. Mary Hemphill
The One-Minute Meeting is an instructional practice that truly involves students as stakeholders in their learning. In 60 seconds, school leaders & instructional teams can glean important information from students that can help to inform instructional practice, learning environment, & student achievement in your school! Check out the first video in my School Leadership Series, and share with other educational moldmakers! #studentsfirst #oneminutemeeting #schoolleadership #teamwork#stakeholders #education #inspiration #motivation
The month of October was a whirlwind of amazing professional development opportunities, networking, & reflection! Starting with National Principals Month & ending with a day spent collaborating with statewide school leaders at the POY Summit, this scholar is so blessed to chase her dreams & live out her passion! Check out my vlog below to join me on this journey:
Schools across the country have opened their front doors over the past few weeks to welcome its students back from a long, hot summer. Parents have checked & double checked school supply lists, communities & business have organized back-to-school drives, & students have meticulously picked out their back-to-school outfits. But even while the media would like to suggest that schools are miraculously prepared for the new school year in a twinkling of the eye, or society offers that confused grimace as they grapple with the understanding that yes, school principals do work in the summer, where are school leadership references in all of the back-to-school hubbub? Where are the Wal-Mart commercials depicting a school principal disaggregating EOG & EOY data while they peruse the aisles for the perfect 1.5 binders? Why doesn’t Staples create an ad featuring magnetic whiteboards as school leaders develop, edit, & revise the master schedules for the year ahead? And where are the McDonald’s jingles about the coffee that gets many a school leaders through the summer district leadership retreat?
In the wake of societal change, educational reform, & national elections it is time for us to begin painting a new portrait of the realities of public education that not only provide the masses with a true & accurate depiction of public education, but we also must work to include the voices & lives of all those involved in the process. Back-to-school is an exciting time for millions of individuals across the United States, however the work & efforts that go into creating optimal learning environments & professional learning communities often goes unnoticed. As a school administrator, my goal is to help shed light on the process of not only opening the school year, but transforming a school as well. Last July, I was honored to be named principal at an elementary school in North Carolina. The process of transforming our school into one of the best places to work & learn has been exttremely rewarding, challenging, & intriguing & our team of esteemed educators is consistently striving toward the mark of excellence for our students.
For the 2016-17 school year, we chose IEJ Cinemas Presents… as our theme which will be infused into all facets of professional development, faculty meetings, & communication with our faculty & staff this year. In order to unveil our theme, we created a movie trailer highlighting the goals, vision, & mission for the 2016-17 school year (check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LN-_sxPe7M) & invited our team to our Academy Awards themed Opening Meeting. We even asked faculty & staff to dress up to compete for the Best Dressed Actress & Actor in an Educational Film to ramp up the excitement & engagement!
When faculty & staff arrived to the cafeteria, they had their photo taken by a professional photographer on the step and see & found their Hollywood star & swag bag at their seats. We opened the meeting by celebrating last year’s instructional accomplishments & grade level highlights as well a brief review of our NCTWC results from March. Following presentations from our Instructional Lead Team, we announced the best dressed actor, actress, & supporting roles before dismissing the faculty & staff into movie-themed sessions. From Freedom Writer, where our Instructional Facilitator laid out the reading & writing pilot for the year to Great Expectations, where administration discussed the handbook, evaluations, & discipline goals it was a wonderful morning spent arming our team with information to ensure that students were successful in the year ahead! Check out the newest video on my YouTube channel below for pictures & highlights from our IEJ Cinemas Presents…Opening Meeting 2016-17!
On Friday, August 26 our district hosted its annual Convocation for all of our county’s school employees. Our school showed up with amazing school spirit donning our new school shirts (thanks PTO!) We danced our way into the auditorium & one of my teachers who is a Hula-fit instructor, wowed the crowd with her awesome hula hoop tricks in time with the music! As the festivities began, the finalists for the Principal of the Year were asked to stand to be recognized. Our superintendent then called one of our school’s former 5th graders to the stage. Through tears & joy, I listened to this young man share his educational journey & highlight his last year at our school. He recounted the mornings I stood greeting each student as they walked through the door, the days working with students to develop their quarterly goals, & even my driving to see our students compete in their recreational sporting events. As he spoke the words, “I want to congratulate Dr. Hemphill on being the 2016-17 Principal of the Year” I was met with screams, squeals, hugs, & love from the best school family in the world! There is absolutely no way that we would have accomplished such growth for our children without their willingness to try something new. There is absolutely no way that we could have created a brand new culture & established positive morale without their flexibility, patience, & out-of-the crayon-box thinking. And there is absolutely no way that I would be Principal of the Year without the BEST SCHOOL FAMILY OF THE YEAR! I am grateful. I am humbled. And I am honored.
The 2016-17 school year is going to be phenomenal for our students, our educators, & our community because we now understand the power of change. Let’s commit to revolutionizing education one school at a time. Let’s change the perception of public education across our hometowns, our state, & our nation. Let’s shatter some molds when it comes to doing what is good for the students who are sitting in our classrooms today. I hope my educational moldmakers will join us on this journey!
“Education is about not forgetting that you are seriously affecting the trajectory of a child’s life.” – Dr. Mary Hemphill
It is with great pleasure that I share my newly released podcast “Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation” with Motivational Millennials, Ivy LaClair & Blake Brandes! This was such a powerful project, & it was amazing to connect & share on such a positive platform. I hope you enjoy, moldmakers!
Click here to listen to the podcast – (Ep. 5) Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation with Dr. Mary Hemphill
The past three months have been hectic, amazing, & challenging. I have had the opportunity to spend time with family & friends, celebrate special moments with loved ones, & embrace new opportunities that challenge me personally & professionally. Thank you for joining me on this scholarly journey!
Moldmakers, we could not be more excited about the upcoming Motivational Millennial podcasts featuring some amazing millennials doing amazing things in their fields. The Scholar Vlogger is blessed & honored to be featured as well, so stay tuned! Check out Motivational Millennials founded by Ivy LaClair & Blake Brandes here: https://www.facebook.com/MotivationalMillennial/?fref=ts. #millennails #inspiration #education#motivation #focus #purpose #passion #vision #moldmakers#scholarvlogger
This week is off to an AMAZING start with the publication of my white paper entitled “The New Leaders on the Block: Why Teacher Leadership & Shared Vision are Vital to NC Schools” by Education NC! Teacher leadership is the key to transformation in our schools, & I am proud to share a few ways to help school & district leaders cultivate teacher leadership & shared vision in NC Schools! #proudprincipal #publicedu #EDNC #education #motivation#moldmaker #scholarvlogger