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Showing posts from December, 2012

Leaders as Helpers, Helpers as Leaders

At my school, I simply call myself a helper.  I often say to students and parents, there are many helpers in our school.  This universal concept implies safety, community and support.  Moreover, it offers understandable, common schoolwide language for elementary students.  When students acknowledge me as a helper, it goes right to my heart.  It means they understand the essential nature of my role, and they know I am a safe person to help them.  Put simply, I believe we are in the helping profession.  We help students and adults grow to be the best people they can be, now and for the future. 

With credit to Pinterestvia Shiseido USA

Teachers, secretaries, counselors, custodians, aides and parents – toname only a few are also everyday helpers.  The events of December 14, 2012 shook every helper in the most unimaginable way.  For me, the Newtown tragedy halted me in my tracks; and at the same time, called my leadership into action.  Like all schools, every helper in our schoolh…

Pearls of Wisdom

When I was a principal intern, I was fortunate to mentor with the most expert principal I have ever known.  I consider her to be one of the five most impactful people in my life’s work.  Working for her was a career defining moment and a once in a lifetime personal opportunity.  She was giftedly instinctive; the kind of principal that knew your heart and mind before you revealed it.  She was a principal who led with the gift of intuition, knowing my innate strengths and believing in my capacity every step of the way.  She spotted strengths in me before I even knew I possessed them.  Challenging me at every step, she kept her support swift and steadfast.  Everyday, unbeknownst to my consciousness, she bequeathed me a pearl of leadership wisdom; one, then another, and still another.  This continued for three years as I apprenticed with her.  She was a strong, but patient teacher.  I keenly observed, listened, and tried to emulate her.  It was as impossible as it sounds, however little b…