Do you know which schools your students come from or are going to? Challenge yourself to a site visit this year to see this different setting and get to know the incredible educators educating the children everyone is serving.
Chapter Seven: Hacking Early Learning
Transition from K to 7th and 8th grade this summer has been an experience. I walked into this thinking I would be starting over at square one-but quickly realized what worked in the early grades, really can continue in the upper grades.
As I officially started the position July 1st I missed the opportunity to meet families and students and open houses and transition meetings to the middle school. So I took a unique twist on learning more about those I would be serving.
I showed up on their doorstep.
Armed with my GPS, new business cards, and addresses of around 25 students I took 3 days to introduce myself to families. Most times I was met with surprise, sometimes a little caution, but always ending with a smile.
What I learned:
- Sports registration for 7th graders is a difficult process-one in which we have to fix to make it easier for all families to access extra-curricular opportunities for their children.
- Snap Chat and Instagram are “the” ways to communicate with students, Facebook is great for parents.
- Many of our students have the responsibility of caring for their younger siblings during the summer-in many cases I had them at the Kindergarten Center which gave me ‘street cred’ with their older middle school siblings.
- Some parents disclosed this was the first ‘positive’ connection they had with the schools in a very long time.
Last week was our district Mass Registration-that was my opportunity to meet these students and families in a different setting. The reaction from some of the students was nervous smiles, some even handshakes (and hugs from their younger siblings). My favorite response had to be from an incoming 7th grader who I met while he was playing a video game at his house the week before.
“Hey you are the lady who came to my house! So you really are my new principal!?!”
Yes, I am.
Dream Big-Live Colorfully-Lead Boldly.