Last year when writing Hacking Early Learning I had been spending a lot of time in classrooms. Coming from years at the secondary level, kindergarten students and staff almost spoke a different language than I did. Seriously, I had no idea what a Riso Machine was for the first 3 months on the job (and honestly 6 years later I still don’t touch it for fear I will break it and then the world would pretty much end at our school at the same time).
Moving back to the secondary level the challenge became could I still lead from my feet with the added responsibilities?
Everyday I start out at bus duty. Only now instead of kids running up and hugging me they ask me ‘why don’t you just go in-it is too cold out here?’ It is still a great opportunity to check in, talk about the recent Green Bay Packer game (they all love to give me a hard time on that), and to wish them a great start to the day.
Classroom visits are scheduled daily by an amazing administrative assistant. She has me in 5-10 classrooms a week for a whole class period. Sometimes I am silent reading alongside students, other times I might be catching up on the massive amounts of emails that come in to my inbox each day, and other days I might just be killing it on the timed shuttle run (okay that is an exaggeration).
A new an unconventional way to interact with students came up a few weeks ago-I had read Danny Bauer’s book Better Leaders Better Schools Roadmap as well as following Joe Sanfelippo’s personal day giveaways and decided to ask if the cafeteria needed help. Well lucky for me that day they did and I spent the next 90 minutes serving 600 of the 750 students in our school. For the most part the kids didn’t even recognize that it was me behind the counter, I heard the manners I was worried kids had lost come out each time one of us served the food across the counter. Once they did figure it out the look of shock was priceless (and so much my own son choose a different line that day-go figure!).
As I continue to learn how to lead, I learn new ways to connect, engage and build a climate that breeds risk-taking, relationships and high expectations-no matter where you lead in our school organization. So with a few days left in 2018-in what ways will you serve your school and lead from your feet?
Dream Big, Live Colorfully, Lead Boldly and #Elevate how you lead each day,