Thursday, October 19, 2017

Staying Positive This Time of Year!

As I was thinking about my next blog, I came across an article that seemed to fit the many topics running through my head.  The article is linked here for your reading pleasure.  

October is a month when so many things converge on teachers and administrators.  Grading periods are coming to a close, parent teacher conferences fill the hallways after hours, value-added data is released for buildings, and the light of day gets shorter and shorter.  All of these things may make October a LONG month for educators.  Fashioned from the article above, here are my top 10 ways to stay positive during this time.  

  1. Find strength in students:  After celebrating both muffins with moms and donuts with dads this month, the excitement that fills the building when families are engaged is uplifting.  
  2. Learn something new: I am working on a new way to share information with staff, parents, and the community.  I recently joined a group of 6th graders for a lesson on using Screencastify, and I am excited to try out my new learning!
  3. Pull out the instructional stops: I am reading 3 books right now, thinking about leading and learning in new and engaging ways to prevent plateaus.  
  1. Battle your boredom: When we get the chance to exercise our professional freedoms, we feel energized to focus on priorities.  Personalizing PD pathways for teachers has been invigorating as a leader.  Giving teachers the control of their learning has not only battled our “PD boredom” as leaders, but has made collaborative learning from each other a priority!
  2. Find your tribe:  I am so blessed to be a part of Ohio School Leadership Institute Cohort 32 this year.  With the support of BASA and The Center for Creative Leadership, we have formed a “tribe” of lead learners, exploring and developing our leadership styles together.  
  3. Hit pause and reflect:  Have you ever completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Questionnaire?  If not, I would highly suggest it!  As part of OSLI Cohort 32, I completed this survey at the 1st part of our leadership institute.  The results have allowed me to “pause and reflect” on my preferences and how those preferences impact my personal and professional decisions.  My MBTI profile is included below.  
  1. Never let your flame go out:  I am more excited to be a superintendent today than I was when I took this job 4 years ago.  As I continue to grow as a lead learner, I am excited to “flex” my leadership styles to fit the needs of the person and the situation.  Each time we “flex” our skills, we add fuel to our professional fires.  
  2. Take a hike:  I just completed the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Half Marathon.  Enjoying the weather, taking time for my own health, celebrating children champions, and running with friends helps me find balance.  Don’t forget to take time for yourself and your family and friends.  
  3. Have coffee with a mentor: I am blessed with several trusted colleagues and mentors both locally and through state and regional organizations. Picking up the phone, carpooling to a conference, or arranging an early money coffee stop, all to connect with a mentor, should not be overlooked.  It is nice to check your thinking, seek advice, or share innovative ideas with those you trust to counter the blues we sometimes feel this time of year.  
  4. Resist the isolation: I am so hopeful for education in Ohio as superintendents across the state have come together in the last year to collectively tell our stories.  This “movement” has resulted in the introduction of a School DeRegulation Bill from Senator Huffman.  For the first time in several years, I can feel the landscape of education changing, with a focus on local control, all because we have collectively stood together.  

Take time this month to focus on the positives and counter the energy drain that hits all of us this time of year.  Our students, buildings, and communities need us!

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Yours in Education,  
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Danielle Prohaska, Superintendent

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