Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Opening Day Presentation: Little Christmas

I love the beginning of the school year.  I love especially getting ready for the first day with staff.  It’s a new day of possibilities, hope, and a chance to start off strong.  In my opening presentation to my staff I very rarely speak much about the nuts and bolts of instruction.  Instead I focus on the big things, and always culture.  I try to lay out what I believe, what I expect, and what I think we are capable of as a school.

I start my opening day presentation every year around December.  I work on it through bits and pieces as we do the work of the year, polish it over the summer, and finish it the night before.  This is one of my absolute favorite things to do as a principal.  It is my job to set the tone early, and clearly communicate what we are about, and what we want to accomplish.  Frankly, opening day is like small Christmas for me.  I love it.

Part of this is drawing on the work of others.  This year I’m drawing on Jim Valvano, Jeffrey Wright, Henry Rollins, and my mainstay Rita Pierson.  Click the links below to the videos I’m going to use.

I change up my lineup each year, sometimes use only one or two depending on what I want to convey, but one video always is in my playlist for day one: Every Kids needs a Champion by Rita Pierson.  If you can watch that and not feel so unequivocally fired up to be the best educator possible, well you may not have a soul.  Dr. Pierson's words are some of the absolute truest in our profession, and speak directly to the values we should hold, that never change.  We lost a titan the day she passed.

The link to my opening staff presentation is below.  Some of it obviously is just specifically for us, but if there is anything in it you find useful feel free to take.

Not long before we welcome back kids.  Good luck this year, and let your passion guide your work.

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