If we don’t run our day, our day will run us. If you are a school administrator or educator, then you know exactly what I mean! We must set priorities and schedule them or other things will take their place whether we like it or not. If it’s that important to us, we must put it on the calendar and stick to it!

Recently I was cleaning out my office closet and noticed that most of it was full of my costumes and accessories that have accumulated over the years! I thought to myself, I wonder how many other principals’ closets look like this?

Work all day. Exhausted. Finally sit down at the kitchen table to shovel in a late dinner. And…out…comes…my cell phone…Why?? It’s like an automatic reaction that I can’t even control! To check the emails that I have may have missed on the way home from work?? I struggle with separating work and home and separating being a principal and being a dad. Most of the time I can’t separate the d and the P in my life and they blend together much more than my own family deserves, like in an infinite loop where both are so vitally …

Dad and/or Principal? #dadsasprincipals Read more »

April is the Month of the Military Child, but this takes on more meaning in our school. Secretary of Defense Casper W. Weinberger, in 1986, started this movement to remind others that military children also sacrifice and serve alongside their parents. Every year, the U. S. Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy continue to their work in promoting our military-connected students.

A recent visit to Washington, DC reminded me of the importance of sharing our support for our military families outside our school community. Led by Amanda Woodyard, our Military Student Transition Consultant for our school division and housed at Ashland, students from Ashland and neighboring schools helped make two quilts to show their support for the armed forces. They made efforts to share their story as military-connected children through these quilts titled “An Elementary Patriotic Thank you” and “We Serve Too.”

I originally wrote this reflection as part of an assignment for my Virginia Tech Government and Policy in Education class a few weeks ago. Recent decision-making regarding changes at the national level has provided excellent reflection on the skills and processes that leaders need in order to have successful and positive change.

Education does not have to be miserable. All of those things we complain about in the great system of education can be improved. It starts with us. With our thinking, planning, and effort. Recently, two or our 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Clevenger and Mrs. Milleson took basic math decimals practice to a new level of engagement, fun, and efficiency. They called it the Decimal Diner. 

Using new technology just because it looks cool or because it makes you feel innovative is not enough. Culture, instruction, and the needs of students come first, technology comes after. At Ashland Elementary, we have worked tirelessly to research and try new technologies but to also quickly re-assess usage for students. I talk every day with my superstar Instructional Technology Coach Mr. Benware and the rest of our staff about what is best for students and teachers. Many times we discuss what we will not do along with what we will do next. Our educational philosophies drive our implementation of …

What, Why, & How of Instructional Technology: Our School’s Story Read more »

Are you happy in life? Are you happy in your job? Do you even know the things that should make you happy? As a renewal of motivation in our school, I met with all of my school teams recently to discuss this very thing. To be effective with students, I have come to realize that teachers and administrators need to be happy at school! Not giddy, but truly happy in our work. If we want our students to be happy and want to be in school, then we must make sure we are doing things that make ourselves happy …

How to Be Happy in Your Work Read more »