The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Low Content, High Application

Yesterday, along with our new Assistant Principal, I attended the 2013 Hickey Leadership Group Summit. The event was advertised as “low content and high application,” and was an outstanding way to get started with our school year. A sold out crowd of 127 educators, representing nearly 40 school buildings were in attendance.

The premise of the day is simple. A schools leadership team takes a day, heads off site, and talks about leadership and does some planning for the school year’s kickoff. The event had no keynote speaker, rather, just three 5 to 10 minute “pop up” talks where principals talked about technology integration, positive psychology, and administrative learning teams. These short presentations were structured during the day when participants may have needed a shot in the arm.

The rest of the day was spent talking about leadership, working on projects for your own school, and networking with educators from other districts. The chance to do our own work, then talk with leaders from other schools gave the room energy that sent our administrative team home primed to start our school year off in a positive way.

Getting away for the day for our AP and I to step back and say “what is our goal for the school year, and what are our focus areas” was time well spent. There were no visitors, phone calls or interruptions, just a chance to really focus on the team we want to be for our students, staff, and parents this year.

I would encourage you to make this experience happen at some point in the next week or two. Find some space outside your district, if possible, ride to the event together (the time we talked in the car was very valuable), and take a day to talk about leadership, goals, and your kickoff for the year.

Dan Hickey, who planned the event, had the quotes of the day yesterday; “children who are in our schools today did not choose to be born in an era of budget cuts and political pressure. They deserve a high quality education in spite of the pressures outside our schools” and “you learn the work by doing the work, now, get to work.”

Now, I’m even more ready, it’s going to be a fantastic school year.


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