Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Office Day - Should have done this years ago!

I have structured my school week where I am not in my office every Tuesday morning. I explained this to my staff on the first day of the year and I also explained that if I needed to be reached, my cell phone would be on. So far, I have only been needed back in my office once in 4 weeks!
I have never been more energized as I am on Tuesday in my school. I have been able to connect with numerous students and staff and I have also been able to have some rich conversations with students on "their" terms and in "their" spaces in the classrooms.
I have learned about technology use like how to digitally sign-out books from our city library, from 2 students in our Autism classroom - this never would have happened had I not come to them!
I also have watched my Industrial Arts teacher explain how to use the table saw. I also have talked with students in our Photography 30 class and they eloquently have explained to me that this course and the teacher have been instrumental on helping them to decide on a future career. Again, I could have called them down to my office and asked them how everything was going but those conversations are often short and not very comfortable for the students.
I also watched some students yesterday in an Arts Education class and participated with them in a voice projection activity where we were whispering to ourt partners from a variety of distances and really focusing on our listening skills.

I often tell my staff that I am going to try to get into their classrooms more often at the beginning of the school year and too many times other activities and events prevent this from happening - well not this year! This first month of school I have been into 13 classrooms and observed students and teachers and had many conversations about learning! This is awesome and I encourage all administrators to structure your week in such a way as to make this part of your own expected practice.
The only downside I see is that it is 6 more days until Tuesday morning comes again! I actually got outside and watched a girls PE class play touch football! They were awesome!

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