“What is a moment really worth?”

image from wishfulthinking.co.uk
image from wishfulthinking.co.uk
Our school’s Jostens representative, Steve Krier, sends a quarterly newsletter/brochure about graduation preparation, reminders about professional and personal growth, humorous stories, and things to think about. It’s a very professional, yet casual publication that really adds value if one takes the time to read it. In the latest newsletter he included a list called, “What is a moment really worth?” It caused me to pause for a moment and reflect on the moments I take for granted, not only as a principal, but also as a husband and a friend. It also caused me to think about possible missed opportunities to fulfill my purpose (to positively change lives and impact futures). The business of education is the business of people and sometimes that gets lost. Please take a moment to read the list and share your thoughts:

On the bulletin board of a California company, someone once posted this sign to remind everyone of how time is relative-both the value of time is priceless.
• To realize the value of one year: Ask the student who has failed his final exam.
• To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
• To realize the value of one week: Ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
• To realize the value of one day: Ask the daily wage laborer who has 10 kids to feed.
• To realize the value of an hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
• To realize the value of a minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, the bus or the plane.
• To realize the value of a second: Ask the person who have survived an accident.

Be Great,


Management vs. Leadership

vision2The challenges of being a high school principal are numerous. Daily issues of dress code, tardiness, student engagement, consistent enforcement of rules, etc. coupled with leading the school community into 21st century teaching and learning is enough to drive one insane. However, this balance between management and leadership excites me.

I define management as the day to day operation of the building, from rules enforcement to paper pushing. Management is taking care of the little things before they become huge problems. Management is not always fun, but it’s definitely necessary. Proper classroom management allows for quality teaching and learning. Proper building management allows teachers to teach and students to learn.

Leadership is vision, planning, developing and serving others, and it’s fun! Currently, my district is going through an evolution in how we teach, learn, and assess. The “tip of the evolution spear” is an annex to Gahanna Lincoln High School, called Clark Hall. Clark Hall is going to be a 21st century designed building that will allow 21st century teaching, learning, and assessment to take place. It’s creative in design, set up to be a collaborative learning environment, and plans to have a solid wireless connection are underway. There is so much at stake, yet I’m loving every step of the way! The challenges are huge, but this project has been a living, breathing example of Quadrant D learning (High Rigor and High Relevance).

I’ve selected a group of 30 teachers who will be teaching at Clark Hall and they are chomping at the bit to get started. Well, they selected themselves through conversations each one has had with me about their vision for teaching and learning. Our emphasis at Clark Hall is on creativity, student autonomy, collaboration, technology integration, student choice/student voice, blended instruction, and problem solving. While this is an extensive list, I believe it’s what learning is all about. The leadership challenge is being able to pace and plan out our steps so that we do not try to do everything the first year.

This is the most exciting time to be an educator and I’m blessed to be the building principal of a large, succesful suburban high school in a district that is forward thinking and well supported. The building and  district leadership teams are two of the best around. Why change now? Why build Clark Hall? Why stress 21st century school redesign and 21st century skills?  Why not?

Manage the day to day, but lead today for tomorrow…

Be Great,