In the first three weeks of school, I’ve quickly learned that it’s hard to get it all done. My first lesson was in prioritizing things that had to be done at school over work that could be done at home. Meeting with students and teachers, walkthroughs, phone calls…these are jobs that have to be done at school. Research, planning, organizing…I can do these at home more effectively with fewer interruptions.
One “tool” that has really helped me to become more efficient was participation in Justin Baeder’s 21-Day Instructional Leadership Challenge. Principals and assistant principals know that our most important job is to serve as the instructional leaders for the school. The 21-Day Instructional Leadership Challenge offers easy, quick solutions for becoming great instructional leaders while balancing the many other important jobs that we must complete during the day. Each day you will receive a short video that you can watch or (as is my preference) you can read the transcript.
As I start “official” classroom walkthroughs next week, I look forward to implementing some of the great advice that I learned from the 21-Day Instructional Leadership Challenge. If you are looking for some great ideas for streamlining your day and accomplishing more, check out this FREE opportunity.
As we move into our third week of school, we are continuing to practice safe routines and procedures in order to keep our students safe. We are sure many educators were anticipating the long weekend but in return we must be refreshed and ready to be consistent with all of our safe practices.
Many students, possibly for the first time, are learning school routines, learning how to build relationships with their teachers, and trying to balance new behaviors at school and at home. We must be consistent in order to give students the safe learning environment they deserve. We must also remember we are responsible for the psychological safety of our students.
The collaborative for academic, social, and emotional learning gives us a model of psychological safety in order to assist us with the core area of our students’ safety and the specific skills we can assist them with, (CASEL, 2008). Students must learn self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making in order to feel safe and connected to our schools. In Table 6.4 Models for Organizing Psychological Safety Prevention Efforts (CASEL, 2008), gives us a better understanding of how to foster the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of these specific core areas. These skills all have to be acknowledged, reinforced, and modeled at our school. These are just a few key components of creating a safe learning environment allowing all of our students to be successful beyond their years at school.
Table 6.4-Models for Organizing Psychological Safety Prevention Efforts, (CASEL, 2008)
In order to foster of each of these skills, we must strategically embed them within our lesson design, family time (at the beginning of each day), or when we address specific situations occurring in our classroom. If you have not already done so, visit/revisit your “getting to know you” sheets, or specific notes about students’ interests you have made, and take the time to plan how you will foster the psychological safety of each of your students in order to create a safe and positive learning environment.