Friday, February 17, 2017

Create An Administrator Binder- Principal, Assistant Principal, Director

I have shared my principal binder with you many times over the years.  Each year, I try and perfect the design and layout.  I think this may be right at perfection.  Take a look at the binders that have been recently updated.  I hope to have all my other binders updated very soon.

I surveyed over 100+ school leaders to see what they would like me to include or change.  Here are their responses:

  • make several pages editable 
  • make the pages ink-friendly
  • remove any dates to keep it from being printed year-after-year.


How to Edit:

You will need to download the FREE version of Adobe Reader.  Adobe allows you to add your own text to the forms.  However, if you do not prefer the digital format, the PDF's can be printed.  Simply print and write on each form.

Calendars - Two Layouts

Daily - Glance at Your Day (Week-by-Week)

Monthly - Glance at Your Month

 Here is a look at the printed calendar.  Since I love to focus on Staff/Student Morale, I made a section to plan each month's morale booster ideas!  There is a space for staff birthdays, Morale Booster Ideas, and Celebrations/Recognitions for Staff and Students!  Never miss an opportunity to celebrate all the great things you are doing.


The files come in a zipped folder.  Just unzip the folder and all the files are labeled so you can quickly locate what you need.

If the technology pieces worry you, no fear!  I even created a 5 page handout (included in the zipped folder) for your reference.

Ready to download?  Here's the link to my TpT Store

Monday, February 6, 2017

Lead Your School with Purpose

On Sunday, I attended church service that left me inspired.  I love the sermon- Restart in My Purpose.    The sermon was about how we all have a purpose in this life.  Sometimes we go through life fulfilling day-to-day tasks never thinking about that purpose.  We aren't on this earth just to be present.

I couldn't help but make a connection to our career paths.  What is your purpose in your position?  Most of the time your purpose is related to your passion.

My passion came immediately to mind.  I love to invest in others.  I want others to win.  I want the men and women leading our schools to know I'm rooting for them to win.  I hope this blog platform helps to make your job easier by providing just what you need.

I truly hope my passion comes across to you in my blog posts.  Today, my wish is to leave you inspired to have an amazing Purpose-Driven Leadership.   Lead with all intention to do good for your students, your teachers, and your community.

All great achievements start with a passion.  Passion fuels you.  It motivates you to keep going even when you think you have nothing else to give.  Grab hold of your passion.  Your passion is needed to discover your purpose.

Purpose is Necessary

People seek purpose.  We all want to feel that our lives have a deeper meaning that goes beyond the paychecks.  When you feel and your team feels like what they do matters, your school will succeed.

Today, if you haven't found your purpose, take a look at what brings you fulfillment.  What motivates you to do what you do?  Share your purpose and your passion with your team.

Begin and end every week with letting your team know they are part of something big...something great...  They are all part of something very important.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

School Scratch Off Tickets- EASY

Do you feel excitement every time you scratch off a lotto ticket?  The thrill of winning something is invigorating.  

Scratch off tickets- an easy motivating tool for students and staff.  The best part is that the scratch offs don't involve paint.  Can I get an Amen?  No mess, no fuss!  All you need to do is add your own text and cover the prize area with a scratch off sticker.

I found the scratch off stickers on Amazon.  You can locate them here for silver and here for gold.  You all know how much I love gold.

The packet has 100 stickers.  One set sells around $8.  They arrived in two days by mail.   I did find out that Hobby Lobby also carries them.  

As you can see the stickers are about the size of a quarter.

I printed my tickets on cardstock and simply added the sticker over the prize area.  Hand them out to your teachers and students.  The prize area is editable.  This allows you to customize your prizes.  

Printing is easy for me since I now how the HP Instant Ink Service.  You can read here about how I can print hundreds of pages using colored ink for less than $9 a month.  If you are not part of the service, I highly recommend it.   If not, I did make some of the cards with white backgrounds.

Special seating, Lunch with the Principal, Treasure Box Reward, etc...

*Note- Not every card has to have a reward.  That is something you could explain to your students.  After all, it is a lotto ticket.   Sometimes you win...sometimes you try again.

Jean Day, Leave Early, Arrive Late, Skip Afternoon Duty, etc...

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Successes with Students and Teachers (FREE)

Are you needing ideas on ways to celebrate with your students and teachers?  Check out The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Successes with Students and Teachers.  

The Ultimate Guide comes digitally so you can choose to print or keep as a digital reference.  I wanted all list of wonderful ways to celebrate students all in one place.  As I was creating this, I asked some of my educational bloggers to share some of their resources too.

The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Successes with Students and Teachers is a FREE download.

How to access the guidebook:

Sign up to receive Principal Principles Newsletters!  As soon as you sign up, you will be sent the file.  

If you are already on my mailing list, the newsletter went out for February with the download included.

I decided to laminate my guidebook and bind it for my desk.  This just works for me.  If you choose to do the same, I have included the sites of where the resources are located.  When using the digital file, I have included links directly to the location.

Most everything in the Guidebook can be downloaded for FREE.

Take a look at how a student can recognize another student with this You Are Spot On Award.

You Are Spot On
You Are Spot On is an award from one student to another student.  The staff version is called UP Award.  I love the idea of students recognizing other students for their leadership and the ability to go above and beyond.  Sometimes there is more meaning in the award when another student gives the award.  This creates a tight family-type atmosphere.  We need more of this!  This is the kind of world I want to live in.

UP Award
The UP award stands for Unleashed the Potential.  Instead of an administrator nominating awards for their teachers, colleagues are nominating other colleagues.  This is the same idea as the student version, You Are Spot On. 

We need to do more celebrating the excellent people we work with.  Faculty and staff recognition is important to the culture of your school.  Showing appreciation for those we work with is one of the many things that makes your school a great place to be.  

Our Success Stories
Creating a success stories jar is easy.  Just print out the cards and pass them out.  Teachers can submit their own successes, their student successes, or add a success from a colleague.  

Share the successes with your staff at your next faculty meeting, through email, or in small group meet-ups.  Just pull a few cards out of the jar each week and share.  After sharing, place the card on a bulletin board so everyone can continue to read them throughout the year.

Sharing our successes is a great morale booster.  We should create an environment where it is okay to "toot our horns."  

Your greatest asset is your students, staff, and families.  Without them very little would be achieved.  Systems of recognition and rewards help maintain a culture of motivation, unity and work satisfaction.  Happy employees are more loyal and hard-working.

Keep the energy alive.   Motivate through celebrating the great work that's happening on your campus!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

PreKindergarten and Kindergarten Parent Registration Night Printables

Registration night or round up is a great time for parents to tour the school and meet the teachers.  It's also the perfect time for parents to fill out all the enrollment forms.  We all know starting PreK and Kindergarten is hard on the parents.  Parents are worried about their babies starting school.  Let's try and ease that worry with a welcoming parent night.

We want parents to have a welcoming experience, but we also need to relay important key points to all parents.  A school-wide presentation and matching flyer is a great start.  

WHAT'S INCLUDED- 20+ editable slides
Welcome Slide
Meet the Principal (male image)
Meet the Principal (female image)
Meet the Principal (blank)
Meet the Teachers
Our School
Enrollment Information
Our Curriculum
A day in the life in PreK or Kindergarten
First Day of School
School Supplies
Healthy Snacks
Physical Education
Parent Involvement
Nurse News
Breakfast & Lunch
School Contacts
Thank you for coming

Also, includes a blank title page to add additional slides.

The flyer is editable.  Just type in your information and pass it out to the community or have it as a download on your website.    This is a PDF document.  You will need the FREE version of Adobe to add your text.

1.  Parents all hear the same information.
2.  Tackle the registration paperwork and collect student records.
3.  Parents and students tour the school to familiarize the layout and ease worries.
4.  Build excitement because your school is fun!
5.  Assess the student- conduct a brief screening of the student for class placement.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's the Little Things That Make a BIG Difference

Whenever I see the aftermath of a forest fire, I automatically think about all the trees and bushes that were destroyed. After a fire is over, the land is black and lifeless.  On Saturday, this topic was brought up while traveling with my husband.   He reminded me of a little fun fact that I want to share with you today.

Little Fun Fact:
Some plants and trees actually need fires in order to survive.  A number of plants rely on fire to release their seeds.

The jack pine, found mostly in the very northern parts of central and eastern US and Canada, is very thick and hard.  They hang on a tree for years without opening up to release their seeds.  When a fire sweeps through a forest of jack pines, the heat opens up the cone.  The seeds are then released.  The land will soon regain its beauty.

From that simple seed, we just might have a strong and thriving forest again.  This would have never happened without the heat of that fire.

I can't help but make a connection with this "fun fact" and our roles as educators.  

School leaders and educators are under constant pressures.  These pressures can be the likeness of the fire in the forest.  We, the leaders, are the pine cones.  Despite the pressure and intense heat we face, we do not crumble.

Never underestimate the pine cone.  In appearance, the pine cone is little.  But little things can make a big difference.  Did you know that one of the factors that differentiate great leaders from the rest is their ability to cope with pressure, thrive under that pressure, and lead their team through high-pressure situations?  That very thought made be think of this question: Why do some leaders handle pressure better than others and some simply crumble?

Attitude is key.  Attitude is always in play.  It is either playing as a negative force or a positive force.  For you see attitude has the ability to motivate and inspire or it has the ability to tear you down and those around you too.  Attitude is a mindset of determination, grit and strong will.  Attitude can also be self-doubt, uncertainty, and constant worry.  The pressures we face can have both negative and positive impacts on our performance.  You will either handle those pressures or you will crumble.

It all starts with your attitude.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

5 Ways to Boost School Morale That Won't Cost You a Dime

School morale is often overlooked and underrated. Morale has been identified as having the biggest impact on student achievement and teacher retention. It is also a powerful force that brings about change. Despite these big impacts, it gets pushed aside. Teachers need morale building more this year than any other year. Teaching is hard. Teaching is hard, even on the easiest of days. Now, more than any other year, is the perfect time for the leader of the building to rally the staff together.

If you’re looking to boost the morale of your campus, here are 5 things in which principals can do that won't cost a dime.

I was asked just a few days ago this question: "To what degree, if any, does the school principal have to do with campus morale? My answer: EVERYTHING. The principal has everything to do with building and boosting morale.

"The success of your school depends on your ability to motivate."- McConnell

1. Family

There is clearly something to say about leading a school with a family approach. Treat your staff like family. Have each other’s back and always help one another improve. This simple approach creates a sense of belonging. We care for each other. We cry for each other. We also bicker with each other. But at the end of the day, we are better together than apart.

Tip 1: Create a sense of family.

2. Relationships are key

Do you really know your staff and do they really know you? It is easier to motivate when you truly know your staff. Relationships really do matter. Developing those relationships takes time. It is imperative that the people you work with trust you, respect you, have confidence in you, and want to work with you. You must continue to earn those trusting relationships every day. My mindset changed over the years. I noticed my mindset went from I work "with you" to I work "for you." When we change our mindset to that of service, we have an opportunity to really grow those relationships.

Tip 2: Build and repair relationships.

3. Lead
Leadership is about sharing, giving, and making those around you better. Leadership is about uniting and inspiring your team to perform. Leadership is much more than just a position of authority. Teachers want to trust their leaders, but many don't really know "the person" that is leading them. Lead with kindness and intention. Leadership by fear limits the growth of your staff and the opportunities for achievement. Seek to serve, rather than be served.

Tip 3: Be the leader you would follow.

4. Support

Support your teachers. The role of a principal in supporting teachers can be challenging at times, but absolutely necessary. I know I have made a ton of mistakes and even questioned my own actions on a lot of things over my years a principal, but I have tried to make it a priority to always support my teachers. Just this week I spoke to a teacher who is having a very difficult time at her school. It appears that this teacher has a lack of support from the principal. Everyone you work with deserves respect in the workplace. Give teachers the support they need to be successful. When teachers are successful, students are successful.

Tip: Treat everyone like they make a difference and they will.

5. Encourage Growth

Encourage your staff to grow. They will become more productive as a result of it. Teacher development not only benefits the teacher and the students, but it will benefit your entire school overall. Make sure professional development is a priority. Take a look at your data to determine areas in need of a little fine-tuning. Hone in on those areas and provide training that is relevant and easy to implement. Another way to encourage growth is to encourage teamwork and networking on the campus. Create a healthy environment that supports teachers working with their colleagues. When teachers feel they have the opportunity to grow, they will strive to meet expectations. They want to see their school be the best it can be. Power is greatest when we are all leading the way.

Tip: When principals encourage teacher growth, teacher morale also increases.