Wordless Wednesday: Time to Chill

It's Wordless Wednesday with Christina from Sugar and Spice.  

My husband surprised me yesterday with a much needed watch from Kate Spade!  I love Kate Spade.  The story behind the watch:  If you have been a follower of mine, you know I'm taking a career change next year.  I officially resigned my position as principal in February.  In November, I decided this would be my last year.  If you are a principal or ever been one, you know the stress we are under.  I thought it was time to step back and take some time to rest.

When the box arrived, he said, "It's time to chill."  

I think he did a fantastic job, don't you? #mancrushwithhubs
Now head over to Sugar and Spice to see other bloggers share Wordless Wednesday!

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5 Things School Leaders Must Know and Do Now

There are 5 things school leaders must do now to balance the weight of all the duties and responsibilities of running a school.

Balance between work and life is difficult for most people.  However, today I'm discussing the balance of all the responsibilities found in the school system.  How does a principal balance all the duties and responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it!

First of all, I'm not here to tell you I have it all figured out nor tell you it is easy.  Being a principal has been rewarding but also one of the most difficult career choices too. Most people in principal positions don't become outstanding leaders overnight.  We learn to lead over time.  We must learn how to work with difficult people.  Learn to make a decision at the drop of a hat.  Learn to manage and oversee all functions of the school.  Let to motivate and inspire teachers and students.  The list goes on and on.  All of these and many more can be a heavy weight to carry each day.

However, if I had to give you some tips and advice on how to carry the weight of the school, I would start with these five.

1.  Prioritize- As a principal, you will get called 24/7 about everything!  Toilet overflowing, a dog is on the playground, an angry upset parent is on the phone, meetings to attend, fundraisers to plan, assessments to administer, etc...  Even though I have a minute-to-minute calendar on my desk, it does not mean I will only do what is scheduled.  I must do those things on the calendar and then handle all the other items as they arrive or they must be prioritized.  My struggle is not with prioritizing but with the fact that everything is important and has to be done but I can't find the time to get it all done.  However, there are items that are urgent.  These must be done first.

2.  Lead with Passion- Passion means being able to take the frustration, the roadblocks, the disappointments, and the endless stress and still want to come to work each day determined.  Your burning desire to make a difference will help you accomplish the tasks at hand.  Without this passionate commitment you will not last.  We all have a drive or force to be successful inside of us.  We all want excellence in everything we do.  That is your passion resonating inside of you.  Passion is your energy.

3.  Knowledge- Your knowledge of things such as standards, instruction, effective teaching practices, laws, etc... can help save you time.  Be a self-learner.  Know your stuff!  It will save you time.  Lots of time.  Knowledge gives you advantage.  It doesn't matter who you are or what you are doing.  All that matters is how much knowledge you have. 

4.  Take Care of Yourself- The duties and responsibilities of the position can simply be overwhelming.  If you don't take care of yourself over the years, you will feel frustrated.  This can lead to burn out and a very unhealthy body and mind.  Laugh when there is a funny moment.  Smile when there is something to smile about.  Celebrate the joys and accomplishments as they happen.  Failure will happen.  Success will happen.  Celebrate both.  Celebrate the little things.  Rejoice in the big things.  Learn from the mistakes.  When you do this, you are taking care of your body and mind. 

5.  Organized- I'm a bit of OCD when it comes to this.  Everything should and does have its place.  Being organized and staying organized is a process.  At the end of each day, I file or trash items that were accomplished during the day.  Being an organized principal can help you from falling behind.  You can walk in each day and hit the floor running or you can be a hot mess searching for what you need.  Trust me- being a principal comes with mountains of paperwork.  You need a system to stay on track with it all. One item I cannot live without is a planner or principal binder.  It has saved my life.  If you need help, check out the binder


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Shabby Chic Binder- Editable

I'm in love with this new look!  SHABBY CHIC BINDER was inspired by a wonderful fashionista who is very popular right now.  I love the colors but I also love that it is practical because it is totally editable.  I have inserted text boxes that allows you to add cover titles, insert info in the boxes on the calendars and type notes.

There are some binder extras: Birthdays, Passwords and Notes.  These are also editable.  Just use the text box that I inserted and just add your own info.
 The Shabby Chic binder can be used by teachers, principals and counselors.  The binder spines are included in two different sizes - 2 inch and 3 inch   I think it would be great if all teachers, principals and counselors on the campus used the same binder.  I love organization and when it is all coordinated campus-wide...that's even better.

The calendars are editable too.

Download Shabby Chic Binder

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Fabulous Engagement Party

We had a great day celebrating our daughter's engagement party with our future son-in-law.  They will be married next month.   We decided not to have a typical wedding shower.  The couple wanted a party to celebrate their engagement with family and friends.  It was absolutely beautiful.
 The party decor was inspired by Allison and Jack's wedding theme.  Our theme for the wedding is called Kate Spade.  It is black and white striped with pink and gold accents.  The engagement party is a great way to celebrate with everyone.  A typical shower is typically for the women.  This party was for all the men too.  I loved it because her dad and brother could join in on this special day.
 The cakes were delicious and absolutely gorgeous.  You just can't beat strawberry cake or chocolate cake.
 As you can see my future son-in-law, is slightly A LOT taller than my 5 foot daughter.
 Above are a few pictures of some of her sweet friends who hosted the party.  She is very blessed to have these ladies in her life.


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Shake It Off- ELA Academic Vocabulary (FREE)

This is a freebie to my blog followers for April.  This is my first attempt at making a presentation with music, animations, etc...  Please don't be too hard on me since it is a freebie. 

I made a short video of the powerpoint for you so you can get a glimpse of how it works.  I hope to watch one of the classes on campus use it next week.  Shake It Off Vocabulary Review was created to help motivate students to learn/review some of the basic ELA terms in a FUN WAY.  This time of the year all the reviews for testing can be so blah.  This gets students moving and excited about learning.

How it works:
Students stand up and shake off the correct definition to the vocabulary being quizzed.  They can either shake off by moving left or right or wave left or right hand in the air.   This signals to the teacher which answer they are choosing (left or right). 
You can get as creative as you like.  Just have fun!

This is just a 30 sec video of it playing on my computer today so you can see how it works. 

After you get the link, either download or save it to your computer.  Hit the play button or the shortcut F5 button to start the presentation.  It will run without clicking it.


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