10 Powerful Tweets from Week of 10/6 #Education #Innovation #Leadership

An Open Letter to All in Viking Nation

An Open Letter to All in Viking Nation:

I was reflecting on my drive home today about my school day, which ended with a staff meeting concerning the passing of a PHS student, and then our athletic signing.  I have to admit, learning the previous evening of another loss had me thinking from the standpoint of “not again.”  That was my thought as a couple of graduates texted me asking what were the details.  I could not provide any, but after seeing some postings on facebook, I had the sinking feeling of “here we go again.”  Then I caught myself and realized that each situation is different, for each family and each time we go through this.  I am not sure if there is a manual or an exact science to address grieving students, but I feel like each time is a first for me because it is always different.  But I feel I learn from each situation.

I did not know Keondre, but I do have his sister in class.  I did not get to see her today, so I will hope she attends class tomorrow but will understand if she prefers other areas/people for comfort.  Watching our 10th graders in my classes today just shows the resiliency of their class and all students in the Princeton district. Yes, my class kind of conducted “class as usual”,  but it was not usual. Young men and women were quiet, small tears running down their cheeks, heads down just staring into space involved in their own thoughts somewhere, but not one………and I mean not one, stopped doing their classwork.  It was amazing to watch and see this go on.  Answering questions, quietly working on their notes or problems.  It was totally humbling to me to watch this.  Today, despite the circumstances, the students pushed through.  Completely amazing.

At times I am asked why I teach, and I reply that it started early in my life for wanting “to teach and coach”.  I am also asked about how can I do it day after day after day?  I just say, “I dunno.  I just do my thing.”  I know throughout our high school and in every building of our district, all of the teachers “just do their thing.”  We may never know how deeply we really touch our student’s lives, but on a day when………young men and women were quiet, small tears running down their cheeks, heads down just staring into space involved in their own thoughts somewhere, but they did not stop working……..each one of us may see a small glimpse of the difference we make on them.  Or the difference they make on us.

Rest In Peace Keondre Patterson,

Hail to a Fallen Viking – 24/7 Princeton Pride.

Bob Fritz

PHS Math Teacher

CC Coach

Cast the First Stone

When you hear the phrase “Casting the First Stone,” what comes to mind? Perhaps a pastor, or minister, preaching to not be the first person to cast a stone. Or, maybe a parent lecturing to their child? No matter where you hear it from, it’s usually has a negative connotation, but why?

“Casting the First Stone” can be redefined into something that is not only positive, but also has the capacity to change the world. Casting the first stone is what separates the men from the boys, the strong from the weak, and the people that are referred to as the chosen few.

Casting the first stone is a mentality and attitude that develops leaders.  Leadership is a common term; perhaps an overly used word. But what does it really mean?  Leading is defined as taking the directing or principal part. On the other hand, anyone has the capacity to call them-self a leader and arrogantly step forward and demand control. However, that’s not truly being a leader. A leader goes beyond the vague definitions given from a dictionary.

A Leader is someone who:

  • Steps up to a task with humility
  • Chooses to defy adversity and not allow it to define them
  • Embraces diversity instead of letting prejudice cloud their judgment and actions
  • Choses the high road in life versus the road that seems most popular at the time
  • Takes on the burden of the weak and down trotted, not someone who defends the strong and ruthless

Within the culture of schools and education, a Leader:

  • Doesn’t have to be a person in a position of authority
  • Stands up for the kid getting bullied
  • Is the student that works harder than anyone else in school because they realize education is the only thing that will save them from the imperfect circumstances they were given in life
  • Is a teacher that demands excellence from all of their students because they see the potential in each of them and will invest the same amount of energy into everyone not based on race, gender, or ability level
  • Chooses to say yes to the life less popular and not to a life of partying, drugs, and alcohol
  • Could be a security guard that takes three seconds to pull a student aside and stop them from making a reckless and careless mistake

Those details and character traits are what separates leaders from the pack – as many are called but few are chosen. We all have the ability to be leaders and we cannot make the decision to be less than that.

We must cast the first stone and be better than we are now. Whether it is one person standing up to their group of friends or a teacher that comes to school an hour earlier to help a student who is struggling – cast the first stone.

Don’t be afraid to cast the first stone. Even the smallest stone thrown in a river still creates a ripple effect that will reach every inch of the water. The changes we start here could spark a revolution and shape this world into the change we wish to see. It all starts with you pushing yourself to be the leader you know you were meant to be.

Make the change and Cast the First Stone.

By Imani Roberson

Princeton High School – c/o 2014

Student Leader, Advocate and Viking – 24/7

What it Means to be a Vuck (Viking-Duck)

What it Means to be a Vuck (Viking-Duck)

 

 

Today, during senior college seminars, one of our sessions included a reference to a new school motto: “Be like a duck. Calm on the outside but paddling like the dickens underneath.” Dr. Crouse, the session leader, passed out rubber ducks to a few of us that were dressed in Viking gear; hence the Vuck.

As we learned, and as the saying tells us, being a duck consists of working ridiculously hard at something (or multiple things) and making it look easy. But what does it mean to be a Vuck? Sure we’re ducks who go to Princeton, and we have pride in our school, but even though all of us are Vikings, not all of us are (or can be) Vucks. Mr. Everett Lamar told us very simply today to “stop making excuses!” He reminded us that we must have a “by any means necessary” mentality, and throughout the day, we were told repeatedly that we had to be willing to do whatever it took to get to where we wanted to be. We watched the popular motivational video with the saying, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” A Vuck, I have determined, is a special sort of Viking who is the epitome of a person who is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals.

Princeton’s job, as a school, is to give us, as students, the tools it takes to be successful, and in four years, we are generally given that opportunity. Like Dora the Explorer, all the tools we need are in our backpack. The Vucks are the Princeton students who take advantage of said tools and through hard work and dedication achieve the success we heard about all day at school. They are the leaders of the school, and the people the rest of us Vikings want to follow after. People like 2012 alumnus Claudia Saunders are Vucks. Claudia was third in her class, won state championships in two different sports and is now running at Stanford University. She never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do something, and she is the Vuck I want to be like.

My message to students: Always strive to be a Vuck. My question to them: What is it going to take for you to become a Vuck? Start paddling. It’s worth it.

 

By Emily Roper

Princeton High School, c/o 2013

Scholar, Athlete, Mentor, Visionary, Ambassador, Friend, Daughter. Leader……Viking Duck

10 Great Articles, Resources, Videos & Quotes for Educators in September 2012

Below are 10 very thought-provoking articles, blogs, video clips and other resources for Educators and anyone leading Organizational Change.  The list is diverse in its purpose and topics. Furthermore, the links provide a strategic set of tools for your #Leadership

I came across these wonderful finds due to the folks I follow on Twitter.  Enjoy, and follow me on twitter @PHSViking to broaden your Personal / Professional Learning Network.

The Power of Effective Feedback

Written By Peter Dewitt via Education Week – @PeterMDeWitt

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/08/the_power_of_effective_feedback.html?intc=es

The Flipped Faculty Meeting

Written By Peter Dewitt via Education Week – @PeterMDeWitt

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/09/the_flipped_faculty_meeting.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

Video: Recorded Open House Presentation by Mrs. Johnson

Shared by @teachingwhtsoul via @PrincipalJ

Favorite / Thought Provoking Quote:

Shared by @AnnTran_

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” ― Stephen King

Handling Co-Worker Complaints and Backstabbing

Written By @LeadershipFreak via WordPress

http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/handling-co-worker-complaints-and-backstabbing/

Favorite / Thought Provoking Quote:

Shared by Lead Change Group ‏via @leadchangegroup

“When you’re a professional, you come back, no matter what happened the day before.” – Billy Martin

The Best Apps for Teaching Math and Science

Shared by @NMHS_Principal via The Wall Street Journal Technology Report

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444860104577561094256316390.html?KEYWORDS=teach%20kids%20math%20and%20science&utm_source=buffer&buffer_share=a22b2

 

The Principal Melt-Down Video

Shared by @WiscPrincipal

http://youtu.be/dDASxk5kiDw

Free Reproducibles from Marzano for Coaching & Evaluating

Shared by @MarzanoResearch

http://www.marzanoresearch.com/reproducibles/coaching_classroom.aspx?utm_campaign=Argyle%2BSocial-2012-08&utm_content=sarah&utm_medium=Argyle%2BSocial&utm_source=twitter&utm_term=2012-08-29-13-09-12

50 Educational Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

Shared by @KleinErin via @edudemic 

http://kleinerin.visibli.com/share/tDXGBd

 

Digital Diversity is a MUST

Last month I had a major failure.  I published a blog of “10 Great Stars to Follow in the Twitterverse.”  Within one hour, I was flooded with angry questions and comments of “Where are the Women?”

After all, the blog consisted of 10 white males (all amazing leaders though).  And after processing and reflecting, I couldn’t believe myself.   As a Principal and Educator that preaches Culturally Responsive Practices of perhaps the most diverse high school in the State of Ohio, my Twitter list failed to have Digital Diversity.

So, I began reflecting on the cultural shift to Social Media.  DIGITAL DIVERSITY is a MUST.

A series of reflective questions immediately flooded my conscience:

  • Do I follow enough women, men, people of color and those from different classes in our society?
  • Do I follow people on Twitter that ONLY validate and support my ideas? Or, do I intentionally follow people that challenge, contradict and bring alternative perspectives to my digital feed?
  • Do I follow the ‘little guy’ from the small business or tiny school district, or only seek out digital leaders with thousands?
  • Do I fear following people with opposing or different viewpoints and ideas?

Lesson Learned:

While many of us cannot change or control the diversity that surrounds us on a daily basis, we can use the internet to circumvent the obstacles of geography, class, color, religion and more.

No longer can we as educators claim we “did not know,” — as it is our responsibility to explore and embrace a digital world that is more diverse than we could ever imagine and wish for.

Whether your digital network, or the people you surround yourself with daily, you must have diversity in your life. Challenge yourself to learn and grow from others not in your regular social circle.  Hear their perspectives and try to see what they see.

Be Reflective and Seek out Digital Diversity – IT is a MUST.

William T. Sprankles III

District Principal, 6-12

Princeton City Schools

http://www.twitter.com/phsviking