(Amy Fadeji) @mrsfadeji - Penngrove Elementary School
Although it's fairly common to ask someone, "What do you do?" I'm personally not one who is big into titles. As a principal, I hear parents constantly saying, "I don't want my child to be labeled" and I totally get that. However, whether we like it or not, those around us are constantly labeling us, making observations, and drawing conclusions about us that may or may not be totally accurate. A principal friend of mine, Adam Welcome (@awelcome), recently referred to me as a "wired principal." I have to admit that I did a quick Google search on "wired principal" and ended up without any concrete evidence of what or why anyone would consider themselves a wired principal.
What I can share with you is that I find myself constantly plugged in for the sake of my students and staff. On campus, you'll rarely catch me without my phone. (P.S. I just got a new iPhone 5s yesterday and it's beautiful! I'm such a sucker for black Friday shopping. #embarrassing) In between stepping into classrooms to share in the goodness of all the learning taking place on campus, I am easily guilty of responding to a few emails, checking in with our office manager, tweeting classroom happenings, texting a teacher or two and re-scheduling appointments. However, it is in the classroom, where I really feel wired! Wired about the risks our teachers are taking, wired about the ownership our students are taking with their learning, and wired about the contagious momentum spreading like wildfire across our campus. #forestfire
Being a wired principal isn't just a feeling or a mindset. To me, being a wired principal is about being fully connected to everything and everyone in a variety of ways. As with many aspects of this profession, being a wired principal looks different on any given day. In the month of November, here are just a few of my favorite wired moments:
- Recording an Audioboo with some 2nd graders about what we are thankful for.
- Joining in on a GHO (Google Hangout) with one of my 5th grade classes as they tried to guess the location of another 5th grade class in California.
- Writing a couple of reflective blog posts from a local coffee shop and hearing that our 4th graders are starting to blog now too!
- Meeting up with fellow admins on five different occasions to collaborate just for fun and learning.
- Visiting JSE Roadrunners with another principal friend and meeting tons of energized teachers who are now connected with our awesome Penngrove teachers.
- Brainstorming and collecting feedback from some students about our implementation of Google Docs.
- Video recording students as they visit our "Say Something Nice" stand during recess and lunch.
- Constantly making heroes out of students and staff members via our school Twitter account @pennpanthers.
- Facilitating a "Third Thursday PD" with @lorideen after she successfully convinced our Superintendent to join Twitter.
- Getting a lesson on Animoto at a #brewcue hosted by @NorthBayCUE in St. Helena.
- Celebrating the fact that two of my teachers will be presenting at the Google Education Napa Valley 1:1 Institute after their submission was accepted!
If being a "wired principal" was just another label or title, quite honestly, I wouldn't be that interested. However, when I look at the list above, and I think about the incredibly talented people who I get to share these experiences with, I can't help but claim this title with excitement! Let's wire it up!