The Journey Continues…

This is officially my first voyage into the blogging world. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and the amazing posts of my Twitter PLN friends has inspired me to take this step. Posting my thoughts, reflections, ideas, struggles, and stumbles out into the blogverse is intimidating, but I also believe strongly that this process will be a tool to help me continuously improve. Reflection in any form on our daily practices, decisions, and actions, regardless of your role within education, is a necessity to both learn and improve. I’m extremely thankful to my PLN friends (some of who I’ve never met) for encouraging me through their words and strength as educational leaders. Amy Millard, Brad Gustafson, Mark French, Adam Welcome, Todd Nesloney, George Couros, Lindsey Bohler, and so many others routinely inspire me to grow personally and professionally from their writing and posts.

Who knew selecting a title for your blog site would be so difficult? With so many educators with their own sites, I was sent back to the drawing board for a new idea several times. I ultimately chose LEARNING FROM THE HALLS because I truly feel that’s where real learning begins. At Little Mountain Elementary in Monticello, Minnesota where I’m proud to be the principal, we stress being present in the morning and greeting our students to start their day. Every morning I watch our students stop by to see their previous years’ teachers because the students know the teachers be waiting for them in the hallway with encouraging words and a hug before enjoying the same greeting from their current teachers. We have students from every background you can think of walking through our halls. It’s these interactions, regardless of what kind of home life our students are coming from, that prepare our students to be successful. Anyone walking through Little Mountain Elementary before school, during passing time, or during dismissal can quickly see how much we love and care for every one of our students.

LEARNING FROM THE HALLS works both ways. It’s in the hallways – or the cafeteria/playground – that I learn those things that matter most. I can learn about pedagogy, academics, formative assessments, management, and many other areas of instruction from being in the classroom. And don’t get me wrong, everything that happens during instruction is critically important to what we do. However, I learn about who our students are, where they come from, why they struggle, why they love school, who their friends are, and what motivates them in those areas within school outside of the classroom. Those connections our staff make outside our classrooms with our students is the lifeblood of everything else that happens within our classrooms. In today’s educational world, there is nothing more important than forming those positive connections with each student in our care. They need us to be that person for them! Being visible and LEARNING FROM THE HALLS helps me to improve as a principal each and every day.

Every Kid, Every Day!

  • Gabe