John Q. Adams Middle School
2021 State Principal of the Year Finalist
A Message to School Leaders: Spring and Renewing Our Energy
After reflecting on the quote, I came up with a simple but powerful goal: to make 2021 positive for every school community member. To accomplish this, I met with every member of my school staff to discuss how I plan to make 2021 great and how they could do the same. This collaboration with school members was powerful, and the more individuals I sat and talked with, the more energized and positive I became. It was as if I were gaining momentum toward ensuring that come springtime, we would have our sails full of wind, and we would finish the school year strong regardless of the challenges ahead.
In my reflection and collaboration with my peers, teachers, support staff, and students, many great ideas arose in how we as a school community could ensure that we would be ready to finish strong as spring arrives. We, as leaders, can do some things to support the different stakeholder groups to finish the year strong.
- Leadership members will be leaving sticky notes after each walkthrough with positive messages.
- Leadership members send a survey out to teachers to gather ideas about how they would like to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week this year to make it truly special (Sky’s the limit up to $5 per person).
- Instructional leaders (admin) will be going into classrooms to teach a class for 15 minutes, during which we will send them down to the office where they will receive a drink and a snack.
- We are drafting motivation buddies, where each employee pairs with another, intending to say one positive thing about the teacher or motivational text a week.
- We are starting a teacher spotlight on social media where we are shouting out a teacher/employee each day for the rest of the year. Staff and families can leave positive comments.
- We will hide eggs around the school in places where only teachers will see them, and inside the egg may be a positive message, jean pass, parking spot, etc.
- Grade levels are giving out BINGO cards with our values on them and actions that align. As they show the values, they get a mark on the card.
- Students will earn social time for showing our values (20 minutes on Friday during PE).
- Each week a class per grade level will earn the Spirit Stick based on attendance, effort, and expectations (Three in a row will be a pizza party.)
- Morning messages of encouragement from administration and teachers.
- When a student earns a ticket for showing their values, they have the chance to select another student who they recognized delivering that value as well, so more can be celebrated.
- We will also hold celebrations for students who show up every day at their assigned time during the LEAP.
Parents & Community:
- The leadership team will communicate the plan to motivate/celebrate students and teachers through social media, emails, and newsletters.
- The leadership team will work with grade-level teachers to contact parents and community members via a phone call or email to keep them informed on important dates.
In closing, I know that as we enter spring and move forward to the end of the 2021 school year, any momentum that we gain can positively impact the upcoming school year. I know that everyone in the state has been affected by the pandemic. Still, I also know that if we implement intentional positive leadership actions, then our students will show growth on the end-of-year state assessment test. Our teachers and support staff will benefit from professional development. In addition, it is essential as school leaders that we reflect on our school mission and remind teachers, support staff, parents, and community members of the importance of giving our best for all kids every single day. So, keep showing up and leading your schools because your positive leader actions make a difference in kids’ lives!