Every year, NAESP publishes the latest edition of Ideas that Work, a collection of ideas that shares some of the best practices and tips from the current year’s National Distinguished Principals. Their ideas for staff motivation, student recognition, curriculum innovations, school climate, and parent involvement will help you set up new programs in your school without having to reinvent the wheel. 

In the December 2007 issue of Communicator, NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly writes, “As leaders we have to sift, sort, coach, and create a process to determine which ideas get the time, attention, and funding needed to bring them to full life and make them fly.” What are some of your own ideas that that have proved successful over the years? Which ideas from the Ideas that Work series stand out the most for you?

re: Bringing Ideas to Life

One of my favorite ideas was our "Recognition Log" because of its simplicity. Any adult in the building who saw a student perform a noteworthy task could send that student to the office to sign the Recognition Log.

The log was nothing more than a loose-leaf notebook in the main office with blocks where students would write their names, what they were being recognized for, and what adult had sent them. Every few days, I would pick names at random from the Recognition Log and include them in the morning announcements. Those whose names (along with what they did and who sent them) would come to the office and choose a prize. The prizes consisted of things I would pick up for free at conventions or donations from merchants.

The Recognition Log was always available for parents to thumb through any time they were in the office.

re: Bringing Ideas to Life

I like the 'Recognition Log' and will be borrowing the idea. Thanks!

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