You (Yes, You!) Have Something to Share

Over the course of the first day of #NAESP14, I reflected on the critical importance of sharing.  

During the opening keynote, Robert Fulghum shared stories of snowflakes, mermaids, and a dancing pig in Cinderella. These tales highlighted the uniqueness of each child. As principals and school leaders, we must embrace and encourage uniqueness, and we must also advocate for others to do the same. Fulghum’s words also got me thinking about children’s “can-do anything” spirit, from singing to dancing to art, and how that diminishes over time. As adults, we must recognize that we, too, often have more to offer than we think.

Conferences like as this often bring us wonderful new ideas to try. Often, too, moments of pride about things that are happening in our schools creep in and we can (and should) feel good about those. In the Social Media Lounge, I appreciated that session attendees were willing to share what worked for them. As much as I enjoyed teaching mini-sessions, I can’t wait to try some of the ideas I learned. For example, prior to the session “Using Facebook to Connect and Celebrate,” @MelindaMiller asked principals to share their school’s Facebook pages. Melinda and I chatted about the great examples people shared. And, as they shared, we learned. After the session, a principal shared with me how he takes pictures of parts of his building, like a corner of a mural, and posts them for parents and students to guess what they are. What a great idea for making a school Facebook page more engaging! This will impact how I use my school’s page.

After leaving the Social Media Lounge, I was fortunate to catch Dan Butler’s session, “CPR: Providing a Lifeline for Principals through 21st Century Communication and Public Relations.” (Check out Dan’s blog here.) He shared several practical ways to connect with parents and promote our schools, including Google Forms and Remind.

“Everyone has great things going on in your building; it is time to tell the world about it,” he said. As I listened to Dan, I also had the opportunity to share my school newsletter with Sandy Trach in an informal conversation. I was glad to share with her, and to do so, I had to remember that sharing isn’t bragging and that I had something to offer. You do, too!

Patrick Larkin once shared a great video via Twitter called, “Obvious to You. Amazing to Others.” Check it out here. Take time to reflect. What do you have to share? What do others have to share? I challenge you to take these steps before we part ways Saturday:

  • Share a story of one of your successes or promising practices with someone here at #NAESP14.
  • View the video “Obvious to You. Amazing to Others.” Send the link to a colleague to remind them what they have to offer!
  • Ask someone their story or their school’s story; learn about a different state, a different school type, or a new approach to a common concern.

Kathy Melton

Melton is blogging from the 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville. Read her other posts, and see updates from Nashville, on 2014 Conference News.

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