One of my first superintendents had been an elementary teacher.
Sometimes she would begin our leadership meetings by bringing a shopping bag full of hands-on materials (paper, scissors, glue, popsicle sticks) as demonstrations for a lesson or an idea she wanted us to understand.
No matter what your age, you never outgrow the need for self-improvement. And I don’t know about you, but I know I would not grow in my own leadership if I wasn’t interacting, questioning, exploring, and sharing with others.
As we wrap up 2016, I wanted to share some ways I have been “keeping my bag full of ideas” by connecting with other leaders this past year as well as some ways we might connect together in 2017.
4 Year Blogging Anniversary
This year marks the end of four years since I started blogging. Sharing free weekly content has been a big commitment, but one that has been very rewarding and seems to be enriching others.
My audience is not enormous, but they are wonderful educators and leaders across the nation and world! Here are some numbers that I wanted to share to show how many times readers have visited Principal Matters for content since its launch in 2013:
I also want to give a big shout out to George Couros who has also hosted my content on his website at ConnectedPrincipals.com. My most popular post there has been 30 Questions for Principal Interviews which to date has been read 110,131 times. Obviously, his audience includes millions so thank you George for letting me be a small part of sharing with others across the world!
This past year was my first time to begin podcasting. I shared 47 episodes, including two bonus tracks. The monthly totals for 2016 reached 24,708 downloads. If you’re a listener, thanks for being a part of one-year of Principal Matters Podcast! Here’s the breakdown starting most recently and going back to December 2015:
Sharing, Learning, & Growing
This past year was an exciting time for learning with other school leaders. Here’s a recap of opportunities I had to present or keynote in 2016 looking back:
- December 13, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Communication Strategies that Work: Presenter and Host.
- November 17, 2016 Glenpool Leadership Committee, ‘Teamwork & Collaboration’ Presentation for Glenpool Public Schools, Glenpool, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker.
- November 8, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Dealing with Difficult People: Presenter and Host.
- October 11, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Purpose-Driven Leadership and Goal Setting: Presenter and Host.
- September 13, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Organizational Management: Presenter and Host.
- July 27, 2016 ICLE Digital Learning Strategies, Jacksonville, Florida: Consultant for the International Center of Leadership Excellence, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- June 22, 2016, NASSP Advocacy Conference, Washington, D.C.: Student Advocacy Presentation.
- June 9, 2016, Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals, Summer Conference, Wichita Hyatt, Wichita, Kansas: Keynote Speaker.
- June 7, 2016, National SAM Innovation Project Summer Conference, Calloway Gardens, Georgia: Keynote Speaker.
- March 1, 2016 OASSP Aspiring Principal Workshop, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Presented on Resumes & Tips for Interviewing for Principal Positions.
- April 7, 2016, OASSP Aspiring Principal Workshop, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Presented Roles & Responsibilities for School Leaders.
- February 2016, Digital Learning Provider Dinner, NASSP Conference Region VI Attendees, Orlando, Florida: Guest Speaker.
- January 2016, OAESP Mid-Winter Conference, Midwest City, Oklahoma: Closing Keynote Speaker.
In addition, I was asked to speak for the Transformational Leadership Summit hosted by Jethro Jones and Daniel Bauer. Check out Jethro’s podcast, Transformative Principal, for an amazing resource for school leaders.
Keynote Addresses & Presentations
Most of my messages center around my first book, Principal Matters: The Courage, Action, and Motivation Needed for School Leaders. (KindleUnlimited readers can now read it for free!)
For 2017, I’m looking forward to providing keynote presentations to principal associations in Minnesota and Texas. I’ll also be continuing the Brunch & Learn Webinar series I’ve been hosting once a month in partnership with CCOSA.
And also I’m excited to share that I’m finishing edits on a second book I’m hoping to see launched in 2017 on the power and importance of communication with students, teachers, parents and the world.
As you are looking at 2017 and 2018, have you thought of ways to stay motivated or inspired with your organization or teammates through a conference or event you host or attend? If so, I’d love the opportunity to talk about ways my message might help.
Leadership Team Events
For leadership teams who want to dig deeper, I have also been connecting and facilitating discussions for school teams via webinars and in-person. This past semester I interacted with the leadership team from Glenpool Public Schools.
If you are interested in seeing your team interacting around topics of collaboration, teamwork, and growth…then let’s talk about ways we might partner together!
Ways to Keep Growing in 2017
When I look back at 2016 and into 2017, I also want to give a shout-out to free resources that “keep my bag full of ideas” and help me grow. One of those is Twitter which provides a helpful platform through education Twitter chats. Some of my favorite include #atplc, #edchat, “satchat, and #engagechat. To see a comprehensive list of education hashtags, checkout the Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Education from TeachThought.com.
In addition, I’ve found a lot of professional connections with helpful resources via LinkedIn.
Another great resource has been the Habitudes Series, from Tim Elmore’s Growing Leaders organization. I’ve found these especially helpful for my own personal growth and as a resource for conversations with teachers and students on character growth. These books share a series of images that are connected to character traits and supporting stories, reflections, and questions.
Let’s Stay Connected!
In 2017 I plan to continue providing free resources for school leaders through my blog, podcast and webinars. And I’m excited about the launch of my 2nd book. I also am available for live-events.
As a practicing principal, I purposefully limit my dates away from school. This means I’m not always available for presentations, and my 2017 calendar is already filling up.
At the same time, I’d be thrilled to talk about ways I can provide value to your team or organization. Or maybe you are an aspiring or existing school leader who would like more one-on-one feedback on ways to keep growing.
Whatever the need, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @williamdp if you want to connect.
As you start your 2017, I hope you’ll keep “filling up your bag of ideas” by sharing, learning, and growing with others. Thanks again for doing what matters, and Happy New Year!
If you’re interested in more feedback on my presentations, you can also check out my Video-Intro:
Now It’s Your Turn
As you start your 2017, what are ways you be “filling up your bag of ideas” by sharing, learning, and growing with others? Thanks again for doing what matters, and Happy New Year!
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Principal Matters–The Book!
School leaders are very busy, so each of the twenty-four chapters is designed as a quick-read and followed with take-action questions for follow-up or reflection. If you want practical ideas on understanding your purpose, managing school teams, dealing with challenges, and leading with courage, action, motivation, and teamwork, go HERE to pick up a copy for you or your team.