A Snowy Start to a Great First Day

Guest post by Christine Handy-Collins, principal of Gaithersburg High School

Yesterday I woke up to a wintery mix of snow in Dallas, Texas. Unbelievable…and the snow in Texas falls differently. It falls in slow motion, like a movie scene. It doesn’t look real, is soft and fluffy, and certainly not the kind you can make a snowman with. While I didn’t bring boots, I do have my hat, gloves, and scarf. The good thing is…the conference is in the hotel and I do not have to go outside for purposes other than my curiosity of this thing called SNOW in TEXAS.

I had the opportunity as the Maryland state coordinator (SC) to engage in conversation with other SCs about the Common Core, Race to the Top, PARCC assessments, the teacher evaluation, and our very own principal evaluations. It doesn’t matter where you are in the USA, we are all dealing with the immense pressures of so many new initiatives on our plates. We heard from one of the first principal ambassadors, Rachel Skerritt from Eastern High School in Washington, DC. She described her Wednesday and we could all relate. Oh, the day in the life of a high school principal.

We also had great dialogue with Karen Stratman, Director of National Public Engagement from the U.S. Department of Education. She handles the hot seat well and is passionate about her work. A former teacher and resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, she was well informed and current on the topics at hand.

The treat for the day was dialogue with Daniel Wong, author of The Happy Student and Carol Dweck, author of Mindset. With two facilitators, one on stage and one monitoring the questions posted via Twitter feeds, it was an engaging session with a 21st-century twist. I initially had problems tweeting with my cell phone, but you know in the 21st century we always have more than one device handy. I whipped out the iPad, logged on to the meeting room WiFi, logged into Hoot Suite, and I was back in business.

I used both @MASSP_SC (Maryland State Coordinator) and @TrojanPride101 (Proud HS Principal) so that everyone could be in on the good nuggets that I was getting from the opening session. Check out my tweets below:

  • Carol Dweck advises that we have to be willing to learn from others…collaboration enhances our growth mindset #nassp14
  • Daniel Wong advises that teachers and principals share their love for learning with students #nassp14
  • Good versus best…do we want what is good or what is best for our children..Daniel Wong author of The Happy Student #nassp14
  • Carol Dweck says that with students we need to praise the process, the effort, the struggle…teach a growth mindset. #nassp14
  • Daniel Wong says it is important for teens to feel that they are making a positive contribution to their community. #nassp14
  • There were so many great tweets from this session. Check them out on the trend using #nassp14.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.