Posted by: principalsintraining | March 28, 2014

Attention Leaders: Remember to Bring the Mirth, Joy, and FUN

Back Camera

The Ides of March are upon us.  Spring is ramping up while at the same time the internal reservoirs of energy, patience, flexibility, attunement to the moment, humor, and grit start to run dry.  So what to do?  School leaders play a huge role in setting the tone for the organization, so when the collective mood starts to dampen there’s really only ONE thing to do:

Get goofy.

That can take a variety of forms.  It could look like lining up for some game at an all-school rally where you get your face slathered in shaving cream and then it’s unclear exactly what’s happening but eventually you are able to open your eyes and lots of people are laughing.

Or you do an April Fool’s Day teacher switcheroo – the Art teacher takes over Math.  It’s by no means lost instructional time – there’s a lesson plan and everything!  Let the kids really be the experts and help the adult.

Or because spring is exploding around you and all anyone can do is look out the window (if your room has windows…) then put out an APB to staff to bust out the Pop-Up Classroom.  Do you think kids will be more distracted out here than in your room?  A humungous part of me says “no.”  I’d wager that the shift in environment will wake up a part of their mind that seven months in the too-familiar architecture of their classrooms have put to sleep.

blog pop up classAnd it’s not just the kids that benefit from a change of scenery.  How about liberating your staff meeting from whatever space is overly-accustomed to hosting it and sitting down underneath a blue sky?  And the agenda for the meeting?  Recognize the incredible work being done by the staff!  At this meeting we honored our Golden Bell nominees and winners, as well as a teacher/coach who is one of 25 people nationwide (out of 1,700 nominees) to win the Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Coach Award.  Key ingredient to delivering these recognitions – big, huge HUGS.

blog mtg

We moved this gathering into a computer lab where we showed this clip:

What’s your key takeaway from this?  YES.  PLAY.

Whatever you choose to do/disrupt, find ways to connect as people beyond the confines (physical and otherwise) of the school campus and school routine.

Kenneth Durham wrote a great post recently that talks about the conditions for happy work/learning spaces.  Yes, I am perfectly comfortable using a term like “happy” in describing the ideal school/organization.  His findings?  Nurture the relationships, move away from the precept of being in charge.  (I LOVE Kenneth!)

Elementary Principal Catina Haugen shares some terrific thoughts on on the importance of social time to bring a staff closer together.  (Catina is #eduFABULOSA)

When all else fails there are donuts/doughnuts (this is a major morphological divide amongst some of us aficionados – I’m hopeful we can heal the rift).

blog donutsLeaders: whatever you do, stay attuned to the tenor and mood of your staff and students.  What is the greatest contribution you can make when we’re all in the doldrums?  Be a goofball.


(Portrait of me, courtesy of a student.  Thank you!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Mercedes Schneider's EduBlog

Diane Ravitch's blog

A site to discuss better education for all

Laurie Hailer

exploring best practices in Algebra 2

Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday difficult can that be?

Mr. Anderson Reads & Writes

A blog about teaching, education, and professional life


Amy's Whimsical Musings

Special Needs Teaching and Education

Inclusive teaching, education and resources.

Mostly True Stories of K. Renae P.

My Adventures in Teaching and Learning

Scenes From The Battleground

Teaching in British schools

Belmont Teach

...our directory of excellence

Infinitely Curious

Perspectives on learning from across the Hall Middle community

Project-Based Life

Rethinking the way we look at the school/life intersection.


education-leadership-bikes-cartoons and other randomness

Dr. Neil Gupta

Educational Leader | Design Thinker | Instructional Coach

The Underdog's Advocate

A school leadership guide to success in the modern classroom

Learning & Leading

Life and Leadership w/ Two Married Administrators

Journeys in Ed

By @TravisPhelps80

The Connected Educators Hotspot

Educational Leadership in the 21st


skins of ill shaped fishes

technolandy: site of Ian Landy blog to support technologization

Models By Design

Models speak louder than words


Broadcasting and Farming Ideas

About Teaching

An Assistant Principal in an Australian Primary School

Where sharing mistakes is okay. in fact it's encouraged.

Educational Musings of a (former) Music Educator

My reflections on teaching & learning on my path through the education system.

the édu flâneuse

"For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it's an immense pleasure to take up residence in multiplicity, in whatever is seething, moving, evanescent and infinite: you're not at home, but you feel at home everywhere, you're at the centre of everything yet you remain hidden from everybody." Baudelaire

Principal Powers' Principles

A place for my thoughts and ideas

Adjusting Course

Responding to the Needs of the 21st Century Student

Not Yet

I never could get the hang of Thursdays

Happy Impermanence

Life change is inevitable. It's how you show up that matters.

Welcome to the Music Club

Music Takes You on Journeys

Ross Cooper's Blog

Just another site

Ideas Out There


Fisticuffs and Shenanigans

It was all fun and games, until the fisticuffs and shenanigans... -Deutschmarc

Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension


True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?


A painter's diary of life in the rugged North West of Ireland

There is no box

thinking out loud about technology, teaching and life

Karen Blumberg

Technology is special.

Embark For Progress

One woman's perspective on living, teaching, and developing a profession.

Heutagogy Community of Practice

Advancing the Theory and Practice of Self-Determined Learning

Granted, and...

thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins

%d bloggers like this: