Monday, July 24, 2017

Be Like Mike- #NPC17

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia with my closest colleague, Mike Budisch (@headlearner).  If you have read my other blogs about #NPC17, you know I spoke a lot about connections, and most of them are with educators I have connected with on social media from around the country.  But my most important educational connection is with Mike.

Our connection started in February of 2007 when I interviewed for my current position.  I still remember sitting on a table in the library just talking.  The questions didn't seem scripted.  It was just an immediate connection.  And we talked about kids.

Through the next 10 years, Mike has been a consistent and confident leader that I know I can rely upon.  We have spoken about kids, staff, our families, our schools, and our futures.  I never feel judged but I do feel pushed to be better.  I hope that he feels the same about me, too.

Badger game
Celebration Day

Mike and I had an opportunity that I think other principals should have.  We attended a national education conference together.  We shared plane flights, trips on the train, a hotel room, and some of our meals.  We also shared the great ideas we heard, the connections of fellow educators from across the country, and the desire to be better for our kids, our staff, and our schools.

Flight to Philadelphia
Waiting for train in Philadelphia

Mike and I continue to discuss our learning even weeks after the conference.  And I know our learning and collaboration will continue.  The reason why- We are educators who put our kids first and we want to do better for them every day.  We have our stumbles along the way, but we're always there to pick one another up.

Many of us attend conferences alone, connect with some colleagues during the few days we're together, and then, most often, don't connect again for quite some time.  This can, at times, stagnate our learning.  That doesn't happen with Mike and me.  I certainly hope that you have someone in your school community that you can rely on, and learn with like I do.  And I hope that I can "Be Like Mike" for someone during the rest of my educational journey because together we are better.

Thanks, Mike!