Stay Connected = You’re Not Alone!
With another school year quickly approaching and with so many things happening all at once, it’s very important to understand that we, as administrators, are not alone. There are many strategies that allow us to take a breath and lean on each other, and we need to understand that as administrators, being connected is vital to the longevity of our profession, and our sanity.
Of course the first thing I’ll mention is #MEMSPAchat. Occurring every Thursday night at 8:00pm (EST) on twitter during the school year, #MEMSPAchat has become a great group of administrators that collaborate on specific topics dealing with education and educational leadership. I can’t tell you how many times a principal, or school administrator, has contacted me about how they really enjoyed #MEMSPAchat. They always mention that the chat has given them great ideas, it has allowed them to collaborate with people all over the state or country, and it has even gave them a refreshing sense of what leadership should be all about – making positive connections and guiding others to reach their full potential.
Of course we all know that it’s very important to stay connected. Keeping in contact with those fellow administrators in your district, county, and throughout the state is essential. Simply making phone calls or even exchanging emails can allow you to do just that. There have been many times that I am dealing with an issue where I felt better by contacting someone inside my district as well as outside my district. I’ll be honest in saying that having those quick phone or email conversations with those particularly outside my district has allowed me to understand that I’m not alone dealing with a specific issue. In fact, many colleagues are dealing with similar situations and they have advice, strategies or even solutions to offer. Having those simple phone conversations and/or trading emails allows us to stay connected with each other, and it’s the connectedness that allows that certain amount of relief we all need at times.
Lastly, attending out of district meetings and/or doing site visits is another great way to stay connected. Get up and get out of your building! Meetings at your local ISD/RESA, PD’s, conferences or workshops all have great resources to stay connected, become informed, and collaborate with others. Once connected, organizing a site visit at a school outside your school district truly opens your mind to ideas on what can potentially be done inside your school or district. It’s always great to see what others are doing, knowing you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and understanding that there are others just like you grinding it out. Go see it in action!
Overall, if you haven’t participated on #MEMSPAchat, you’re truly missing out. If you haven’t had those collaborating or even venting moments with a colleague outside your school or district, you’re missing out. If you haven’t attended a PD, conference, or workshop mainly to stay connected, you’re missing out. And, if you haven’t gone on a site visit to another school outside your district, you’re missing out. Staying connected will give you the “feel good” tools you need to push forward and make that positive difference in the lives of others.
Michael M. Domagalski
St. Clair Middle School, Principal
MEMSPA Board of Directors