Friday, August 8, 2014

Morning Power Walks

Here is an updated post from January of 2013.  In reflecting on the practice, everything I wrote back then still holds absolutely true and it remains one of my favorite parts of the day, along with morning duty!!

One of the most rewarding activities that Anne (my principal) and myself have dedicated ourselves to is the morning power walk.  Each morning, following our announcements, we visit every classroom in the building as well as our cafeteria kitchen, personally greeting the great students and staff at Eagle Ridge (@EagleRidgeKISD).  In every moment spent, it has had the greatest return on investment of any of the important practices and duties that we have throughout the day and we have heard nothing but positive feedback from faculty and parents regarding the practice.  I'd like to share some of the benefits that we have seen from this first half of the year (in no particular order).
  • The morning power walk  has allowed us to keep a close check on the pulse of the campus.  Although focus may be to give students a quick personal greeting, we will often have the chance to talk to teachers and staff and hear the joys, celebrations, concerns and issues that are on the forefront of teacher's minds, both business and personal.  Many times during our senior leadership team meetings we will discuss and tackle issues that were brought to our attention during these brief interactions.  We also have the opportunity to follow up on those for some anecdotal improvement data as well!

  • The visibility these power walks have afforded us is huge.  As I mentioned above, we have parents giving us positive feedback on the practice which means that kids are talking about our brief visits.  Love that!  Kids love seeing our faces and I can say with confidence that it makes a difference in campus discipline as we will often leave with a message of "making us and themselves Eagle Ridge proud" (our campus mantra), or feedback regarding campus expectations.
  • A personal favorite of mine is  the guaranteed interactions with students.  I can give you a whole host of reasons that I don't get out to classrooms and out of my office more than I do, but I love that I get to talk and interact with students daily via these power walks.  Some of the interactions are planned and others are not, but every one has purpose!  What's funny is that kids miss it when we aren't there!  When I go around without Anne when she is called off campus, kids are disappointed and Anne has shared the same when she makes the rounds alone as well!
  • While this maybe a specific elaboration on the pulse of the campus above, it has more of an instructional focus.  As much as the interaction aspect, the power walk has become a work walk as well!  Anne and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to observe and share in the student work and make those celebrations a part of the interactions that we share with students as we go.  Work hung on the walls can give a great insight in to the quality of learning occurring in the classroom and has on more than a couple occasions given us great starting points for important instructional and curricular conversations that need to be had.  In our efforts to virtually open the doors to the work we do daily via social media, I always make sure to have my technology at the ready to share and celebrate the great work happening!
  • Another favorite of this practice for both Anne and I is the chance to "talk shop." On most days, unless we have it specifically on the calendar, this is our opportunity to spend time together as an administrative team.  Sometimes our conversation is business focused and others, the walk-through time allows us to simply share life together.  It is a good thing to enjoy the people you work with and this practice has allowed Anne and I establish a great working and personal relationship that is huge in leading a campus that has as many teachers and students as Eagle Ridge has.

This could be the most enjoyable 15-20 minutes of your day for the 2014-2015 school year and I highly encourage you to try it!  It simply took is the dedication of the time to make it happen everyday and is great accountability time with your administrative team.  It has paid many dividends in relationship building with colleagues and students as well as the awareness of what is happening on campus.  

Happy learning!


No comments:

Post a Comment