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  • Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 8/7/17 - Welcome back!

I know that some you started the school year earlier. I know that some you won’t start until after Labor Day and still others never took a break and worked through the summer. Regardless, you don’t want to miss this “start of a new school year” opportunity to think about why you do your work and the value it has for good.


What you say to the people around you matters. You can help others see the potential miracles ahead or you can extinguish the wonder and passion. As leaders in your school or district you have likely been overwhelmed with things to do to get ready for the school year. You’ve likely heard another well intended, but still demoralizing, lecture about test scores, standards and mathematical metrics.


Did you hear about the heart of your work? Did you hear about how you make a difference in the enthusiasm, passion and joy each educator at your school or district can bring to students? Teaching is more an art than a science. We know this intuitively as we see great teachers inspire children to learn and joy is present. The artist needs to be encouraged. The artist needs to see that joy can be contagious and is the fast track for student learning.. .and is honored and appreciated by you, the leaders in your school.


So, break out of the pattern. Give teachers and other adults your story of why what you do in school matters. Help them see the joy and value of learning. Celebrate their wins and their passion for the work will increase. As your SAM team uses TimeTrack to schedule at/above goal and conducts its SAM Daily Meeting, think about what you can schedule each day that will build a culture of joy and wonder. Start with this question: “What did we see yesterday that we really liked.. .something we know is good for our students?” Then, act. Schedule a celebratory feedback session with the person or group and let them see firsthand what you value.


What happens if you can’t think of something that happened yesterday that you really liked? Then be creative and schedule something you will do today that will support the kind of culture in your school or district that you know will make a difference. This is leadership. This is the SAM process.

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