What’s the Good Word?

By Amy C. Colley, Ed.D.
Executive Director, SURN

Happy New Year, SURN friends and supporters! As we move toward the end of the semester, many of you are collecting data, taking stock, and planning ahead. Me too!

As leaders it’s easy to get bogged down and feel fragmented mid-school year. Thankfully, the calendar year changes too, and we are reminded of the opportunity to re-set and focus our intentions on our aspirations, creating for ourselves some accountability measures and asking others to join us as we move forward. For the past several years, I’ve chosen a word of the year, prompted by Lisa Nelson’s blog at See In Colors. Her template allows me to print, draw and post my word of the year.

This year’s word is PERSIST.

Persist

Implicit in the very definition is the need to carry on, to see something through, despite obstacles, failures, and difficulty. Our work as education leaders during times of accelerated change is challenging, and yet we know we must keep moving forward for our students and the future of learning. I will persist.

What’s your word for the year? What will move you forward with purpose? Think about it and if you choose a word, share it with us!

Leaning into Crisis as an Administrator

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Guest post by Jane Core Yatzek As I write this post many schools are still welcoming students for the first nine weeks of school and establishing routines and procedures.  Children are still learning classmates’ names and nuances, the new bus stop routes, and may even still have a few unsharpened pencils in their school supplies.  […]

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Nurturing Curiosity in Our Students and Our Teachers

Pictured left to right: Associate Dean of Teacher Education and Community Engagement, Dr. Denise Johnson; SURN Director, Dr. Amy Colley; and Keynote Speakers Georgia Heard and Harvey “Smokey” Daniels.

By Sarah P. Hylton, M.Ed., SURN We all want students who are inquisitive and engaged, and the 6th annual Joy of Children’s Literacy & Literature Conference on October 5 provided a multitude of ideas and strategies for creating classrooms that capitalize on students’ natural wonder, passion, and curiosity. Breakout sessions on using inquiry learning, teaching […]

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SURN Principal Academy Delivers Powerful Messages: Communicate, Value Relationships, and Create Your Tribe

Mentor leaders encourage collaboration, pride, and networking as they develop their tribe at the SURN Principal Academy.

By Jamon H. Flowers, M.Ed., SURN By now the wave of school openings has ended and the school year is well underway. The challenges that accompany the start of the new year are now giving way to the day-to-day work of meeting the high standards we have set for ourselves, our faculties, and our students. Meeting […]

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Our Voice Matters

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By: Jamon H. Flowers, M.Ed., SURN We are in a day and time where public education is under constant scrutiny which makes advocating for schools, teachers and students a top priority for administrators. As a principal, I never imagined constant communication with local, state and federal representatives would be a priority to ensure a high-quality […]

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Learning Leaders: Find Your Joy in Leisure Reading

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By Jamon H. Flowers, M.Ed., SURN The famous Charles Dickens quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” refers to both the French Revolution and my first year as a Ph.D. student at William and Mary. This year provided me with meaningful personal and professional growth that I never anticipated. […]

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Jennifer Abrams Helps Us Use Our Best Voice

Jennifer Abrams is a communications and education consultant and author.

By SURN Staff SURN leaders often share the need to continue developing human resources skills and competencies as they strive to cultivate collaborative cultures. This means communicating well, crossing generational divides, and leveraging conflict. We are pleased that Jennifer Abrams, international communications and educational consultant, will join us at the 22nd annual Leadership Conference this […]

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Igniting the Joy of Leisure Reading

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Guest post by Blanqui Valledor, York County School Division In my dream classroom, my students would instantly gravitate to and acknowledge the brilliance of the piece of literature I assigned them to read. We would have in-depth discussions, and they would beg for more insightful pieces of text.  That was the dream, not the reality. […]

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Lisa Nelson – Seeing Big Ideas in Color

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By Sarah P. Hylton, M.Ed.   “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”                 Lisa Nelson, founder and CEO of See in Colors, claims this quote from Henry David Thoreau as her favorite, so it’s no surprise that her work as a visual strategist embodies this message. A graphic recorder, Nelson […]

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Communication: The beginning and ending of leadership

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by Jamon H. Flowers, M. Ed., SURN As a principal, what is your vision? Do staff members know what needs to be done to reach that goal? Do they know how you expect them to reach that goal? More importantly, do they know why this goal is vital to meet? And once they understand the […]

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