As soon as the Keynote was over, I zipped over to apple.com/safari to grab a copy of the public beta of Safari for Windows. I figured that I’d better grab a copy quickly since other than those of us who were hitting “Refresh” every 2 minutes while monitoring Engadget or MacRumors, most of the people who’d heard the announcement were still stuck in a throng of 5,000 people waiting to get out of the venue.
Looks interesting, if a bit disturbing, to see the little Safari compass on my Windows desktop. Almost as disturbing as the first time I installed iTunes on a Windows machine. I’m not sure if it will catch on, though, as most Windows users (what is it – like 78%?) are perfectly happy limping along with Internet Explorer and I don’t know if many of them are checking apple.com for the latest Windows browser.
So it’s working fine here on my work machine, but in a few months I’ll be interested to see what kind of penetration Apple has gotten into the Windows web-browser “market.”
Blogging is so cool. And of all the serendipitous coincidences, Norwegian educator and Mac lover Geir Ertzgaard stumbled onto my blog via a post I wrote about my new (and still in progress…) blog theme.
We’ve exchanged a few emails and, as it turns out, Mr. Ertzgaard is seeking an “assistant headmaster” position at a school in Norway. Geir has what appears to be a pretty popular blog – albeit mostly written using some very neat-looking words and symbols that I can only assume to be Norwegian. I’m hoping we’ll be able to stay in touch as I’m always interested in learning about how they “do school” in other parts of the world.
So I’ve been blogrolled in Norway, and I’ve added a link to Geir’s blog to my blogroll. Now, to brush up on my Norwegian so I can actually read it. Although I have to pat myself on the back as I had no trouble whatsoever deducing what was meant by “kontaktinfo.”
Photo: “Stavanger downtown” by Reinhard.Pantke
I’ve been waiting a week to post about this since it was pending “board approval,” but I will have a new job in the fall. Last Wednesday, I accepted an assistant principal position at Loveland High School in the Thompson School District.
While this is a lateral move, and I was by no means looking to leave my current position at Greeley West, the move comes with some excellent advantages to my professional and personal life. The most obvious personal advantage is that by moving to my “home district” and my “neighborhood” high school, I have reduced my commute from 23 miles each way to 3 miles each way. With a wife, two little ones, and a doctoral program outside of my regular work responsibilities, it’s nice to know that I could put in another hour at work every day and still have more time to spend with family and working on my studies.
Professionally, I’ll be able to work under a very experienced principal with a sterling reputation who has shown an interest in making sure that I am able to continue to develop my leadership skills with an eye on having my own school some time down the road. I will be closely involved in the IB program – something we have at West, but that I have not had as much involvement in as I’d like.
On the flip side, I’ve never actually worked in my neighborhood school so it will be interesting to potentially be bumping into students more than every-once-in-a-while when I’m shopping for groceries or out with the kids.
While it’s always sad to say good-bye to a great administrative team and an amazing faculty and staff, I’m excited about the opportunities that await me in my new school.
Photo: “The decision” by Mark Twells
Educators are a fortunate lot. And not just because we leave work every day at 2:30 and have 3 months off, but because we get two – two! – opportunities to make New Years’ resolutions each year: once in January at the actual new year, and once again in the summer in time for the start of yet another academic year.
With the ability to make twice as many resolutions comes the responsibility of actually, you know, actually keeping twice as many resolutions. I save the personal resolutions (lose weight, spend more time with the kids…) resolutions for January 1. But for the summer, I’ve decided to put myself out there so to speak and publicly declare my New (School) Year Resolutions. Here they are in no particular order:
- Know more kids’ names. And I don’t mean just the high-profile kids (athletes, student council officers, club presidents…) or the frequent office visitors, but the “regular” kids who are somewhere in the middle. One thing I miss most about the classroom is the direct connection with the kids. As much as it may initially freak some of them out (“Um – why is the principal talking to me?”), I may just pull up a chair during lunch and strike up a conversation.
- Spend more time in classrooms. This is something I think about quite a bit. In order to be a truly effective instructional leader, I need to be spending as much time as possible where the action is. And the action (usually) isn’t happening in the administrative offices. The rubber meets the road where teachers interact with kids. That’s where all the good stuff is happening. My goal is to make my classroom visits such a regular event that it becomes a non-event when I walk into a classroom – the teacher doesn’t get nervous and lose his or her momentum, the students don’t think someone is In Trouble, life just goes on as if I weren’t there.
- Foster strong learning communities that are empowered to take action. Nothing is more frustrating than a plethora of good ideas with no plan for implementation. The work done in professional learning communities needs to be tapped for school improvement planning where it can become part of the strategic plan and made actionable. I’d hate to allow learning communities to stagnate and get lost in perpetual discussions of how the school could be great. Let’s start moving that way!
Not a long list, but enough to keep me focused during the year. I’m printing each on a sheet of notepaper and putting them in my planner where I can keep some notes and logs on my personal success. How will it go? Check back next June and we’ll talk.
Photo Credit: “Bridge Over Some Water” by V31S70.
I loved the Grid Focus theme that I’ve been tweaking for a bit, but no matter how many times I looked at my blog, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was just a bit stark for my tastes. While I love Derek‘s design and the cleanness of the layout, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that my blog wasn’t – well – Me. Combine that with Scott and Jeff who missed my header image, and I just had to come up with something else.
After spending much of the weekend looking at a myriad of 3-column WordPress themes, I think I’ve found one that will really work for me. Right now, I’m using OceanBech 1.0 (sic) – a 3-column, Widget-ready theme by AskGraphics.com.
I’ve made a few changes so far, namely replacing the tropical paradise in their header image with the mountains from my town, but that’s the limit of my tweaking to date. I have another idea in mind for the Grid Focus theme, but for now I think I’ll keep this one. On the to-do list right now is fixing the CSS for the “About” and “Colophon” pages.
Oh – and figuring out why every post shows the same date… (I say that as if I have any idea where to start…)