Working with giants.

Here’s the flow of a recent communication in our district. A proud principal shared part of an email from a teacher to her brand new assistant principal with me. One of the cool things they do on her staff is pass around the Jar of Wonder. The Jar of Wonder is kicked off at the first staff retreat, with someone writing something awesome about another staff member. Then that staff member chooses another staff member and writes something awesome about him/her…and so on. And it ends up as a Jar of Wonder.

Well the brand new assistant principal wrote a beautiful note about one of our gifted, veteran teachers. The teacher in turn wrote the new AP an email where she described the impact of his note, how touched she was by his words, and that it ranks up near the top of interactions over a 20 year career.

The final line from this amazing teacher’s email, to our new assistant principal, talking about how relationships matter in our district, just about killed me in its simple, powerful truth.

This is a great place to make a difference.

I don’t know why I can’t get that single line out of my head. My tenure in our district is now 36 years. I love this place. I love our teachers, administrators, parents, community, and kids. I’ve known what a special place this was from day one. But didn’t have the simple phrase to describe it.

Now I do.

This is a great place to make a difference.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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