Year of APing Dangerously

002 Heather Dollevoet

July 24, 2019 Kathy Walker Season 1 Episode 2
Year of APing Dangerously
002 Heather Dollevoet
Chapters
Year of APing Dangerously
002 Heather Dollevoet
Jul 24, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Kathy Walker

In this sit down with newly named North Iredell Middle School Assistant Principal, Heather Dollevoet we discuss her digital learning and how she used Kim Bearden’s book Talk to Me to inform her staff on principles of communication.  Additionally, digital competencies were enhanced through online learning in the Hive Summit and the Ditch Summit.

Links:

Be Real by Tara Martin

Talk to Me by Kim Bearden

Hive Summit https://www.hivesummit.org/new-page

Ditch That Textbook http://ditchthattextbook.com/

North Iredell Middle School https://northmiddle.issnc.org/

Show Notes Transcript

In this sit down with newly named North Iredell Middle School Assistant Principal, Heather Dollevoet we discuss her digital learning and how she used Kim Bearden’s book Talk to Me to inform her staff on principles of communication.  Additionally, digital competencies were enhanced through online learning in the Hive Summit and the Ditch Summit.

Links:

Be Real by Tara Martin

Talk to Me by Kim Bearden

Hive Summit https://www.hivesummit.org/new-page

Ditch That Textbook http://ditchthattextbook.com/

North Iredell Middle School https://northmiddle.issnc.org/

Kathy Walker:

It's time for episode two of the year of AP-ing dangerously podcast. I sit down and talk with Heather Dollevoet about some of her summer reads right now.

Announcer Dude:

Welcome to the year of AP-ing dangerously podcast. Here's your host, Kathy Walker.

Kathy Walker:

Thank you again for joining us for the year of APing Dangerously podcast, the podcast for aspiring and current assistant principals. Hopefully our goal is going to be to enlighten, to educate, and if you find that you are, we'd like you to subscribe to the feed and get the latest. If you have a question, a concern, and a topic that we should be addressing. By all means, definitely leave us a comment. Let us know what you'd like to hear if you're an assistant principal, dealing with something in your school or wanting to share your story because Hey, it's about our stories and sharing them and growing and learning from them. So by all means, leave a comment on the website. You can visit us at yearofapingdangerously.com or on Twitter. We are @YearofD, so that's just year of APing dangerously,com and this podcast will be available on iTunes, Stitcher, wherever you get your podcasts. We want to be there. If we're not there, please let us know, but by all means do subscribe and be a part of this. PLN. and talk PLN and a bunch of other things. When I got to sit down with one of the assistant principals in our district, Heather [inaudible] was at an elementary school. She's making the transition, a, to a middle school, but she talked to me a little bit about some of her work and some of her readings this summer and we're going to share that with you right now.

YoAPD intro:

[inaudible]

Kathy Walker:

Today our guest is an assistant principal with experience on both sides of the board from elementary to middle school. Heather Dollevoet is here with us. She is currently the assistant principal at North Ardell middle school previously haven't worked at Troutman elementary school, but she is here with us today. Thank you.

Heather D:

Oh, it's so great to be here with you today, Kathy. I am so excited because I know some of stuff you were doing with your staff,

Kathy Walker:

but also, uh, originally I wanted to talk about just some of the books and some of the things that you've been reading over the summer to kind of, I guess elevate the assistant principal craft.

Heather D:

Yes. Oh, it's fed. I'll just, I'll let all your folks know right away that, uh, first thing is, I'm not much of a reader. You would think that us an education that we, we would read a lot, but I think that sometimes we get so bogged down that, um, we forget to do that. I think that sometimes we forget to do that and.

Kathy Walker:

it's hard. You have a lot of books on your lists. Uh, although I, I will find books on tape are great and as well as, um, uh, overdrive. So I wound up getting library books that I can listen to. You can listen to.

Heather D:

That's a good, that's a great idea.

Heather D:

I need that. Might have to turn them up a little bit nowadays, but I would need that. Um, I would say that probably when it comes to some of the books I've read, uh, I've just been very, very well, let me tell you how it all started. Um, last year, just like all teachers, you know, um, especially here in North Carolina, we have to renew our CEOs to get our certification. And I fortunately enough got to be one of those folks. And one of the things in North Carolina that they did is they had those digital learning competencies that we had to get. And so I started by 'em last year through our department of public instruction. They had a digital learning competency, a teachers teaching teachers. I went to that and when I went I was thinking, Oh my gosh, you know, I'm almost 50, I'm not sure about this digital learning thing, but I'm going to try it.

Speaker 5:

I always, fortunately throughout my, uh, 20 plus year career, I've had folks along the way that have helped with the digital stuff, but I thought maybe I should try doing it. Um, so I went to this and I went to a Twitter one Oh one and it just kind of hooked me. It hooked me in, um, to where I went and bought the Twitter one 40 book and the Twitter one 40. Do you remember who that was by? Oh my goodness. I'm going to get in trouble for not remembering because we are together. We will make sure we put it on the show notes. We will put it on the show. I think it's Scott Rocco. I think it is. I want to say it's him, but, Oh, don't quote me on that one today. Okay. So, but that's kind of where it started was um, with the Twitter and just getting into Twitter and I'm really learning what a, a PLN is, you know, professional learning network.

Speaker 5:

And once I got into there and started, I guess just browsing around, snooping around, I saw that there were all these wonderful educators all over the place and some of them were just writing these, these phenomenal books that I thought, Oh my gosh, could help me as a leader and could also help my staff, his teachers. Well and me as a teacher also because I always consider myself teacher first. And so what I did is last year and you know, shout out to Matt Miller and you know, and Carrie back home and a whole bunch of other folks. Um, I got into hive summit and when I went into the hive summit, I really started looking, you know, at the type of books that I thought I would be interested in, like be real by Tara Martin. Great book folks. You should really, really try that one out.

Speaker 5:

There is a great one. It's about, you know, a lot of stuff with being relatable to your children and things like that. It's just really, really phenomenal. But, and, and when you talk about, and if you're not familiar with Matt Miller, he's someone that you really want to be familiar with. He is did ditch that textbook, ditch that homework, he's going to have a new book out. I'm a new textbook. So some really exciting stuff coming out of him, which I really liked because it had some of that digital learning in a Cathy, you know what mean?

Speaker 5:

So that was great too. But what really got me is, um, I still at that point was like, okay, still not much of a reader still so, so, so, so busy. And then I did, uh, the ditch summit. So if you guys are not doing these hives summits in these ditch summits, shout out there to people. I know that though, I know the hive summit is coming up in August, the ditch summit. I didn't get to participate in that. And I look back at my notes here, Kathy, I'm figuring out, we'll find the mode and the link for the ditch summit and hopefully we can, uh, link that in the show notes so that people can, can check that out. Can check out. That's one I I I missed as well, but I am familiar with those websites and I think those are people I follow on Twitter.

Speaker 5:

He probably are the two platform before. Yeah. Kathy's making me jealous meeting some of the folks, but I'm on me a few too maybe. Um, yeah, it looks like the ditch was maybe in December ish. Maybe around in there. But yeah, we'll keep them open to that. And through the ditch summit I M and a lot of you in education, I'm absolutely sure that, you know Ron Clark Academy, a lot of us have heard of it out of Atlanta, Georgia. Shout out to Ron Clark Academy. Um, and one of the things that the second day of the ditch summit, Kim Barrington who is one of the cofounders of Ron Clark Academy, she was on and she was talking about building relationships and communicating with students. She really focused in, um, her did some, they usually last about an hour. She really focused in on students and I was just mesmerized scan by the, the way that she talked about effective communication and in her book at it, and we'll talk a little bit more about her book, but she talks about those six key principles of communication. And for me it wasn't just about me or even just about my teachers being in an elementary school, you know, we also have TAs and bus drivers and everybody, and I so wanted the staff to, if they couldn't read this book to at least get some professional development on this. I just felt like it was something, I mean, even my husband, I thought this was okay.

Kathy Walker:

You had to give him some of the points. Yeah. I think too with the AP role and a lot of times people perceive it as being all about operations and and forget that part about relationships, about building relationships, whether you're building it with the students, whether you're building with the staff and you're not just dealing with teachers. You're also dealing with the custodians, the cafeteria, just all, all the, all the parts and pieces that go into, into public school, whether it's elementary, middle, high school. But um, yeah, I think that's, that's key. So she's talking about relationships and relationship building that everybody can use. Probably some insight on that.

Speaker 5:

Oh yeah, she really was. And her talk to me book, um, she talks about those six principles and one of the great things when a lot of her stuff is, is stories of what, you know, cause she's a teacher and she's spent a teacher for a long time and what's going on in her room, but she's also been an administrator. So you know, you can see it on that end,

Kathy Walker:

on both sides of it. And sometimes it's hard to kind of sit somewhere else and go, Oh, why don't they just do it this way? Or why don't, what are they doing in admin? What did they do in the office all day? But being able to see both sides of it definitely is good. And a book like that is probably good for teachers as well as any assistant principals or aspiring assistant principals just to get insight to see, see it through somebody else's.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I think one of the most important things that I learned, um, from this is sometimes I think we forget or we, we get busy in our day and we realize that we have to advocate and we have to build relationships not only with our students because lots of times we'll think, okay, we're building relationships with our students, but we also have to be able to build relationships with our parents and with the community that how important it is that we're all in it together. And one of the big things that she talks, the very first thing she talks about is consideration. And really because, you know, we start to think about where we come from and what our family life was like. And, and, and a lot of that is our, our in our internal, that is, that is how we operate. It is from that that comes out in our external and she really talked a lot about um, the fact that we've got to realize that everyone has their own story. Kathy, everyone's got one in some days. Our stories are really, really great and we're having a great story day and some days our stories are just poopoo and then we're just having a terrible, terrible day. And we have to realize that our kids and our parents have those too.

Kathy Walker:

I think too, when you said, when you said that it's clear when you have those days what it is poopoo it's how do you tell that story? Cause sometimes you know, you got the small [inaudible] in judge through one. It um, especially if you are a building leader and sometimes you can forget and yeah, everybody has those bad days and I'm sure everybody can relate to a parent who's been in your office on their bad day. Because, and again, this is one of the things I just heard at the conference cause that you know, you have maybe 400, 500, 700 kids in a building that you're in charge of. But that parent has that one child and you know that you have to be focused on. So yeah, that that is a clear point to make that you can easily, easily forget.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I mean, you're absolutely right. And you know, I think one of the things that I've learned through, you know, doing the summit and reading Kim's book and reading Joe's book and reading so many other things is that we have just got to, like you're saying, we've got to remember good, bad or indifferent, that parent is coming in, whether they're upset or they're happy or, or whatever they may be. They're coming in and that their baby and they're the advocate for that baby. So, yes, for us, I mean, I'm in a school right now with over 600 children, so I have 600 children. But you're absolutely right. He or she, whether it be grandma, aunt, whoever it is, just has that one. And that was the other part that really resignated with this book was that talking. She talked a lot about validating that sometimes, and I'll be the first to admit, I have a bad habit of sometimes doesn't fix it, fixing it. I'm gifted gab in it and I'm fixing it. So, and you know, and we want to do that. And as leaders we want to do that. We want to fix that problem. But sometimes parents, kids, they may not want us to fix anything. They just want us to hush the time. Not easy at Kathy. They want us to hush and just want us to listen. They just want us to validate whatever issue or concern that they're having. So that was another huge,

Kathy Walker:

which one for me. Wow. That is a big one. And, and I think sometimes you learn it in time because again, a lot of times it's, you have to kind of sit back and, and you do have to listen. And it's, um, almost like that I'm from Stephen Covey, the seven habits is, is, uh, seek first to understand. So sometimes it is just kinda listening in here and I'm out because it's been, might not be a problem that you can solve. And I've had plenty of parents where the issue they were dealing with were way bigger than the school or, and it was just someone to listen or to hear their side of the story. And, um, that's, that's, that's a hard one. And for leaders to kind of remember that when you are juggling all these other things on your plate but you know the be that empathetic ear. Yeah, absolutely. I mean sometimes just letting, we as teachers, you know, we get bogged down in the day to day, we get bogged down in the date of the day and like you said, the fixing of the day. And sometimes we just need to zip it and, and let a parent or a student explain, explain their story.

Speaker 5:

And I think a lot of times too, because you know, and the AP role, we become the discipliner is a lot. Oh yeah. Yeah. We [inaudible] really does. Um, Kathy and high works buses and butts. Yes, it is. And today we were in a, in a, um, a little summit of our own through our school district. And I did turn to my principal at one time because they had a bunch of scenarios, Cathy and the, it kept saying AP, AP, right? And it's all dealing with discipline. The AP, there was so much AP, I was like, Oh, the AP. But I think sometimes, you know, because we do the discipline and nobody wants to hear something bad about their child and we don't, we don't, you know, we don't want to hear anything. And I think sometimes also I think that parents want to, they're like, they're embarrassed or they blame themselves. And I feel like if we validate them, then we're saying, you know, it's okay for you to share your story. We're going to validate and listen to you because at the end of the day, you are a good mama. And that's okay. You know, just because you know, Frankie did this doesn't mean,

Kathy Walker:

and that's the whole point too, especially with disciplining kids. You have to make sure you're disciplining the behavior. It's not, it's not, you know, condemning the person or even the parent. But again, the behavior and the whole thing with changing it. And I know, um, and the high school on that we're trying to move towards the restorative justice because we want to change the behavior. And I think sometimes the staff and teachers just want to punish the person or the child. How will they learn? It's not like their real world but it, but again, we were trying to change behaviors, you know, and again, all while still trying to build those relationships and again, making sure that we're telling the right stories. Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 5:

Completely agree with you when it comes to that. That is for sure. Um, and, and the other thing that I did learn in this book too, going from the students to the parents and now to the staff is, you know, you and I were both teachers. We know it is. We're definitely folks not in this for the money and you know, and, and it's because it's our calling and we loved it. And you know, there are certain times in my life over the past 20 something years that I thought, well, I could have gone and done this, but it always came back to education. It always came back to kids. It always came back to, at the end of the day I wanted to be in a classroom, in a school with children. And I think that as teachers, um, we are, it's a, lots of times it seems like it's such a thankless profession and we know a lot of what we deal with, with even as teachers is when a parent gets upset, when a kid's upset, when a, you know, administrator doesn't think we did something wrong. And sometimes I feel like as leaders we forget to celebrate our teachers. And that was another thing that Kim talked about in this book was, you know, celebrating students, celebrating parents. And what really resonated with me was celebrating the teachers, you know, celebrating their accomplishments in the classroom, out of the classroom, wherever it may be, and how important that is for us to really help

Kathy Walker:

build those relationships with them. It's really to just celebrate them as humans. If you're getting married, we got to celebrate this or whatever it may be. Anything that requires cake and amend. And I know cause that's what with summer reading and you get these great ideas and to sustaining them throughout the year. And that's one that's probably good to remember to always come back and celebrate and celebrate your teachers and your staff. Cause I think it does good for their kind of social emotional wellbeing and that in turn is going to affect the kids and the affect of the learning and affect what happens in the building. So definitely that's an excellent point. Yeah. If we can appreciate when that,

Speaker 5:

if we can appreciate, you know, appreciate them and celebrate them. I think that that is just so, so important. And, and through Kim's book as, and I'm saying some of these, um, six principles and it does it, it appreciates them, it celebrates them, it validates them, it makes them feel like even when they've had the worst of days, even if you just walked by them and say, Walker, thumbs up. Good job today, girl. I mean just something as simple as that sometimes is as really all we really need. So I think it's important to not forget about the, the teachers, teacher assistance, the custodians that clean our rooms, those wonderful cafeteria workers. And uh, never without it out those bus drivers for sure. Oh yeah. I haven't been on the bus and that one. I know definitely, and again, cause it was a bitch in our, in our meeting today that sometimes the bus drivers, they need a little more than candy.

Speaker 5:

But again, just affirming people, letting people know, Hey, you're doing good. And sometimes that's a good way, even when you're having that bad day, when you can see the positive that somebody else can kind of shift your mood and turn you around too. So that's, that's some good stuff. Well, one thing I also learned, Kathy, is speaking of celebration with just the last one she talked a lot about. And I think, well, I think we as, as human beings anyways, um, a lot of times we'll say to each other, Kathy, great job today. And you'd be like, Oh yeah, you know, that way can the praise girl, you praise. I hear you. Yes. That was another thing was yeah, because you know, we kind of want to, or you know, I've had teachers say to me, I don't want everybody to know that my kids had tremendous growth or things like that.

Speaker 5:

And, and I will say to them now, Nope, take it in. You earned it, they earned it and then the whole school can celebrate with you. So, right. Oh that, that is key and important. If we don't take anything out of this little conversation that we should, we should celebrate and celebrate the accomplishments and celebrate the growth whenever you have it. Make sure you take a moment for the celebration and celebrating your teachers, celebrating your students and making it a community celebration so that, um, that's how you repeat that success. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. That's so great. Yeah. Thank you so much. It's so awesome. And we are going to carry more of these conversations on and hopefully you'll be back to talk to me cause we have to talk transition because we both have gone from different schools, different grade levels. I went from middle to high. You went from elementary to middle. So we're going to have to come back sometime in the school year and kind of compare notes making that transition. You'll have to get me when I'm in double digits. I'm only day seven. We'll do that, but again, I thank you for joining me. Yes, thank you.

Kathy Walker:

Some really great stuff and want to thank Heather so much for being our very first interview here on the year of aping dangerously. You know we mentioned a lot of different authors and books and the hive summit. All of these things you can find links to in our show notes. You can find the show notes at the website, the year of AP being dangerously.com and I know that's a mouthful and if you have trouble finding it, hit us up on Twitter at at year of D and we will get that information to you so that you can be a part of this amazing PLN. I hope it will be more amazing and time. It will be with your input. So please add a comment, give us a review, anything so that we can improve and also be the PLN that is going to strengthen your practice as an assistant principal out there doing the work that needs to be done. We appreciate you. Please subscribe. It's the year of aping dangerously. Thank you so much and we will see you next time.

Announcer Dude:

Hi, thank you for listening. For show notes and more visit year of AP dangerously.com.