Now, how could I have missed this wonderful blog created by a superintendent? Iâ€™m always on the lookout for good examples and I love this one! Her name is Dr. Joni Samples. She is superintendent of Glenn County in California. The name of her blog is EdSuccess. Her tagline reads “Stories of learning, teaching, schools and growth opportunities for all ages.”
I was hooked when I read her very first post from October 2005, as she took some excellent advice from her son Christopher. Hereâ€™s an excerpt:
â€œMom,â€ said my son Christopher when I told him I would be writing a blog in place of my Dr. Joni column, â€œinteract with your readers, donâ€™t try to teach them stuff.â€
Heâ€™s right you know. Learning is about interacting. Kids are interacting with books, writing, math problem solving, and science experiments in school and out. We think weâ€™re teaching when we lecture and give assignments at school or lecture and have them take out the trash at home, but we only know children are learning when they actually use what theyâ€™ve taken in. Christopher is right and this blog is about kids and adults interacting with learning. Soâ€¦.
In my opinion, this one of the best examples I have seen from an administrator. She does indeed interact with her readers. Read her post on lifelong learning where she share how and why she learned about blogs. Wow, does she get the learning part and her blog is filled with posts focusing on just that. Then her Follow-up to lifelong learning.
I found myself reading her entire blog. Then I learned she would be stepping down as Superintendent. Too bad! A recent post talks about Politics and Education.
Two years ago I realized I could not be Glenn County Superintendent of School forever. I needed to find someone to replace me. This job has gotten so complex it would take time to help someone else learn all the ins and outs of budgets, programs, requirements, and policies so I needed to identify someone I could work with to learn how to do this before I retired. I didn’t want a clone. I wanted someone who would be their own person, but who could understand all the intricacies of what goes on everyday and who could make decisions that would benefit children and families.
My choice was Coleen Parker. It still is. I have had the opportunity to work with her for two years, and the more I know her the more I realized how dedicated she is to kids and families, and to making sure the budget can support programs that can support those kids and families. She believes in the things I do, but she’s different. She is the reason I can let go and trust we will be okay.
You have not read political statements or rants in anything I have done in the last 10 years. I try hard to separate politics and childrenâ€™s learning. My only reason for breaking my rule today is knowing how much the job of County Superintendent affects learning in our county. I have loved doing what I have done for the last 12 years. I want it to continue in a way that will help the community and to make this a special place for our children. I hope you feel the same way.
And as she exits she even has the courage to take a stand…. I like that, too. I checked and it looks like there will be a run-off to determine the next Glenn schools chief. I hope the new superintendent will also blog.