A few years ago at my brother’s house, my nephew came up to me and asked “Uncle Ray, do you like your job at New Jersey School Boards?” I was surprised because (a) I didn’t know that my nephew knew where I worked and; and (b) I was not sure why he even cared. After all, it was not part of our normal banter. I responded to him by saying, “Yes Frankie I do. Why do you ask?” He then told me that his CYO basketball coach was now a board member and had heard my presentation at New Board Member Orientation. The coach commented on my apparent enthusiasm for the job and told my brother and nephew that I seemed to really like my work. I took this as one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. The coach was right: I do love my work.
In my 13 years with NJSBA, one event has always energized me and recharged my enthusiasm: Workshop. We conduct Workshop primarily for our members to become better trained and informed. However, I have also found that Workshop energizes NJSBA staffers. I know that it does so for me. You can’t have a great educational system without enthusiasm. And enthusiasm, most times, starts from the top. So I believe that increasing the enthusiasm that school leaders feel has a positive effect.
If you are a new board member, or even a veteran who wants to be reenergized in your role, I highly recommend attending Workshop. To help you “revive, recharge and reimagine education” in your school district, here are my tips on how to get the most out of Workshop 2011. (more…)