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All I Want is 180 Days

August 21, 2019 - 2 minute read

Women at a concert

My wife and I recently attended a Bruno Mars concert in Las Vegas. We paid a pretty penny for the tickets and the show was amazing! Bruno is the consummate performer. Vocals were dynamic, musicians played impeccably, and the Hooligans, his bandmates, performed flawless choreography. I began thinking of the numerous shows Bruno performed nightly and the effects of travel would have on his performances. We were able to attend another Bruno Mars concert in northern California about three weeks later. Again, the show was excellently executed. I spoke with friends and colleagues about my experiences and each exclaimed the same enthusiasm when they attended a concert whether in the U.S. or other places around the world. It didn’t matter what venue or city he performed during his 80+ concert tour the audience observed the same professionalism and excellence.

I began thinking of educators through this lens. Do we give our students the same effort every day? If an audience attended your workplace will they see the same dedication to your craft as an attendee at a Bruno Mars concert? The typical student school year calendar is 180 days. As a district level administrator, all I wanted from our staff is a commitment to ensure every student receives your best during their instructional day. If you are not at your best for pre-service, professional development events, or during other capacity building activities I am ok as long as we are at our best for the 180 days of student attendance.

So what do I consider your best? Here are my demands:

  1. Treat students with the same dignity and respect you expect!
  2. Know your craft!
  3. Share your student success and areas of growth with your colleagues!
  4. Be a student advocate!
  5. Make the school a safe place!
  6. Leverage your intellectual and community resources!
  7. Succeed with students!
  8. Fail with students!
  9. Enjoy your job!
  10. Be efficacious!

The aforementioned areas collectively create an atmosphere that addresses above and below the Green Line. I do not expect staff members to be at their best 365 days a year. In fact, I want our folks to find opportunities for vacation, rejuvenation, and hone their craft through their self-directed, self-selected capacity building. I do expect every adult in the system to give his/her very best for 180 days. Failure to do so is costly for the student, the family, the community, and the citizenry. Can we afford not to give our best for less than half of the calendar year? When we are able to create 24 Carat Magic at the district level our most precious Treasure, our students will thrive within and outside of the school walls.

Dr. Eric D. Andrew served as Superintendent of Campbell Union School District from February 2010 until his retirement in June 2017. As Chief Executive of the preschool-through-eighth-grade public school district, he was responsible for leading all aspects of the district’s instructional and operational programs

As an administrator and instructional leader, he has earned several distinctions, including being named a finalist for the National Association of School Superintendents (NASS) Superintendent of the Year (2017).

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