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Dennis Schug | @schug_dennis

Dennis Schug | @schug_dennis

Dennis Schug is proud to serve the students of the Hampton Bays Schools community for the past 20 years, as a Teacher, Assistant Principal and as a Principal in Hampton Bays, New York. As a school leader, he believes in the value of using communication, collaboration, and professional learning as a means of building capacity and engaging all members of a learning organization. He is one of the founding team members of Edcamp Long Island and a lead organizer for Edcamp Leadership: New York. He is also one of the moderators of #NYEDchat, a bi-weekly Twitter chat on current topics that influence high-impact teaching and learning. He has served as a facilitator at the AMLE Leadership Institute, and has presented at the NYS Middle School Association Teaching for Tomorrow Long Island Regional Conference and the Long Island Tech Summit on using technology as tools for purposeful learning and meaningful engagement. He is also proud to serve as a Regional Director Alternate for the New York State Middle School Association. Connect with Dennis via Twitter@schug_dennis, or on Voxer at dschug597. Learn more by following his blog, Learning Leadership at www.dennisschug.blogspot.com.

Posted by on in Education Leadership

Principal sign

Do you remember your administrative internship? While I don't recall the day-to-day tasks with any level of specificity, I'll never forget that this was when I first realized the importance of strong mentors. While my sponsoring mentor played a significant role in shaping the leader I was learning to become, he also had a way of modeling why it's important to seek out every opportunity to grow as a leader. 

In one particular instance, he and I were responsible for initiating a new program in our school district. The outside liaison for that program was not necessarily who I expected. He was an accomplished former coach and teacher, who went on to become the principal, and eventually superintendent of a large school district. He had a physically imposing presence with a deep baritone voice. In this next phase of his career, he chose to work in an organization responsible for introducing formal education to three and four-year old children and their families, through Universal Pre-Kindergarten.   

Connecting with this unlikely mentor was well-timed, because I distinctly recall questioning my decision to leave the classroom for school administration. I regularly woke up in the middle of the night, wondering if I had what it took to be a school leader. 

Over the course of the program planning sessions, my mentor consistently sought ways to bring me and this veteran administrator together. My mentor saw my struggle and knew I needed to listen to the wisdom of others to shape my decision.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Twenty years ago.

Twenty years ago, I set foot in my first classroom. I remember it like it was yesterday. And just as much, I can vividly recall the high level of accountability I had.

For myself.

As a new teacher, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Every. Detail. Mattered. The signage that adorned the classroom door that greeted "my" students. The arrangement of the books in the classroom library, desks, tables, and learning centers. Bulletin boards, posters, and name tags. 

The lesson and unit plans for the day, week, and month to come. All carefully scripted, nearly to the word, for that fateful first day - the day I had been waiting for since being offered that first opportunity, to make an impact on the lives of children.

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