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Wallpaper at Home and at School

Posted by on in School Culture
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During the 22-inch dropping blizzard of 2016, I was cooking, cleaning, tending to my babies, and even spruce up my 'man cave' in the garage. In the midst of cleaning, I found wallpaper. I could not help but to think of all of the horror stories my mother use to share with me about the horrors of wallpaper. She was adamant about doing all of the home decorating, but anytime wallpaper came into play, I ran for the hills. Wallpaper covers up a lot. It can look pretty to the hanger, ugly to the spectator, and even come off as crummy for some who live in the house. Eventually, it does start to peel. What normally happens when it beings to peel? We ignore it. We ignore it until it becomes problematic. Then we try to quick fix it. The same can go for a school.

When I started in a new District a few years ago, I was given very specific marching orders by the Board that the past was in the past and we don't look at the past. I saluted. When I spoke to staff, it was the same story on how much they did not care for their leader; most wanted to move onward and forget the past. It was like placing wallpaper up on an old wall. I made a new website, pumped folks up with positivity, and went full throttle. I even made a new website. Wallpaper on the old wall. 

Looking back now, I see a new website, new positivity, and a showing of being "united". Looks great, but truth be told, it's more wallpaper on the old wall. I hope the wallpaper stays, and the new handyman has the ability to patch up holes in the wallpaper when it becomes present. Something very beneficial for the new handyman - the new handyman and the former handymen (plural) talk. A lot. In the meantime, enjoy the new wallpaper. It's very pretty to look at; after a couple weeks, the handyman will start seeing what it was covering up. And then the handyman, with the help of former handymen, will get to work. Stay safe out there.


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Jay Eitner is a proud product of the New Jersey public schools. A graduate from Union High School in 1997, Jay attended The American University in Washington DC with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. He began his teaching career in Roselle, NJ teaching a variety of subjects including social studies, computers, and digital literacy. Known for being ‘outside of the box’ and for strong technology infusion, Eitner strived to make a learning environment that was student centered, data driven, and technology infused. Jay received his Masters Degree from Kean University in 2004 and was hired to teach 8th grade social studies in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. During his time in East Brunswick, Eitner has written & received over $140,000 in grants for his students. Grants ranged from podcasting equipment to creating a fully-interactive gold-rush experience, where students dug for gold during their westward expansion unit. Jay obtained his supervisor, principal, and school administrator certificates from the NJPSA NJ-EXCEL program in 2009. Administratively, Eitner has served as a middle school Assistant Principal in the Washington Township Schools , a K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, and a Superintendent of the Lower Alloways Creek School District. Jay currently serves as a Superintendent of Schools for the Waterford Township School District. He has presented a series of workshops on digital leadership, technology infusion, and student achievement. Recent awards include the 2015 national Educators Voice Award in the category of Superintendent, the White House MakerSpace distinction, and named to the national Academy of Arts & Sciences as a 2016 Educator To Watch.

Jay currently resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and is a proud Dad of twin girls and his puppy Lola.

  • Guest
    Jon Harper Friday, 05 February 2016

    Jay this is a good analogy. I can remember putting up posters and district required prints that served no purpose whatsoever. They weren't even good looking. We must be careful as you mention.

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Guest Thursday, 20 October 2016