I had the opportunity to interview Matt Arend, Principal of Sigler Elementary in Plano ISD about his experience with No Office Day. I appreciate Mr. Arend for sharing his perspective of a day devoted to being out of his office and in classrooms with students.
Mr. Arend plans to spend one full day per grade level in addition to a day with his Special Education team. This amounts to about one No Office Day per month of the school year. His No Office Days occur typically on Fridays, as those days seem to be a bit easier to block on his calendar.
Mr. Arend’s role in the classroom on No Office Day varies depending on each educator’s choice. He explained to me how he allows educators to decide if he will co-teach alongside them, take over the class completely, learn with the students, or serve any role in between. Mr. Arend emphasized the importance of immersion in the classroom, regardless of the role he plays.
Throughout the No Office Day experience, Mr. Arend shares the experience via Twitter (#NoOfficeDay) and also on Snapchat (SiglerStars). This not only allows others to join in on his day, but also chronicles the experience, 140 characters at a time, so he can reflect later on the events!
Mr. Arend shared a multitude of benefits for himself as well as his staff and students that come as a result of his No Office Day commitment. Most importantly, he was certain to focus on the challenging, exhausting, and stressful job it is to be a teacher. He never wants to lose touch with that. He knows his teachers work very hard, putting their students first, and by spending devoted time in classrooms in this way, he recognizes the impact his decisions (large or small) make on them every day.
Mr. Arend wrote about his #NoOfficeDay experience in 2016 in this blog post (link).
I appreciate Mr. Arend for spending the time with me to share this part of his story as campus principal at Sigler Elementary.
Within Article V: Organizational Transformation of the Visioning Document, we recognize:
V.c The overall quality of the present teaching force is excellent, and most teachers are capable and willing to take on their new designer role if their sense of moral purpose for entering teaching is honored, and if they are provided relevant development opportunities and a climate and conditions that support them.
Mr. Arend’s implementation of No Office Day furthers his efforts to build an intentional, high quality climate and conditions to support his teachers.
To connect with Mr. Arend and keep up with his adventure at Sigler Elementary, follow him on Twitter @Matthew_Arend and the campus @SiglerStars. Also, check out #NoOfficeDay on Twitter.