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Getting a Picture of What I am About

Questions from Story Family 2013

Amanda Tabor

on 22 July 2013

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Transcript of Getting a Picture of What I am About

Getting a Picture of What I am About
Thank you so much for all of the questions everyone asked. I hope after reading this, you will feel like you know me better and what I am about. I may give you too much info, but I would rather do that than not give you enough! :)
Amanda Tabor, Story Principal 2013-til they kick me out!
Q: Tell me about you personally, professionally and with all the changes we have had over the pasts 3 years, I would like to know your long term goals.
About Me:

I have been married for almost 11 years to my husband Josh. He works at Wakeland H.S. in Frisco. He teachers AP government and is the Varsity Asst. for Volleyball and Softball. We have 1 son named Braxton Tucker. We call him our miracle baby. We tried for four years to have a baby before exploring fertility treatments and after 3 months of going through that, we found out we were pregnant. I have 1 dog named Ryleigh, she was my first child and is very spoiled. We also have a cat named Sarah- which I don't claim because she is mean and we just bought Braxton a kitten and named him Spock- but I really think he has turned out to be my cat. I have 1 sister who lives in Rowlett. She is finishing up her Doctorate Degree. My parents are a HUGE part of my life. I talk to them at least 2 times a day. My dad is a retired police officer and my mom was an interior decorator and owned her own workout facility. I have 1 brother and sister in law. He has been a jag officer in the air force for 12 years now. My sister in law is a Physical Therapist and they have two kids, Cole and Cambell. My in-laws live in Mineola, TX. They are both retired teachers from Mesquite.
I started teaching in 2000. I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education with a specialty in Reading. Right before I graduated, my old high school Principal called me and asked if I would come work for him as the dance teacher, drill team director and Fine Arts department chair. I thought I am young, why not! AND- I would be directing the drill team that I was once a part of. So after 4 years of doing this and loving it (maybe not the momma drama), I decided it was time for me to pursue my true passion which was teaching elementary. I applied at Marion Elementary and was hired as a Kindergarten teacher. I absolutely LOVED it. I did this for 2 years. When Chandler Opened our SSI teacher went to be the SSI there and I was asked to step in to that position at Marion. I did that for two years. Then the district created the CIS position and I was asked to step into that role in which I did for one year. At the end of 2009 I was offered the position at Olson Elementary as the Asst. Principal and I have been there the past four years. It was an amazing experience and some of the best times of my life.- You know the rest from that point.

Long Term Goals:


Josh and I would love to add another child to our family. We are hoping to explore this option with the fertility doctor in about a year. We are also looking at moving to a more centralized area between Frisco and Allen so that he does not have to drive as far every day. We hope to explore this option in the next few months.
To be honest- right now this is where I want to be. My dream has always been to be a principal of a building and now that I have found my home, I am ready to enjoy it. I do have an interest in possibly pursuing upper admin at some point but we are talking like 10 years or more down the road because I would want to wait until my child (hopefully children in the future) would be much older and in school. I do not have any intentions of leaving Story for a VERY long time- You guys are now my family and you are going to be stuck with me- sorry.

Technology, Schedules, Classrooms, Behavior, Lesson Plans and Theme
Technology- One of the things I will be doing the first month or so is looking into the technology needs of Story. Kathy and I will be meeting with the Team leaders before school starts and this is one of the items on our agenda. I honestly need to get my hands dirty and see what is needed before I can tell you what direction I want us to go this year. Do know that I am a big believer that technology is a great TOOL/Resource to use in the classroom but it is not to replace good instruction.

Schedules- The master schedule will stay the same as it was set at the end of last year. I will attach that with this presentation. 4th grade you will still partner with the same people and third grade you will still departmentalize. The FOCUS time and plans will stay the same as they were planned at the end of the year as well. When I meet with the Core team, we will work out the details as to who serves the tier 3 kids and how all of that will work. Teachers will not have lunch duty except for the first week of school.

Classrooms- There will be no classroom changes at this time. The only reason it would happen is if we had to move someone grade levels because of numbers.

Behavior- CHAMPS will still be an expectation

Lesson Plans- The expectations will not change from what you guys did last year. Once we get a semester under our belt together, we can then look at tweaking anything that we all see needs to be done on this.

Theme- We are going to continue with the Theme of "Diving In" So anything ocean related would be adorable. Kathy and I have had fun coming up with ideas for this year with this theme.
My vision for Story is to continue its path of success. I believe that Story is an amazing school with great people in it and I hope that I can help make it an even better place than it already is.

I will tell you that in my interview- I have never said this before in one- that I told Beth at the end, that Story was where I was supposed to be. I already felt a deep connection with the school and staff and I could not explain why. But the moment Story opened up, I knew in my heart this is where I needed to be. Then when I walked the halls the other day with Kathy, I had to try to hold back the tears because it felt like home and I had only moved in two days ago. So I truly believe I have found my place and it is with all of you. Please know that I promise to give my all to you, the students and the families of Story. You guys are my new family and will be for a very long time. I also want you to know that I am very approachable, please do not ever hesitate to come ask me a question or tell me something. I am going to be your biggest cheerleader!

Love to all!

P.S. Please text me on my cell and just put your first and last name. That way I can save you as a contact. My cell is 214 842-9548.
Random Question: (but I appreciate you asking it) haha

What is my favorite Sonic Drink- Diet Coke with Extra Ice

What Makes a Good Principal?

Wow- This is like an interview question! But I love it. I think a good principal is someone who is a subservient leader. They are truly there for others. It is not about being in charge or getting to make the decisions, it is about growing people and in return it helping to grow our students. I can honestly say that my favorite thing about being an administrator is the relationships I get to have with the teachers, kids and parents. I love being able to help others when they need it. I also think a good principal is ORGANIZED- which if you don't know, I am a little OCD about it. I am always thinking ahead of what needs to be done and how I can make it easier for others. I also think a good principal is always looking for ways to improve themselves. I love to learn and I have even been called a NERD at times because I love getting new ideas and trying new things and doing whatever we can to continue to better what we do and the people around us. Last, but not least, I think a good principal is knowledgeable of curriculum and instruction.
What Do I value in teachers and Staff?

When I think about what I value in a teacher, here is what comes to mind:
1. Hard worker
2. Loves kids
3. Willing to take risks and know its ok to fail sometimes
4. A teacher leader- someone willing to help their peers
5. A teacher who will ask for help when they need it

What Traditions can Story Learn from Olson?

This is a tough question. Olson is just 4 years old and we were still working on establishing some our traditions. But what I hope to bring to Story that Olson had, was a true sense of family amongst the staff (it sounds like you guys already have this though- which is great). We take care of each other. We are there when things are going good, we are there when things are not so good and we are each other's biggest cheerleaders.
What parent interactions or activities can we expect to maintain or increase their support of the school?

I have honestly just glanced at the calendar and this is actually on my list to study more this week. So I don't know the specific activities you guys have done in the past. But what I can say is that parent support is so important and whatever we can do to encourage it and maintain it we will do. I have an open door policy for parents. I actually love meeting with them to hear what they have to say, because I don't know it all, none of us do and what does everyone say- two heads are better than one...

Can we wear Jeans and Flip Flops?
(yes I gave this its own slide, it was the most asked question) ha ha

YES and YES!

Flip Flops: I think 90% of my shoes in my closet are Flip Flops. In fact, people make fun of me for wearing them when it is freezing outside- but I love them and I love that they are blingy!

Jeans: You will be allowed to wear jeans on Fridays with spirit wear, Wednesdays if you have earned a jeans pass and Mondays if you choose to pay the $25.00. We get to wear jeans in the month of December, the month of May and there are times, Kathy and I will just give you a random jeans day.
Three words that best describe me:
Ok- I have to admit, I don't know. So, I texted a teacher from each grade level from Olson and told them to be HONEST, so you would really know who they see me as:

Person 1:Organized, honest, dependable, admirable (she can't count obviously) haha
Person 2: Approachable, fair and trustworthy
Person 3: Good Listener, dependable, approachable
Person 4: Supportive, compassionate, enthusiastic
Person 5: Organized, hard worker, supportive
Person 6: Loyal, Determined, Fun, Smart
Person 7: Approachable, organized, do-er (meaning get things done immediately)
Person 8: Approachable, fair, Knowledgable

Something I believe....
This is our job and although I am very passionate about my job, I am MORE passionate about my family...
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