As I write, I am in Cancun, Mexico sitting on my balcony on a much needed 7-day vacation. I went “hard in the paint” traveling and presenting from January – May and I needed to take it down for a week because my work is going to intensify from June – September. The beauty is that I do have two vacations built in to that run. As I sit here on my balcony, I am reflecting on the Virtual AP Leadership Academy a/k/a The Saturday Academy. I must say that I am quite committed to this platform and quite proud of what it has become. It is clear to me that people are benefiting inclusive of aspiring administrators, assistant principals, new principals and even veteran principals.
This Academy was born on the first Saturday in May, 2020 in the midst of the shelter in place reality we were all living at that time in the midst of a global pandemic. For years, I’ve had somewhat of an obsession with the way that the assistant principal was being utilized in general and in urban schools in particular – as full time disciplinarians. I have stated countless times over the years that “the assistant principalship is the most misunderstood and underutilized position is all of education.” My response was to create presentations about how we should be looking at the role of the AP. I then wrote a viral blog post on the topic (of the same title as my quote above) which led to the writing of my best-selling book, The Assistant Principal 50 that was released right when I launched The Saturday Academy.
In that first year. I did 52 consecutive Saturday solo presentations on The Saturday Academy using the content of The Assistant Principal 50. After the first year, I decided that my audience needed to hear other voices in addition to my own. Over the past two years, I have brought on about 105 guests while doing a few solos from time to time. My guests have been amazing. There is no session that I feel bad about. All of them have been of tremendous value. Each of my past guests have their own uniqueness which is the beauty of the messages that each of them have brought to the platform. I literally believe that the Virtual AP Leadership Academy is transforming the way that we look at the assistant principalship. Do know, that preparing for each session takes me a solid week. Many of my guests are authors so I pull from their books which I have to read portions of. My guests who are not authors requires that I learn their skillsets and plan accordingly. Some sessions, I have on 2 to 4 guests at a time….a heck of a lot of planning….all while speaking in 3 to 5 states any given week. Now that’s commitment. Heck many of the sessions are delivered in hotel rooms around the country and world. Yesterday’s session was delivered from here in Cancun on my vacation. #Commitment
I never dreamed that I would be doing this for three years though. The goal was the first Saturday in May, 2020 through the last Saturday of August, 2020….a total of 18 weeks. But here we are, 161 sessions completed with no ending in sight. My future guest list is about 3 years long! Stay tuned! And if you are aware of of any aspiring administrators, assistant principals, new principals or even veteran principals who are not aware of the Saturday Academy, please make them aware. We are LIVE every Saturday morning from 10:55 ET – 12:30ish ET on the following platforms:
Facebook @ Principal Kafele
Facebook @ Virtual AP Leadership Academy
YouTube @ Virtual AP Leadership Academy
LinkedIn @ Principal Kafele
Additionally all sessions are archived on the YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to the channel as well.