Saturday, August 13, 2011

First day back, new school year

Today was the first day back for me this new school year.  Today only the new staff and the teacher leaders were back (the grade level and subject leaders) - other teachers will start next week - and the focus of this morning's presentation was on developing and empowering us to be instructional leaders - to encourage us to be more of a professional learning community at school.  This meeting was an interesting one.  We discussed the various facets of our leadership role:

  • carrying out our duties with a high degree of professionalism
  • communicating in a respectful and open way
  • developing a collaborative team culture
  • embracing change and continual professional learning to improve teaching practice and enhance the learning of all students
When I got home I decided to try to find out more about the various things we discussed in the meeting (transparency, teamwork, a growth development mindset, feedback and lateral accountability - more about these in another blog post) and I came across this Edutopia article by Eric Sheninger about leadership strategies for making change.  These support the fourth area of our leadership role (change and professional learning) and therefore I felt were a good way to move forward in this area. Briefly here are his suggestions:
  • A no-excuse attitude:  challenges and complications should not be used as excuses not to push forward - we need to focus on solutions and the changes that are needed to improve teaching and learning and not on the problems.  We need to be catalysts of change - we can make a positive difference every day.
  • Model a vision for excellence:  which will involve collaboratively working with staff to transform the classrooms into learning communities where all students are engaged.
  • Embrace 21st century pedagogy and curriculum:  action is needed to turn the talking into reality.  Students need to be digital citizens and to develop skills to live in a global society such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.  Teachers need to have the freedom and encouragement to take risks and use innovative teaching strategies and therefore principals and teacher leaders need to promote and support 21st century pedagogy.
  • Inspire teachers with professional development that taps into their interests and passions: this will involve them working with others in professional learning communities in school, and building up their professional learning networks with others who share their passions worldwide.
  • Connect with other leaders/principals: there are a lot of ways of getting and staying connected such as blogs, educational chats on Twitter, nings and online conferences and "unconferences".
Photo Credit:  Free colorful Happy Rainbow Valentine Love Heart by D. Sharon Pruitt Attribution 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a timely and pertinent post. I will share this post with my students and get them to act upon your advice. However, I am also going to check through all your procedures and make sure that not only my students but I also, am as safe as can be with a personal digital identity.