As you all know I am a new administrator. I completed my master’s degree in educational leadership at Texas Women’s University (TWU) in December of 2013.
You can imagine how excited I was when a former professor asked me if I would be part of a panel of TWU graduates now serving in an administrative role. I am all about helping others get ahead, and love to guide and help people towards reaching their dreams and goals.
For a little over an hour, the panel I was on answered questions put together by a group of aspiring administrators currently in their last semester at TWU.
They came up with really good questions. There were a couple of questions that stood out to me.
One question was about what the administrative team can do to cultivate a positive school climate. That is so important, in fact, too important to leave to chance. You do not need to be in an administrative role to know that school culture can make or break a school.
3 things an administrator can do to cultivate a positive school culture:
1. If and when at all possible, involve teacher in the decision-making process.
2. Provide PD choices. One size does not fit all!
3. Appreciate and acknowledge teachers verbally and tangibly! Notes of appreciation and surprise snack delivered to their door work wonders on my campus.
Another question that was asked was, “If you could tell an aspiring principal one thing, what would that be?”
This one is pretty simple for me. I would say, “Keep growing!” Learning does not end when you get your diploma. Learning is life long. I tell teacher all the time, “Do not depend on your administrators or school district to develop you professionally.” That may sound strange coming from someone who is in part responsible for developing and delivering PD at the campus level but I mean it.
I highly encourage teachers to seek out learning opportunities that interest them. This is something I practice personally. For example, just this past month I spent one Saturday attending EdCamp Dallas and another Saturday attending TCEA Emerge. No one said I had to go, most times I go alone to these things because sadly many people around me are not interested.
As a campus administrator, I feel a greater responsibility to continue to learn and grow. As an instructional leader, it is my job to know and keep up with the latest trends plus, I am kind of an Ed. Tech. geek, I love learning how others are using technology in their classrooms to engage students and boost learning.
Office vs. Classroom
Teaching is a DIFFICULT job. I have been out of the classroom for 4 years now. I can tell you first hand, the most important things that happen in a school do NOT happen in the office, it happens in the classroom!
As I grow and learn in my new role, I hope those around me view me as a leader that is there to support and propel them.