How do administrators build capacity to be better at their work? How can leadership in an elementary school be valued by all the critical members of an institution: students, parents and faculty? What can I do as a school leader to enhance student learning? Teacher practice? The general health and well-being of the whole school community?
These are some questions I’ve been thinking about as I begin pondering my transition from Instructional Coach to Assistant Principal next year. Remember when you landed your first teaching job and your hopes and dreams for the teacher you were going to be where right there, touchable and waiting to become a reality? I feel like that a little. I believe my work as a coach can continue and will enhance the role I play as an administrator. Although the marriage of the two jobs is anything but simple, I’m struck by the simplexity I can strive for if I think of it like this: Education is a people-based-business. Building community around student learning requires working together to help each other get better at what we do.
I’m inspired by what I’ve been reading/listening to, the best part being those authors (my new mentors) working online who I can chat with via email, blog comments or twitter. Slowly but steadily I’m creating my own PLN, which I’m calling Leadership Literacy. (From the Apple Dictionary- literacy :noun: competence or knowledge in a specified area.)
Here’s my “roundup” of recent reads…
- Books by: Michael Fullan and Kim Marshall
- Blogs: Leadership Freak, Molehills Out of Mountains, Reflections from an Elementary School Principal
- Podcasts: Eduleadership Radio
- Twitter: Todd Whitaker, Franki Sibberson, Jim Knight
As happens, the more I read, the more I wonder. So far though, all of my new mentors talk about the important of leading by building community and fostering trusting relationships. As a coach, I’ve always had the same goal.