Becoming a Vice-Principal - Great rewards - Great demands!

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Presentation on January 22, 2014 to aspiring leaders in the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

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  • Presentation to educators in the Ottawa Catholic School Board taking part in the aspiring leaders program
  • There are lots of areas that a Principal needs to secure accountability
  • The good news is that the Vice-Principal, is accountable.... But the buck stops at the PrincipalThis is a picture of a “typical” principal leaving work at the end of the day
  • Quote from Mark Twain- Most people in educational leadership are there because they want to make a difference in the entire school culture and school climate
  • Review the Ontario Leadership Framework – this is the basis for leadership as a Principal or VP in Ontario
  • Great quote from Nelson Mandela – we must believe that education is an important aspect for every student in our school and they hall have potential and have an opportunity to make a difference in the world
  • In June 2013 this document came out – Strong Districts and their leadershipAs a school Board we believe that we are strong because of our leaders throughout the system – both in formal and informal rolesA key element of administration is developing others and providing opportunities for them to grow as leaders
  • As a leader at the Board or at your school, you can’t always just focus on being good today, you need to think about where you are going and where you want to be, and how your actions and decisions will help you get there
  • This quote from Clinton is a reminder that we need to develop others so that they too can lead and take turns leading
  • For this activity everyone needs to stand up
  • Sit down if you’ve ever considered killing your bossOK – most of you are still standingYou can sit down, if maybe you haven’t considered killing your boss, but you have considered inflicting some minor pain on them, maybe just a broken arm or a broken leg, or inflicting some mental anguish on themOk – sit down if you’ve ever secretly wished that something bad might happen to your bossSit down if you’ve ever worked for a boss who made bad decisions or who you did not respect- ok all of the nice people now sit down
  • Based on the answers to your previous questions, its clear that most if not all of you like your principalBut there are many examples of bad leadership, including VP or Ps that some of you did not necessarily like or respect
  • Your turn, but I’m only giving you one minute so talk fast – What was the key characteristic or trait missing from someone that you considered a bad boss?
  • Table discussion Share some of the examples of the characteristic missing from a “bad” boss
  • So many bad bosses – what went wrong?
  • Review the Ontario Catholic Leadership Framework to see how complex the role is for a Principal or VP
  • Activity – discuss examples of how a P/VP must secure accountability
  • Research shows the impact of your role as a Principal on student success and achievement
  • There is lots of research that shows that the greatest impact on student achievement is the classroom teacher and the second greatest impact is the school leadership team or Principal
  • So based on some of the examples we’ve just heard – where do you fit into the leadership picture –When it comes to leadership, what’s your role?Many of you are in the Aspiring Leader’s program because you are already seen as leaders, with or without a titleYou are already demonstrating many of the traits of good leaders, and you don’t need a title to do this.
  • Early on in my Leadership Journey, I realized that positional power and positional leadership was not the key, but relationships were the keyI learned that Respect had to be earned, and not asked to be given
  • Don’t try and be someone elseIt is important to have others in your network or circle of influence that are not the same as you – this way you avoid groupthink and you can take into account different points of view and perspectivesIt is important to take what you learned from both good and bad VPs and P and bosses and then be yourself
  • Leadership at its most basic and important level is about relationships
  • - Discuss examples of situations where the Principal portrays the image of the school in a positive or negative wayDealing with death of a staff member Dealing with death of a student- Dealing with pulled fire alarms- Dealing with staff member who challenges you in a staff meeting-Dealing with two staff members who are in conflict
  • Communication is keyMulti-ChannelDecide who should do the communicatingStudents hear your voice (recorded messages) – Story Synrevoice Constant Contact – electronic newsletters – parent access- Bad news – don’t delegate- Celebrate – from peers or from you (depends on the situation – ie. Compliment with a Coke, Million Dollar Thanks)- Be prepared – letters done in advance (death of student, death of staff, bomb threat, lockdown practice, suspicious individual, etc.)
  • Communication is keyMulti-ChannelDecide who should do the communicatingStudents hear your voice (recorded messages) – Story Synrevoice Constant Contact – electronic newsletters – parent access- Bad news – don’t delegate- Celebrate – from peers or from you (depends on the situation – ie. Compliment with a Coke, Million Dollar Thanks)- Be prepared – letters done in advance (death of student, death of staff, bomb threat, lockdown practice, suspicious individual, etc.)
  • Communication is keyMulti-ChannelDecide who should do the communicatingStudents hear your voice (recorded messages) – Story Synrevoice Constant Contact – electronic newsletters – parent access- Bad news – don’t delegate- Celebrate – from peers or from you (depends on the situation – ie. Compliment with a Coke, Million Dollar Thanks)- Be prepared – letters done in advance (death of student, death of staff, bomb threat, lockdown practice, suspicious individual, etc.)
  • Be prepared to let some things goExample, is it worth battling a parent over a one day suspension that they are going to appeal(in most cases, no, better to come to another agreement, ie. Remove at the end of semester instead of normal 1 year time period)
  • Communication is keyMulti-Channel – early in my career I realized the value of technology in improving communicationDecide who should do the communicatingStudents hear your voice (recorded messages) – Story Synrevoice Constant Contact – electronic newsletters – parent access- Bad news – don’t delegate- Celebrate – from peers or from you (depends on the situation – ie. Compliment with a Coke, Million Dollar Thanks)- Be prepared – letters done in advance (death of student, death of staff, bomb threat, lockdown practice, suspicious individual, etc.)Biggest difference in my role as a Principal to build relationships with studentsStood at the front door for 30 minutes at beginning of day and 15 minutes at end of the day and greeted students, “Thanks for coming… good to see you…welcome back…etc. Have a good night, see you tomorrow, I hope you had a good day…”Random student visits- tried for once per week, introduced themselves to me, asked how things were going, what they liked about the school, anything they would change ? Student voice- met with student council once per month, head boy and head girl and asked how things were going-started student of the month and athlete of the month
  • Listen to other viewpointsExplain why you made decisions, including with admin team, I understand that you don’t agree with my decision, but here is why I felt it was important to go this route… Admit when you make a mistake- It will turn people off if you come across as knowing everything
  • Remember that as a leader you still have to be open to changing your perspective and to do that you need to listen to other perspectives and opinions that are different from your own
  • Typical Question is about Leadership and Balance
  • When I was appointed Principal, the challenge was how to balance your role as a Leader and your role as a ManagerManager included tasks like: timetabling, detention hall, room assignment, schedules, budget assignmentLeadership included tasks like: vision, new programs, school culture
  • 5 minute video explaining the difference between Manager and Leader
  • Find time as a VP to look for leadership opportunities and not just management
  • Today the word management is often replaced with Organizational itemsAnd the word Leadership has been replaced with Instructional practiceMy own leadership style would be to help Principals find a balance and to help them advocate when one area is going to far as compared to anotherTrue leadership would involve motivating others to improve their instructional practice because they believe in the moral imperative of helping every student achieve to the best of their ability.A manager would provide the resources on how to be a good instructional practitioner, or a good teacher, but a leader would motivate the teacher to become even better at their trade, to always try and improve.In your role as VP or Principal, you must have order and discipline if you are going to have impact on instructional practice, so you need both a focus on instructional practice and organizational needs, and also a balance of managerial functions and leadership skillsIn order to focus on instructional practice, the leader must read, attend workshops, and ask questions in his or her network
  • The other balance that comes with Leadership is Work – Life BalanceWhen I was first appointed as a Principal, A wise old man said to me “Tom, you need to realize that in this job, you will never be done, you can always do more, the To Do List, never ends” so you need to know when to shut it down, and save energy for the next day to do it all over againMy personal Philosophy has always been a pragmatic one – if it works go with it – A common Sense Approach to LeadershipI’ve also learned that Work-Life Balance should just be changed to “Balance”, it isn’t a 50-50 arrangement, it’s a matter of priorities to suit the situation and the timeA key benefit of Administration is that you don’t have to be replaced, so if you need to present for a family member, you can go, the work always remains, but you aren’t leaving behind a class of 25-30 students unsupervised, you have much more flexibility as an administrator than you have as a classroom teacher
  • It always comes back to relationships, giving students and staff hope, and finding ways to keep each individual’s dignity in place
  • Thank you for being a leader in the Ottawa Catholic School Board and I wish you much success in your current and future roles in our School Board.
  • Becoming a Vice-Principal - Great rewards - Great demands!

    1. 1. Securing Accountability Aspiring Leader’s Program Becoming a Vice-Principal January 22, 2014 T. D’Amico Becoming a Principal
    2. 2. Learning Goals By the end of this presentation you should have a better understanding of:  Ontario Leadership Framework  Importance of Relationships  Securing Accountability as a Leader  VP / Principal role as a Leader
    3. 3. So you want to be a Vice-Principal / Principal …
    4. 4. Securing Accountability Deadlines Work-life balance Time management Budget Technology Parents Police Safe schools Transportation Discipline Staff conflict emails Ministry reports Staffing Physical plant Students Parish / Priest Community School Council Superintendent Fundraising Medical issues Custody issues Court
    5. 5. Vice-Principal … at the end of each day!
    6. 6. Mark Twain
    7. 7. Ontario Leadership Framework Key components of Leadership in Ontario Education
    8. 8. Nelson Mandela
    9. 9. Strong Districts & Their Leadership Refining our Practice based on research
    10. 10. Wayne Gretzky
    11. 11. Bill Clinton
    12. 12. Activity Time!
    13. 13. Sit down if…
    14. 14. Most of you Like your Principal / Vice-Principal
    15. 15. These books are found under “Leadership”
    16. 16. These books are found under “Leadership”
    17. 17. These books are found under “Leadership”
    18. 18. These books are found under “Leadership”
    19. 19. What was the key characteristic or trait missing from someone that you considered a bad boss? Your Turn
    20. 20. 1 Minute Timer End 1:00 1:01 1:02 1:03 1:04 1:05 1:06 1:07 1:08 1:09 1:10 1:12 1:13 1:14 1:15 1:16 1:17 1:18 1:19 1:20 1:21 1:22 1:23 1:24 1:25 1:26 1:27 1:28 1:29 1:30 1:31 1:32 1:33 1:34 1:35 1:36 1:37 1:38 1:39 1:40 1:41 1:42 1:43 1:44 1:45 1:46 1:47 1:48 1:49 1:50 1:51 1:52 1:53 1:54 1:55 1:56 1:57 1:58 1:59 2:00 0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04 0:05 0:06 0:07 0:08 0:09 0:10 0:12 0:13 0:14 0:15 0:16 0:17 0:18 0:19 0:20 0:21 0:22 0:23 0:24 0:25 0:26 0:27 0:28 0:29 0:30 0:31 0:32 0:33 0:34 0:35 0:36 0:37 0:38 0:39 0:40 0:41 0:42 0:43 0:44 0:45 0:46 0:47 0:48 0:49 0:50 0:51 0:52 0:53 0:54 0:55 0:56 0:57 0:58 0:59 1:11 0:11
    21. 21. What went wrong?
    22. 22. Ontario Leadership Framework
    23. 23. ACTIVITY
    24. 24. Who are you Accountable to? Flickr: License Some rights reserved by u m a m i
    25. 25. Who are you Accountable to?
    26. 26. Who are you Accountable to?
    27. 27. Personal Leadership Resources Keys to Success Personal Leadership Resources 1. Cognitive 2. Social 3. Psychological
    28. 28. Pg. 3 Some don’t think their bosses are good leaders!
    29. 29. Leaders Matter! Leadership is second only to teaching among school influences on student success, and its impact is greatest in schools with the greatest needs Leithwood
    30. 30. Where do you fit in?
    31. 31. What’s your personal journey?
    32. 32. Be Yourself Different opinions and views are important
    33. 33. But I’m just one person? “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” Mother Teresa
    34. 34. Focus on Relationships
    35. 35. What Image do VPs/Ps portray for your school? • The Public Face • Hire / Evaluate Staff • Create the Vision • Allocate budget • Set the tone • Create culture • Determine discipline • Settle disputes • Make decisions • Set priorities • Determine celebrations
    36. 36. Leadership Advice Be Positive – Use Facts Don’t Build False Hope 1 Engage Through Values 2 Be Accessible Open Door – shows assurance 3
    37. 37. Leadership Advice Always have their back Stand up for your staff 4 Speak with knowledge Wrong facts hurt credibility 5 Encourage Feedback Acquire info from staff 6
    38. 38. Leadership Advice Present bad news on their turf; eMail is not the solution 7 Hire for resiliency and integrity 8 Empower decision making; allow ownership by staff 9
    39. 39. Leadership Advice Always ask if its worth it 10 Click here to Subscribe (free) Print or Digital
    40. 40. Communication is Key! Staff – Parents – Students - Colleagues
    41. 41. Listen to Others Be Professional – Admit mistakes
    42. 42. Miles Nadal
    43. 43. Leadership and Balance
    44. 44. Management BALANCE
    45. 45. Do I want to Manage or Lead?
    46. 46. Eleanor Roosevelt
    47. 47. Organization BALANCE
    48. 48. Work Life Balance
    49. 49. Maya Angelou
    50. 50. Thank You for being a leader in the Ottawa Catholic School Board Questions? @TDOttawa

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