Final project elem admin

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Final project for Admin. of the Elementary School

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Final project elem admin

  1. 1. Thinking about Leading a Learning Community<br />What Principals should Know and Be able to do<br />A self-reflection of what I have learned in Administration of the Elementary School<br />
  2. 2. Self-Reflection<br />How do I meet the standards put forth for educational leadership in an elementary school?<br />How will I lead?<br />What have I learned in the process?<br />How has what I have learned going to change my school?<br />
  3. 3. Rethinking School Leadership<br />We can’t just add on more responsibilities to the principal’s job description. We need to toss the old job description and start over.<br />Every task of the principal needs to be focused on improving student achievement.<br />If a school is to be top-notch it must have a top-notch educational leader!<br />
  4. 4. Principals must be good leaders<br />Principals are not “managers.” <br />They do manage lots of resources, but it’s more than that. Principals should be the educational leader. <br />Sometimes that means managing resources, but mostly it means focusing like a laser on student achievement.<br />It always means focusing on what is best for kids!<br />
  5. 5. Standard 1: Leadership<br />Lead schools in a way that places student and adult learning at the center.<br />
  6. 6. *Create and foster a community of learners<br />*Are we taking responsibility for our learning and that of our colleagues?<br />
  7. 7. *Create and foster a community of learners<br />*Are we taking responsibility for our learning and that of our colleagues?<br />*Clearly, yes. <br />Professional Learning Communities-book study: Classroom Instruction that Works.<br />Modeling lifelong learning for students<br />Attempting to develop a Community Ed program<br />
  8. 8. *Embody learner-centered leadership<br />*Do I embody learner-centered leadership?<br />I believe I do. Modeling learning for life is something I believe is important for my students and colleagues to see. Learning need not stop with a diploma.<br />I am constantly bringing in new things to share in my classes.<br />The past two years, I have had an instructional coach observe me and give me feedback—always trying to keep growing! <br />
  9. 9. Seek Leadership From Multiple Sources<br />Our building leadership team has a wide cross section of teachers who all contribute ideas.<br />It has taken some “selling” to explain to teachers the reasoning for this-it’s not buck passing!<br />You have no idea where the best new idea might come from.<br />
  10. 10. Tie the daily operation of the school to school and learning goals<br />Our school leadership team has made math an instructional priority. Resources have been prioritized for math education, including textbook dollars in the budget.<br />As a classroom teacher, I have not had an opportunity to voice where hiring decisions should be made..but I believe that the decisions we have made to keep class sizes small speak volumes about our school. <br />The most important thing is STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT!<br />
  11. 11. Tie the daily operation of the school to school and learning goals<br />What’s important in a school? <br />First impressions are critical. The walls should scream “We are here to learn!”<br />
  12. 12. Snapshot: Leadership<br />Create a community of learners—YES<br />Learner centered leadership-YES<br />Seek contributions from multiple sources-YES<br />Ties daily operations to goals-Qualified Yes..<br />I just haven’t had a lot of opportunity in this area, especially with budgeting and managing resources…<br />
  13. 13. Standard Two: Set high expectations and standards for the academic and social development of all students and the performance of adults.<br />
  14. 14. Articulate a Clear Vision that reflects beliefs/values/commitments of the school community<br />What is the vision I have for the school?<br />I see a school where the highest expectations for all students are held and students are expected to do their very best.<br />I see a school where each adult believes in students and each student believes that they are capable.<br />I see a school where the underlying belief is “We are the best.”<br />
  15. 15. Do all students have adequate and appropriate opportunities to meet high standards?<br />Safety-Schools must be safe..physically and emotionally. Our school is a safe place. We have focused hard on rooting out bullying and the underlying causes of it.<br />
  16. 16. Opportunity to learn<br />Do we provide active and constructive learning environments? This is essential..<br />I believe that if student interest is lost in upper elementary school, those kids may fall off the radar screen forever. We have to keep it interesting and challenging!<br />I have not had a lot of opportunity as of yet to shape these areas in our school.<br />
  17. 17. Schools must be developmentally appropriate<br />Not just academic—I believe school experiences must be considered as a whole.<br /> We must focus on the whole student-not just the academic experience. <br />
  18. 18. Time: Flexible Scheduling<br />We cannot expect all students to learn at the same pace. We’re not all at the same speed.<br />Differentiated instruction. I use this in my classroom. I have students at different levels in computer class. I have one student who is challenged enough to learn the keyboard. I have others who are ready to complete office simulations in 8th grade.<br />
  19. 19. Time: Flexible Scheduling<br />We cannot expect all students to learn at the same pace. We’re not all at the same speed.<br />Differentiated instruction. <br />I use this in track. I have pole vaulters who are still learning to carry the pole and pole vaulters who are working on mastering elementary techniques. I have had 14 foot vaulters and brand new beginners working at the same time on different skills.<br />
  20. 20. Time: Flexible Scheduling<br />I have not had a lot of opportunity to participate in scheduling for the elementary.<br />It does seem to me that a lot of it revolves around people getting the lunch break they want. That won’t do in my school. <br />I know that many of our teachers have shifted priorities to math and reading in terms of time. <br />
  21. 21. Resources: Equitable and Adequate<br />Money/Time/Resources should be spent on students first.<br />I totally agree-I just haven’t had a lot of opportunities to set a school budget yet.<br />
  22. 22. Snapshot: Vision<br />Articulate a clear vision: I could do much better here. I have my beliefs and share them. I probably do not do nearly enough to articulate them.<br />Opportunities to learn: Definitely believe students are active learners and those who are involved will be more involved.<br />Time and Resources: Student achievement is front and center. Haven’t had a lot of opportunity to dedicate either.<br />
  23. 23. Demand Content and Instruction that ensures student achievement of agreed upon academic standards<br />Hire and retain high quality teachers and hold them responsible for student learning.<br />Good teachers can make all the difference. Bad teachers may dig a hole that may never be crawled out of.<br />It’s important to RETAIN good teachers! We must support them and back them up.<br />We must encourage all of our teachers to “keep growing.” <br />We need to provide regular evaluations to let people know how they are doing!<br />The classroom is not for everyone. Just because someone is not a skilled teacher doesn’t mean they are not a great person. Part of the principal’s job may be to help that person discover that they have other valuable contributions that can be made to society.<br />
  24. 24. Demand content and instruction<br />Observation/Supervision/Coaching: I have had opportunities this winter to mentor a younger teacher. I think that finding strengths and weaknesses, as well as giving encouragement is a strong point of mine.<br />
  25. 25. Monitor Curriculum<br />I believe the principal should take an active role in monitoring the progress and pace of the curriculum being delivered.<br />Is the curriculum aligned to the standards?<br />Are we teaching the standards or a test?<br />At my school, MOST teachers monitor themselves. There is little “check in” to see if it is being done. What if it isn’t?<br />
  26. 26. Observation Practices<br />Are students engaged?<br />Are expectations clear for teachers?<br />The principal should be a frequent visitor to the classroom to see what is going on.<br />I plan to be in classrooms so frequently kids won’t wonder why I am there.<br />Little opportunity to do much here yet. A good foundation of beliefs.<br />
  27. 27. Up to date materials?<br />Very important to provide curriculum, materials, and technology that is up to date.<br />Some of our computers are dated.<br />We have science and social studies curriculum materials that are dated.<br />
  28. 28. Review student work<br />This seems as if it may be overwhelming, but teachers could be asked to share samples of student work in observation conferences. <br />This work could help the principal understand how the work in the classroom is helping the student achieve the standards.<br />
  29. 29. Snapshot: Student Learning<br />Hire and retain good teachers: No opportunity yet. I do know how important this is!<br />Monitor Curriculum: Our school leadership team has touched on this. We need to do a lot more!<br />Observations: I have just began working with observing other teachers. I plan to be a fixture in classrooms and hallways!<br />Up to date materials: I serve on the school advisory committee and advocate for up to date materials for students both elementary and high school.<br />Review student work: I need to do a better job of reviewing my OWN students work..and to reflect how it is promoting student learning!!!<br />
  30. 30. Create a culture of continuous learning for adults tied to student learning<br />Do we provide time for reflection about our work? I see how important it is. I know it doesn’t happen in our school. I wish it did.<br />Are we making investments in teacher learning? At times, yes. We could be doing so much more.<br />Is professional development tied to learning goals? Yes—math cohorts are one example of this.<br />Provide opportunities to work, plan, and think together? It’s pretty limited. It’s an “add on.”<br />Opportunity for the principal to reflect and grow? It too is very limited in our school.<br />
  31. 31. ISOLATION is the ENEMY of LEARNING<br />We have implemented Professional Learning Communities at our school.<br />Teachers have some opportunities to learn and grow together.<br />It could be so much better.<br />Some of the communities lack leadership.<br />We still are isolated. If you are the only Kindergarten teacher in the district, you are still somewhat isolated!<br />Teachers must not feel threatened by learning from each other.<br />
  32. 32. Staff Development<br />It can’t be a “one and done.”<br />Take it back, share it, use it, and go with it!<br />How are attitudes going in to the staff development session? What are the expectations? Can the principal set the tone for trying to learn something new?<br />Can the principal help create a feeling of trust to try new things?<br />
  33. 33. Principals must also collaborate<br />How well do principals reach out to each other to solve problems and learn from each other?<br />
  34. 34. School Culture<br />What is the role of the principal in creating a positive school culture? It’s huge.<br />The principal can help create a positive school culture.<br />
  35. 35. Mentoring<br />I have had experiences this year mentoring a younger teacher. It has been rewarding for me.<br />I have helped this teacher avoid a few “rookie mistakes” that I made as a young teacher..and maybe my encouragement has helped her become a better teacher!<br />
  36. 36. Snapshot: Adult Learning<br />Provide time for reflection? Some time is provided. In an ideal world, it would be nice to have much more.<br />Teacher learning? More investment should be put forth here.<br />PD connected to school goals? Yes-to an extent.<br />Opportunities for collabortion-A qualified yes. It could be better.<br />Opportunities for principals to collaborate-some exist. I think of courses like this that help generate and share ideas!<br />
  37. 37. Use multiple sources of data as tools to assess, identify, and apply instructional improvement<br />Do we consider a variety of sources of data?<br />Do I know how to use and analyze data to measure performance?<br />Can I use data to plan instruction and figure out what is needed?<br />Create a school environment comfortable with using data?<br />
  38. 38. Variety of Data<br />Our school uses both MCA test data and NWEA data.<br />My experiences here are with the school leadership team.<br />I will be the first to admit it is all still very complex to me.<br />
  39. 39. Variety of Data<br />We used to do NWEA testing twice a year. It’s now once.<br />I do not believe this data is used by all teachers to it’s maximum potential.<br />It can almost be overwhelming-but it need not be so.<br />
  40. 40. Do I know how to use and analyze data?<br />I have a basic conceptual understanding of idea but I admit I need much more training to understand test results and sources of data.<br />
  41. 41. Use data to drive instruction?<br />I am at the “beginner level” here.<br />I have done some work in my own classroom with creating content reading groups based on NWEA scores/lexile reading levels.<br />I have had a couple of one day training sessions on this, but as with anything else—if it is not used, it is forgotten!<br />
  42. 42. Are we comfortable using data?<br />I believe the principal can do a great deal to sell the concept of how powerful data can be to teachers.<br />Time must be provided to help understand and digest the data!<br />
  43. 43. Snapshot: Using Data<br />Variety of Sources: It’s limited. I believe the NWEA type test, used frequently, could help teachers understand what needs to be taught.<br />Analyze data with a variety of strategies? I need much more help here.<br />Using data as a tool? Very limited. <br />Using other similar schools? Limited experience here, but I am always interested in hearing what works for other schools like ours!<br />Create a school environment comfortable with data? A qualified yes. We have many teachers who are not at all comfortable and data must be part of ongoing professional development.<br />
  44. 44. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT<br />SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY IS A PARTNERSHIP.<br />Parents are far more likely to support what goes on at school if they feel positive about what is going on at school.<br />Communication is a two-way street.<br />We need to learn what we do well and what we can do better.<br />Parents and kids need to see us as partners and community members.<br />The principal is the lynchpin in creating this partnership!<br />
  45. 45. Do we engage the community to build greater ownership for the work of the school?<br />How much of a role does the community have in setting the vision of the school?<br />How engaged is the public?<br />At our school, we have some apathy. We could have more involvement in many areas within our community.<br />
  46. 46. Do we share leadership and decision making?<br />To an extent. We have a School Advisory Committee that reviews curriculum and provides feedback on programs.<br />
  47. 47. Are parents meaningfully involved in their children’s learning?<br />A qualified yes, in most cases.<br />We have many parents who are only involved in a “helicopter capacity.” (They hover over the kids and swoop in to rescue them when they have a crisis.)<br />We have worked hard to try create opportunities for parents to come into school.<br />We could be doing so much more. Back to school night would be a great start.<br />
  48. 48. Parents/Kids/Attitudes<br />I believe that positive experiences such as clubs, sports, and co-curricular activities all create positive feelings toward the school.<br />I believe that if the parents have positive attitudes toward school, the kids will follow.<br />I believe that if parents and kids get to know their teachers and administrators in the community, more trust is developed.<br />
  49. 49. Parents/Kids/Attitudes<br />One of the best things we do in a small school is build relationships.<br />Example: My wife has been the Kindergarten teacher here for 13 years. She accompanied me and 13 juniors and seniors on the Close-Up trip. Where else is it possible for the Kindergarten teacher to share so many moments of a school experience with kids from age 5 through 18? We’re part of these kids lives and they are part of ours!<br />
  50. 50. Communication<br />Parents have a deep need to know important things that are going on at school.<br />Schools need to reach out to parents and the community.<br />We must reach them where they are-be it the newspaper, the web site, or even Facebook. If it takes a text message, so be it!<br />We have to be able to share good and bad news.<br />
  51. 51. Community Engagement<br />Are we working together with leaders of the community and our state legislators?<br />In our case, yes. Example: I am both a teacher at school and the Mayor of Karlstad. Good relationships are generally the rule. We all know each other and know where we stand with each other!<br />
  52. 52. Snapshot: Engaging the Community<br />Do I engage the community to work for greater ownership? To a limited extent that I have had an opportunity. There is a lot of crossover between my role as Mayor and role as teacher. I am constantly working to advocate involved citizens helping to make the community a better place!<br />
  53. 53. Snapshot: Engaging the Community<br />Do I share leadership? Yes-participation in the advisory committee and school leadership team.<br />Do I encourage parents to be meaningfully involved in their child’s education? Yes. I take any opportunity I can to develop positive relationships with parents and try to teach them how they can help their kids.<br />
  54. 54. Snapshot: Engaging the Community<br />Do I ensure students and families have connections to health, human and social services that are needed?<br />Yes—I constantly confer with our school nurse in the cases of students whom I suspect have health or other needs which may interfere with their learning.<br />
  55. 55. Snapshot: Engaging the Community<br />Do I work to build partnerships and relationships in the community? Yes. After 13 years here, people know me and my family. We work together, have fun together, and go to school together. It is one of the things that tiny schools can do best!<br />
  56. 56. On Balance<br />The toes are in the pool. The feet are wet. <br />I have a lot to learn.<br />I have a good foundation and know what is important.<br />Being a principal is on the job training. Knowing what it should look like doesn’t mean it is there yet.<br />When will we get there? Not sure. Standards are the ideal. Ideal worlds don’t always exist but we need to move toward those ideals!<br />

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