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Posted by on in Education Leadership

backbone

It’s been said that the Principal is the face of the school.

If that’s the case, then the Assistant Principal is definitely the backbone!

For those lucky enough to have an Assistant Principal in your building, they are the ones who work, for the most part, behind the scenes in a number of areas.  They are the ones who organize and lead efforts such as: the master schedule, testing, staff development, student discipline, assemblies, recognition events, duties, ceremonies, buildings and grounds, and staff evaluations.  And, while doing all of these important tasks, they do it while connecting with students, staff, parents, and community members!  Could you imagine what would happen if your Assistant Principal wasn’t there?

This week marks National Assistant Principals Week

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

doctor and elderly patient

Over the weekend, I remembered a profound lesson my father taught me years ago.  As an eye doctor, he explained the shift he made after less than a year of practice.  In his eagerness, zeal, and knowledge, he shared that he could diagnose the patient's eye problem quickly by observation and begin thinking through the treatment process.  Often, he was able to determine the course of action without even talking with the patient!  This resulted in him being able to move more patients in and out of his office, so he could help more patients and increase productivity.

Yet, he came to realize that, even though he proved the necessary physical treatment of the patient's eye, he did not treat their human need to share their story.  Although he knew the necessary course of action to treat their eye, he deprived them of sharing the background on what occurred, their pain, and how it has impacted them.  My dad recognized the need to allow patients to share their story as part of their healing process.  Today, he is known not only for the precision and work he physically does to help heal others, but he is also esteemed for his compassionate heart and sensitivity to others.

I was reminded of this story at an annual retreat with the Worthington Resource Pantry Board Meeting.  As part of the visioning process, a facilitator asked a question that went beyond the physical aspects the pantry provides regarding food, resources, and training to those in need.  The facilitator asked the question: "How do you want clients to feel that are serviced at the Pantry?"

The members of Board all agreed it was a profound question - it isn't just about supplying physical needs to others; it's also about empathesizing with them and treating the whole person.  Our conversations lifted the tone of the meeting, as we talked about the need to provide dignity, hope, pride, welcomed, invited, and a sense of community to the question.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Sometimes things aren't what they seem...

As a teacher I very rarely thought of things from the perspective of my administrator. I still tend to develop training, development, and the services I provide to schools and districts from a teacher-centered perspective. It has always been and always will be my belief that initiatives and instructionalmethods will work better when built this way.

While I continue to primarily work with teachers, my interactions with administrators are much more frequent than ever before. From these interactions I have realized that some of the misconceptions I harbored from the classroom were not only incorrect, but actually very far from the truth.

Here are 3 things I've learned that your administrators wish you knew.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

principals office door

For seven weeks, I was an interim, elementary principal in one of my district's elementary schools. It was an opportunity and experience that was invaluable. When I began I was nervous and full of anxiety, but when I ended, I had wonderful memories, great new relationships, and a very real and meaningful learning experience. 

So as I look back on my seven weeks as an elementary principal, and try to put things into perspective, these are my top ten things I have learned.  

Be Visible

From my very first day, I knew I had to be out of my office and in the halls, classrooms, cafeteria, and out on bus duty. I needed to show students, parents, teachers, and staff I was there for them. I could not do that from staying in my office trying to sort through all the emails and paperwork. While those needed attention, being visible was more important. 

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

“Life begins at the end ofyour comfort zone.”

– Neale Donald Walsch 

change management1

My work as a school leader brings me to change management often. From graduate school, to post doctoral leadership programs I have received a great deal of information about change management. Often I use a graphic from the Satir Model of change to illustrate the processes related to the systems view of change.

In this model shown in the blog image above, change is indicated as the “foreign element” introduced into the system. Following this change or foreign element, there is chaos in the system.

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