It has been a while since my last blog entry but I have been busy. I successfully competed for a new Job as Principal for an elementary school in my division. This will be my third administrative position so I have some confidence that I know what to do, however it did make me reflect on my personal philosophies and strategies when starting a new job. I thought that it would be nice to comply a “to do” list for myself. Then as I wrote I thought maybe I should share it with others a la Twitter, then I thought how arrogant there must be others with better, or different ideas which can help new and aspiring administrators in their new positions as well as myself. So I opened a Google document and solicited RT’s from my tweeps and the following is what I got. Once you read this list please feel free to visit the doc an add your two cents worth, or should I say nickel now that they are gone?
1. Meet with your staff one on one and Identify goals, struggles….
2. Get to know the students names and who they are
3. Be accessible
4. Get into classrooms early and ask questions
5. Be yourself, you don’t need to emulate the admin who left.
6. When possible help complete previously established goals and set some of your own.
7. Collaborate with others but maintain the ability to make your final decisions on things that matter.
8. Say “Who does…” before “I will…”
9. Talk about the things that matter- Student learning, etc. Your staff will attend to issues that you attend to.
10. Take time to listen, to students, staff and the community.
11. Positively engage the community and PTO
12. Ask what have you done, or what do you think before offering solutions…
13. Don’t start a sentence with “At my last school, we did…..”
14. Whoever takes the school pictures, find a place to post them up on a bulletin board with class and name. We get printouts on sheets so there may be 30-40 pictures on a sheet.
15. Be visible in the halls, classrooms, activities/sports events, and community events.
16. Be available
17. People first. Always take the time to listen.
18. People invest in projects that they launch and design themselves, give your staff the freedom to grow.
19. Enable staff to try new teaching strategies, even if the research doesn’t exist yet
20. Encourage PD opportunities outside of the district (Twitter, Edcamps, etc.)
21. Ask teachers to list 3 things they could teach other teachers and 3 things they wish they could learn from other teachers and use the lists to help establish professional learning communities on your campus.
22. Access resources (law enforcement, social services, community groups) to understand your school’s culture.
23. Make sure faculty and parents understand you won’t pit one group against the other.
24. Make sure processes for problem solving are well articulated, transparent, and understood
25.Meet with parents and teachers and create a dialogue to create learning team for student.