I have found myself finally catching up today…I have had the opportunity to catch up on professional posts and reading the #SAVMP page. Many of the posts I read were focused on effective communication with staff and families. As I reflect on my first full month of my principalship, communication has been my central focus. What is the best way to communicate?
I found that social media has been very effective to communicate events and happenings around the school. However, the best way to communicate has been to be an active listener… The following post from ALL THINGS PLC by Solution Tree summarizes key factors about being an effective listener: http://www.allthingsplc.info/wordpress/?p=4017. Communication truly starts by listening. Reflecting on the events during my first month as a principal, listening has been the most significant factor in decision making, having critical conversations, and professional development. There is so much to learn and do well…so I better keep listening. 🙂
“Every person who enters the field of education has both an opportunity and an obligation to be a leader.” (Dufour & Marzano, 2011, p.1) #SAVMP
Our topic to blog about this week is Developing Leadership. This is an empowering subject matter for me because my journey as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and principal has been led by administrators who believed in developing teacher leaders. I am grateful for the guidance and mentors who continue to lead me so I can continue to develop new leaders.
I gained great insight about how to continue to develop teacher leaders by watching this Google Hangout with George Couros, Jimmy Casas, Jason Markley, and Amber Teamann! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience!
As a doctoral student, I have had the opportunity to begin to research the relationship between teacher trust and academic optimism.
“A school with academic optimism has a faculty that collectively believes it can make difference, all students can learn, and high academic performance can be achieved” (Hoy, 2012, p. 85).
This opportunity was empowering as the research was completed with a team of teachers, administrators, and academic coaches throughout the state of Montana. Each of us having a variety of prior teaching and leadership experiences, we focused on one question:
“What are the underlying dispositions/traits/factors of teachers who seem to have maintained academic optimism?”
Focusing on trust, we conducted a survey which included seventy-two teacher participants and a focus group of eleven teachers. One of the most important themes revealed to me was the need for collective trust with faculty and with students’ families. As I begin the school year as a new principal, I rely on what I have experienced as a teacher, researched, and learned from mentors …teachers maintain academic optimism when there are opportunities for them to collaborate with other teachers and to communicate often with parents. With this in mind, to develop collective trust, I will:
1. Consistently provide time for teachers to collaborate within the school day.
2. Keep communication with parents current.
3. Listen and take time to build relationships.
This video helped me to reflect on the importance of our relationships with students: http://youtu.be/SFnMTHhKdkw.