Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teachers, my commitment to you...

As I prepare for my first year as an administrator, I continue to be humbled and amazed by the many intricacies of the administrative job (and school hasn't even started yet!). I have spoken with many current administrators, and they all say the first year as an administrator is by far the most difficult.
Though I have been spending a lot of time speaking with administrators, I have also taken a significant amount of time to speak with teachers, both in my new building as well as with former colleagues. Overwhelmingly there has been one common message from teachers, "Don't forget what it's like to be in the classroom."

As I am sure you know, there are some teachers who think that administrators are pure evil. Likewise, there are some administrators who think teachers are insignificant and have it way too easy. I don't believe either statement, but I am aware that these beliefs exist. Consequently, I am going to make a commitment to all my teacher colleagues to not forget what it's like to be in the classroom. Here is how I plan on doing that:

1) - I commit myself to listening much more than speaking. I will actively seek out teachers and ask them how things are going, and what I can do to help.

2) - I commit myself to teaching a lesson at least once a quarter. I want to get back in the classroom, while also providing a deserving break to a teacher.

3) - I commit myself to continuing to learn and grow as an instructional leader. As an administrator, I believe I was hired to help enhance the learning environment which in turn will increase student learning. I need to continue learning and growing to remain relevant and applicable.

4) - I commit myself to sharing content specific resources with my colleagues. By doing this, I will be thinking of ways to apply these strategies in a classroom setting, thus keeping my teaching skills refined and sharp.

5) - I commit myself to modeling effective delivery methods during PD sessions, PLC sessions and faculty meetings. By modeling these strategies I can stay relevant, while also providing concrete examples for teachers to use in their classrooms.

6) - I commit myself to finding and encouraging the strengths of all my colleagues. By modeling this behavior I can set an example that we all should be doing in our classrooms.

7) - I commit myself to getting into classrooms on a daily basis. One of the easiest ways for me to stay relevant and current on classroom trends is to be present. I need to observe and be witness to what is going on.

8) - I commit myself to focusing on the "we" rather than "them" and "us." We will never be as strong or effective as we are together, thus collaboration and teamwork are my top priorities.

These are my strategies to make sure I don't forget what it's like to be in the classroom. What strategies have you used or what strategies would you suggest...?