Mentoring Matters for Middle Level and Secondary Principals: December 2016
Leadership-life Fit: Meditation Isn’t Just for Monks
A daily practice of focus and awareness can help you give the gift of your best self! Learn some quick and easy strategies to get started or to support you as you continue your meditation practice!
Leading Learning—Getting Parents Involved at the Secondary Level:
Is your New Year’s resolution to move beyond inviting parents to events and getting them engaged? (Engagement= greater student achievement and higher attendance and graduation rates, to name a few benefits)! These eight strategies help chart the path toward your goal!
Read the full text by Heather Wolpert-Gawron in her Edutopia article.
1. Engage Families in Their Elementary School First
Connect with parents before they land in your building by attending a PTO/PTA meeting at the elementary/ies that feed into your building.
2. Create a Parent Advocacy Group
Be sure your group includes representation from your most at-risk students. Inquire as to whether one of these representatives would host a principal coffee at their home to provide you an opportunity to connect and exchange information with more parents.
3. Take School Information on the Road
Meet families where they are. Provide parents an opportunity to meet you and your staff and learn about your school by asking if you might join them at one of their community or church events.
4. Utilize Your Local Businesses
Can you partner with businesses to use some bulletin/message board space to post celebrations of students and staff and to keep the community updated on school events and news?
5. Find Out What Your Families Need
At registration time, include a survey that asks parents how they want to be contacted or connected to the school and what concerns them.
6. Reach Out to Families Just to Build a Relationship
Strive to make the first call/text/message a positive one.
7. Provide Trainings
Ensure parents know how to use your website (and translation tools as applicable), your student management/grading system, and online pay systems by offering trainings. You can also provide training and support for accessing student resources, online databases provided through the AEAs, and other relevant tools and information that will help keep parents “in the know.”
8. Host an EdCamp for Parents
Engage staff and students alike in responding to the concerns of parents via a different approach like an un-conference.
Leading Learning— Cultivating a Growth Mindset
Watch this eight and a half-minute video explaining the Why, What, and How of growth mindset, and then delve into the Growth Mindset Playbook! Process the reflective questions that follow in your mentoring partnership.
Questions for Reflection:
Leading Learning: ESSA Toolkit
Just a reminder that this toolkit resource is available to help principals engage in informed conversations around ESSA!
These lists are intended as a guide—we encourage you to process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that may need your attention!