Mentoring Matters for Assistant/Associate Principals and Deans: February-March 2016

Leadership-life Fit:

Dan Rockwell’s blog this week captures a powerful strategy for optimizing your leadership efforts—create rhythms of rest and reflection. Check out “Choose the White Room over the Padded Room.”

Leading Learning—Working with Introverts (both staff and students)

Gain insight into those introverts on your staff and in your student population and learn strategies to support their success in your schools!

American society values “extrovert ideals” in spite of the fact that one third to one half of the population are introverts. To support the introverts in your midst consider the following:

  • Compliment and celebrate the valuable and important leadership traits they generally exhibit: creative thinking, problem-solving, artistry, scientific-thinking (for example) alongside the traditional leadership traits exhibited more often by extroverts: gregariousness, aggressiveness, for example.
  • Value introverts for who they are and give them the processing time they need. They’ll get where you need them to go; give them the time to do so.
  • Structure time to include quiet/solo time and group time. Manage group sizes.
  • Recognize that introverts can exhibit typical “extrovert” behaviors, but they need to accept and acknowledge their strengths and structure their day to enable them to utilize those strengths (this is true for you if you are an introverted leader).
  • Don’t interpret an introvert’s need for quiet, alone time as dissatisfaction with you or disengagement.
  • Acknowledge that introverts appreciate sharing ideas, but want time to process before presenting.

Read more examples in the full article available here.

Leading Learning—Ensuring your PLCs are Genuine, Not Lite

In this month’s Kappan article, DuFour and Reeves provide strategies and recommendations to ensure your PLC work is substantive and leading to school improvement.

The authors open the article describing the mindset and beliefs teachers functioning as a PLC must hold:

  1. They must believe in working in collaboration and collectively owning the responsibility for all students’ learning.
  2. They must believe in articulating the content, skills, and dispositions students need for each unit.
  3. They must believe in and frequently utilize common formative assessments developed by their PLC team and aligned to the curriculum.
  4. They must use the data they collect from the assessments to group students according to their levels of learning and instructional needs and respond accordingly and immediately.
  5. They must believe in and create a system of interventions that guarantee additional time and support (the core AND more—not the core OR more).

The authors go on to revisit the four questions that drive the work of a PLC; they recommend a protocol be used to keep educators’ attention focused on these questions:

  1. What should students know and be able to do?
  2. How will we know if they have learned it?
  3. What will we do if they have not learned it?
  4. How will we provide extended learning opportunities for students who have mastered the content?

For each of these questions, the authors provide detailed examples and non-examples of what true PLC work is.

Access the full article here.

Leading Learning – Debunk ELL Myths

An ESOL teacher tackles 10 typical myths about English language learners. Check out the top 10 and the truths about each here.

Leading Learning—10 Practices to Help Assistant Principals Grow as Instructional Leaders

As you reflect on these past few months and look to set goals for next year, consider how these ten practices might support you in your leadership journey.

  1. Talk to your principal about how you can take a more active role in the school’s improvement plan.
  2. Set a goal to visit a specific number of classrooms each week.
  3. Read! Learn about the latest education trends and best practices.
  4. Make a recommendation based upon your reading and follow up with implementation.
  5. Attend PLC/team meetings.
  6. Grow your facilitation skills.
  7. Ask a teacher if you can teach his/her class for a period or lesson.
  8. Participate in professional learning with your teachers.
  9. Tap into the expertise of your mentor!
  10. Walk the talk—put these practices into action regularly.

Access the full article here.

Monthly Checklist 

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! 

Elementary Principals
Secondary Principals