Mentoring Matters for Assistant and Associate Principals and Deans: March 2017
Try this simple breathing practice to build your resiliency and reduce stress and anxiety.
Leading Communicator—Key Messages for Every Opportunity
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to spread positive news and build support for your school! Create “key messages” around these three elements and your message will last long after the conversation has ended!
The March 2017 publication of Principal Leadership provides support for strategic communication. Author Bob Farrace identifies three key elements:
These elements help shape positive messages about your school that can be easily shared and repeated.
Read the full article here.
Leading Learning—Leading High Expectations Teaching
What is the principal’s role in motivating teachers to reach the most challenging of students and the most struggling of learners? John Saphier’s article in this month’s Principal magazine articulates leadership behaviors to cultivate a growth mindset in teachers.
Saphier discusses the history of a fixed mindset in American education and notes the recent emphasis on growth mindset as a point of leverage for successful principals. Principals who have adapted their language, behavior and instructional decision-making to reflect a growth mindset and who have supported teachers in doing the same have been able to narrow the achievement gap. These language and behavior changes are anchored in three key messages:
Helping teachers cultivate a growth mindset is only part of the equation; principals have a role in supporting teachers in changing the mindset of students as well. Teachers need to help students believe that smart is something they can get. This can be especially challenging when certain sub-groups of students may have spent their lives believing they have low ability and low potential. All members of the learning organization will need to come face to face with their own belief systems, their own doubts. Focusing on communicating high expectations for all learners and then creating an environment that is relentless in its emphasis on the above three messages will support this shift.
Specifically, principals should consider learning alongside their staff as they…
Learn more about high expectations teaching:
The Principal's Role in High Expectations Teaching – subscription required
Leading Learning—Growing Grit
What do teachers need to do to cultivate perseverance and stick-to-itiveness—i.e., GRIT? And what does this mean for principals? This month’s Principal Leadership tells us!
Four key practice of teachers and related behaviors of principals lead to increased grit in students:
Principals should establish a high-expectations learning culture and model a growth mindset themselves. They will need to be prepared for initial resistance from students and parents when students feel the expectations are too high or the learning too difficult. The role of the principal will be to reassure the students and parents that yes, the demands are high, the learning is important, the student can do it, and we have a system in place to help. This is a great opportunity for leaders to model their own grit!
Principals may also want to consider developing an alumni network whose members can serve as role models and examples of those whose grit might inspire current students.
Read the full article by Jim Fornaciari in Principal Leadership (subscription required).
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!