Mentoring Matters for Middle Level and Secondary Principals: March 2017
Try this simple breathing practice to build your resiliency and reduce stress and anxiety.
Managing Professional Capital — Hiring the Best
Be prepared for your best hiring season yet! We share several resources to help you maximize your hiring process, and don’t forget resources shared at our January Statewide Mentoring Meeting!
The 20-minute Hiring Assessment - Getting the right fit in terms of personality is equally as important, if not more so, than finding the candidate with rich content knowledge and quality teaching skills. This article summarizes 3 key dispositions critical to effective and successful teaching:
To gain insight into a candidate’s strength in each of these dispositions, the author offers six interview questions:
Access the full article to understand how to read between the lines of potential answers to each of these questions.
Hiring the Best – Author Mary Clement offers suggestions for gathering objective data through the hiring process starting with how to post your open position/s to how to structure the interview using behavior-based questions. She notes that clarifying what skills and dispositions are critical to the position will facilitate your decision-making.
Still looking for more information about behavior-based interviewing? Additional resources from Mary Clement are available here.
Share your best hiring resources via Twitter using the hashtag #saihirebest
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!