A reader asks:
“Since we are at the beginning of the year, I have some questions to ask the seasoned veterans out there.
What is the first priority of administrators? Is it instruction, or manipulation and utilization of systems? Because what I am experiencing right now is traditional administration philosophy reigning supreme.
How do you change or excel when you are not in charge? Will I sink with a ship that will not move in the direction I want to head? How do you move others up to your level when you are moving at a fast pace towards student success?”
Question 1 (Priority): The first priority is determined by the current state of events. If the campus is a trashed out zoo, the first priority is to regain control and create an environment conducive to instruction. If you have strong teachers, the first priority is to get them the resources they need to be successful. If you have weak teachers, the first priority is ramping up first line teaching and student remediation and intervention. Bottom line, hit the issues that create the greatest positive movement in student performance.
Question 2 (Change without ultimate power): When you don’t have ultimate power, you focus on the areas where you can effect change. Either your part of the world serves as the lead goose for the rest of the organization, or at the very least, you effect positive change for the students and staff you are responsible for. I do know this, we think that the people above us call all the shots, but you actually have the most control when you are in close proximity to the students. When I was an AP, I had control. Every position after that, I just had influence.
Question 3 (Sinking ship): If you are on a sinking ship and leadership is oblivious, leave. In the short run, we all may have to work for weak leader. But in the long run, don’t be a fool, work with and for someone with vision, energy and integrity.
Question 4 (Pace): Don’t slow down, constantly push and pull your staff and students. Adults have the luxury of time, students do not. The adults that can keep up, will. The adults who can’t, will go somewhere else. Just remember to keep coaching, supporting and communicating with your team. Your team will stick with you if they know where they are going and what they need to accomplish. Quit talking to them and make them fend for themselves, and you deserve it when they shut down.
Think. Work. Achieve.
The request was made LYS readers, now it is your turn to answer…