Recently, I met with a group of current and aspiring campus administrators at a state conference. The format was Q&A, and one of the first questions I was asked was, “What are the “hot topics” or issues facing campus administrators?”
This is a good question with a myriad of correct answers. Campus administration is a complex endeavor with potentially thousands of moving parts. Which is why I believe that the overriding hot topic has to be, “Meaningful simplifications that leverage teaching and learning.”
“But what about safety, budget, politics, staffing, etc., etc.?”
All important, but the bottom line is that teaching and learning must occur and it must continuously improve. If this is the case, the school survives and has a chance to flourish. If it is not the case, students are being underserved and the employment of staff becomes at-risk.
So that make my case for “teaching and learning,” but what about, “meaningful simplifications.”
For professionals who work in complex, chaotic environments, leadership must endeavor to reduce unnecessary steps and distractions so that the professionals can focus their attention and talent on effectively and efficiently completing the task. This is true of surgeons, pilots, professional athletes, and should also be true for teachers. For every unnecessary step we can delete, for every non-essential task we can remove, teachers have additional attention and time for what is most important, TEACHING.
And if campus leadership isn’t studying the actual work of the organization to streamline process to maximize the instructional dynamic, there is no one to step in and fill the gap. Because the teachers are busy teaching and central office is busy dealing with the “Big Picture.”
Think. Work. Achieve.
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