Monday, June 7, 2010

Copious Communication is Worth It (Day 7)

Day 7 of my month of blog-a-day (Spilling Ink continues with answering the following job application question: Describe the knowledge, skills, and qualities one should embody to be an effective educational leader.

... Regular, two-way communication with various aspects of the school community is also a very rewarding set of skills for the effective educational leader. Since nature abhors a vacuum, it is the principal’s job to ensure that there is no vacuum when it comes to information about the school. The principal must have a clear vision and must communicate that vision in every way he can as often as possible.  I am a firm believer in the idea of an abundance of communication. I write a note in the weekly parent newsletter. The staff receives the Monday Message from me, every Sunday night, with information about the week to come. I make careful use of the Community Outreach module of Connect Ed. I make the rounds of the building to speak with individual staff members or students. I created a staff blog and have started this Principal’s Point of View blog to highlight the great learning at Spofford Pond School and to share my opinions from time to time. The flip side of all this sharing of information is the great skill of listening. Educational leaders must listen to the staff, the students, the parents, and the community. I have adapted the corporate CEO idea of gathering the daily pulse of the business via charts and graphs to fit public school. I listen regularly to the curriculum specialists, the special education coordinator, the counseling staff, the grade-level teams, the special educators, the specialists, the office staff (although right next to me, this is sometimes the hardest meeting to have), the nurse, the head custodian, the district leadership, various parent groups, and the students. While all of this communicating is time intensive, it is vital in its own right and to the relationship building that is part of being an effective education leader. ...

As always, your comments will earn you points!

7 down, 23 to go.