Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It’s All About Relationships (Day 8)

Day 8 of my month of blog-a-day (Spilling Ink http://tinyurl.com/nc7gg3) continues with answering the following job application question: Describe the knowledge, skills, and qualities one should embody to be an effective educational leader.

... “It’s All About Relationships.” Gerry, the about-to-retire guidance counselor, said this to me almost every day during my first year as an administrator. Each year since, I understand more what he meant.  A principal needs to foster, cultivate, and facilitate relationships among and between himself and each of the constituent groups in the school community. All the listening that a principal does certainly helps to gather data, but it does far more to nurture relationships. My full schedule of listening is explicitly dual purpose. Listening is far from the only way to promote positive relationships. Effective educational leaders must also see teachers and students at work. I strive to reach my ambitious goal of visiting five classrooms every single day (my weekly average is lower than that, but constantly improving). After a boost in visits, one teacher summed up the feeling by telling parents in a meeting that I must know what is going on because I visit her room so often. I have been able to increase trust with parents by describing their child during my last visit. By being in classrooms more, the school community knows that I value the learning and the teachers. ...

As always, your comments will earn you points!

8 down, 22 to go.