Sunday, September 15, 2013

Developing Leadership #SAVMP

After a great start to our school year, I have had a chance to reflect on my own leadership as well as that of the staff with whom I work.  On the first teacher day, I shared this google presentation called "Two Ships" with the staff.  The two ships I discussed were relationships and leadership, what I believe are the two most important characteristics of a quality educator.  I will continue all year to go back to these two characteristics while sharing examples of each with the staff.
As I think about the leadership in our school, there are the obvious examples as well as hidden examples.  The obvious examples are the staff who are on our leadership teams.  We have two teams that provide direction for our school, our Building Leadership Team (BLT) and our Response to Intervention (RtI) team.  These teams meet once a month and each team has one grade level representative and a special education representative.  Our BLT also has a representative from our specials teachers (music, PE, art).
Our BLT meetings are a place for the staff to keep me informed of those things that should be celebrated as well as those things that need to be fixed.  Although I am the "leader" of this team, we develop our agendas together.  This year I am using this rubric from New Tech Network as a focus for the next steps for our school.  I have asked the team members to share this rubric with their grade level teams and we will use the results to lead our discussion at our first meeting.  I am excited to see where this process will take us.
Our RtI team has been instrumental in keeping RtI as a focus for our staff.  Their passion for RtI is the reason we now have RtI blocks in each of our grade levels every day.  As a school staff we meet once a month, with our RtI team leading the meeting, to share how things are going with our RtI blocks, share student successes, and provide suggestions for struggles that we might be having.
Just yesterday I received an email from a teacher that is one of those hidden examples.  The email was to all staff and the teacher invited herself into classrooms so that she could observe a colleague teaching Math or Reading/Language Arts.  I was so excited she asked to do this because I have been trying to get our teachers to observe one another for six years!  I have agreed to cover any class so that teachers can observe one another.  The funny part of this example is that she asked me, after she had sent the email, if it was alright with me.  I told her that it was absolutely fine with me and thanked her for taking a chance.  My hope is that this example of hidden leadership becomes contagious with the rest of the staff.
As I have told the staff often, they are all leaders.  They may not like the title, but there is no question that they are all leaders for our students and each other.  My goal is to continue to grow our staff as leaders in any way possible and to celebrate these leaders every day.