Friday, March 21, 2014

What makes a great teammate? #SAVMP

As I think about teammates in my school, I realize that not only do I have a team of people that I count on to push and support me, I am also a part of a team that helps lead the entire district.  I prefer to focus on the school team in this blog as this is the team I spend the most time with.  The school team consists of teaching and support staff and me.  I don't have an assistant principal but that doesn't mean that I don't have great people that push and support me every day.  Each of the staff has helped develop their role to support initiatives for our students.  I rely on the staff to push my thinking, bring new ideas, and support decisions that either a leadership team or I have made.

As the NCAA basketball tournament has begun, I could use the analogy of our school as a basketball team, but that doesn't really work.  Although most of the staff would consider me the coach, the ultimate decision maker, I see myself more like the point guard.  I help guide the team on the floor, putting them in the right position to come up with the best shot.  Sometimes we make the shot and sometimes we don't, but we always have the same goal- to make the shot.  Sometimes the players on the floor change positions or leave  the floor for a substitute, including the point guard.  That's fine with me as each player on our team has a unique set of skills, skills that help make our school team the best that it can be for our kids.

The question in the title of the blog is "What makes a great teammate?"  I would say it's simple- a great teammate is one who will work together with others to do what is best for our kids.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Am I cultivating teacher leaders?

Am I cultivating teacher leaders?  I sure hope so, but sometimes I wonder if I have provided enough opportunities to those staff who want to take charge of something.  We have staff who are leaders in content areas, Response to Intervention, technology integration, and our Building Leadership Team.

But then something happened this week that let me know that I am cultivating teacher leaders.  I have tried my best to develop relationships with individual staff members but didn't know until this Monday that staff are more than happy to step up and take charge.  Two staff wanted to develop a team of teachers to discuss behavior, specifically of our older students, that would reward those students who have significantly good behavior.  They weren't talking about stickers or smiley faces, but something that the students would really want to earn and that may help to change behaviors.  We do Response to Intervention, but the main focus has been on reading and mathematics.  Now behaviors are the focus, and two teachers are taking charge.  I'm going to sit back during their discussions with staff and let them take over.  It won't be easy for me, but this is important for the teachers, and me, to understand that the staff can really take over an issue and make improvements.  I will be there to support them but I need to give them the opportunity to be true leaders.  I cannot wait to see how it works out.