After One Full Year as Principal – A Ton of Lessons Learned…

This was the fastest year ever, and led to a ton of lessons learned, probably to many to discuss here. Here are my top lessons learned…

We Need Great Teams…

One of the biggest and most fun challenges that we worked on this year was the creation of a great team as a whole school as well as within different grade levels. Morale was something that we worked on specifically and intentionally so that teachers could come to school and enjoy their work as much as I love my work. Our staff has shared with me over and over and get how much they love coming to work and supporting the students of our school, especially as they are feeling supported. What an amazing feeling when you know that your work has such a beneficial component to the lives of others. Our school is now a team with the goal of improving and enhancing student learning for our students. This was demonstrated on the weekend as a ton of our staff, in between report cards, came out for the soccer tournament our students were participating in.

Creating a Vision of Excellent Learning…

Currently, we are working on creating a key vision and guiding principles for the work we do at Keeler school. We are working with parents, students, and staff to identify key factors that must be focused on through our work. The vision has been at huge area of development and will continue to drive the work at Keeler School. Looking at areas of resiliency, literacy, learning competencies, and purpose will help to drive learning for all students at Keeler.

Consistency, Accountability and Instructional Leadership…

As a new principal, I actually think it is easier in some ways to look at new ways of improving teacher professional practice. I am able to look at and integrate new research and best practice, without having to overcome old habits of mind that might make it difficult to undertake instructional leadership. We have been working on increasing the time we, as an admin team, spend in the classroom focused on teaching and learning. There have been a ton of outcomes from this work, including the provision of formative feedback and ideas for improving professional, a huge decrease in behavioral issues in classrooms, greater and better relationships between students and teachers, as well as a huge decrease in absences among staff. As an added benefit, it is these times are probably my favorite times of the week…

Developing a Greater Understanding of Curriculum…

An area where we have spent a lot of time is the development of our understanding of what the Alberta Program of Studies is as compared to the concept of “Curriculum.” We are working to examine how to make clear choices as to creating and developing the curriculum we undertake and closely examining how we may be creative with the Alberta Program of Studies. Teachers are starting to examine the areas of high impact for our students versus areas of low impact that previously were felt needed to be “covered.” Grade teams are working in collaborative manners to be able to discuss and examine how this will work, as well as working among the grade teams to share and enhance the work of the whole school.

As a Principal, Being Visible and Transparent…

As a principal, the biggest lesson I have learned is that transparency and visibility of myself, my vision of teaching and learning, my openness to conversation and feedback, as well as “all of my too numerous to count mistakes” that were made this year are out there and shared. Our staff understands that they are utilized and needed in a collaborative manner, and that (shockingly) I don’t have all of the perfect answers and solutions to all of the issues that come up either day-to-day or in the big picture of our school. They have consistently seen and wonderfully demonstrated how the use of all of our heads is always better than one… the ideas we have come up with as a full team have consistently blown me away!

 

Looking back on this, my own professional learning and development has gone through the roof, and I would not have it any other way!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: