The National Association of Elementary School Principals recently published a great post from Sandra A. Trach on building leaders and investing in leadership.
The article, “Building Leaders“, highlights the role of the assistant principal and does a great job discussing how much they support the principal, staff, and the overall foundation of the school. I love this quote that they highlighted:
“Assistant principals “lead from the middle” of the school, which allows them to work at a meaningful intersection of administration and leadership, and among faculty, staff, students, and parents. Assistant principals are key relationship-builders, becoming a bridge between the principal and faculty and staff, and aiding in the trust and transparency necessary for a successful school culture.” – Christopher Colwell in Impact: How Assistant Principals Can Be High Performing Leaders.
This is so true! Often in this process I believe then their skill sets may not continue to grow in order for them to make the shift from the Assistant Principal to the Principal. The post goes on to highlight the right strategy to bring principals along, tools for growth, and highlights why investing in assistant principals is definitely worth it!
Reading this article I just LOVE the emphasis on leadership and investing in our people. So much in education revolves around investing in our students (which obviously is a worthwhile investment) we also have to think about everyone else on the campus. Investing in our staff to ensure that their voice is heard, they are supported, satisfied, have the resources that they need to be successful are all part of establishing strong school culture.
If your not sure, put out a survey to assess your leadership. One of my favorite people to follow on twitter in the blogging world, Amber Teamann, did and was surprised by the results. (“MyBad” Podcast by Jon Harper has the story here) Now she had two options, you know what they are, but she took the high road and now she has transformed her leadership.
So what if you are feeling like you do not do the best job? I would instantly turn my attention to Lead Like a Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf. Not only is it a fun themed book that can easily transfer to your school, they provide real life examples of how to turn your school around. You will be able to take lessons form their book and instantly start insert them into your leadership tomorrow. They also joined my podcast Perspectives in Education (listen here) to discuss leadership and their book. “We want to create schools where kids are knocking down the doors to get in but we also need to create schools where staff are knocking down the doors to get in.” – Shelley Burgess.
Well how do we do that? I love this quote from Beth Houf that came from the podcast, “We throw around the phrase whats best for kids a lot, we (Shelley and I) feel like our influence on doing whats best for kids relies solely on how we inspire and motivate and support the adults in our buildings. If we do that, then the teachers and other educators can truly make an impact.” She hits the nail on the head.
So back to my question from before, do you support your staff, encourage them, listen to their needs, and provide them all the resources they need to grow?