Blog

Becoming the School Leader I Needed as a Teacher My experience with PLUS has helped groom me into the kind of leader that I would have loved to have as a teacher. As an assistant principal, I wear a million hats. But I have learned to prioritize my time and to recognize that my biggest impact must still be made at the classroom level...Even though I do not directly impact scholars the way I did at the classroom level, all decisions that I make must keep them, and their achievement, at the forefront.

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Stepping out of My Comfort Zone Over the course of the summer, I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This meant discovering how to take risks, such as standing in front of a group and modeling an action step or role playing a challenging situation I could face in a school. Taking such risks introduced the opportunity for me to grow and learn as a new leader.

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Putting Instruction First, Even Now The circumstances are frustrating. And the burden these cuts put on students and teachers is shameful. But I find inspiration in the ingenuity and persistence of the people I’ve encountered at Northeast. I’ve met teachers who, among a staff of 150, have found creative ways to collaborate. I’ve met administrators who set a positive tone for the school by leading by example. I’ve met students with plans for greatness who are eager to talk about their classes and their futures. Their determination to do so much with so little is what drives me to come to work and wrestle with the challenges, too.

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Getting Past “Do Better Now” The lessons I learned on relationship-building have pushed me to shift my leadership style. This wasn’t an immediate change, but it started with simply asking people about themselves and then gradually moving into discussing their practice. I now know my teachers’ favorite television shows and outside-of-school interests. We discuss the playoffs as well as pedagogy. Recognizing that people bring with them all of their life experiences and perspectives is essential to motivating and coaching others.

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