Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Common Sense For School Administrators

Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes has some advice that really should be read by school administrators and wannabees:
1. Have meetings only if you have something to say. Holding meetings for the sake of holding meetings, or to show the higher-ups that you hold regular meetings, wastes valuable time for everyone. This is especially important in the days before the school year actually starts. Teachers are trying to get their classrooms ready-- sometimes after the summer maintenance staff has broken or misplaced half of their belongings-- and the last thing they need is for you to read a Powerpoint presentation to them like they are preschoolers.

And how do you find something to say? Walk out amongst us, into the school, into the classroom, into the hallways. Stay current on what's going on in education. Ask people what they need and what they think. Then take that seriously.

2. Telling a room full of people you appreciate them is very nice indeed. Telling five individuals on your staff you appreciate something specific they have done is far nicer.

Of course it requires more work, not to mention attention to detail. But consider what you ask your teachers and staff to do in the course of every school day. This can be done. It SHOULD be done. And it shouldn't be done just to people who hang around your office. This behavior also shows that you know what is going on in the classrooms and hallways.
Please consider going over to her place and reading the whole thing.

Those or you who are school administrators or admin wannabees (but more especially those a who have little or no classroom teaching experience themselves) can save yourselves a whole lot of time by giving some serious thought about what Ms. Cornelius has to say.

You'll be a better leader for it.