I just looked at the dates on my blog settings. It has been over a month since my last blog post! I really need to set a writing schedule and stick to it. The spring was a little hectic and now that the summer is here, I find myself having more time to reflect. I just finished my first full year in building administration and to say I learned a lot would be an understatement. Here are some of my reflections on this past school year and my goals for the next few years to come.
There are a lot of things that take you away from what you feel is important in schools.
For me, I think teaching and learning is and should be the most important function of our schools. Everything that occurs in our schools should revolve around learning. Learning can take a lot of forms. It should not always be thought of as a process by which students sit in desks, listening to a teacher while he or she writes on a smart board. Teachers can learn a new instructional strategy from a PLC meeting. I can learn something new through a conversation over coffee with a fellow administrator. There are a lot of things that take up our time in education, but we need to make sure to make teaching and learning our priority. In the years to come, I will continue to keep this belief close to my heart, make time everyday to get into classrooms to observe and give feedback to learners and keep current on how learning evolves in our society.
I should always seek to improve myself and others.
I made mistakes this year. Some of the mistakes were really dumb and I should have known better. Although I won't make those same mistakes again, I think I might still mess up a time or two. There is always room for growth. From now on, I will try to be more thoughtful in my decision- making and anticipate how my decisions, words, and actions affect other people.
Ask for feedback.
I think some administrators just plug away everyday in their jobs. They don't ask for feedback because they don't want to hear it. I do believe it is important to ask students, teachers, parents, community members for honest feedback. My goal was to ask this question of every teacher in the building at the end of this school year. I didn't get to speak with everyone, but I did get to speak with about half of them. People shared openly and I learned a lot about myself, the history and culture of the district, and the ideas teachers had for areas of improvement. I know that I won't get to everything they discussed, but I know there are ways we can work together to make our school better than it was this year.
What other advice do you have for me as I embark on my second year as a building administrator?