- Meet Betsy DeVos, Our New Secretary of Education - November 23, 2016
- No, Blackface is Never ‘Okay.’ - November 17, 2016
- Are SPED Teachers Being Wells Fargoed? How Special Education Resembles the Wells Fargo Scandal - November 1, 2016
- Supporting Kids with Anxiety in the Elementary Classroom - October 12, 2016
- Teaching in a Virtual Reality - October 12, 2016
- Teacher Resignation Accepted - June 30, 2016
- Dear Principal - June 1, 2016
- Confession of a Self-Conscious Teacher: I’m Afraid to Turn Around in Class - May 19, 2016
- Nine Tips for Education Majors and New Teachers - April 14, 2016
- 5 Writers That Every High School Student Should Read Right Now - March 15, 2016
Every year when school comes to a close, I feel I must reflect on my own actions and decisions as well as the actions of others on my campus. I understand that it takes an extraordinary kind of leader to navigate the lanes of district mandates, student needs, and teachers wants. This letter is intended to serve as a reminder of what I need from you as my leader.
You don’t always have to take a democratic approach when making decisions on our campus. This can sometimes be problematic because while you are surveying the group, we could be using this time on more important matters. I understand that you carry the weight of the school on your shoulders, but I need you make some of the hard decisions without our input. I trust your judgment.
You also don’t have to micro-manage every committee meeting, leadership team meeting, or grade level meeting. Trust me to help see your vision for the school come to fruition, give me a voice and some responsibilities when it comes to building a school climate of success and achievement. In order for me to have buy-in, I must feel part of the process.
I need you to truly be an instructional leader on our campus so taking on a laisse fair approach to leadership is unproductive. If I have questions about curriculum or instruction, I need you to give me input on what to do or how to do it. You don’t have to be an expert on all subjects for every grade, but I need to feel confident in your capabilities when you are giving me suggestions on areas of refinement. I need you to glean from your years of experience when giving me instructional feedback.
I understand you want to form and maintain relationships with individuals on campus, but don’t let these relationships interfere with the decisions you make. Favoritism could lead to dissension amongst colleagues. I am asking you to treat everyone equally and to do what is in the best interest of the school. As the school leader, please don’t place your friendships before the needs of the students.
As an aspiring administrator and from the outside looking in, I can’t imagine how difficult your job is, having to juggle multiple tasks and prioritize the needs of the school. Just know at the end of the day that we are doing everything in our powers to teach our students to best of our abilities and to bring about student achievement. If we don’t work together then we, as a collective body, will not bring about change. I want to help execute your vision for the school, but that means you have to make your vision clear and set forth a plan for us to follow.
A Teacher Who Cares