8 Principal leadership tips for the new year…

I recently had the opportunity to hear Andy Greene, Middle School Principal from New York, speak to us about collaboration and the PLC process. From as soon as I walked in the room, I knew Andy’s session was going to be good. Here are some of the highlights that really had an impact on me:1) – Building principals can’t invite ‘collaboration’ to happen; they must require collaboration to happen. Andy make it quite clear that to have an effective PLC school, there couldn’t be any independent contractors who were working in isolation doing their own thing. There is no such thing as the rogue educator in Andy Greene’s school!

2) – If you want to establish and sustain a collaborative culture in your building, you have to confront behaviors that aren’t collaborative. Parking lot chatter and not holding each other accountable aren’t allowed. When a topic is being discussed, there is a consensus before the discussion is over.

3) – Everyone from the cooks to the students know who works in the building and who doesn’t; the question is, what are you as the building leader going to do about it?

4) – If you don’t get to the root of someone’s belief system & make it personal, you will never get someone to make sustainable change.

5) – Administrators shouldn’t make it a secret and a mystery when it comes to their beliefs and thoughts on education. Andy was very adamant about this point. Why is it that administrators are afraid to say what they really believe? More importantly, why don’t administrators share what they believe and then follow it up with why they believe it? No more secrets and no more mystery!

6) – Don’t try and change someone’s attitude; focus on changing their behavior through expectations.

7) – Relationships trump everything because when you have to confront someone, you are going to have to make a withdrawal from the social/emotional bank account.

8) – The culture in your building needs to shift from these are ‘your’ kids to ‘my kids’ to ‘our kids.’

I’d like to thank Andy for a great session and for giving me lots to think about. Thank you Sir!

9 comments for “8 Principal leadership tips for the new year…

  1. Rob
    July 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

    These are our kids. Thank you so much for the great leadership tips, Justin. I look forward to focusing on a few of these, better, this year.

  2. LaVette Ford
    July 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thank you! This is a great article to jumpstart the new year.

  3. July 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I like the reminder that even our cooks are leaders. This year my welcome back letter includes not just a list of all new teachers but all new staff too, including cooks.

  4. July 30, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I have had the chance to here Andy as well, and he is indeed a no nonsense kind of leader. I always appreciated that he did the PD for his staff; he was up there in front preaching the good work of UBD etc. not sitting in the back of the room. He is a great model!

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