This past friday, I had the opportunity to participate in a School Improvement Visit (SIP). Two of my colleagues, the principal and vice-principal of this JK – 8 elementary school shared with us (two consultants, superintendent, system principal) their school data, discussed their SIP (School Improvement Plan) and their journey with the staff. Together, we used this time to listen, interpret data, ask questions and share expertise. Our learning conversations were open, honest and very meaningful as we focussed on discussing how we can build the collective capacity of the staff.
In our time together, we interpreted data that generated a cause for celebration and also offered a suggestion to ask staff how they could improve the learning spaces in the classroom. Asking the question: show me how learning happens in the many spaces in your classroom? For example, the Smart Board or computer create a learning space in your classroom. Approaching the classroom as a environment where there are many learning spaces. There was more all connecting back to these two indicators:
- A culture of high expectations supporting the belief that all students can learn, progress and achieve
- Instruction and assessment are differentiated in response to student strengths, needs and prior learning
As a system principal, I admire the courage and openness of my two colleagues, Linda and Pat! What a great leadership team! For me, it was the two of them that inspired me. They modelled the way in our meeting. They set the example by sharing with us how they encourage their staff, set interim goals and look for the small wins to foster increased collaboration and inquiry with their staff. I felt their hearts, ongoing optimism, hard work and persistence as they shared with us. Thank you Linda and Pat as well as Sandie, Delores and Manny for furthering my growth on our journey in continuous improvment.