Recently, I wrote about what shapes my learning.. I have tied my own learning into our eportfolio vision and how it will be beneficial to students having opportunities for deep learning. As I have thought about this, I wanted to talk about how these characteristics tie into what makes an effective, 21st century principal.
- Creative – An effective administrator looks at different angles to solve problems. Sometimes meeting the needs of all students takes different approaches that have not been used before, and we have to critically think on how we can do these things. Things such as traditional professional development plans need to be readjusted and updated to meet the needs of staff. Continuously doing what we have always done will yield the same results. We have to be innovative in our practices.
- Communicator – An effective administrator not only communicates by sharing information through several mediums, but also is an effective listener. It is essential that we work to be effective communicators with all stakeholders to do what is best for kids.
- Critical Thinker – Many ideas come our way that seem great at first glance, or maybe not so great. We have to look at these ideas and evaluate the long term impact on our schools and students, and how they will ultimately benefit them. One of my mentors said to me, “there are very few emergencies” when discussing how some feel they need answers immediately. It is essential as administrators we take all information and really think about all decisions that are made in our schools.
- Creates Challenge- This is not meant to mean we provide roadblocks to our staff and community (we need to do the opposite). This is about continuously pushing forward for the sake of our students and providing ways for our staff to be continuous learners. Once the challenge is gone from our job, are we still actively engaged? The same “flow theory” that we can use for students, should be used for our entire community.
- Builds Community – How do we connect others and share their strengths? Community is not about connecting everyone, but it is connecting those to the right people. For example, how do we build opportunities for staff to connect with others to help further their learning? It is essential that we not only develop leaders in our school, but we give opportunities for others to see their leadership.
- Visionary – An effective principal has a vision of where we want our school to go to best prepare our students for their future. It is not only essential that we are able to develop this vision, but that we are able to effectively share it with our community.
- Caring – Without this, none of the others matter. Students and staff need to know that they are cared for as people and that we will do our best to look out for their best interests. This is the foundation our schools need to be built upon.
Through my continuous learning, I see that many of the qualities we are trying to instill in our students for their future, we must instill in ourselves now.
What are your thoughts? What did I miss?