School administration in a large high school is a wild bear. A mile a minute is the pace, and managerial demands never cease. But management and leadership are different animals.
Here’s a nifty self-test on the leadership/management dichotomy. (Of course, it pays to be both a leader and a manager.)
Management tends to be more concerned with preservation of the status quo. Leadership is more concerned with the continuous improvement of people rather than processes.
Management in a school has as much to do with the very necessary bus routes and grade reporting as anything else. Leadership in a school has as much to do with quality instruction and thriving culture as anything else.
Check out LeaderTalk’s Making Time for Instructional Leadership for what other school leaders across the country are currently saying on the subject.
I have spent the majority of my career involved in innovative teaching and learning practice. So it was with a great sense of accomplishment today that I did my first full teacher observation of the year.
As I sat in the class, observing and making notes, I felt at home.
I enjoyed the respectful professional dialog with the teacher as we de-briefed. (Professional discourse is the breeding ground for good ideas.) I look forward to seeing and hearing more teachers and adding value during observation cycles.
A couple of other instructional areas are emerging on my radar screen. The English department is key. The first challenge we have there is in writing. That’s my background and my strength. The other is the Senior Project. I have been with this project since the beginning in our school system, and I am fortunate to be working with Senior Project trailblazer Nancy Reynolds.
I am the quasi-mentor to one student, Nick, who is interested in cinematography and Reusable Learning Objects as his Senior Project. This is one to watch as he creates a Reusable Learning Object repository for the Senior Project initiative at West Carteret.
And the kids with the Led Zep tees continue to ask me to sponsor their guitar club . . .