Last month, we looked at How High-Poverty Schools are Getting it Done focusing on leaders’ beliefs about student potential. This month, we will look at the 2nd of 4 qualities of effective leaders. As Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas studied 33 effective school leaders in 19 states, the following four characteristics were common among the group:
1. Their beliefs about student potential drive their work
2. They put instruction at the center of their managerial duties
3. They focus on building the capacity of all the adults in the building
4. They monitor and evaluate what leads to success and what can be learned from failure.
(Chenoweth & Theokas, 2013, 57-59)
These leaders found ways to filter managerial duties with a lens that focuses on maximizing opportunities for student and teacher learning. How do we schedule to ensure the students and teachers who need the most support get access to the most effective teachers? What schoolwide routines would let us focus more on instruction? Let’s look at transitions to see if we are maximizing the time we spend teaching. How do we develop systems, train others, and delegate tasks to support substitutes and new students and facility rentals so most of the day can really be focused on instruction?
Try using an instructional lens this week. Anytime you spend on managerial duties, ask yourself if something could be tweaked to put instruction at the center or this task or use of time. We will check back next month to see how you are doing embedding the instructional lens into your managerial duties.
Chenoweth, K. & Theokas, C. (2013) How High-Poverty Schools are Getting it Done. Educational Leadership: The Principalship. (70)7, 56-59.