Activity 3: Developing Local School Leaders

Activity Guide

Great school leaders contribute to and support school success by cultivating effective and knowledgeable school leaders. Schools are successful when all school stakeholders share a common vision and work collaboratively. What better way to “develop self and others” than to engage in a professional development activity that also develops leadership capacity of others at your school? A win-win!

Resources

Process

  1. Set aside time to review to the leadership resources from the list above. Focus and reflect on the information and techniques to work closely with an assistant principal or teacher leader in completing a school project that will build leadership capacity and improve both your practice and student outcomes at your school.
  2. Design your professional development plan.
    1. Professional development for self:
      1. Familiarize yourself with the Discussion Guide Planning Templates and the Building Ranks™ Process Circle. Considering the information you have just reviewed and using the reflection questions on assigning roles and responsibilities (p. 193), take note of your thinking as a leader. Indicate which questions will yield the most valuable information for you when discussed with others.
      2. Identify one or two assistant principals or teacher leaders whose leadership potential and professional practice you have observed.
      3. List and affirm their professional strengths using the specific domains and dimensions of Building Ranks and achievements at your school.
      4. Consider school data, school improvement needs, and professional strengths around the Building Ranks dimensions to identify one or more projects that these school leaders could successfully plan and implement.
    2. Professional development for others:
      1. Plan an individual meeting with each assistant principal or teacher leader and discuss an opportunity to increase their leadership capacity by planning and implementing a school improvement project. Discuss the following with your leader:
        • Their thoughts on the identified reflective questions
        • The school vision and how their professional goals, knowledge, and skills can support its implementation
        • How their skills have contributed to the school and improved student outcomes
        • Which school experiences may develop leadership skills for advancement
        • Reasonable time commitments to undertake a special project and attend steering committee or administrative meetings for project updates and professional networking
        • Additional time commitments for providing support and professional feedback and building collegial networks
  3. Reach a consensus on implementing a school-based project that will build on the knowledge and leadership skills of your assistant principals or teacher leaders as well as improve student outcomes at your school.
  4. Request an implementation plan draft. Use Discussion Guide Planning Templates A, B, and C to identify those activities in which the person may take a leadership role for successful initiative planning.
  5. Schedule a meeting to establish measurable success goals and monitoring procedures for the project. Continue to schedule regular meetings for feedback and project monitoring. Identify what local school data will confirm project success.
  6. Schedule updates for faculty meetings and administrative team meetings.

Extend and Apply

Now that you have led a small group of school leaders through a successful program implementation, ask all members of your leadership team what they would most like to improve about their professional practice or learn about leadership, and/or ask teacher leaders what professional practices they would most like to improve. Challenge a group of staff to jointly plan a whole-school growth initiative using the Discussion Guide Planning Templates A, B, and C. Provide opportunities for effective feedback, develop measurable objectives using local school data, and monitor program implementation following the process steps above.