Video: Inclusive Leadership

Inclusive Leadership

See how to embrace an inclusive style of leadership by asking, “What can I do to improve myself and those around me?”

Transcript

{Title up} Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Every Student.

CHALLENGE: Principals need collaborative leadership from their school community in order to make successful changes in their school’s culture.

PRINCIPAL WEHRING (BF Terry High School) – {audio} Every campus has its own culture and when I say that I don’t just mean the background of the students. Every campus has its own culture in the way it does things.

CHALLENGE: Identify stakeholders willing to share in the school leadership.

PRINCIPAL WEHRING (BF Terry High School) – {audio} It’s really finding the needs and expertise within your campus and what needs to happen to help it grow. {video up} I think we do ourselves a disservice if we say “that doesn’t match my campus” or “that doesn’t match my students.” Well, find some part of it that does fit into what you’re doing or what your goals are.

BEST PRACTICES: SET LEADERSHIP GOALS AND FOCUS ON RESOURCES THAT SUPPORT THEM.

NARRATOR: For Vera Wehring, principal of BF Terry High School in Rosenberg Texas, setting goals for the year is a rallying cry for leadership among her staff.

PRINCIPAL WEHRING (BF Terry High School) – We have our campus goals set before I ever attend any sort of conference or any type of training.

NARRATOR: Teachers set goals before the school year begins, posting them in the hallway in full view of their peers…and their students.

MR. MOODY (Geography Teacher, BF Terry High School) – We set those goals early in the year, we talk about our goals…and we try to limit [them]—you get too many goals [and] you can gag a horse with all those goals. You know, limit those goals to four or five of them and if you hit those goals, you’re doing pretty good.

BEST PRACTICES: BUILD LEADERSHIP SKILLS INCREMENTALLY

NARRATOR: At the end of each semester, teachers who’ve reached their objectives set new ones, while others double down with renewed commitment to what they set out to do at the beginning of the year. Teachers’ goal-setting, posted to demonstrate their commitment to students, in turn, influences students to do the same.

STUDENT (BF Terry High School): The teachers have taught me not to back down. Challenge accepted.

NARRATOR: Whether as goal-maker or pace-setter, the principal often leads best by developing teacher leaders. The best way to teach leadership is to give your faculty the opportunities to lead.

BEST PRACTICES: GIVE FACULTY EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN BY LEADING.

{B-ROLL with some audio of teachers leading peer development at World Journalism Prep}

PRINCIPAL MATT SAFERITE (M.O. Ramay Junior High School): I’m convinced right down to my toes that people who try to hold onto control, power or authority…they really don’t have any to begin with. And the more you try to hold onto it the less you have. And that includes the principal. I try to model my relationship with teachers in the same way teachers do with their students…[the] chance for input into the school…teachers that have input into school processes have made many improvements at this school.

BEST PRACTICES: DISCOVER NEW LEADERSHIP TALENT THROUGH INQUIRY.

PRINCIPAL LAVONE SMILEY (Tefft Middle School) – I began by soliciting teacher leadership because I knew I could not do this alone. I had to embrace those teachers who I thought could help lead the way.

NARRATOR: When it comes to leadership among staff, pride in participation is paramount.

PRINCIPAL TOYIA WILSON (Northwest Prep) – College Board has been there every step of the way to help us with the staff development piece as well as our connections to families and students. We would not be the school we are without the College Board.

BEST PRACTICES: ENSURE ALL TEACHERS SEEK TO BE PARTICIPATING MEMBERS OF A COMMON MISSION.

PRINCIPAL TOYIA WILSON (Northwest Prep) – And because the core teachers were here and received the very detailed advisory training…we believe there is a core group of teachers at our school who will say that’s just not how we do business here, if someone comes in and does not completely buy into our school mission. But most people get on board because we have a great mission.

MATH TEACHER (Northwest Prep): I love it here and I hope I can work her [Principal Wilson] till I retire.

TEACHER ZACHARY JOHNSON (Northwest Prep) – It’s uplifting, empowering and to hear you’re part of something that’s positive and going in the right direction.

BEST PRACTICES: ESTABLISH A CULTURE OF INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP

PRINCIPAL VERA WEHRING (B.F. Terry) – I think my leadership style is an inclusive style…Most decisions that are made on this campus are made with the entire leadership team.

BEST PRACTICES: PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL TEACHERS TO SERVE IN A VARIETY OF SHORT- AND LONG-TERM LEADERSHIP ROLES WITHIN THE SCHOOL.

PRINCIPAL VERA WEHRING (B.F. Terry) – My leadership team is made up of all the administrators, the counselors, department chairs, instructional coordinator, and a technology person. Then the department chairs and everyone else can go back to their departments and explain why we’ve made the decisions we have.

BEST PRACTICES: WHEN PLANNING, ALLOW TIME TO ADDRESS INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CONCERNS.

PRINCIPAL VERA WEHRING (B.F. Terry) – At the same time if there’s something going on on the campus that I don’t know about, it’s a chance for them to bring it up to us and we can all talk about it at that time.

TEACHER (World Journalism Prep) – And we realize we cant do this alone and that this has to be a team effort…

PRINCIPAL TOYIA WILSON (Northwest Prep) – And part of that goes back to our training about what is a true community and truly understanding that…supporting each other and reaching out to one another when you know someone has a strength in certain things.

PRINCIPAL VERA WEHRING (B.F. Terry) – We expect it of everyone on the leadership team to be the people in the teachers’ lounge, in the hallways, in the community saying “We can do this. No matter what you throw at us, we can come back tomorrow and do it again.”

PRINCIPAL CYNTHIA SCHNEIDER (World Journalism Prep) – One thing that has helped me with this school is never ever letting go of my vision of this place in perfection. It’s hard work, but it’s fun work. But of course it’s hard. That’s what makes it good.