Prior to the beginning of the school year, I publicly reflected on my past four years as a district administrator. In addition, I established several goals for the 2014-15 academic year. In no particular order, they were...
- Continue attending the quarterly area curriculum director meetings (Develop existing relationships and strengthen new ones)
- Seek out a leadership role in the area special education director meetings (Deeper learning in this area. Consider finding an informal mentor)
- Spend several hours observing and reflecting with district administrators in a similar role around Iowa. (Establish a more formal learning community, face-to-face or virtual)
- Pursue central office academic literature describing validated practices of central office administrators.
Continue attending the quarterly area curriculum director meetings
Within my area of the state, we've had several curriculum director meetings. I was able to attend both of them and met several directors new to the area or to their positions. I invited one director who works within thirty miles of me to spend a morning together for the purpose of sharing ideas. Although this director is shared between two districts, I felt our contexts were close enough that we established a lasting professional connection for years to come.
I plan to attend the remaining curriculum director meetings as well as several other meetings that may be geared towards central office administrators. Our district was awarded nearly $400,000 grant for next school year to implement a teacher leadership system (more about this in a future post), so I anticipate reaching out to several area curriculum directors who have previously established similar teacher leadership systems to learn the ins and outs of a new area of education for me.
Seek out a leadership role in the area special education director meetings
I've emailed and talked on the phone with a person who is well respected and well-versed in special education. I had hoped to have at least one special education director meeting under my belt by now.
We're co-planning the first special education director meeting, however it will likely not take place until February. The realist in me believes two quality meetings will be a success for this school year and hopefully enough momentum to build on for future years.
Spend several hours observing and reflecting with district administrators in a similar role around Iowa.
See comments above describing the curriculum director meetings, morning planning and anticipated time that will be spent discussing the teacher leadership system. I have also made informal contacts with several district administrators from other areas of Iowa to throw out the idea of a virtual meeting every month or two to bridge our physical distance travel constraints.
Pursue central office academic literature describing validated practices of central office administrators.
This is a goal area I have not much progress, if any at all, since the summer months.
Beginning in a little over one week, I will begin a graduate course entitled "Instructional Leadership that Facilitates School Improvement." I am hopeful the readings and discussion will director or indirectly point me in the right direction. The first snow day we have this year, I plan to do some serious EBSCOhost and ProQuest searching!
I welcome your accountability and look forward to posting another update around Spring Break as well as another at the end of the school year.