“What are some ways you connect with your school community?”
Meaningful connections with a school community that changes every 174 days was a challenge at first. Leading at a Kindergarten Center provides a unique opportunity to develop sparks, interests and set a foundation for learning for all stakeholders. Taking the lead from Robert Fulghum’s ‘All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ here is how I try to lead and learn everyday.
Connecting with others is critical when leading in today’s schools. By using Twitter, Podcasts and Voxer I have a place to gather ideas, process situations and learn about best practices in action across the world. Blogging and #SAVMP are ways that I can share back what I have learned from others and add ideas for someone else.
We invite parents, community members and other schools into our space often. As Kindergarten has changed so much it is so much easier to ‘show and tell’ how we are learning to others in the space learning is occurring.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. It is inevitable-leading means at times the decisions you make may not always make everyone happy. While these things have to be said/done I try to have empathy with delivering the message. I have used ‘sorry’ many times in my position:
- I am sorry that your friend hit you on the playground.
- I am sorry that you and your former spouse are struggling now with custody arrangements.
- I am sorry that introducing (insert new practice) has been stressing you out lately.
Tony Sinanis recently wrote this statement: If you’re an educational leader and you’re not getting some pushback or resistance from teachers as it relates to instructional practices then you may be doing something wrong because people are too comfortable.
While my morning intentions never include wanting to hurt someone else’s feelings-knowing that decisions I make have a core intention of ensuring we are ‘All In’ for students to have the highest levels of learning possible makes those moments more intentional and less personal.
Clean up your own mess
This goes with ‘Saying I Am Sorry’ as a person and a Principal I am not perfect. We try things and sometimes they don’t go as planned. Being able to say ‘whoops’ and fixing what happened is not a sign of weaknesss but leadership.
…..and what better way to end this post than the final line of Flughum’s poem:
And it is still true, no matter how old you
are – when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.