Remembering Whats Important: Priorities of School Leadership
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How can this leader address the issues created by the physical plant of the building itself? How can a principal treat the difficult waters of the social and political context of the outside world that impacts on the school? How can a school leader insure that the management systems created within a school and the gains in student achievement accomplished are maintained and improved upon after he or she leaves the school?
Charles A. Bonnici has been an educator for forty years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the New York City public school system. For the past ten years, as an adjunct professor at Pace University, he has developed and taught three educational leadership courses for students seeking their state certification. Bonnici wastes not time. He hits hard the 'eight key areas' as principals and other leaders pursue a career: living and progressing from being neophytes to experienced school administrators.
He reveals leadership 'survival strategies' for hiring and nurturing new teachers; building the school culture; managing the school; and working in the larger social environment with parents, community leaders, and the media. Finally, Charles Bonnici looks at 'passing the baton' to the next generation—making the book important for succeeding as principals move from beginners to educational veterans—in the exciting, challenging, rewarding world of school leadership and improvement! Its strength is in its practicality and the reality base.
There are chapters I would use in my own courses, especially related to leaders having to lead themselves before they can be effective leaders of others. This is a book for any school leader, not only for interns or new principals. We all need this refresher to help us see ourselves a little more clearly. In this, his second book, Charles Bonnici provides such a manual. Throughout my career in education I have benefited from the wisdom and strategies succinctly presented here.
As his student teacher, teacher in his department, and assistant principal in his school, I had the opportunity to observe Bonnici as he developed and honed the guiding principles found in this book. This book is short on theories and filled instead with the nuts and bolts of putting theories into practice illustrated with a wealth of anecdotes told with the wry sense of humor one needs to succeed as an administrator.
At first, we could only stroke her and hold her little hands. Then she was able to try nursing.
RES 8100 The Nature of Knowing: Educational Leadership
Eventually, they gave Missy a room where she could sleep in the same room with Emily at night. It was Thanksgiving Day when we brought her home. We forgot that it was Thanksgiving so I ran to the store and we had a simple dinner and just basked in the joy of having our first baby safely home.
During the two weeks of her hospitalization, the hardest part was sleeping at night without her there. This week our year old went to college. It was a delight to see her filling the house with shopping bags and watching her organize books and clothes. The night before she left we gathered all four kids in the living room. I brought out a bottle of sparkling grape juice, and we all made toasts to Emily, and then we prayed for her.
The next day, her mother was the hero of the day when we moved her in, and she helped her unpack and settle in. But the last few days have been harder than I imagined they would be. I know she will come home again for breaks or long weekends.
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But there is more than an empty bed in our home. The nights we snuggled in the blue chair to read books. Vacation reminds you of who you really are. Sometimes it is too easy to identify ourselves completely by our work. When we introduce ourselves to someone new, we almost always end up explaining what work we do. Getting away for personal or family time allows us to come back to some of the priorities motivate us to do good work.
For me, it gives me time to see my children play, to explore together, to read books, to have longer conversations with my wife, and to pray. All of these connections can help you rediscover what is important and ultimately give more meaning to your work when you return. Vacation allows you mental and emotion detox. There is something healthy about days of not accomplishing work-related projects, reading emails, answering questions, solving problems, attending meetings, etc.
Like exercising different muscles in your body helps you discover where you need to gain strength, vacation allows you to exercise different mental and emotional muscles.
Priorities of School Leadership
Vacation stimulates creativity. For me, I find myself having more time to write, play music, travel, or spend time with friends and family. Suddenly, I am finding time for those areas I love that may often get ignored. Peaks in the distance show ridges still covered with snow.
Principals Offer Time Management Tips | Education World
The jagged, gothic, jutting, massive gray of a er hides behind the closer green aspen covered hills. Mountains to my north and east alternate with colors of green and exposed red dirt and bare rock. And meadows below them all are covered with wildflowers: brilliant yellows, whites, and purples. Shimmering greens, browns, and ruby-throated buzzing back and forth.
Yesterday morning, I saw a deer bouncing away in the meadows below. And two nights ago, we watch as a copper colored fox prowled around looking food treasures. These kind of reflective moments are possible outside of vacation too, but getting away is also a great time to experience them. Vacation creates great memories. One of my teammates at work has a great practice of putting his vacation photos on his lap-top computer as a screen saver.
He keeps it nearby his desk during the day. When he has time to work at his desk, vacation memories consistently greet him. When I was in junior high school, everyone on my basketball team wore Converse high-tops. When is the last time you thought about the feelings people have when they experience your school brand? This week I want to share a conversation on school branding from Marlena Gross-Taylor, a dedicated and successful education consultant, speaker, coach, and presenter.
She has been recognized as a middle school master teacher and innovative administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Her professional development expertise has garnered both state and national attention. MGT: School is also a business. If a business is not reaching its customers, its story will never be told. Schools must take control of their own story. Branding is about marketing.
- The 10 School Leadership Best Practices That Make a Difference.
- Seasons of suffering.
- Paper Suitcase Hearts.
You should be able to tell your school in such a positive light that everyone wants to be a part of it. You must think about yourself as a brand if you plan to stay competitive. Also you need to think about yourself as a brand! Here are some platforms schools are using for promoting their brands:TwitterFacebookInstagramLivestreamYouTubePeriscope WDP: What should school leaders keep in mind about the different stages they will have in branding their schools? MGT: Learn to understand and be aware of your messaging.
Your story should be focused on driving awareness and establishing place in the market. A few years ago, we had a lockdown drill at the high school where I was principal. They were locating the person of interest in a location outside the school community but wanted us to lockdown until they had isolated and confirmed the situation at hand. When we announced that the school was going into lockdown, my cell phone buzzed. It was my daughter, a sophomore at the time.
She knew my role as principal meant I could not stop in the middle of managing a security situation to answer her questions. But I also felt guilty. I realized some important thoughts. First, my daughter was scared. Third, I had done a poor job communicating to my school community. We are monitoring the situation and your teachers will continue instruction and supervision while the campus continues in lockdown until we are cleared. Please know you are safe, and the situation of concern is off-campus.
Thank you for your patience and we will keep you posted.
I also sent a quick email blast to parents and guardians with a similar message. Later that day and the next, I received thank-you emails or comments from parents who said their high school students told them my announcements calmed them and kept them feeling safe.