The following are 3 of the necessary components needed if you want to have a GREAT SCHOOL! With so much focus places on state testing and assessment tests throughout the year, I think we have lost sight of the things that really matter. The following is an excerpt from an article @EdWeek. The link to the full article is listed after the excerpt.
1. Trust is paramount. In fact, the quality of relationships in a school is a crucial factor in whether students and teachers have sufficient opportunity to learn and contribute their ideas without fear of retribution. Without trust within and across the school community—which includes the principal, teachers, students, and families—learning will be stalled. People who are anxious with worry, concerned for their safety, or treated disrespectfully do not take risks or work well with others, nor do they perform their best work.
2. Successful principals and other education leaders deliberately model and take trust-building steps with and for their school communities every day. This can make all things possible. Successful school leaders ensure that schedules, routines, and interventions put the needs of students before standards and specialists. They listen without judgment, are open to divergent viewpoints, communicate clearly and respectfully, and are humble in their actions and demeanor. They look for and comment on all that is good in each member of the school community. They celebrate teachers’ strengths before evaluating them. They give feedback that is useful and actionable. They let parents know through social media, a phone call, or an email when a child has done something well, noting even small achievements, such as listening to a speaker without interruption. They also do everything possible to make the school safe, clean, orderly, and beautiful. A caring, well-organized, and well-managed environment helps promote a sense of well-being and optimism.
3. Finally, for a culture of high trust, collaboration, and authenticity to take hold and be sustained, the direct and unwavering support of the superintendent is required. Engaged superintendents ensure that effective principals stay in a school for a minimum of three years, in order to make sure the school’s culture remains stable and achieving, even as some staff members leave. These superintendents also work closely and amicably with the teachers’ union to ensure sufficient time is allotted for regularly scheduled professional development. They also make it high priority to schedule time regularly with the principals in their schools. Such visibility not only shows the principal and staff that the superintendent supports the school’s leader, but also that the superintendent is a partner in the teaching and learning process.