“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams
“If you think down, you will go down. If you think up, you will go up. You’ll always travel in the direction of your thinking.” T. D. Jakes
Why is it important to track student tardies and take attendance? Do you know someone who never gets to an appointment on time or simply doesn’t show up? We all do! These people are usually not organized or do not value being timely.
Schools have been tasked to teach students the importance of getting to school and class on time and attend school regularly. How will a student hold down a job if they can’t get there on time and/or is absent frequently? It really depends on the job but many require punctuality or production suffers. If a manager needs a punctual employee, they will obviously fire a worker for constantly being late and/or taking days off.
With accountability still looming today, schools are still held accountable for maintaining good attendance. In Georgia, the College Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) is used to “grade” schools on a 100 point scale. One of the 19 indicators schools are rated is attendance. Since schools in Georgia are rated across a spectrum of indicators, attendance is not a high priority as it was in previous years of accountability measures. However many will argue that attendance has a direct correlation to learning. To simply put it, how can a student learn if they hardly ever show up? Fortunately in Forsyth County Schools teachers post assignments on a digital platform called Itslearning. Students can access assignments and communicate with teachers 24/7. School systems without this type of learning platform do not have this luxury or students miss out when not at school.
Creating and maintaining positive relationships with students and using engaging lessons will create a warm learning environment. An environment students will not want to miss! Students are hardly ever absent from teachers classrooms where these two strategies are the norm.
In fun, I created a short video called Classroom Protocols and Procedures. I hope you enjoy it!
How many of you were hired in an upper management or leadership position and allowed to assemble “your” TEAM? A high functioning TEAM working together as a cohesive unit guiding the organization toward goals! Some leaders have to “make do” with in inherited team. If given the chance to assemble a TEAM, how would you go about it? What process would be used? What criteria would be used to determine needs?
The first step is knowing yourself. Knowing your leadership strengths/weaknesses will help you determine the needs of the TEAM. I wouldn’t want a TEAM just like me!! How successful would that be? I am a confident leader but have learned I can’t do it all myself. Nor can I bring all leadership qualities to the table. There are numerous self-assessments out there to help determine your leadership strengths and weakness. After knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, make a list of the leadership qualities needed to “balance” the TEAM.
Also consider leadership qualities required to positively interact with stakeholders. Your constituents might require a certain type of leader or leadership style. If this is not known, find out! Network with others who know or conduct a survey. All you have to do is ask!
The most important point is knowing your vision for the organization. Without vision, there is no leadership! I can’t stress this enough. For those of you that play golf, here is an analogy for vision. Before hitting a shot, pro golfers stand behind the ball as part of a pre-shot routine. While standing behind the ball and looking down the fairway, the golfer visualizes the flight of the ball. The flight the ball will take after hitting the ball. Leaders are always looking ahead making sure all decisions and actions support the vision.
Once a 360 degree analysis is completed including your vision, your leadership strengths/weaknesses, organizational needs and stakeholders traits, you are now ready to start the search. This might seem like a lot but it really isn’t. Effective leaders already know all this.
If I were selecting my TEAM, I would require most if not all the following qualities:
*Integrity *Empathy *Passionate *Honest *Motivated *Problem Solver *Self-Learner *Empower Others *Responsible *Effective Communicator *Goal Oriented
“Have fun doing whatever it is that you desire to accomplish……and do it because you love it, not because it’s work.”
Those in the educational world or even the business world should find a mentor if your personal goal is to become an effective leader. If you aspire to move up the leadership ladder, or even gain a leadership position, a trusting mentor will be more valuable than any training available to you.
Looking back on my career, I wish I had had a mentor prepare me for the future. Unfortunately….I didn’t have a true mentor! I had support but not a mentor (there is a difference between support and a true mentor). A mentor to observes on the job and in turn observe you providing feedback (coaching) through job performance. Also the mentor and mentee sitting down and talking through events and situations to analyze the thought process how each should be handled correctly. Also the mentor sharing experiences and how he/she made small and even big/tough decisions.
I’ve always believed on-the-job training is better than reading a book or attending work shops (these have value though!). What better option than having a mentor coaching you before taking a leadership position then as you perform as a new leader once in that first position!
In the educational world, many districts (larger districts with more resources) have aspiring leader programs preparing future leaders. The first step is learning leadership skills in a workshop/classroom environment and shadowing a leader in the district. A journal with reflections should be kept throughout the process. I believe without reflection there is not true learning!! After going through this process, a mentor should be assigned to this person after they are appointed to their first leadership position…..which is usually the Assistant Principal position. Coaching the new A.P. (with the A.P.’s Principal as part of the TEAM) the first year or two or until performance indicates the A.P. has demonstrated the necessary skills effective leaders must possess.
I am obviously leaving out numerous details but wanted to share how important it is for aspiring leaders to have a mentor. A trusting confidant helping guide you through those first years setting up a path of success. In the business world, there are repercussions for leaders that fail. In the educational world, I believe the repercussions are much greater. The future of our country and world depend on our students getting a world class education prepared to take on the world. If competent leaders are not in place to support and guide teachers and students, learning suffers and the desired outcome is less than the students deserve. All students deserve the best and we are obligated to provide it!!