Week 1 Discussion – Working to Improve Teaching and Learning
After completing this week’s readings, review the “Reflective Exercise” at the end of Chapter 1.
We all know that the shift from hierarchical leadership to one of more collegiality is slowly evolving. We have had discussions in this program about the importance of teacher leadership, and there will be more as we continue to study the many facets of school executive leadership. However, we also know that high-stakes testing is still at the forefront and can overshadow what we really want to see in our continuing efforts to nurture teacher leadership. There is a Reflective Exercise at the end of Chapter 1 that illustrates this concept very well.
- As a principal, how will you address your
- How will you work with the teachers in your building next year to improve teaching and learning?
Your initial response is due by 11:55 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday and should be between 200-250 words. The initial posting should be a statement of your point of view on the question, supported by the required readings.
For the purpose of this reflective exercise, assume that you recently accepted a position as a school principal in a district where the principal is assigned the primary responsibility for instructional supervision at each school. When you interview for the position with the superintendent, you made it clear to her that you would take a collegial approach to supervision, including the fostering of teachers as instructional leaders.
It is now just a few weeks prior to when you are to become principal, and earlier today you received a call from the superintendent during which she informed you that the results of the state’s annual high-stakes achievement test have just been received and your new school has failed the state test. The superintendent states that while she agrees in principle with your ideas on collegial supervision your first year as principal will not be a good time for collegiality. The superintendent tells you that in light of the failing test scores the coming school year will be a time for demanding that teachers focus on improving students’ test performance and closely monitoring teachers’ instruction to make sure it is focused on the state’s test objectives. You remain committed to collegial supervision, but you also prefer not to be relieved of your new position as principal because of a conflict with the superintendent over the best approach to instructional supervision. As principal and instructional supervisor, how will you address the superintendent’s concerns? How will you work with the school’s teachers over the next year to improve teaching and learning?