Not only did I have a chance to bring down a group of my teachers to the Ron Clark Academy this week, but I was also joined by five of the Instructional Superintendents in my district. Interestingly, as I was presenting at RCA, and after I shared that I was now a principal at a public school in North Carolina, several visiting educators asked me about the kind of support I receive in my district for doing the kinds of things I am doing. I explained that I think the proof is in the pudding by having the Instructional Superintendents down here with me this week.
Support is a giant piece of moving schools forward. I feel supported by my bosses, so it encourages me to take risks and try new things. I aim to support my teachers, and I have seen so many of them try things that they never had before (room transformations, interactive games, themed lesson). At the end of the day, if what you are doing is best for students, I'll put my support behind it! As Ron says, you need to support your "runners," who are the people going above and beyond to make that difference.
I also had a chance to reflect upon my year this past week by having my summative evaluation with my supervisor. Donna and I went through my year and we really broke down everything that went on at Moore. It went quite well, and I was able to think forward about my goals for next year, which will be based on managerial leadership. This was hands-down the biggest learning curve for me this year. Learning how to work with so many budgets and aligning purchases with local, state, and federal guidelines was a nightmare at times. Title 1 money is great to have, but it also comes with more red tape than you can imagine (understandably so since it's taxpayer money). Also learning the dozens of programs and systems we have in place in my county and state for teacher evaluations, communication portals, grade books was daunting at times. Of course, all of these can be learned, so I have no doubt by this time next year I will be far more comfortable with the systems in place.