New Year New You?

thinking-person-md

At the end of every academic year teachers and principals reflect.  Let’s be serious, we reflect for about thirty seconds on what went well and what we are proud of, and then we torture ourselves all summer over what we will do better next year.  If you are anything like me, you think about it constantly and over analyze it to death.  Questions like…How can I decrease the time it takes for teachers to submit data in a timely manner?  How can we be more efficient with our student support team?  How can we access necessary mental health programs for our students?  In what ways can we be better overall?  However, recently I have asked myself this question:

Is it me and my leadership style that needs to change to move our school forward?

It sounds a little selfish, I know.  But really, how many times do you stop and think about yourself and the impact your behavior and actions have on others?  I realized recently that I also welcome collaborative reflection as a part of my process.  Allowing others to have input provides multifaceted perspectives I may not have considered.  Using an individual and collaborative approach has helped me arrive at some very important conclusions for the future of our school.

Last year, we spent much of our professional development time establishing and modeling effective professional learning communities (PLC).  Each of us took a version of the Meyers Briggs personality inventory.  Some members of our staff had been involved in personality identification and training prior to this year; however, after finding out what their four letter combination there wasn’t much done with the information.  Our teachers used their four letter combination to determine who they were individually as a professional.  The next step was to take inventory of all the members of the PLC and identify a collective personality style.  Finally, we spent time discussing how we give and receive information in the PLC setting and how that could be deterring our teams from our mission:  to be the best for our students.  As administrators we participated in the learning along with the teachers.

I learned my personality type is an ESTJ:  The Guardian.  After searching the web to find power words to summarize ESTJ’s here is what I found: objective, decisive, realistic, analytical, practical, dependable, organized, logical, responsible, and systematic.  In knowing all of these things about myself, most of which I knew before this professional development activity, I have been more aware how others receive information I communicate to them.  For example,  we have an amazing teacher in our school.  Her personality type is an ISFJ: The Nurturer.  We had a really difficult time communicating simply because she wanted to be heard.  I listened, but found I jumped too quickly to try to solve the problems she shared.  Just knowing that about her, I was able to receive information from her without jumping to the analytical, take charge me to solve problems.

Back to my question:

Is it me and my leadership style that needs to change to move our school forward?

There may be a more self-aware version of myself leading this school year.  I have read some terrific books over the last few months that have energized my passion for the challenges we face in schools.  I know our teachers will recognize this renewed spirit as we begin the school year.  My goal, rather than presenting a new me this year, is to be the type of leader who makes those around me better.  I plan to do this by committing to be a better leader today than I was yesterday by using constant, honest reflection.  How will you make this year better than last year?

Sincerely Yours,

HMG

Next Up:  Why You Should Be Afraid of Pandas

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About HMG

Most importantly, I am a wife and mom. I have two beautiful children. Our family faces the same individual and family challenges you do. Professionally, I have taught first and fifth grade, was an instructional/reading coach at the elementary and intermediate level, a building principal and assistant principal. I truly believe the key to being happy is to find the silver lining in all things. It's our time to make positive change in our world - let's do this!

Posted on July 10, 2014, in Reflective Practice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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