Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Model, Confront, and Laugh ... a lot

Part 3 of 4

Let's keep rolling along with the Leadership Behaviors every Principal Should Master (notice humility is not on the list.)

7. Be the Change you want to see in your school (apologies to Ghandi)

Good teaching begins with good modeling and the principal has the enviable position of serving as the model for so many things to the students and staff. I've already posted recently on this subject so here is a list of a few things I believe are important to model.

Model productive relationships
Model sound instruction
Model use of technology in service of learning
Model Lifelong learning
Model balance between work and family
Model good character including integrity, compassion, generosity, etc.
Model high standards in all aspects of work and life

8. Face the Hideous Beast (AKA Confront Unproductive Behavior Productively)
This one is down near the bottom because it is one of my weaknesses, but it is a must. My preferred modus operendi is to stick my head in the sand, but that doesn't seem to be very effective. I've learned to confront behavior that I believe to be unproductive, always trying to keep the admonishee's sense of dignity in tact. This refers to interactions with teachers as well as students. I remember observing an administrator partner of mine take a kid apart verbally (he deserved it) when I first entered administration. I soon learned that such a style didn't work for me. I was able to find a style of discipline that worked for my personality. The important thing is that unproductive behavior not be ignored, however the manner of confrontation will vary depending on the personality and belief system of the confronter.

9. Laughter is good medicine or "A spoonful of sugar makes the initiatives go down".
Humor can get you in a lot of trouble if you're not careful, but I have found it is an effective tool to keep things in perspective and remind us all to laugh and enjoy life since we're all working so hard. One of the greatest compliments I received lately came from my Superintendent's visit last spring when he said, "Everybody is so happy around here." It was off the cuff and I think represents the tone of our school "most of the time". Humor contributes to that culture and, I believe, leads to greater productivity and better mental health for everyone.

1 comment:

Junie B. said...

Glad to hear that the Superintendent sees our school as a happy place...I agree. Kudos to you for building that school climate in the past few years.