What makes a good School Administrator?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Cpd Crusader, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Apr 23, 2008

    I am an adminstrator in training (graduate school), with the hope of one day being an educational leader in an elementary or middle school. What are some things teachers consider when they evaluate quality school leadership?
     
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  3. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Hi Cpd Crusader-

    I am also back in school getting my administration certification. It is a 2 year program. However, I am not ready to leave the classroom. I have been teaching for 10 years.

    Anyway, I have to say I have learned a lot in my first year. I am now seeing things from an administrators point of view of how they work and run the school. I am happy that I have taken these classes. In fact, my relationship with my principal is better because I understand her thinking and why she does things in a certain way.

    Things I look for in an administrator:
    1. be a good listener
    2. open door policy - be available during the day
    3. be visible in your building
    4. be consistent in your decisions
    5. make small changes. Do not come in changing everything.

    I think that I cam going to have to stop because I know what I am looking for and hope to be. Good luck.

    How far are you in your program? BTW how many field intern hours do you have to do?

    jen
     
  4. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Apr 23, 2008

    Supportive of teachers.
    Visible!
    Approachable!
    Willing to listen and implement new ideas.
    Will be fair.
     
  5. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Apr 23, 2008

    Wow!!!

    Hey Jen...
    I would have to say that your list has some really great points. It seems that teachers really appreciate a good listener. I am soooo with you on visibility! Visibility is crucial to establishing key relationships with teachers and students (especially the behaviorally challenged),I feel this is a KEY component in any leadership position. I would like to add to your list the self coined phrase..."consistent flexibility"! I am learning that as a leader the ability to establish consistent patterns, means you have be willing to meet teachers 1/2 way! If a leader can show that he/she cares about teachers needs and concerns, it will go a long way in establishing meaningful teacher and school efficacy.

    P.S. I have 2 semesters of internship at the end of my program. However, I am presently a team leader over 5 teachers. I teach 5th grade in a middle school setting. I am currently at the beginning of my program.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Great ideas so far. For me, it is also very important that my administrator not be out-of-touch with what it is like to be a classroom teacher; they need to remember what exactly it is we are going through every day. When my administrator can offer me practical examples ("When I taught grade ____ and this happened, I tried ________") it shows they understand.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Ask questions behind close doors--in public support your teachers. Chew on me behind close doors--in public support me.
     
  8. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2008

    If I send a student to the office for discipline, obviously they have really done something wrong and need to be punished, as an administrator that is part of your job. So discipline the child! Don't just send them back to me.
     
  9. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    YES!!:clap: Unfortunately a lot of administrators put in their 5 years in the classroom (or whatever is required now) and totally forget what it's like to be in there every day! I like to see administrators who can be sympathetic to what life throws at you as well. Too often, administrators can get so far on a power trip, they forget that s*** happens and people are human.
     
  10. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    This is EXACTLY what I was going to say. But to add to that, if you see a problem in our discipline procedure, be open and honest with us on how we can change things.
     
  11. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Don't talk on a cell phone when I'm trying to talk about professional issues.
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    --Walk the talk! Many administrators are good at SAYING what they are going to do. Not so many are good about actually doing it.

    --Don't allow the office staff to be rude to the teachers. Same goes with cafeteria workers and custodians. If the teachers are being polite and civil, and getting nothing but surliness in return, it becomes a morale issue.

    --Deal with discipline. Make it a priority. Teachers can't teach when discipline in the school is out-of-control. Don't assume that because only a few students are being sent to the office, that things are going well in terms of discipline. Teachers often stop sending students to the office at all when they realize nothing ever happens. So they say nothing, get resentful, and find other schools that do deal with discipline. Then you lose your experienced staff.

    --Do come by the class on a regular basis. Most teachers are great, but some are not, and you need to be able to tell them apart.

    --Don't judge a teacher entirely based on their test scores.

    --Don't overload all the problem students into one or two classes, because "the teacher can handle it." Just because you are good with classroom management, doesn't mean you should be saddled with the worst behaved students year-after-year.

    --Don't forget to recognize teachers who go above-and-beyond. ...you know, the ones that come to every school function, that serve on the committee that no one wants to serve on, etc.

    --Make sure your teachers' planning time is sacred!
     
  13. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Ouch! I smell what you are stepping in ;o)
     
  14. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Great Advice!

    Hey Rainstorm.....:up:
    GREAT ADVICE!!!! :thanks:I have been teaching for 16 years. I have experience with pre-k, 3rd and I presently teach 5th grade. I understand your feelings about an administrator who "walk's the talk", I feel it is so important for administrators to establish quality relationships with students, staff and faculty in a school. It makes is so much easier to relate and discuss issues during the difficult times (which will always be there). Consistent visibility is the key!
    Handling discipline and allowing teachers to have a productive learning environment, is one of the many reasons schools have administrators. I feel students who choose to interrupt student learning either need to be removed from the setting or allowed to spend time away from the classroom. Parents will also need to be involved for students which consistently disrupt the learning environment. If they can't behave at school, then they can practice behaving at home with their parents!
    I also believe strongly in protecting instruction and planning times. There are 2 times during a day when a teacher needs uninterrupted time... instruction and planning times. These times are essential to the success of any productive teacher and ultimately to the success of the students. It also allows teachers to feel their time is valued! I hate when my class is interrupted by the office because a parent is on the phone or some other minor incident which can most likely be dealt with during planning or after school (e-mail is best).
    The most important thing I think you said was "Don't forget to recognize teachers." With the many challenges of No Child Left Behind, the public, governmental, and system level administration have forgotten the most IMPORTANT part in the success of public schools, the teacher! Establishing a learning community (school), with the teachers as the foundation is essential to student success! Teacher efficacy is at an all time low... administrators should do everything in their power to allow teachers to be successful! Students needs are important, because without them we wouldn't have schools, but teachers make effective schools work!
    I could go on all day Rainstorm...;o) Thanks for sharing .....:up:
     
  15. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Hey Jen....
    Check out Rainstorm's list ;o)
     
  16. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Ouch... I smell what your are stepping in ;o)
     
  17. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Rainstorm has a lot to say andlet me tell I get that at times. Every year, I get 1-2 behavior kids that are not classified in my room but of my classroom management. I feel for Rainstorm on that. Thanks for the info!!
     
  18. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    students interest in mind and not only $$$
     
  19. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Everything Rainstorm said....

    plus actually following through on what you say you will do.

    know the expectations of each grade level, such as you should know what each grade level is studying and what assessments are used to measure achievement.

    Be the leader in the school and not let the office staff run it all.

    Use age appropriate vocabulary when speaking at assemblies.

    Let me be creative in how I teach my students. (My principal is great about that)
     
  20. Cpd Crusader

    Cpd Crusader New Member

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    Apr 25, 2008

    Great Advice


    I like the creativity component, however as an administrator I would make sure that creativity didn't mean observing a teacher sitting at a desk on the internet while students are not engaged in meaningful academic pursuit!(I am not saying this about you, but I am sure you know what I am talking about!) Some teachers take advantage of the need for creativity and students don't benefit from that. True teacher creativity does not compromise student learning....:hugs:
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2008

    Again, I agree with everything that RainStorm said.
     

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