In order to facilitate leadership and create a stable school environment, the role of the Principal is not a power and control endeavour. Further, “enabling” processes are imperative. Schooling by Design is process-oriented. It clearly lays out responsibilities and roles. An example of facilitating leadership in others comes from the Chapter 1, “Mission” and chapter 7 entitled, “The Role of Academic Leader”. Springbank Community High School creates processes through backwards design. Schooling By Design is illustrated nicely in this document. Mission is also important.
In the 2011-2012 school year, we did a considerable amount of work with respect to the Role of the Academic Leader (Wiggins and McTighe). If we want people to lead and assist in leadership, we have to define the roles they plan in this transformation. As a leader, it is important to create agreements that guide our work. The Role of Academic Leader document, like all documents created in processes is a open and organic document. It provides those who aspire to leadership in the 21st century at the Department level.
The goal this year was to change the concept of what a 21st Century teacher professional is. To view the newly created Professional Handbook, click here.
Flipped Staff “Think Tank”
In order to get the best outcome from staff, the concept of the “staff meeting” is obsolete. If I want feedback from staff on trivial ministrivia, I ask for that feedback through a “form”. For staff meetings, we tackle ideas, concepts, philosophy. I start each staff Think Tank a week beforehand. Staff are invited to view and read various curated websites, videos, and articles posted for them before the meeting. It is their responsibility to do this. Using Backwards design, I post a “Big Idea”, along with “Essential Questions”. At the Staff “Think Tank”, we discuss what we viewed in the context of the school/divisional goals. Departments present promising practices. One per staff meeting. Further, we have dedicated time for Advisory grade groups to view PL (available on Moodle). Broken into 6 “sound byes”, the PL focuses on School Connectedness). Advisory groups discuss the School Connectedness soundbytes, plan and discuss Advisory and post events to Moodle. We also talk about changes that are happening beyond our school-view, i.e. Provincial, Divisional initiatives, but the bulk is about thinking beyond our current view.