Philosophy of Education
All children are capable of learning at high levels when given the right structures and support. It is the responsibility of educators to meet the individual needs of each student so they can reach their full potential and pursue any career path they may choose after school. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs tells us that basic needs must be met, safety ensured, and belonging is incorporated before learning can take place. It is the role of the school leader to not only meet those three needs for students, but also for the teachers in the building.
Philosophy of Leading
I believe that a team is only as good as its capacity. When building a team you must look at growing the capacity of others so that everyone can contribute to the process. By doing this you can maximize the efficiency of the team and ensure that all parts are working at high levels. This type of leadership relies on high levels of motivation, ambitious goal setting, and clear expectations for all members of the team. It is the role of the leader to guide and put the right people in places to allow them to thrive in their strengths and grow in their weaknesses; a leader’s role also includes setting the vision and direction of the school so that each person is moving in the same directions towards a common goal.
Vision of Learning
A vision of learning should answer the questions: “Why are we here? What are our goals? How do we achieve our goals?” Once those questions have been answered then we have our vision of learning.
I personally believe that educators are in the business of helping students become problem solvers through critical thinking skills that lead them to being successful in whatever pathway they may choose after high school. To be successful, students must have skills such as collaboration, responsibility, respect, dedication, and drive. It is the role of a school and educators to facilitate this learning in the classroom.
The goals and how to achieve them should be derived as a whole school so that there is commitment to the vision. Without authentic commitment to the school’s vision of learning, the goals will never be attained. It takes all educators believing they are responsible for the learning of all students to make this happen.
Vision For Teacher
Teachers work best in collaboration with others. It is my vision to create structured time for teachers to work in collaborative teams to grow in their instructional practices. Teachers are lifelong learners and providing those opportunities allows teachers to be the best they can for students year in and year out. Creating a positive and healthy climate will also contribute to the academic achievement of the students. When teachers are enjoying their work and they feel supported and heard, they can give more of their attention to the students and know how to best serve them.
Vision for Organization
Each person has a key responsibility in the school and having clear expectations and communication will contribute to the pieces working in collaboration and harmony with one another. As the leader of the school, it is my job to make sure the appropriate people are in places where they will be successful, and set clear expectations for daily and long term goals.
Vision for Curriculum and Instruction
What drives curriculum and instruction is the unique needs of the students in the classroom. What each student needs will change from year to year and even class to class. A curriculum should be one that educators are able to adapt, modify, and extend depending on what is needed in that moment. This requires a high level of skill on the educators part and vast repertoire of instructional strategies at their disposal.
These instructional strategies should be highly engaging and rely on student discovery and learning through mistakes and collaboration. There should be a significant amount of structured student talking and very little of the teacher standing and delivering the information to the class.
Curriculum should be research and evidence based, so that all educators in the same content area are providing the same essential learning to students. Curriculum should be reviewed at the end of each school year after summative testing results are available to see if the curriculum is meeting the needs of our students.
Vision for Engaging All Stakeholders
The saying “it takes a village” is how I view education. Schools are only as good as their partnerships with parents, communities, business, district employees, and school building employees. It is the responsibility of the school leader to create connections so that all stakeholders can be an integral part of the school and shape the lives and learning of students.
A clear and concise communication plan is essential for the success of engaging everyone. No one part is more important than another, and therefore each stakeholder should be taken into consideration when building the communication plan for the school.