Our guest is Frederick Brown. Fred is the Deputy Executive Director with Learning Forward. He comes to this conversation as a former teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Today we are focusing on the role of building principals in our schools.
Leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school. ~Kenneth Leithwood
How does a principal bring effective practices to scale in a school, creating the environment of collective responsibility and shared leadership that increases student learning? The principal sets the tone and develops the culture, plus being sure the right people are on the bus!! A principal thinks differently!! Principals find TIME for common planning for educators to think about their practice.
How do SYSTEMS create and support a culture of learning at both the district and each building? They create a clear vision of effective teaching. Fred shares an example of Fort Wayne, Indiana and how this district has created an environment that focuses on LEARNING, using ALL of the Standards of Professional Learning!
What is the “dance” between the central office and buildings? How does a district create a vision that creates learning environments good for adults? For Students? For entire districts? It is informed and supported by the central office folks with ownership by the building leaders. How is learning structured in your building/district? What are your standards and definitions? Within this culture of continuous improvement, principals create their ownlearning communities. Check out Becoming a Learning System! What a great book. he authors (Stephanie Hirsh, Kay Psencik, and Frederick Brown) LIVE this work!!
Final thought – We know that in any classroom or school across our country there is a child who may change the world for the better. Our work around professional learning and creating effective learning environments allows students to shine!!