Recent research continues to point out the importance of the principal and his or her impact on the achievement of students. It is the principal, more than anyone else, who is in a position to ensure that excellent teaching and learning are part of every classroom. In fact, leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors as an influence on learning (Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom, and Anderson, 2010) To date we have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership. (University of Minnesota and Toronto(2010)
Further, researchers have determined how difficult the work of a building principal is and the lack of preparation regarding all of the facets of the job. Developing leadership capacity to improve school conditions is difficult work - few educators have the background and experience to do this important work (Fullan, 2001, 2005; Wayman, Midgley & Stringfield, 2006) And, it often requires deep emotional and intellectual work to work through the complexity of second order change (Marzano, Waters, & McNally, 2009)
So how do the tough get leading in tough times? How can you look for opportunity during what Michael Fullan calls the “Perfect Storm?” How can you develop your leadership capacity in these tough times to lead through the rough waters? I believe that with a focus on the most important work of the principalship, the development of a network of leaders from across the state to support you in the work, and the gift of a monthly coaching call to support you and hold you accountable for the implementation could be the answer!
MEMSPA as an organization has a mission, as a community of learners to dedicate resources toward advocating and supporting leading learners! One of the ways that MEMSPA supports its principals is by providing premiere professional learning. Why not consider joining the over 100 Pre-school through high school leaders who have already completed Leadership Matters as part of cohorts 1-6? Become a part of an elite group of learning leaders who have strengthened their leadership skills, built a network of support, and applied skills and strategies learned that enhance the work to a higher level of integrity, courage, and reflection.
Here are five reasons to apply to become a member of cohort seven of Leadership Matters:
1. Learning! The days of the principalship focused on being just a manager are long gone. No longer is the work just about the 4 B’s-buildings, boilers,
books, and buses, but about building the learning and leading capacity, the motivation and influence of others as leading learners. The themes of Leadership Matters focus on courage and integrity, building a collaborative culture, intentionality, and reflection. Learn the essential skills and strategies that a leading learner needs, to provide the right amount of accountability and support.
2. Networking! As a cohort group, you will learn with and from each other. A group of elementary, middle level, and high school administrators, teacher leaders, and aspiring administrators who hail from rural, suburban, and urban districts. This diversity allows for a cross culture of different perspectives, ideas, and support that is varied and enhances the learning experience.
3. Coaching! I call this a monthly gift! The job of a principal is lonely and there
is not always someone available who you trust to provide perspective, support and assist you in thinking through problems and brainstorming solutions. The program provides a one-hour coaching call each month with one of the learning facilitators.
4. Resources! The books and articles used in the program are relevant to the
work! Learn essential protocols that you can apply to your work immediately. The facilitation methods during the learning episodes are engaging and can be used back at your school with your own staff.
5. Caring! You are the number one cheerleader for your school and your
teachers and staff. It is time to do something for you! As a leader it is imperative that you model the importance of learning and staying current! Registration for Leadership Matters includes attendance at MEMSPA’s Summer Leadership Institute next August!
Here are a few quotes of affirmation from your colleagues who participated in Leadership Matters, Cohort 6!
“Leadership Matters has provided me with amazing friendships, critical resources, and a confidence to be a better and more effective leader. It has opened my eyes to ways to work smarter not harder and how to empower my teachers to grow capacity.”
“I have found the Leadership Matters training to be the most influential training I have received during my 25+ years as an educator. I was challenged to look at situations from a different perspective, and am a better educator because of this. The resources I gained (books, mentors, activities, and colleagues) will be with me for the rest of my life.”
“During a time of great leadership challenges, I was grateful for the leadership learning time spent with a group of like-minded principals. Not a month went by where I didn't look forward to meeting with Cohort 6, along with being continually encouraged under the direction of Derek Wheaton and Debbie McFalone.”
"Leadership Matters has been fantastic! Collaborating with colleagues from across the state, focusing on our craft of school leadership, challenging each other to get better, and making friends that we'll have for a lifetime! Not to mention incredible facilitators - Debbie and Derek - who planned a wonderful sequence of learning for all of us. Who would have thought that after 9 months, we didn't want it to end?"
Won’t you consider joining Debbie McFalone and me and become a member of cohort seven of Leadership Matters? Registration costs can be paid for with Title 2 Professional Learning dollars; school district funds and a reasonable monthly payment plan can be accessed as well. Principal’s need support! The work is more difficult than ever! Supporting learning is essential! When leading gets tough, the tough get leading! Become a part of Leadership Matters Cohort Seven! Click the link to register! Leadership Matters Registration