Learn from and listen to teachers

Classroom teachers are with students all day, and use technologies and tools with students. A tech-savvy administrator knows it’s important to listen to teachers–if a tool doesn’t work or is not effective, classroom teachers are often the first to alert someone to the situation. By having an open-door policy, administrators encourage teachers to not be afraid of sharing negative experiences that can, in the end, improve teaching and learning.

Make it OK to fail

Part of learning is recognizing what does, and what does not, work. But often, today’s educators are so afraid of failure that they are hesitant to try new things for fear of the outcome. Strong administrators encourage their teachers and staff to try new things, because they realize that there are valuable lessons in failure, too.

Learn from and listen to students

Knowledgeable administrators don’t ignore some of their districts’ most important voices–student voices. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, and as learning is changing and becoming more tech-based and more personalized, students ought to have a say in how they learn. When administrators show that they value student input, not only are students empowered, but they take more ownership of their learning and achievement.

Model the success you want to see

Do you want to see teachers engaging in collaborative planning? Strive for the same in top-level administrative meetings. Is there a new app or software you’d like to implement? Try it out yourself. By modeling the desired district behaviors or practices, administrators not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk.

Value every stakeholder

Community members, business owners, parents, students–all are education stakeholders, all have the potential to contribute to and change local and district schools for the better, and all are important. Administrators who secure buy-in and gather opinions from all stakeholders are on the right path to success, because they’ve got support behind them. When stakeholders feel that their viewpoints are heard, they feel valued.

Laura Ascione

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