If asked to name a movie that accurately describes educational leadership, I think the answer would be “Fast and Furious”. My movie selection isn’t based on the storyline, rather the title of the film. Educational leadership, whether on the campus or at the district level, happens at lightening speed. There is so much to be done, that you pull up your sleeves to get it done and then look up and realize that months have passed you by. This blog is about how to make sure you stop each week to reflect on your work.
Most of us are great about reflecting at the end of the school year. We look back on the year and determine whether things worked well. The end of year reflection is to plan for a better school year for the upcoming school year. For the sake of this post, I challenge you on whether an end of year reflection is all that’s need for educational improvement.
I believe reflection must take place on a weekly basis. Our months are made up of weeks. If we don’t make small reflections, we will continue to do things that are not effective for months, and heaven forbid, even an entire school year... and then realize that it didn’t work.
Questions to guide your weekly reflection:
Some of your answers can lead to immediate tweaks and immediate improvement. Some of your answers may take a long-range plan that will take time to bring about improvement. Small tweaks and long-range changes are both important. The key is identifying in a timely matter what changes need to be made and then get work improving them.
What changes have you made recently based on genuine reflection?
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.