Embodying Visionary Leadership

As I continue to think about the Principal Quality Standards and the ways I work to develop these in my life, I am thrilled with the power in reflection. A few years ago I participated in the Leadership20 webinar and group and found it to be a provocation to start this blog and use it as a focal point for my professional growth. Through Twitter and blogs I get to hear the things that are going on in other schools, other divisions, other provinces, and even in other countries. I love the feeling of gratification when I see or hear someone doing something similar to what I have undertaken, and am grateful for the challenge of working towards those areas that I think I need to improve.

I have looked over the current Mission and Vision at my new school. The statements are cumbersome and will need to be reworked. We have started the process of reworking these by looking at the values we have as a staff.

I feel that I have met this criteria by doing the following:

  • I know that all people have leadership potential. This leadership will look different depending on the person and the situation.
  • Developing a vision is of utmost importance. We will address this in the near future
  • Working with students, parents, and staff and clarifying with them the vision of the school.
  • Through our Divisional Three Year Education Planning process, and the development of the new Mission and Vision, we worked with students, staff, and parents to understand our strengths, along with our areas of growth.  This was a collaborative endeavour that was well received by the school community. The results of this document are listed on the Sturgeon School Division Website, and the Vision and mission are posted in our schools.
  • I have worked hard to include parents and staff of school initiatives that are based on current and future school community needs through open communication.  This has included communication through monthly newsletters, as well as using a conversational media through the Landing Trail School FaceBook page..
  • We take opportunity to celebrate the things we do as a school. Our assemblies are celebrations and we invite parents to attend and celebrate with us. I believe that the school needs to function as, and think of itself as a family.  This has been shown in posts discussing the school assemblies, participation in events like the Terry Fox Run and the Sturgeon Cross Country Run, Concerts, etc.
  • A visionary leader shares and communicates the vision with all stakeholders. I make it a habit to regularly talk about the goals we have as a school. This might look like an informal discussion in the staffroom, part of a staff meeting, a parent council meeting, or even a discussion with students.
  • I like to share leadership information and invite others on staff and outside of the staff to share in leadership information and opportunities that I think are valuable. There are those on staff that can be promoted in their journey by encouragement, sharing information, and mentoring. I take that role very seriously.
  • I take time to research current and recurrent topics that come up including:
    • Full Day Kindergarten
    • Reporting To Parents
    • Assessment practices
    • Words their Way
    • Teachers observing each other
    • Using Data to drive practice

I have realized, however, that I have another role to play in this process.  Something that I have learned is that I cannot step aside and hope for the best with these teams . Each team has a number of people with a lot of leadership abilities, but these people are also busy individuals with very important things that can take their attention away from the leadership responsibilities they have been given. In the past, I have seen committees lose focus and effectiveness. Upon reflection, I realized that my role in this is to supervise and to help the groups maintain their focus. I have taken a more active role in each group and ask questions about progress and offer ideas as to what I think may help move the group and their goals forward.

Darryl Propp

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