Selecting someone to lead a school is a challenge…and not one for the faint of heart!
While some of life’s choices can be determined by a process as innocuous as the sine qua non of childhood … “Rock,Paper, Scissors”… determining who will provide philosophical and instructional direction for a faculty, parents and children does not fall into that realm. Making a decision about school or district leadership is onerous because of the powerful repercussions (for good or ill) that assuredly follow any choice.
Often, the responsibility of making the choice falls into the hands of people who may (or may not) be equipped to assess the entirety of everything that is required before a successful candidate can become a successful leader. Knowing how to make better choices that are defined ,as well as transparent, is critical if minimizing the angst connected to searching for a school leader is a goal.
A brand new public charter schoolin the Northeast part of the country was faced with this daunting task. The school had been a successful private enterprise for a number of years, but had elected to change to a public charter. A school director or a brand new public charter school located in the Northeast part of the country. The school’s director recognized that the entire staff could benefit from receiving the identical training in process analysis and decision making that he had obtained earlier. After scheduling a three day training for his entire faculty, the director asked that the training be structured so as to address any pertinent concerns the staff might have connected to his retirement and the selection of his successor – both of which were scheduled for the end of the school year.
Using a process clarifies expectations
As part of the teaching and learning process, the staff identified a specific set of concerns about the replacement selection. Working through those concerns throughout the three day training allowed the staff to not only identify their issues, but clarify them and delineate the appropriate “next steps” that they would like to see implemented.
When the session facilitator completed the de-briefing report and communication with the school’s Director, he not only acknowledged the worth of the staff’s input, but shared it with the governing board and, together, they incorporated the staff suggestions and recommendations into the search criteria for a new leader.
Process validates staff input
Happily, the common problem solving language that the staff learned and used–coupled with the visible and transparent decision making tools–allowed important information to be not only heard…but acted upon, thereby validating the significance of the teaching staff as part of the decision making process in the critical selection of a new educational leader. Being able to assess situations , use a common language to investigate situations and have a codified protocol for determining both direction and implementation of strategies is key to making good decisions that are understood and respected by those who must live with them.
We at TregoEd are delighted when we can assist schools and leaders in just that way: helping them become conversant in a skill set that they can use to solve the real issues that they face.
Whether you are looking at choosing a new leader, as our charter school client was, or solving other issues within your institution, the staff at TregoED is always ready to do with you what we believe we do best: empower individuals and groups to self-determine behavior and action with clarity, purpose and vision.
Contact us at www.tregoed.org for more information about how we can help you: through staff development and training, on-site coaching, or problem-solving assistance.