As a school administrator, I evaluate staff on a daily basis both informally and formally. I visit classrooms and observe instruction. I have conversations with teachers about instruction, curriculum, and how best to meet student needs. I provide feedback on instructional strategies and lessons taught to help teachers improve upon their practice. Throughout all of this, I am able to help strong teachers evolve into leadership positions within our school site.
Leaders within a school site can take on many different roles. It could be a teacher who is strong at mentoring new teachers. It could be a teacher who is involved with committees or leadership groups on campus. It might also be the teacher leading student leadership groups and planning student activities.
As I evaluate teachers both inside and outside the classroom, I observe how they interact with students and with their colleagues. I observe what learning is taking place inside their classrooms. When I notice a teacher that is really strong inside the classroom, I begin to have conversations with them about how they might be able to share their expertise and their talents. I'll ask those teachers to share their ideas within staff meetings. I'll send them to conferences to learn new ideas that can challenge them in the classroom. I'll talk to them about taking a new struggling teacher under their wing and giving them support.
Sometimes through the evaluation process, I'll find a teacher who loves working with students and getting involved in extra curricular activities. I will try and pair that teacher with my student activities director. I will encourage them to chaperone activities and attend student leadership meetings. I will send them to student activities conferences and workshops. These teachers often become the leaders of school clubs, student organizations, and student leader groups.
Many times, in conversations with teachers, they will share their desire to become an administrator. With these teachers, I will often find leadership opportunities on campus for them. I will ask them to serve on committees and be a part of leadership groups. I will find ways for them to spend time in the office seeing the day to day school management activities. Additionally, I will find opportunities within the school district for these teachers to get involved with and learn about.
I also encourage teachers to help develop staff trainings and carry out those trainings for their colleagues. Teachers teaching teachers is a great way to cultivate leaders in a staff. This helps younger staff identify colleagues that can help them with their instructional and curricular needs. It also makes teachers feel more confident in their own practice by letting them show off their strengths to their colleagues.
My teachers are all leaders within their own classrooms. I try and encourage them to be leaders outside of their classrooms. By providing them with a variety of opportunities to showcase their skills, they in turn become stronger within their classroom walls.