At the beginning of the semester I said that the top three personnel issues are professional development, evaluations and building relationships. I still maintain that these three areas are the top issues.
Professional development is critical to improving skill sets and moving teachers forward in their practice. With the implementation of common core standards, computer based assessments, increase in English language learners, the need to differentiate instruction, etc., there is a constant need to review and train staff. Professional development is an opportunity for staff to come together and collaborate and share ideas. Using tools such as twitter and GoToMeeting could be helpful in this endeavor. I already use Edmodo in my staff meetings. I post all of our staff meeting agendas as well as any other paperwork for my staff on our edmodo site. Teachers can access it anywhere and at anytime. I think some of my teachers might be interested in using twitter to collaborate, especially with teachers from other sites. Additionally, these same resources can be used in the classroom with students. This is critical as our students live in a technology rich world. Using these resources in class helps build an engaging classroom environment.
Evaluation is the top issue in my opinion. Evaluation encompasses all of the other issues together. The California Standards for the Teaching Profession are used in teacher evaluations at my site and most any site in California. This is the benchmark for effective teaching practices. I use evaluations to seek out new leaders and to help struggling teachers improve. Evaluations give me the chance to find teachers who are looking for the chance to try something new or who want to take on the challenge of leadership roles at the school. This is one way that I attempt to do succession planning at my site. Succession planning is critical for filling positions left open when teachers move on or when as a site or district I am looking for someone to take over a leadership position. Grooming teachers for future leadership roles is a part of succession planning.
The third important personnel issue is building relationships. Building relationships occurs in all facets of personnel issues. Relationships can make or break a staff and a school. Positive relationships will help a school grow and keep morale high. With strong positive relationships on a staff, it is easier to tackle tough issues like diversity, evaluations, and conflict resolution. Developing positive relationships with staff also helps teach staff how to develop those same relationships with students and parents. The relationships that staff have with their students are critical to the students success. Fostering these relationships will also help in building tolerance and understanding for culturally diverse populations on our campus.
Through continuous professional development, evaluating my staff, and building positive relationships, I am creating a positive school community. While I chose three issues as the top personnel issues, all of the personnel issues that we discussed in class are important. In my self-reflection as a school leader I will continue to assess how all of these personnel issues affect my staff, my school, and myself.