Facing Embracing the Future
It’s been a bit over a year since my last blog post. In that year, I have completed my first full year as principal and finished my doctoral dissertation. I am reminded of Catlin Tucker’s end of year blog post as I sit here in my quiet, empty office feeling a mix of guilt, exhaustion, and anticipation. I feel guilty about the things I didn’t get to, and the students and parents who left the school year feeling unconnected to the school. I am exhausted, fighting a cold that has been exacerbated by the emotional and physical energy that goes into closing out a school year. And yet I also feel stirrings of anticipation, with hope and resolve to address things that didn’t work out as well as I would have liked this year. I’m ready to reflect on what I learned this year and plan for ways that my learning will benefit the students, teachers, and community at my site in the 2017-2018 school year.
In order to tackle the unmet challenges and support staff, students, and families in new way, I will focus in 2017-2018 on two key areas:
- Data. For me, data-driven decision-making is not about CAASPP scores. It’s about using data to identify strengths and challenges for students, both individually and collectively, and then using our strong instructional strategies and collaborative planning to find ways to best build upon those strengths and address gaps. It’s about facing the reality of which students are currently being left behind, and then building the institutional resolve to meet that challenge head-on. I have committed to building weekly time for grade level teams to meet to talk about data and design appropriate supports for students.
- Relationships. PBIS starts with the word Positive, and our relationships with students and families must start on the positive as well. At the end of the school year I brought in a team to review and revise our systems of behavior expectations, student recognition, and consequences. We will be implementing Morning Meetings across all grade levels when we return in August as a way to support positive relationships and build readiness for learning. I am committed to finding more ways to recognize staff for the amazing things they do, since a positive environment is not limited to just the classroom.
The 2017-2018 school year will be here before I know it. I’ve got a couple of weeks of vacation to renew and rejuvenate, and then it will be back to the best job in the world at the best place in the world – principal of Victoriano.