Friday, July 2, 2010

A Conversation About "Our" School

Principals always want to hear from their teachers and other employees about how things are going. Earlier in the week I participated in a session at Royal Oak High School outside of Detroit. Principal Michael Greening holds two or three informal "conversations" every summer with his staff. The sessions provide an opportunity for people to talk about successes as well as challenges and since Michael's arrival these conversations have become an important part of the school's culture. Michael and the other administrators listen, comment occasionally, but strive to hear from teachers about the school's program. Several major school improvement initiatives were originally discussed during these meetings and the conversation helped to create a shared agenda for addressing each issue. Three questions guided the conversation:
  • What do we do well?
  • What are our biggest challenges in the coming school year?
  • What will our school look like in 2013?
These meetings are a great way to open communication, seek informal consensus, and get an agenda for continuing school improvement.

I'm always looking for good ideas that principals can use and would enjoy learning about ways you work with teachers and other staff to improve your school.

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