Month: April 2023

New Leaders: Prepare for Your Journey

Part 1: Building Relationships

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Have you accepted a new leadership opportunity? There are probably many feelings running through you right now: excitement, worry, joy, overwhelm and so much more on any given day and even in any given minute. Having been a new leader and new to school communities many times over, I have learned from my mistakes and from the things that worked well. The way you enter a community and begin your journey as a leader is important. This should be intentional work that is thoughtfully carried out with the purpose of learning about the community you are entering and making connections. 

Building Relationships is at the core of introducing yourself to a community and a key way for you to get to know a community. This is time well spent even if it takes the entire year. Meeting one on one with your direct reports as you enter your school community is an essential first step. 

Documentation is Communication

Documentation is communication.

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

When I was an administrator at a school and I had concerns about a direct report’s performance, I looked for past notes and documentation regarding observations, conversations, and other feedback. I found nothing. This was a person that had many complaints from all different constituents in the school over many years and yet there was nothing in writing. This could mean that someone might not have received clear and timely feedback about their performance and at the very least if they did, there was no follow-up to clarify goals and expectations. This does not serve anyone well: the person struggling in the job, the supervisor, and ultimately if you are in a school, the students. Documentation is a form of feedback. It leads to clarity and direct communication. There are likely few surprises when you document in a timely and clear manner.