The Urgency of Instructional Leadership (Steve Guditus)

As part of leadership (especially in a school), many things can morph into being the most urgent.  I can find myself in my office, away from students, working on one most-urgent project, and then jump to another most-urgent project.  Before I know it, the day is over, and I've only had face time with students at lunch and dismissal...and multiple most-urgent projects are still to-be-finished.  It can be easy to be sucked into the black hole of building manager and it takes a constant revisiting of urgencies, reflection and priorities to strive toward being a true instructional leader in a school.

To this end, working towards being a true instructional leader in my school will require me to:
  • Reprioritize what is truly urgent in my day: learning and teaching.
  • Each day, schedule myself for one hour of closed-door, productive, focused work on truly urgent assignments.
  • Participate in learning throughout the school day.
  • Use my PLN to continue to be a lifelong learner: it is as much as the habit as it is the content.
  • Share important resources with staff to encourage life-long learning and direction.
  • Converse with staff about learning and teaching, in a face-to-face manner.
  • Have the courage to tell someone, "I cannot do that now, but I will get it to you by X."
  • Be present in the hallways during passing to provide feedback to students and receive feedback from staff.
  • Be always positive with staff, students and parents.  The words I use matter!
I must remember that my to-do list can wait, because the students cannot.  I mustn't only say that learning and teaching is a priority, but show that through my actions; by doing so, I will further my journey towards true instructional leadership.


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