Successful leaders communicate with their teams every day and in many ways. This newsletter below is a great example of how Principal Dudek shared his vision and his promises to the staff at Blackstone Regional High School in Blackstone, MA. Be sure you read to the very end of his newsletter. There you will find a great reminder of the “why” we do what we do!
Faculty Memo: 1/6/20 – 1/10/20
Welcome to 2020! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and joyous New Year!
I know many of us think about our New Year’s resolutions and are eager to start something new and exciting. As I reflect back at the work that we have been able to accomplish, I often think about what I can do better to help support our learning community. Rather than start something new, I would like to get better at the things we are currently doing and think about how I can do things smarter, not harder! During the last year, I have begun to realize that I need to give myself permission to do the job that I can only do as a building principal. During the school day there is a lot that may get in the way of me being the instructional leader for staff. My promise to you is that I will keep myself accountable by getting into more classrooms and provide consistent and specific feedback to staff. I will do this by posting my goal outside of my office and ask people to keep me in line with this goal!
In a recent blog, Kerry Purcell shared some of her promises that she had for her staff. These promises are simple, yet, powerful enough to shift how we do education. I would like to share her promises and provide you with “my version” of promises in RED.
I promise to be in classrooms every day. To do this, Jane will continue to manage my calendar and block out time for me to get up out of the office and into classrooms (Jane was my office admin. assistant). Unless the school is on fire, I’ll keep that promise.
Principal Dudek: As I plan my calendar for the following week, I will schedule formal observations, learning walks, collaborative and feedback sessions, etc…at a minimum of 50% of the work day. Linda will remind me and pencil in meetings/admin duties only when needed. She will be my gatekeeper of time!
I promise to give you frequent feedback. I don’t just want to be in classrooms. I want to help you work smarter, not harder, for our students. I want you to do the same for me.
Principal Dudek: I am looking at different ways to provide you immediate feedback (possible audio files). I also want to engage in academic dialogue with you whenever possible. Please let me know how I can help you. Remember, our job is to empower students to take ownership of their learning. One way to do this is to be open to feedback, try new instructional strategies, and release some of the learning onto our students.
I promise to protect your time. I know that you value collaboration and that you want to keep the focus on looking at student work. However, you know me, I’m an idea machine. Hold me accountable to this promise.
Principal Dudek: I will keep meetings focused and concise. We will follow specific protocols and practices that allow us to talk about the work, summarize what we discussed, and develop next steps. I know I can TALK, please keep me focused and I will do the same with you.
I promise to keep the main thing the main thing. The state says we have a lot to do. I know this is true. But, I also believe that if we keep our focus on building readers, then everything else will fall into place.
Principal Dudek: We are focused on our ILT work and instructional focus. We are committed to building critical thinkers and proficient problem solvers.
I promise to keep our kiddos at the heart of what we do. They matter and count.
Principal Dudek: I cannot state this any better! All students, every day, every class!