Quality schools are important to me personally as a parent of 3 children. I have always tried to do everything I can to ensure my children get the best education possible. As a parent, I could be satisfied with the fact that my children are achieving in school. However, as an ethical educator, I must lead the buildings and district in making sure that all children have an equitable opportunity to achieve. In sharing my philosophy of education, I want to address two questions that commonly are asked of educational leaders.
1) “As a leader what will you do to establish ethical behaviors that promote student achievement and organizational success?”
I like the way the first question above is worded. Student achievement is in the center of the sentence, wedged between ethical behaviors and organizational success. Students are the center of what we do. I must start by cultivating and leading an ethical culture in our district. This begins and ends with the Superintendent. I will recognize and respect the interests of all staff and students. I will constantly be looking for ways to say yes. There will come times when no will be the answer. But it will be done fairly and equitably. I will exhibit servant leadership. Continually asking questions like, “how can I help with that?” I will do my best to explore and understand all sides of an issue before coming to a decision. This is key to building an ethical and fair culture within the district which must come first before we can move forward.
2) "What do you stand for as an educational leader?”
The second question above is my favorite and is at the root of my philosophy of education. I have come to understand that I stand for:
Student Achievement: If we hold all students to high expectations, they can and will learn and achieve. I believe this, and I will continue to take the lead in making this part of our district vision.
Collaboration: We must work together in a collaborative fashion to develop the vision and culture of our district. We have to ask for input, and value that input, from all stakeholders as we make decisions about our district. Doing this while always keeping our focus on what is best for our students, we can truly make a difference.
Quality Instruction: As the leader of the District, I will continually encourage Administration to work collaboratively with staff to reflect on their instructional practices and always be looking for ways to improve. Teachers should collaborate in teams to help each other with feedback on instruction. Administrators must be in the classrooms giving honest, non-threatening, productive feedback to staff. We must constantly reflect on our practices.
KIDS: They are at the center of what we do. Rigor, relevance, and relationships are key to the success of our students. To me, the relationship piece is the key to unlock all the other components. If we take the time and effort to understand the culture and background of all of our students, then we are well on our way to success for all. We must embrace those cultures and provide a caring place for all children and adults. If our students sense that we care and understand where they are coming from, then they will put forth more effort in our classrooms.
I look forward to working with students, staff, parents and the community to reach these goals. Communication is the key. I’m always open to new thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to share them with me.