When I looked for dictionary definitions, this is what I found.
Administrator - a person who manages or has a talent for managing.
Instruction - knowledge or information imparted.
Teacher - a person who teaches or instructs.
These titles were probably very applicable at the time they were coined but nowadays, these references no longer accurately describe the role of principals and vice-principals. As a vice-principal, I do carry some organizational responsibilities, but I do not see myself as 'managing', 'instructing' or 'imparting knowledge'.
Rather than focussing on managing, instructing or imparting knowledge, I believe principals and vice-principals must place an emphasis on learning. I see myself as a leader of learning. So, how do I do this?
- I participate in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) during the collaborative time that we have incorporated into our schedule this year at our school. One discussion centred around Project-Based Learning. I am very excited about an upcoming collaborative session that will focus on creating a PLN.
- I participate in study groups that focus on specific readings and topics. Recently, we have been reading 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn
- I continue to build my Personal Learning Network (PLN) through Twitter and share my thoughts and ideas to other educators globally through my blog.
- I ask questions.
- I explore new ideas and strategies with staff. An example of this is the use of social media to increase student engagement and facilitate learning.
- I encourage students to share with me what they are learning in class so I can learn from them.
- I listen to students and help them learn from their mistakes.
- I reflect on my experiences and learn from my mistakes.
- I listen to students and learn from them.
- When conducting classroom walkthroughs, I focus on what the students are doing rather than what the teacher is doing.
- I'm willing to try new things and take risks in an effort to improve student learning.
Schools are learning organizations. In order to be a healthy learning organization, I believe my responsibility is to model and contribute to an environment where learning is reciprocal and everyone in the organization learns from and with each other